Today is the start of the Chinese year of the Dragon. In Eastern philosophy, this mythical creature is the deliverer of good fortune, fertility, master of authority and a symbol of immense power. A dragon year is a year of big projects, innovative ideas and great outcomes – it promises success, particularly in business. Although the year may have it’s ups and downs, it is seen as a year where those who have worked hard or have a good idea see them come to fruition.
For those with a more home based focus it is said to be a great year to start or add to the family. This year is also predominantly a water dragon year which is said on the positive side to bring wealth and riches and on the negative side natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. But mostly the Chinese Dragon means good fortune in the areas of health, wealth and living a long, prosperous life – yes please!
If you can’t get out to a good chinese restaurant tonight or your local chinese is not much chop, why not impress by making our fabulous chinese pork dumplings – they are fiddly but fantastic!
Pork Pot Stickers
Makes about 15
250g lean pork mince
5 spring onions finely chopped
small bunch coriander finely chopped
25g ginger finely chopped or grated
5 shitake mushrooms finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 tblesp sesame oil
1 tblesp soy sauce
2 tblesp rice wine
1 packet dumpling wrappers
Mix together the first six ingredients until everything is equally distributed through the mixture. Then stir in the sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine and let sit for about 30 minutes.
To make the dumplings, put one heaped teaspoon of the pork mixture into the middle of each dumpling wrapper. Dab the edge of one half of the circle with water and fold in half to make semi-circular dumpling pinching the edges together by pleating one edge and pressing into the other edge. Repeat until all filling is used.
The dumplings can then be steamed, boiled or fried depending on your personal preference.
STEAMING: If steaming place in a steamer over boiling water and steam for about 7 minutes.
BOILING: If boiling, drop about 8 dumplings into boiling water and return to the boil, pour a cup of cold water in and return to the boil again and when the dumplings float to the surface then remove.
POT STICKERS: heat 2 tblesp oil in a large frying pan with a lid. Tightly pack dumplings, flat side down in pan and fry for around a minute. Pour in half a cup of water and put lid on. Cook for until all water has evaporated then remove lid and cook for a further two minutes to dry dumplings out..
Eat immediately with dipping sauce.
[picture credit: miheco, FotoosVanRobin]