Gong Hei Fat Choy!
2018 is the year of the Earth dog in the Chinese zodiac. The new year brings the energy to start new things, helping us to put long held plans in motion.
I love eating dumplings at any time of the year, but how exciting to learn that it is an auspicious activity at Chinese New Year, bringing luck and prosperity. I usually avoid gluten but make an exception for dumplings – so far I am yet to find a serviceable gluten-free alternative.
Like many good things, dumplings are time intensive, but do as I do and treat it as an exercise in flow meditation. There are lots of good YouTube videos if you need help with your dumpling primping.
I have many happy memories of making and eating dumplings with my mum and grandma. Filling, folding, cooking and then eating them, always burning my tongue, too impatient to wait for them to cool down. I hope you’ll try this recipe and make some happy dumpling memories of your own xo
For the filling
500g pork mince or 500g firm tofu, finely crumbled
I cup of cabbage finely shredded
225g tin of water chestnuts, finely chopped
a few shallots, finely chopped
small knob of ginger grated, about 2 tbsp
4 tbsp soy or tamari
4 tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp roasted sesame oil
½ tsp ground white pepper
You will also need
50 round dumpling wrappers
A few tablespoons of cooking oil
Combine all filling ingredients and mix well.
Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the centre of the dumpling wrapper. Moisten the edge of half the wrapper with water. Press the dumpling into a half circle shape, poking in any escaping filling as you go. Make a few pleats in the edge of the pastry – this will help keep the dumpling sealed as it cooks, as well as making it look pretty. Shape your dumpling so the pleated side is sitting up and the bottom is flat.
Add a few tablespoons of cooking oil into a thick bottomed fry pan over medium to high heat and add about 10 dumplings. Fry for a few minutes or until the bottoms are brown. Add 1/3 cup of water and cover with a lid. Steam until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Eat your beautiful creations and enjoy a year of good luck and prosperity xo