These are store bought frozen dumplings. I always have a pack of frozen dumplings in my freezer for don’t-want-to-cook night. Tonight is one of those nights.
Making dumplings from scratch takes a lot of effort. Only at rare occasions like Chinese New Year, I would go out of way make home made dumplings. However, you can buy high quality frozen dumplings in Chinese grocery nowadays. They taste pretty good.
There are a lot of different kind of dumplings in Asian grocery. This particular kind is Shanghai style, which has its own special shape and flavor. Shanghai dumplings usually contain pork mince, crab or prawn meat, and juice of pork stock. When you bite into it, an explosion of rich, steaming, hot juice burst into your mouth. So good! (I usually let it cool a bit before serving, it can burn your tongue!) This is what Shanghai dumpling is different from other dumplings.
Some parts of China serve dumplings with soy sauce, other parts serve with vinegar. I never understand the need of serving dumplings with soy sauce. There is already enough salt in the dumpling filling, why soy sauce? Whereas the acidity of vinegar can cut through the greasiness of the pork, perfect balance! Chinese vinegar with garlic infused oil or chilli infused oil is our traditional way in my family. Recently, we find apple cider vinegar seems better. It is not overpowering and has bit of apple flavor, which goes very well with pork.