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Celebrate the Chinese New Year

By Jennifer S. Lin

Section: Arts

February 6, 2009

If you like the food at BC3’s annual Dumpling Workshop Night, you’ll love this sized-down recipe for dumplings that you can try at home. It’s traditional to use ground pork in this recipe. However, beef or chicken also work wonderfully for a more kosher option. Dumplings are eaten year round in China but are a special treat during the Lunar New Year when families traditionally gather to make and eat them together. Happy Year of the Ox!

– 1 package round wonton skins

– 1/2 pound ground beef, chicken, or pork

– 1 large egg

– 1 tsp cornstarch

– 1 tbsp sesame oil

– 1 tbsp soy sauce

– 1 tsp finely chopped ginger

– 2 tsp sugar

– 1/2 tsp. salt

– 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

– 1/2 tsp white pepper (optional)

– 2 tsp Asian fish sauce (optional)

– 1/2 head bok choy

(Chinese, or Napa cabbage), shredded

For sauce:

– 1/2 cup soy sauce

– 1 tsp sesame oil

– 1/2 tsp sugar

– 1 tsp rice vinegar or white vinegar

– Garlic, chopped

OPTIONAL:

– 1 stalk green onion, chopped

– 1 tbsp rice wine

1. Squeeze all excess water out of shredded cabbage. Discard water, place cabbage in bowl, and set aside. This step ensures that your dumpling filling will not turn out soggy.

2. In a bowl, combine the pork, egg, cornstarch, oil, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, salt, peppers, and fish sauce. Add drained shredded cabbage and combine well for at least 3 minutes, until mixture is sticky.

3. Have a small bowl of water at the ready. To fill dumplings, place a wrapper in the palm of one hand. Place filling by spoonfuls into the middle of the wrapper. Take care not to overfill, or the dumplings will burst while cooking! Moisten the edges with a finger dipped in water and seal in one of the following ways: a) Tightly pinch the edges closed for a smooth edges, or b) Fold the wrapper in half and pinch tightly at the top center to seal. Follow up by pinching three small pleats on the top half of the wrapper on either side of the center. Press the edges together to create a pleated edge. As you create dumplings, set them aside on a baking sheet or plate.

4. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add dumplings – do not overcrowd the pot. Cover and boil for about 3-4 minutes, or until dumplings float and are cooked all the way through. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl and cover to keep warm. Continue until all dumplings are cooked.

5. Create the dipping sauce by mixing together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, vinegar, garlic, rice wine and green onion. Serve with warm dumplings.

Note: If you have leftovers, you can make delicious fried potstickers. Heat a frying pan over high and add 1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Tilt to coat. Place uncooked dumplings in a single layer in the pan, turn heat to medium-high and fry until the bottoms are golden brown. Add water (1/2 cup per 12 dumplings, or halfway up their sides), and cover pan with lid. After water has evaporated (about 10 minutes), dumplings will be steamed. Allow them to crisp in the remaining oil for about 1 more minute before you remove and enjoy!

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