Chinese New Year Dumplings

Today's all-day project, with very tasty results:

The Recipe is out of the veritable Bible of Chinese cooking:

My mother used the same cookbook when I was growing up, and I received my own copy when I graduated from college. The recipes are the same after all these years, still delicious.

Normally, homemade dumplings are reserved for extended family gatherings when you have several sets of hands to help with the dough making / rolling / wrapping / cooking. I still remember making dumplings with my Aunties, Uncles and cousins whenever we visited them in New York. It is a tradition we maintain with my sisters and parents - whenever we all get together, we set aside an afternoon to make dumplings.

It has been several years since I made dumplings by myself, but now that the kids are older, they expressed interest in helping, so I bought the ingredients yesterday and made the filling last night. Erica's horse riding was canceled today, so I had a willing helper all afternoon.

We started by making the dough for the wrappers - mix boiling water with flour until it forms a soft dough:

Then knead away. Brian and Erica did all the kneading this year:

After letting the dough rest (rest time for us, too!), I divided it into 4 pieces, then took one piece, formed a snake and broke off 10 pieces of dough. These pieces are formed into little rounds:

Roll the rounds out into flat circles. [yes, those are my wrinkly looking hands - picture taken by Erica]

Fill the wrapper with meat filling and crimp. Erica was a big help here. I rolled out the wrappers while she filled them:

Pan fry (sorry, the picture I took didn't come out very nice).

Enjoy with dipping sauce of soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, green onion and sesame oil.

I really enjoyed making today's dumplings - first, I wasn't in any sort of rush (I had no plans to leave the house, and with the snow and the cold outside, we just stayed in). I enjoyed watching the kids immerse themselves into the process - they commented how smooth the dough felt, how the filling smelled so good. The ultimate comment - when they declared that "homemade dumplings are the best".

Happy Chinese New Year!

McKay Family  – (January 25, 2009 at 10:32 PM)  

They look so yummy! Seems like a lot of work, but looks like it is worth it!

Lauren Hartman  – (January 25, 2009 at 11:12 PM)  

Oh my goodness, those look delicious! It sounds like the perfect way to spend the day with your kids. Yum!

Robin  – (January 26, 2009 at 5:39 AM)  

Doesn't it make you all gooey-happy inside, to realize you are passing on traditions and memories to your kids that you have from your childhood? Your post made me remember making cookies with MY mom. The dumplings looked great too. :O)

Sherry  – (January 26, 2009 at 12:41 PM) this post. Full of tradition, food, it. I enjoy making Mandu (Korean fried dumplings) with my mom. I cheat now and buy the wraps. =] Looks like you have a great island table for rolling dough. Thanks for sharing and Happy Year of the Ox! =]

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