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Allergy-Friendly Dumplings from Golden Pig & Co

Erika and Robert Chan's life took an unexpected turn when their youngest daughter Jordyn was diagnosed with life-threatening allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts and shellfish. With further intolerances to numerous other foods and preservatives, by the time she was 18 months old, there was more Jordyn was allergic to than not.

Desperate to solve this problem - not just for their daughter but for the thousands of other Australians living with food allergies and intolerances - Erika and Rob had their hearts set on making a difference with allergy-friendly, wholesome food - handcrafted with love, good for the soul, but also full of flavour. Using locally sourced ingredients, Golden Pig & Co dumplings are 100% Australian-made with only grass-fed, free-range meat and fresh vegetables from Aussie farmers.

As for the name? Jordyn was born in the Chinese Zodiac’s Year of the Golden Pig. Chinese folklore maintains that a child born in the Year of the Golden Pig will enjoy a prosperous and healthy life - and so the Golden Pic & Co name was born.

We chat to Erika to dig a little bit deeper. Read on.

Tell us about how you started making dumplings. Especially why dumplings in particular – are there any plans to expand your range to other allergy-friendly dishes in the future? 

Both of our daughters love dumplings, ever since they were really young. We then discovered our younger daughter Jordyn’s multiple food allergies and we were so sad that we could no longer go out to yum cha. We also had a challenging time trying to find store-bought dumplings that were made with nutritious ingredients, without gluten, preservatives and MSG. We decided to take on the challenge to make our own. After many hours and batches we came up with the right pastry recipe, and the girls, Rob and I would gather around the table to make and eat them together – it was our family time, having fun and enjoying food together.

We thought about all the other people with dietary restrictions – and we didn’t want anyone to miss out. Dumplings are a much enjoyed food by people of all ages as well as different cultures so we decided to bring them to the markets. 

Besides our dumpling range, we also have an Asian bone broth range that is slow simmered for over 24 hours, as well as a range of special gluten free flour mixes.  Our plans to expand our range in the future are definitely on the front burner (pun intended!).

What makes the perfect dumpling? 

I would describe the perfect dumpling as a “pocket of goodness”. It has to be flavoursome, fresh, and moreish, in combination with a balanced dumpling skin texture and thickness. Locally made with love – that’s the ultimate perfect dumpling.

Do you prefer steaming, boiling or pan-frying your dumplings? Can you share any tips?

I personally prefer the pan-frying method where it’s similar to a steamed dumpling, but you get the crispy base (no one can resist a good crispy base right!?).

Tip 1: If using a stainless steel pan, make sure the pan is seasoned with oil on low-medium heat about 1 to 1.5 minutes - this will help coat the pan well so that the dumplings don’t get stuck to the pan.

Tip 2: If you like the dumpling base to be crispier, leave the dumplings in the pan for a little longer after the 9-10 minute cooking time.

Tip 3: If the dumpling pastry seems a little gooey, the dumplings are not cooked through yet and need to be cooked a little longer.

Is there a favourite dumpling in your family? 

There’s no one favourite type or flavour of dumplings in our household. As massive food lovers we love them ALL! It depends what we decide to serve them with – sometimes pan-fried on its own for a snack, other times it’s with lots of veggies on the side or with noodles. 

These are dumplings we'd be proud to have made ourselves - but nailing that gluten-free wrapper is a job best left to the professionals. Golden Pig Co dumplings are available in two iterations on our Specials menu now: pork and spring onion or chicken and lemongrass.