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Frankie Gaw's Butternut Squash and Pork Guo-Tie

In celebration of the "First Generation" cookbook release, we are excited to share this special recipe by created by Frankie Gaw. 


An ode to Trader Joe's Butternut Squash Ravioli, sweet roasted squash is pureed with the subtle spice of cinnamon and a hint of garlic and thyme. Its dense texture is complemented by fatty ground pork, while sesame oil and soy sauce bring it home to Frankie's roots - making for the perfect winter dumpling.


First Generation is available wherever books are sold.

60 Minutes
18 Ingredients
Spice Level
Frankie Gaw's Butternut Squash and Pork Guo-Tie

Recipe for Frankie Gaw's Butternut Squash and Pork Guo-Tie


For 3-4 servings

For the dough:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3 to 4 red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 3⁄4 cup warm water (sub. with red bell pepper juice to dye half of the dough, if desired)

For the filling:

  • 2 medium butternut squash, peeled, halved lengthwise, and seeds removed
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 3⁄4 pound ground pork
  • 3 scallions, green and white parts, chopped
  • 1⁄8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp light brown sugar
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • Neutral oil for pan frying

Step by step

step 1

MAKE THE DOUGH: Place the flour in a medium mixing bowl. Gently pour in the water, incorporating it with the flour with a silicone spatula until loosely combined.

step 2

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

step 3

Dust the work surface with flour, then cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a small log. Cut each log into 6 approximately 1-inch pieces, then sprinkle with a generous amount of flour.

step 4

Place each piece on your work surface, cut side up. With the palm of your hand, press down to make a roughly flattened circle.Dust both sides of the circle with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll around the edges to create a circular wrapper of your desired thinness. Cover with plastic wrap so they don’t dry out. If you’re not folding dumplings right away, dust with flour or cornstarch on both sides of the wrappers. Lay the wrappers flat on a large tray or plate (their edges can slightly overlap to save space) and cover with plastic wrap. Store in the fridge for up to a day.

step 5

COLOR THE DOUGH: In a blender, blend the peppers until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh metal sieve, reserving the juice. Use this recipe as a 1:1 replacement for water in half of the dough.

step 6

PREP THE BUTTERNUT SQUASH: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. With a knife or mandoline, cut the squash crosswise into paper-thin slices. Place the squash on the baking sheet in a single layer and drizzle with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, and toss with your hands to coat. Roast the squash for 20 to 25 minutes, until softened and with slightly browned edges. Let cool.

step 7

In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Add the garlic, thyme, and pine nuts, and toast, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove and discard the thyme sprigs.

step 8

Scrape the remaining contents of the pan into a food processor and add the roasted squash and the water. Process until the mixture has the consistency of cookie dough.

step 9

MAKE THE FILLING: In a large mixing bowl, combine the squash mixture, pork, scallions, cinnamon, brown sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, 1½ tablespoons salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper. With your hands, using a circular motion, mix together until the filling looks homogenous and feels sticky, about 3 minutes. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside in the fridge until ready to form the dumplings, up to a day in advance.

step 10

FOLD THE DUMPLINGSWhen ready to fold, place a spoonful of filling about a third the size of the wrapper into the center of the wrapper. Seal the dumpling using the fold of your choice (see pages 131–136). Repeat until you’ve run out of filling or wrappers.

step 11

PAN-FRY THE DUMPLINGS: In a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 tablespoon neutral oil and place the dumplings in the pan, bottoms down. Fry for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms have browned. Add ½ cup of water to the pan and place a lid on top (the water will splatter when it hits the oil, so be careful!). Reduce the heat to medium and steam for 6 to 8 minutes, adding more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the water evaporates. Fetch the dumplings from the pan, and serve.