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Dumpling Skins:

Ingedients:
2.5 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 cups boiling water

Preparation:
Place the flour in a mixing bowl and add the boiling water. With a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients to a rough ball. If the dough is too hot to handle, let it cool a bit; then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and need for about 5 minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. If the dough is too sticky, need a few tablespoons of flour into it. Cover the dough and let it rest for 25 minutes. Cut the dough in two and form each half into a long snakelike roll about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each half into 25 pieces. with a cut edge down, press each into a circle. Using a small rolling pin or a tortilla press that has been lightly floured, roll out each piece into a 3-inch circle. Cover the circles with a cloth or towel to prevent drying. Makes enough for 50 dumplings.

Pork Filling:

1.5 cups finely minced Napa cabbage
1 tsp. salt
.75 pounds ground pork
1 cup finely minced Chinese garlic chives, leeks, or scallion greens

Seasoning:
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. rice wine (shaohsing)
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1.5 tsp. minced ginger
1.5 tsp. minced garlic

Preparation:
Place the minced cabbage in a large mixing bowl, add the salt, toss lightly to mix evenly, and let sit for 30 min. (this is done to remove the water from the cabbage, so the filling will not soak through the dumpling skin.) Take a handful of minced cabbage and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl. Squeeze out all the cabbage and discard water. Add the pork, minced chives, and “dumpling seasoning”. Stir vigorously in to combine the ingredients evenly. (If the mixture seems loose, add 2 Tbs. cornstarch to bind it together.)

Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of each dumpling skin, and fold the skin over to make a half-moon shape. Spread a little water along the edge of the skin. Use the thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the outside edge of the skin; with the other hand, press the two opposite edges of the skin together to seal. The inside edge of the dumpling should curve in a semicircular fashion to conform to the shape of the pleated edge. Place the sealed edge dumplings on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted with cornstarch or flour.

In a large wok or pot, bring about 3qts of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, stirring immediately to prevent them from sticking together, and heat until the water begins to boil. Add 1/2 cup cold water and continue to cook over high heat until the water boils. Add another 1/2 cup cold water and cook until the water boils again. Remove and drain. Cook the remaining dumplings in the same manner. (this is the traditional method of cooking dumplings; for a simpler method, boil for about 8 minutes, uncovered, on high heat. Serve the cooked dumplings with one (or many) of the dipping sauces found below.

Dipping Sauces:

Dipping Sauce I
1/2 cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. Chinese Black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. shredded ginger root or minced garlic (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce II
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbs. Chinese Black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. chili oil or chili paste with garlic
1 Tbs. shredded ginger root or minced garlic (optional)

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce III (A spicy one)
1/4 cup soy sauce
1T rice wine
1T rice wine vinegar
2t sugar
1T minced scallion
1.5T minced garlic
2T sesame oil
2t chili oil or chili paste

Combine all ingredients.

Dipping Sauce IV
½ cup soy sauce
3 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbs. Shredded or finely minced ginger
¼ cup white sugar
¼ cup and 1 Tbs. brown sugar

Mix together all ingredients and heat in a sauce pan until all ingredients are combined (or until there is no sugar at the bottom of the pan).

Alternate Cooking Method:

25 dumplings:
3.5 Tbs. peanut oil
5 meat dumpling from above
1 cup boiling water

Heat a large wok or well-seasoned skillet until very hot. Add three tablespoons of oil and heat until hot. Place the dumplings in the pan, pleated side up. Fry the dumplings over medium heat until their bottoms are a deep golden brown. Add the boiling water to the pan and cover. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 10 minutes. Uncover, and pour out the water. Lightly rinse the dumplings for 5 seconds under hot running water to remove excess starch*. Drain. Place the pan containing the dumplings over medium-high heat. Drizzle 1/2 Tbs. of oil around the dumplings and fry until the bottoms are again crisp (about 2 minutes). Loosen any dumplings that seem to be stuck to the bottom. * I have only had to rinse when I have made the skins myself.

Most of this came from the book Nina Simonds, “Classic Chinese Cuisine”, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1982.

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