Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome to the Year of the Snake.
While many people think it’s Chinese New Year, the Lunar New Year is, in fact, celebrated by Koreans, Vietnamese and some other Asian cultures. So, being a good Asian properly raised in Korean customs (totally being sarcastic… I’m completely white-washed), I invited some friends over to celebrate by eating Chinese food and making dumplings.
We had some chow mein (noodles for longevity) as well as taro and turnip cakes. I was going to make some dduk (Korean rice cakes) but the bag I had in my freezer turned out to be too old and the rice cakes were all bleh. Fail.
For making dumplings, I roughly followed a recipe from Kirbie’s Cravings but changed it up based on whim (my version below). My pork dumplings came out juicy and delicious and it only cost me part of my finger. It has been many, many years, maybe a couple of decades, since I last made dumplings but after a few weird looking ones, I got the hang of putting in just the right amount of filling and pinching the folds. Like riding a bicycle… I ran out of wrappers though and still have at least a pound of filling left to use so guess what I’m doing tonight… Note to self: Next time, buy double the amount of wrappers you think you need.
Kidlet got his first red envelopes. $2!! His first contribution to his therapy fund…. Aw.
As for the Cat Wrangler… well, he’s not that keen on Chinese food and he doesn’t like dumplings so he grilled up some burgers for himself and some of our non-Asian guests.
- ~3lbs of ground pork (you want it to be somewhat fatty)
- 3-4″ piece of ginger
- 2 leeks
- 1 bunch scallions
- 6 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1 cup water
- ⅔ cup soy sauce
- 4-5Tbsp oyster sauce
- 2 eggs
- A whole lot of dumpling wrappers….
- TO MAKE FILLING:
- Peel and cut ginger into chunks.
- Wash and chop scallions in chunks. Only use green part.
- Wash and chop leeks into chunks.
- Throw the ginger, scallions and leeks into a food processor and mince to bits.
- Mix with the rest of the ingredients in a large bowl. The pork should soak up the liquid. Consistency should end up being jiggly but not watery (no loose liquid sloshing around/spilling out if you tip the bowl).
- Add more water as needed.
- TO ASSEMBLE DUMPLING:
- Take a wrapper and use water liberally to wet the edges (about a finger’s width in space).
- Spoon a little bit of filling, about a tbsp into middle of wrapper.
- Fold wrapper shut, making sure to push edges together to seal well.