Happy Chinese New Year

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

I’m not Chinese but my good friend Linda is and I wanted to make these Chicken and Vegetable Dumplings in honour of her.  I love eating dumplings and sipping chinese tea – delicious.

Here we have the dumplings after I’d filled them with the chicken mixture, folded and pleated them ready to be steamed.  It takes a bit of practice to get the pleating right, my first one ended up in the bin.  I’m happy to say I think I did okay with the other 29!

Chinese steamer baskets are so handy to have in your kitchen, you can steam anything in them: vegetables, fish, chicken and dumplings.  They are very cheap and are available at your local asian grocer.  I lined mine with baking paper I’d placed holes in with a hole punch, this allows the steam to penetrate through the paper to cook the dumplings.

Chinese New Year is an important traditional chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the chinese calendar.  In China it is also known as the Spring Festival.  The celebrations traditionally run from Chinese New Year’s Eve, the last day of the last month of the Chinese calendar, to the Lantern Festival on the 15th day of the first month, making the festival the longest in the Chinese calendar. Because the Chinese calendar is lunisolar, it’s often also referred to as the Lunar New Year.

In China, celebrations vary widely. Often, the evening preceding Chinese New Year’s Day families get together for an annual reunion dinner. It’s also traditional to thoroughly cleanse the house, to sweep away any ill-fortune and make way for good incoming luck. Windows and doors will be decorated with red color paper-cuts with popular themes of good fortune or happiness, wealth  and longevity. Other activities include lighting firecrackers and giving money in red paper envelopes.

Below are my steamed dumplings ready to eat.  I hope you’ll give them a go, they really are very easy and I included plenty of vegetables in mine.  If you have children, you could make them together, I’m sure they’d love making and eating them.

Chicken & Vegetable Dumplings

500g chicken mince
4cm piece of ginger, peeled and grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
2 button mushrooms, finely diced
2 water chestnuts, finely diced *
1 cup finely shredded cabbage
2 Tblsp light soy sauce
3 tsp chinese rice wine
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp cornflour

Fresh, round Gow Gee Wrappers * – (available in refrigerated section of supermarket or asian grocer)

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl thoroughly.

Place a teaspoon of mixture in the middle of your gow gee wrapper.  Fold in half and press edges together with a little water then pleat.

Cut a circle out of baking paper to fit the bottom of your steamer basket.  Punch it with holes using a hole punch, (see middle photo).  Place dumplings in the basket.

Fill a pot with water that your steamer basket can sit comfortable on top of.  Bring water to the boil, place your basket on top with the lid on and steam the dumplings for 5 minutes or so until the whole dumpling is soft.

Serve with your favourite dipping sauce. I like dipping them into soy sauce.

* I bought a small can of sliced water chestnuts
* I bought a packet of 30 Gow Gee Wrappers but had mixture left over so I recommend buying two packets (or a pack of 50) and using them until you run out of mixture.

Chinese New Year information from Wikipedia.

Happy Chinese New Year Linda and family.

Catherine xx

13 Comments

  1. Kylie@townmousecountrymouse

    Happy New Chinese Year Catherine and thanks for sharing that recipe. Perfect timing really…I made some Prawn Wontons a few weeks ago which were so easy and delicious, but had some chicken mince in the freezer with 'steamed dumplings' written all over them. Ive been searching for a tasty recipe to use… and here it is!!! Thank you…Will add this to make this weekend and enjoy with all the

  2. e / dig in

    what neat, pretty little dumplings. i wonder if i would have the pateince for such origami-like pleating!
    i must say i like the jade-green colour of your little plates. so pretty, especially as it matches the paper! i am re-readign phyrne fisher novels at the moment and she would appreciate the delicacy of these little plates.

  3. Catherine Bedson

    @Caroline thank you. If you're making veggie ones you can mix them with tofu to bind the mixture together.

    @e/digin thank you for your lovely comment, you say things in such a lovely way.

    @tina thank you T. I only have them now and again myself but love them.

  4. lara dunston

    Such perfectly formed dumplings! You did well – congrats! We make them a lot here in Cambodia too, though the quality of the pastry (handmade locally) is always inconsistent. My attempts were perfect a few weeks ago but absolutely disastrous the last time, as the pastry was too old/dry I think. My husband loves making pastry – he makes all his own handmade pasta – so I'm going to have to get

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