Sunday, February 14, 2010

Chinese New Year

Happy Chin
ese New Year!!

February 14 is not just Valentine's Day this year, it is also Chinese New Year, also known as Lunar New Year. 2010 is the Year of the Tiger, and in order to celebrate this occasion I made pork dumplings with some friends.

We cribbed the recipe from the Steamy Kitchen Blog, which also has recipe suggestions for a new year feast. We changed some of the instructions because we don't have a food processor, and we had slightly different amounts of meat, so here are the intructions we followed, but the original recipe can be found here, and there are also folding instructions.

3/4 a head of napa cabbage leaves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 stalks minced green onions
1 lbs. pound ground pork
1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 package frozen round dumpling wrappers (gyoza/potsticker wrappers), defrosted at room temperature for 30 minutes (sometimes you can find these in major supermarkets, but your best bet is to head down to Chinatown, where you can also pick up the rest of the ingredients)


Combine the ground pork, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil and mix until uniform. Then add the ginger, cabbage scallions, salt and pepper and fold to incorporate.
You can salt and drain the cabbage, but we didn't and the dumplings didn't end up soggy.

Filling Instructions:

Put a good spoonful in the center of the wrapper, then use your finger to paint water on one edge of the wrapper, so that they stick together, then you can try your hand at crimping, or just fold over in a half moon style.

Here is a sample of what our's looked like
Our crimping certainly wasn't perfect, but we tried.

Cooking Instructions:

You can either boil or pan fry these. We actually boiled all of them first and then pan fried some of them, because it is easier to do it that way. You will probably have to boil in batches, but you can reuse the same water for a a few batches at least.

Bring a large pot to boil, then add as many as you can as long as they are not piling on top of each other and cook for about 7 to 8 minutes. If you are planning on pan frying them, I would lay them on a paper towel lined plate to make them as dry as possible before putting them in the oil.

To Pan Fry: heat enough oil (vegetable is fine) to line the bottom of the pan, place dumplings in a ring around the pan, and cook until the bottom is a crispy golden brown, which will take about 5 minutes.

You can enjoy them as is, or whip up a dipping sauce with soy sauce, sesame oil a few sliced green onions!!

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