A Dumpling Recipe Fit for the Chinese New Year

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On Feb. 16 the Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, starts with the beautification of your living space. Throw on the those new clothes you’ve been hiding since Christmas and prepare yourself for a night of feasting and festivities. This year is the Year of the Dog, so if you were born in ‘94 or ‘82, this is your year. The Chinese New Year is a day to reconnect with your family, enjoy good food, watch a parade and maybe some fireworks, and welcome the new year alongside all of your loved ones. 

Celebrate the new year with soft, chewy homemade dumplings. The recipe for making dumplings varies from region to region in China but each recipe is delicious and unique. The recipe we’re sharing with you was adapted from the southern coastal regions of China. Making dumplings can be a lengthy process, but with the help of a few friends you can make this savory dish in a few simple steps.

Ingredients: 

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • ½ a Napa cabbage stalk
  • Dumpling wrappers 
  • 1 tablespoon cooking wine
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • A few drops of sesame oil
  • Pinch of pepper

For the Assembly:

  • ¾ cup flour
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 flat tray

Prep Work Directions:

  1. Let the ground pork thaw if frozen or refrigerated and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir ground meat in either clockwise or counterclockwise direction continuously adding 2-3 tablespoons of water to ease the process. Ground pork should have a sticky consistency. Set aside.
  2. Wash Napa cabbage and chop finely. Chopping off the white fibrous stem is optional.  
  3. In a large mixing bowl, stir the shredded Napa cabbage in with the ground pork meat. Mix until well combined.
  4. Add cooking wine, soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix until well combined.
  5. Add salt and pepper. Mix until well combined.

Directions for Assembly:

  1. Pour flour onto a flat baking tray, distributing flour thinly and evenly.
  2. Prepare a small bowl of water.
  3. In the center of a dumpling wrapper, using a spoon or chopsticks, place a teaspoon sized ball of pork and Napa mixture.
  4. Dip your fingers briefly into the bowl of water and moisten the rim of the dumpling wrapper. This will make it easier to stick the dumpling wrapper together.
  5. Fold and press the dumpling wrapper together at the edges to form a half-circle.
  6. Starting from the edge of the half circle, fold over about half an inch of wrapper and press together.
  7. Grab folded wrapper and fold forward another half an inch. Repeat this process until arch of the dumpling is firmly closed together.
  8. Place dumpling onto floured tray.
  9. Repeat steps 3 to 8 until all of the pork and Napa mixture is used.

That’s it! Your delicious, homemade dumplings can be frozen up to six months and enjoyed boiled, pan-fried or deep-fried. Spice up the flavor with a dipping sauce of your choice. Happy Chinese New Year from all of us at ing Magazine!