Tuesday, January 24, 2012

新年快樂

dumplings

I'm only one day behind, so I hardly call it late. (I still haven't finish posts from last month!) Lunar New Year came relatively early this year since there's still more than a week in January left. Normally, we have dinner at my parent's on New Year's Eve. This year, my brother had to go out of state for work that day so we gathered a day early. I also don't think my Dad wants to miss any of the football games that day since he's in charge of cooking at my house. (Boo... the 49ers lost.) Since we ended up at home, I thought it would be fun to make some dumplings. It's not a tradition for my family since we're not from the northern part of China, where eating dumplings around the New Year is more common. I do have fond memories of making dumplings at my aunt's place in Hong Kong while growing up. Everybody got together to make everything from the hot water dough to the pork filling. My brother and I would tried to guess who will eat more dumplings every time. While the dumplings are boiling away (never pan-fried, I don't think I've had a pot sticker until I moved to US), we would make a dipping sauce with almost everything you could find in the house. Sesame paste, Chinese BBQ sauce, hosin sauce, oyster sauce, ketchup, hot sauce (usually a few to pick from), sesame oil, soy sauce, and countless others. The point is to achieve the right balance of savory, sweet, sour and spiciness to your specific palate. Sadly, we haven't done that since we moved to US. It's definitely one of those fond childhood memory that I treasured and almost forgotten about until I started to type this out.

I got a dumpling press for $1.50 at a Japanese discount store for T to use. I'm not sure the almost 5 years old could quite handle folding them. We used store purchased dumpling wrappers. (I haven't worked up to making my own yet.) Filled with a little minced pork and vegetables and wet the edge with a little water.
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Press together the mold tightly.
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Open and take the dumpling out.
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You get a perfect little dumpling every time!
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I only got one of the dumpling mold. So I had to make mine without one. The ones on the left are from T and the ones on the right are mine.
dumplings

We ended up eating them for lunch and dinner that day. Boil the ones I made in water and served with chicken broth and vegetables for lunch. The ones T made were pan-fried for dinner. No pictures on the pan fried ones, they got eaten too quickly around here.

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