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Our favorite Chinese dish. We used to make these mouth-watering, slippery boiled dumplings by the score with our Chinese students. Instant, edible camaraderie.
For Pork & Ginger Dumplings:
Sprinkle cabbage with 1/2 tablespoon of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Place the cabbage on a clean dish towel or cheesecloth and squeeze out any water.
In a large bowl, add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine and white pepper to the meat, stirring in only one direction. Add and thoroughly mix the cabbage with all of the other ingredients.
If you wish to taste the filling for seasoning, cook a little piece in boiling water or a frying pan before tasting.
For Vegetarian Dumplings:
To re-hydrate mushrooms, place in enough very hot tap water to cover. Let sit for 20 minutes and remove them and squeeze to remove all water. This soaking liquid can be strained and saved, making a great addition to any number of sauces. Finely chop mushrooms.
In a large bowl, thoroughly mix all the filling ingredients together.
Mix all ingredients together. Without adding the scallions, this can be done in advance and in fact the flavors will meld together nicely.
MAKING THE DUMPLINGS:
Place a small mound of filling (a good heaping teaspoon) in the middle of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to form a half-moon shape. Starting on one end, fold/pinch the wrapper tightly together. Proceed with this fold/pinch method until the dumpling is completely sealed. If done properly, the dumpling edge will look “pleated.” Typically, the more filling you can fit in and the more pleats, the better the dumpling, but be careful not to have any filling oozing out of the creases because these dumplings will probably break during cooking.
COOKING THE DUMPLINGS:
To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don’t stick together. Bring the water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready. Drain and remove. If desired, they can be pan-fried at this point.
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