Today, billions of Chinese people worldwide are ringing in the year of the rabbit by spending time at the table with their friends and family. But that's where a lot of the similarity ends; each region of China and ethnic Chinese groups have their own cultural traditions associated with the celebration.
In starch-heavy Northern Chinese cuisine, the Lunar New Year wouldn't be complete without shui jiao, or boiled dumplings, which signify wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese currency. Savor them simply with a side of soy-vinegar dipping sauce and a drizzle of chili oil. Enjoy abundance in the coming year with this recipe.
- 4 tablespoons plus 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
4 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tbsp. white vinegar
Flour, for dusting
1 lb. ground pork
1-1/2 cups scallions, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 tsp. grated ginger
1⁄2 tsp. white or black pepper (or a combination of the two)
30 4 1⁄2-inch round wonton wrappers
- In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tsp. sesame oil, soy sauce, and vinegar; set aside.
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and sprinkle with flour; fill a small bowl with tepid tap water. Set both aside.
- Put remaining soy sauce and sesame oil, along with the pork, scallions, cornstarch, salt, ginger, and pepper, into a medium bowl and stir vigorously with a rubber spatula to combine.
- Working with one wrapper at a time, put a tablespoon of pork filling into the center of a wrapper.
- Meanwhile, bring a 5-qt. pot of water to a boil. Working in three batches, boil dumplings until filling is cooked through, about 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer dumplings to a platter and serve with reserved dipping sauce.
Dip your index finger into the bowl of tepid water, and then moisten along the entire edge of the wrapper. Pinch opposite sides of the wrapper together to form a half-moon shape, making sure there are no air bubbles in each dumpling. (If the seal has any holes, the filling is apt to leak out during the cooking process.) Transfer each dumpling to reserved baking sheet, making sure to give each ample room, and covering dumplings with a damp towel or plastic wrap.*
Makes 30 dumplings.
*Note: Dumplings can be made ahead and frozen; freeze them on the baking sheet spaced an ample distance apart, so as to prevent sticking. Once they're frozen, they can be placed together in a freezer bag or container.
- Main Dishes, Pork