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Chinese Pot Stickers (Dumplings)

Chinese Dumplings (Pot Stickers)

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Makes 50 to 60 dumplings.
By Dennis W. Viau; adapted from a friend’s recipe.

According to my Chinese friends, these dumplings are the traditional food of Chinese New Year because each dumpling is supposed to be a little packet of good luck. The more you eat, the more luck you’ll have in the coming year. So, when I eat these at their house, the only food on the table is these dumplings. I guess the idea is not to waste any room on food that is not lucky.

As for my friend’s wife, who is the best Chinese cook I know, she does not part with any secrets of her recipes. I had to figure this one out on my own. But I got close, very close.

Ingredients:

Dough:
2½ cups flour; sifted (11 ounces (310g) by weight)
1 teaspoon salt
¾ cup water (175ml)
Filling:
12 ounces (340g) ground chicken or pork
1 teaspoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
2 medium-size cloves garlic, minced
½ cup (30g) finely chopped green onions
1 tablespoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil or vegetable
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Dipping sauce (per person):
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon sesame oil

Directions:

To prepare the dough, place the flour and salt in a large bowl. Stir in the water with a spoon. When dry enough to handle, knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at least 15 minutes.

Combine all the filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Working with ¼ of the dough at a time, feed dough through a pasta machine (or roll by hand) to make sheets that are slightly thicker than an egg roll wrapper. Using a 2½-inch (6.4cm) round cutter, cut circles. (Dough remnants can be added to the next batch of dough to be rolled.) Put about a teaspoon of filling in the center of a dough circle and fold in half. Seal the edges, removing as much air as possible. (Dampen the dough along the edges with a little water to help seal.) Continue with each ¼ piece of the dough until all the dumplings are assembled.

Add water to a depth of about 1½ inches (4cm) in large skillet or wok and bring to a rapid boil. Stir the boiling water and add the dumplings, a few at a time. Depending on pan size, limit the number to about 8 or 12 to prevent crowding. Stirring will help prevent sticking. Gently keep the water moving until the dumplings rise from the bottom. Cook 3 to 4 minutes.

Remove cooked dumplings with a strainer or slotted spoon and place in a shallow bowl. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce in small bowls. It is traditional for guests to be eating hot dumplings while more are cooking.

Can be frozen, uncooked, individually and placed in a sealed plastic bag for freezer storage.