Chinese New Year’s Eve

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Chinese New Year Dumplings
Not having easy access to an Asian market, I had to make my own water & flour dumpling skins.  Though fairly easy, I never seem to use enough flour to keep the skins from fusing together after rolling them out.  If I fill the dumpling immediately after rolling. It seems to be fine.  Anyway, after I made 20 or so, I stopped.

Luckily, I bought some fresh water chestnuts a week ago and used them in my filling.  I really love the crispy crunch it gives. The filling was simple: ground pork, leek, 1 clove of garlic and 2 minced water chestnuts.  The premade sauces (oyster and hoisin) help bind, sweeten and make this dish super flavorful.  I also add a dash of sesame oil in my filling, too.

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I boiled the dumplings until they started floating and wait until the skin stretched taut against the filling to remove them.  For the most part, this is a good indication of doneness.  I left too much air in some dumplings, so after most were removed, I took the rest out.  I’ve always placed mine in a bowl of warm water so that they don’t stick together.

I love spicy dipping sauce, so I made a ginger scallion sauce and added a few chopped Thai chilies.

I have to say, the fresh skins made the dumplings velvety and fun to eat.  A little bouncy or spongy, I guess.  I was surprised at how well they stayed together. Sometimes when I use prepackaged wrappers, they don’t always hold when folded.  I was taught you only needed a tiny bit of water to make wrappers stick, so if I read instructions that require egg or water with flour to help bind, I get nervous. 🙂

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To start the Lunar New Year off right, I also steamed a whole trout.  I wish all of you a very happy and prosperous year of the horse!

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