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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner

Back in my hometown, a family reunion dinner on Chinese New Year eve typically consists of lots of dishes with all kinds of meat and vegetable. After dinner, we will probably sit around in the living room watching TV and waiting for the fireworks to start at midnight. Back in the old days, the laws regarding fireworks and firecrackers were not so strict yet. So we, as kids (and adults), get to play all kinds. Nowadays, kids don't get to enjoy so much fun, I guess.

Here in San Diego, it is even quieter. If I hadn't checked the calendar, I would even think that the new year began on the weekend.

And so, we quickly decided to make stuffed dumpling for this dinner occasion. We learned how to make these from Zoey's first nanny and her husband, manny, I guess. They both came from Tianjin, China. The manny used to cook in a restaurant before. The dumpling is originally a northern China dish, I think.

I am not very good at writing recipes yet. So allow me to explain with the photos.

1. Rinse the chives and green onions (one branch is enough).
2. Chop the chives and green onions finely
3. Put aside.

4. My seasoning buddies (salt, sugar, pepper, black vinegar, sesame oil, cooking wine, soya sauce)
5. Cooking wine is optional. As a rough guideline, the measurements for 1lb of meat: salt (4tsp), sugar(4Tbsp), pepper(3tsp), black vinegar(3tsp), sesame oil(3Tbsp),soya sauce(4Tbsp).

6. Mix the sauces well with the grounded pork meat

7. Add the chives and green onion and mix together with the meat
8. Put aside.

9. Mix flour with water a little bit at a time.
10. Knead in dough and shape into cylinder.
11. Break into smaller pieces (3cm diameter) and flatten into disc shape with a rolling pin.
12. This will form your dumpling wrap layers

13. Put filling to the wrap. Amount should be just nice to eat and easy to wrap.

14. Wrap around the filling nicely (takes some practice). Dip a bit of water or flour powder so that they stick.

15. Sprinkle some flour powder on the tray. Place the finished dumplings on the tray. Sprinkle some flour powder over them (if necessary) to prevent the dumplings from sticking to one another.
16. Put them in the freezer and allow them to dry before taking them out to store in plastic bags. Then leave the plastic bags in the freezer again.
17. Take the dumplings out to cook.

18. Put some oil in the wok and let it become hot first.
19. Put the dumplings in concentric fashion in the wok, starting outside and working your way to the middle where it is the hottest. This way, all the dumplings will have a more uniform cook time.
20. Check the color of bottom of the dumplings. When they are light brown, you can add some water. Add just enough to partially cover them.
21. Let it simmer until all the water is evaporated.
22. Take dumplings out of wok and serve hot. Serve with black vinegar on a small side bowl for taste.

Enjoy your Chinese New Year reunion dinner!


cy said...

u didn't say how they turn out but from the pictures, there sure ain't bad looking. Anyway, good job!
BTW, can you add water to the wok that is in the middle of frying?

02.10.08 - 11:31 am

Susu Kacang said...

okay, but need a bit of fine-tuning with the taste.

yes, you can add water. it will go "syahhh". let it simmer until the water is all gone. you can cover with a lid for 1-2 minutes so the top part will cook faster.