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Brunchlings: Bacon and egg breakfast dumplings

Chrissy Dupé

I came up to Queensland this week to visit mum, expecting to get hit with the full force heat and humidity of the tropics.

Spray tan – check. Sunscreen – check. Every item of summer clothing I own dug out of the bottom of the cupboard – check.

And of course, the day I left Melbourne it hit 35°C (after maximums of 15°C for the past three months), and Cairns has been a relatively mild 28°C in comparison, complete with wind and buckets of rain.

I must’ve brought a little slice of Melbourne with me. Probably not a bad thing really because I do tend to combust in extreme heat. And who am I to complain when this is my view at breakfast?

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When my parents and brothers and I all lived in Canberra together we used to head on down to Dickson for family yum cha sessions on Sundays. This was definitely where my long-standing love affair with dumplings began.

It was a delicious game of strategy; carefully selecting your dumplings as the trolleys whizzed past. Trying to pace yourself, in spite of all the deliciousness. Resisting the urge to grab one of everything or crack under the pressure of the eagle-eyed waiters trying to hurrying you along so they could get the next customers in.

Filling up on steamed prawn dumplings and shu mai then realising all too late that the lobster dumplings were en route and being too full to fit them in was a rookie error. And of course you had to save room for the custard buns and mango sago.

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So yep I’m a massive fan of a the dumpling, as is mum. But we also both also love a good old bacon and egg cook up for brunch (obvs). So I decided to whip up these scrumptious little bacon and egg breakfast dumplings as a nod to the glory days of Sunday family yum cha, with an Aussie brunch twist. Brunchlings! Not a bad way to enjoy the view with a cup of tea.

I used half pork belly and half bacon for the filling, so they’re not too salty, and fried the meat off first to caramelise and render the fat on the pork belly. Then lightly scrambled the eggs before adding them to the mixture so as not to overcook them during the frying process. I also gave them a little Asian kick with some sesame, chives and a touch of chilli.

In my experience, the secret to perfect pan-fried dumplings is to fry them in a little oil first, flat-side down, then steam them through with a little water and fry them again quickly once the water’s evaporated to give them that extra golden crispiness.

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They’re super tasty with some spicy tomato relish on the side, or you can go for the traditional Chinese chilli sauce, soy and black vinegar. I may even try out a little Asian style Hollandaise sauce next time with a touch of wasabi or chilli.

Voila! Breakfast and dumplings, together at last. The new Sunday family yum cha.

Bacon and egg breakfast dumplings recipe

Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 (makes about 30 dumplings)

Ingredients

150g bacon, finely diced
200g Pork belly – minced or very finely sliced
1 tbsp fresh chives, chopped finely
4 eggs, scrambled
1/4 tsp Sesame oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 long red chilli
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Ketjap Manis (sweet soy sauce)
30 round dumpling wrappers
2 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Salt and pepper
Spicy tomato relish or Chinese chilli sauce, soy and black vinegar to serve

Instructions

For the dumpling filling

Crack eggs into a bowl and lightly scramble, seasoning with salt and pepper.

Mix minced pork belly and bacon with 1/4 tsp sea salt. Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in large frying pan over high heat. Add pork belly and bacon mixture and fry for around1 1/2 min, stirring untll it starts to brown.

Add garlic, frying for another minute until fragrant. Remove and set aside in a bowl.

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In a separate pan, add 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil to a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook for around 2 mins, stirring occasionally, until egg is just cooked but still a bit moist. Set aside.

Add chives, chilli, soy sauce, ketjap manis and sesame oil to the bowl with the cooked pork mixture, stirring to combine. Gently stir through the scrambled egg last.

One by one, place dumpling wrappers on a flat surface and brush the edges with a little water.

Spoon 1 teaspoon of dumpling mixture into the centre of each wrapper and fold up the sides to form a half-moon shaped pouch. Pinch to enclose filling and make pleats as you go on one side if you like. Place on a tray lined with baking paper.

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To cook

Heat 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Fry dumplings in batches (how ever many will fit comfortably. Take care not to overcrowd the pan) on medium-high heat (flat side down) for around 2 minutes.

Carefully add 1/4 cup water to the pan (the water will sizzle and spit), and put lid on.

Cook for 2 mins until water has almost evaporated. Take the lid off and cook for a final 1-2 minutes until the bottom is golden and crispy.

Serve with spicy tomato relish or chilli sauce, soy and black vinegar.

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Chrissy Dupé

Chrissy is a lover of lists and a self-confessed control freak. Her mission is to help other women with a strong need to be in control learn how to harness the power of their inner control freak and use it for good. Having lived through the devastation that being control freak without focus brings, and going out the other side stronger, Chrissy developed a series of hands-on, zero 'fluff' programs to help women control their freak, instead of letting it run them into the ground. Her philosophy is based on the little-known fact that control freaks are actually born for greatness... and that without them, the world would fall into disorganised chaos. You can find out more at www.controlyourfreak.com. More about the Author

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