Chinese New Year day 5– Eat Dumplings - Day of Wealth - 初五饺子 - 正月初五, 吃饺子, 迎财神
There are many ways that Chinese people celebrate the Chinese New Year Festival. Eating Lucky Foods is one of many. Today is the Chinese New Year Day 5, the day to eat dumplings for increased luck in the year ahead.
The dumplings are eaten during the festival because of their symbolic meanings, based on its appearance. With a history of more than 1,800 years, dumplings (饺子 Jiǎozi /jyaoww-dzrr/) are a classic Chinese food, and a traditional dish eaten on Chinese New Year's Eve, widely popular in China, especially in North China. Chinese dumplings can be made to look like Chinese silver ingots (which are not bars, but boat-shaped, oval, and turned up at the two ends). Legend has it that the more dumplings you eat during the New Year celebrations, the more money you can make in the New Year.
Lucky Saying for Eating Dumplings:
Zhāo cái jìn bǎo (招财进宝/jaoww tseye jin baoww/): 'Bringing in wealth and treasure' — a felicitous wish for making money and amassing a fortune.
Let’s make and eat some authentic Chinese dumplings, for great taste, for good luck, for wealth !
Zucchini Shrimp Dumpling 西葫芦三鲜饺子
A. For dumpling filling:
zucchini 1 pound (about 2 medium-size ones) - shredded with a stand-up grater box， highly recommend to use the side with the largest holes)
ground pork ½ pound
shrimps (raw) ½ pound, peeled, deveined, chopped
oyster sauce 2 tablespoons
light-color soy sauce 2 tablespoons (such as Kikkoman all-purpose soy sauce)
chicken broth 2 tablespoons
vegetable oil 2 tablespoons
sesame oil 2 teaspoons
ginger: a piece (the size of a garlic clove) - minced (see here for the method: how to mince ginger)
table sugar 2 teaspoons
ground white pepper ¼ teaspoon
Sichuan peppercorns (optional): ½ to 1 teaspoon (toast and grind into powder – details in step 2)
B. For dumpling wrappers:
all purpose flour: 1 cup
vegetable oil: 1 teaspoon
salt: ½ teaspoon
just-boiled water: 2/3 cup
Step 1: To make the dough for dumpling wraps:
In a large bowl, add flour, make a well in the center, add oil and salt in the well.
Use a wooden spoon or a pair of chopsticks to stir the flour while you gradually adding water to the bowl. When all the water has been added, you will have lots of lumpy bits. Knead the dough in the bowl to bring all the lumps into one mass. Then knead the dough with hands into a smooth, firm ball. (Note: If the dough is sticky, add additional flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough comes together in a solid ball. If the dough is too dry, add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time.)
Place the dough in a zip-top plastic bag and seal tightly closed, expelling excess air. Set aside to rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. The dough will steam up the plastic bag and become earlobe soft, which makes wrappers easy to work with.
Step 2: To make dumpling stuffing:
Toast & grind Sichuan Peppercorns first: Heat a pan to medium hot, add in 1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, turn off the heat. Toast the peppercorns with remaining heat, for about 1 minute, until the fragrance is released. Grind the toasted peppercorns with a coffee grinder (this coffee grinder is just for spices.) Set aside.
Grate the zucchini with a stand-up grater box, using the side with the largest holes. Use your hands to grab a handful of the shredded zucchini. Squeeze and discard the excess juice out. You can also spoon all of the shredded zucchini onto a cheesecloth and then squeeze all the juice out. Squeeze twice or three times to make sure all the excessive juice are removed. Set aside.
Chop the shrimps, half into small pieces, and half into mince (same texture as ground pork). Place the chopped shrimp into a large mixing bowl.
Add in the ground pork.
Add in oyster sauce, light-color soy sauce, chicken broth, vegetable oil, sesame oil, minced ginger, sugar, ground white pepper, and ground Sichuan peppercorn. Mix the ingredients well, keep mixing (stir hard and quick in a circular motion many times) until all the ingredients come together and develop some kind of gluten. This step will make the filling even tastier.
Add in the dry shredded zucchini. Fold the zucchini into the shrimp/pork mixture. Mix well. The dumpling stuffing is ready for use now. Set aside.
Step 3: To make dumpling wrappers:
Unwrap the dough. Sprinkle a little potato starch or flour on the work surface.
Cut the dough into 4 equal-size pieces. Shape each quarter into a long log, about 1 inch in diameter.
Cut each log crosswise into about 12 pieces. Form each piece of dough into a ball shape. Press the ball onto the work surface to form a flat circle.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough, but DO NOT roll out (flatten) the TOP and BOTTOM edge. This is a trick to make a nice round shape.
Rotate the dough 90 degrees and repeat rolling the dough to make a nice round shape. Try to roll out the dough to a thin circle, about 3” (8 cm) in diameter.
Step 4: To wrap dumplings:
For each dumpling, hold a wrapper in a slightly cupped hand. Scoop up about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons of filling, and position it slightly off-center toward the upper half of the wrapper, pressing and shaping it into a flat mound and keeping about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of wrapper clear on all sides.
Fold over the wrapper, pleat, and press to enclose the filling and create a half-moon, pea pod, big hug, or pleated crescent shape. Line up the dumplings on a well-flour-dusted board.
Step 5: To cook dumplings:
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add dumplings.
When the water boils again, add one cup of cold water to the pot. That should help to cook dumplings evenly inside and out. When the water boils again, add another cup of cold water to the pot. Repeat it one more time.
When the water boils again, turn off the heat, add in another cup of cold water, then remove with slotted spoon.
Or you can choose to steam the dumplings over boiling water for about 8 minutes or until slightly puffed and somewhat translucent.
Step 6: To Serve dumplings:
姜茸 1大勺 （磨姜茸方法见此）
白胡椒粉 ¼ 小勺
花椒粒 1小勺 （打磨成粉末 – 方法见下）
西葫芦用stand-up grater box 最大网眼那边擦丝。尽量挤出水份（我差不多挤出了3/4 杯汁水）建议挤2至3次。待用。
另取一盆，将虾茸和肉米放在盆中，加入蠔油， 酱油（生抽），鸡汤，蔬菜油，香油，姜茸， 糖，白胡椒粉，花椒粉。用筷子拌匀， 继续搅拌上劲。
2017 is a year of the Rooster according to the Chinese 12-year animal zodiac cycle.
-- by 插画师 林 Caroline