In a large bowl, combine the pork, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger root. Mix well so that the flavors will penetrate the meat. Then add the cabbage and mix until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. The filling will not taste right if you try to combine all the ingredients at once. Place 1 dumpling wrapper on a plate or a board. (You can buy the wrappers in grocery stores or oriental specialty markets.) Place 1 scant tablespoon pork mixture in the center. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a little water, then fold them over the filling to form a half moon shape. Pinch the center together first, then stand the dumpling up on its base and pleat one of the sides of the half moon twice, half way between the outer edge and the center. Pleat the other side in the same way and leave the dumpling standing up. Stand the finished dumplings on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper. Do not allow the sides of the dumplings to touch each other, or they will stick together. Repeat, using the remaining dumpling wrappers and pork filling. The dumplings can be made and frozen for up to 3 months or they may be cooked immediately, either boiled or pan fried. Serve hot.
Tip: if you cannot get napa cabbage, substitute green cabbage. You will need to add 2 tablespoons of water to the pork filling before adding the cabbage, because green cabbage is not as moist as Chinese cabbage.
To Pan Fry Dumplings: Heat 1 tablespoon corn oil in a large non-stick skillet. Add as many dumplings as can fit in a single layer. Pour 1/2 cup cold water over the dumplings. Cover the skillet and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, without turning or stirring, until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are golden and crisp on the bottom. If the dumplings are not browned enough, keep cooking until they are. Remove the dumplings to a heated platter and repeat with the remaining dumplings.
Tip: Defrost frozen dumplings before cooking or they will burn.
To Boil Dumplings: Fill a large stock pot 2/3 full of water and bring to a boil. Add 1/3 of the prepared dumplings. Using a Chinese strainer or slotted spoon, stir the dumplings to prevent them from sticking together. Return the water to a boil. The dumplings will rise to the top, but at this point the filling will still be raw. Add 1/2 cup cold water and return to a boil again. When the dumplings float, taste one to see if it's done. If not, add another 1/2 cup cold water and cook until the dumplings rise again. Adding cold water slows the cooking so the dough does not break, allowing enough time for the filling to be thoroughly cooked. Remove the dumplings from the pot using a Chinese strainer or slotted spoon and place them on a plate, being careful to keep them separate from one another.
Soy Ginger Sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and serve. This sauce will keep up to 1 week in the refrigerator, without the ginger root. Add the ginger root when ready to serve.
Recipe courtesy of Susanna Foo, Sussana Foo Chinese Cuisine, Chapters Publishing, Copyright 1995