Do Some Dumplings

I don't celebrate Chinese New Year, (I don't even celebrate that other New Year's Eve thing) but really, any reason for dim sum and dumplings, and I'm all over it. Especially when it's the Year of the Rooster. Hello!!!

Saturday, January 28th, marks the start of Chinese New Year—the year of the rooster—cock-a-doodle-doo, Baby! And yum!

Have you seen the kind of frenzied orgy of eating Chinese folks get up to over the two-week celebration of the New Year? The gorging that takes place around big tables of spinning lazy Susans makes a regular weekend dim sum look like a Weight Watchers meeting. I say get in there!!!

Joining in is the best policy. Get out there, visit your nearest Chinatown, share the street with a dragon, be startled by fire crackers, and elbow your way to a table and get your fair share of good luck and good eats.

All the foods served on this holiday are symbolic—edible lucky charms, as it were—for prosperity, good health, and fertility.

There are umpteen fish dishes, oodles of noodles, taro and turnip cakes, steamed fruitcakes, pomelos, gourds, tangerines, and above all, dumplings.

Dumplings formed to look like ingots of gold and dumplings that resemble little purses, symbolically filled with good fortune. And while I'm not the least bit convinced that chowing down on these delicate and delicious packages will bring lots of money in 2017, it will bring double happiness, at least for a little while.

Easy Dumplings for Dummies

Making these addictive pork and walnut dumplings is so much easier than you might imagine. Follow my step by step instructions and every day can be Chinese New Year. For a veggie version, use ground extra-firm tofu instead of pork.

Pork and Walnut Dumplings

Ingredients:

1/2 lb (250 g) ground pasture-raised pork, turkey, or chicken

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh coriander

2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh chopped chive bud, chive or spring onion

1/4 cup (60 mL) toasted and finely chopped raw, unsalted walnuts

1/4 tsp (1 mL) garlic powder

1/4 tsp (1 mL) galangal or ginger powder

1/4 tsp (1 mL) white pepper

1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt

25-30 dumpling or won ton wrappers

In a large, dry pan over medium heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally, until lightly brown, about 2 minutes.

In a large bowl combine pork, coriander, chive bud, walnuts, garlic, galangal or ginger powder, white pepper and salt.

Take one dumpling wrapper and wet the outer rim lightly with water.

With the dumpling skin flat on one hand, place 1 Tbsp (15 mL) of the filling mixture in the centre.

Fold the wrapper edge up into a taco shape and pinch together.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the dumplings, a few at a time, then stir immediately and gently to make sure they don’t stick together or to the bottom of the pot.

Cook until done, 5 to 7 minutes, or when the dumplings have floated to the surface and appear almost translucent and a little wrinkly. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on serving dish. Do not overlap, as dumplings will stick together.

Serve with your favourite Asian sweet and spicy dipping sauce.

Kunghei fatchoy!

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© 2016 by Signe Langford