Chinese New Year, my excuse to eat my weight in dumplings. The year of the Rooster and it is a pretty big celebration around here and dumplings are at the heart of it , well for me. Last year my neighbour, Kohi, spoilt us with her home made dumplings, this year I convinced her to share the recipe and I photographed her step by step. I jumped in and tried my best, but it really looks easier than what it is – that little folding skill is crucial. They have to look good, not just taste good. Thanks Kohi for your patience and for the lovely dinner we shared afterwards.

The ingredients: Dumpling wrappers, pork mince [about 400g], mushrooms [8-10 big button], Chinese chives [4 bunches], 2 eggs, olive oil, soy sauce, sesame oil, five spice, cooking wine, chilli bean paste, flour for dusting, water.

Wash the chives and mushrooms and chop them in small bits, Kohi used 4 bunches of chives and 8-10 big button mushrooms.

Place the cut chives and mushrooms in a large bowl and add the pork mince. The quantity depends on you, but Kohi used a ratio of 3:2:1 per volume Chives- mushrooms-mince

Add two eggs to the mix.

Add your seasoning,  1 Tbsp sesame oil, 3 Tbsp soy sauce, 3 Tbsp cooking oil, 2 big pitches of table salt, 2  pinches of five spice, 2-3 Tbsp cooking wine.

 

Mix well and taste the seasoning and adjust to liking.

 

Dust a large platter with flour for the raw filled dumplings, get a bowl of water to seal dumplings- see step by step folding below.

 

Fill the wrapper with enough filling, about 2 Tbsp of filling. Dip your finger in the water and wet the inside edge of the wrapper- this will allow it to stick together.

The folding or crimping is where the pro’s and the wanna be’s get divided. There is a short video on my Instagram account that shows exactly how to fold the dumpling. Start in the middle and press edges together working outwards, the corner gets divided into two equal parts- like an upside down heart – or two little ears – press the one “ear” together. Press the other ear in two folds- folding it back onto the dumpling to create a little pleat. Fold both corners this way.

 

She makes it look so easy! Patience is key – treat each little dumpling like the little treasure it is. Aim for same size filling and crimping look. My efforts are not featured here- ha ha.

 

You can boil, steam or fry the dumpling, but we boiled them – Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add a little oil. Add the dumplings to the boiling water, not to crowded, return the water to the boil, then add 2 cups of cold water the the pot , wait for it to boil a second time, then add cold water again. When the water boils the third time, your dumplings are ready.

You can serve them in these cute steamers with a dipping sauce- Kohi recommends a mix of soy sauce, sesame oil and some chilli bean paste, mix well.

We finished our feast with green tea with Jasmine- Longhao, and sweet Chinese cookies.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!