Today is the “End of Winter Day” on the Chinese calendar. It is the winter solstice, which means the last day of a long cold winter. It is also the day with the shortest daytime and longest night time. After the “End of Winter Day”, our daylight hours will grow longer and longer. In China, we actually have two ways to celebrate it. People from the north make traditional dumplings, and people from the south side make Tangyuan (stuffed rice balls made of glutinous rice flour served in soup). We are from the north of China. So we made some delicious dumplings.
Dumplings are one of our favorite foods. We eat it not just on the “End of Winter Day” in China. Also during Spring Festival, and my birthday which our mom kept as a tradition in our family ever since we were little. So eating dumplings always reminds me of some happy memories.
Another reason I love dumplings is that you can be so creative with it. There are hundreds of possibilities to making dumpling filling. Whatever you like, either meat, veggie, or seafood. as long as you can grind it or shred it, you can put it into a dumpling and make the dumpling you like!
In china, the most popular ones are pork with green onion. And that is what we made yesterday. We also added some shredded carrot, to give it a hint of sweet taste and some extra carotene;) Let’s start by making the dumpling filling!
1 Ib of Ground Beef
0.2 Ib of Green onion
0.2 Ib of Carrot
1/4 cup of Cooking Oil
1/4 tsp of Salt
3 tbsp of Soy Sauce
1/4 tsp of Sesame Oil
1/4 tsp of Sugar
3 tsp of ginger paste
2 tsp of home made 14 ground spices.
(This has been my grandma’s secret passing to us, which gives the dumplings the unique fresh taste. Don’t worry, you can use the “five spice powder” instead.)
Shred all the vegetables, mixing them with ground beef and all your seasonings, then your dumpling filling is ready!
If making dough takes too much time for you, simply buy some dumpling dough from any Asian or international grocery store. After putting them together, steam for 20 minutes or boil for 15 minutes. Afterward, if you want the skin be crispy, just pan fry or deep fry until the skin is golden brown. Then they are ready to serve!
The sauce is absolutely one of the most important elements to complete a perfect dumpling meal too. In next blog, I will show you how to make perfect sweet and sour soy sauce and chili sauce.
Enjoy some fresh and delicious home made dumplings. You can be an Asian chef too!:D