Gung Hay Fat Choy! Chi fan le mei you? (Happy and prosperous new year! Have you eaten yet?) Both common greetings for the Lunar new year, commonly know in the states at the Chinese New Year. This year Chinese New Year starts on February 14th. The Lunar New Year celebration is 15 days long, each day with it’s own significance and traditions. Food plays a huge part throughout the entire celebration. Special foods are served during the New Year to bring good luck and prosperity. Jiaozi are dumplings boiled in water that have coins in them- whoever bites into the dumpling with the coin is sure to have an extra lucky new year. My dumpling recipe may not be as lucky as jiaozi, but it’s very tasty and doesn’t include a trip to the dentist for a chipped tooth!
Here’s what you’ll need for Pork Dumplings with Dried Shrimp.
2 teaspoons dried shrimp, minced*
2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (you can substitute a medium dry Sherry)
¼ head of a medium sized cabbage, roughly chopped
½ teaspoon Kosher salt
1 pound ground pork
1 bunch of chives, finely chopped (1/2 cup chives total).
2 scallions (green part only) thinly sliced
1 large clove of garlic minced
1/8 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
½ teaspoon sesame oil
1 large egg, beaten
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch
1 package dumpling wrappers
* You are most likely to find whole dried shrimp in the Hispanic food section with the other bulk spices.
For Jerry-Rigged Steamer
Large pot with a tight fitting lid
large outer leaves from the cabbage head used in the recipe above.
To Make Dumplings:
Mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl (except the dumpling wrappers). Reserve the outer leaves of the cabbage to line your steamer with.
Place about 1 teaspoon of the dumpling mixture in the center of a dumpling wrapper and fold the dumpling, folding at the edges, making sure there is no air around the filling. Don’t worry if they’re not to pretty- they’ll still be tasty!
Arrange dumplings in your (lined with cabbage) steamer. Steam until filling is firm and wrappers are translucent. (about 10 minutes).
Provide soy sauce, Chinese mustard or any of your favorite Asian style sauces for dipping.
To Make a Steamer:
Take your steamer basket and place it into your large pot. Add about 1 inch of water to the pan. Line the steamer basket with cabbage leaves (so the dumplings don’t stick to the basket), place in the pot. Bring water to a hard simmer. Add dumplings, cover. Let the dumplings steam until done, appx. 10 minutes.