This past weekend my kiddos Chinese immersion school had their annual performance! We also were able to celebrate the Lunar New Year with Chinese friends from church. We created paper crafts, played games, shared memories, made dumplings (recipe below), and ate together.
My daughter’s Kung Fu performance with Master Huang. The 3rd grade students demostrated the basic Shaolin martial art style of Kung fu. In this performance, they wish to convey the idea of altruism: always showing empathy and being mindful of others’ welfare. Kung fu, Tai Chi, and calligraphy are incorporated in their movement to exhibit the breadth and depth of Chinese Culture.
My son and the other 4th graders celebrate the New Year, New Rhythm. They used their beautiful voices to welcome the new year by performing “Our Beautiful School”, “Buzzing Around”, and “New Year Cha Cha”.
1/3 cup sake
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 thin slices of garlic
1 tablespoon minced scallion
1/2 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon hot-chile sesame oil
1/2 head napa cabbage (1 pound)—root cut off, cabbage halved lengthwise
3/4 pound ground pork
1/4 bunch Chinese chives or 2 scallions, minced
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon dark or regular soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon finely grated garlic
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
Cornstarch, for dusting
MAKE THE DIPPING SAUCE In a small bowl, stir together all of the ingredients. Store for later use.
MAKE THE DUMPLINGS Set a steamer basket in a pot of boiling water. Steam the cabbage until tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a colander to cool, then squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Finely chop the cabbage.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with the pork, chives, ginger, soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, salt and 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. Gently stir, cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Put the flour in a large bowl. Slowly add 1 cup of cold water and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the dough starts to come together. Using your hands, knead the dough until it forms a ball, then knead the dough on a work surface until smooth, about 5 minutes. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and for up to 3 hours.
Dust a baking sheet with cornstarch. Cut the dough into 4 equal pieces, then roll each piece into 1-inch-thick logs, 8 inches long. Using a sharp knife, cut the logs into eight 1-inch pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll the pieces into 3 1/2-inch rounds, keeping the dough covered with plastic wrap as you work to prevent the dough from drying out. Dust the rolling pin occasionally with cornstarch to prevent sticking.
Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each round, then fold over one side to form a half circle, pressing to adhere, or pleating decoratively along the edge to seal. Place filled dumplings on the prepared baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap while you prepare the rest. Flash freeze on baking sheet. Then you can freeze in ziploc freezer bag up to two weeks.
Serve Day: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook dumplings in batches of about 8 until they are cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a serving platter or pan fry if you like them with a bit of crunch. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.