Pork and Shrimp Wontons and Dumplings

February 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

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Xin Nian Kuai Le! Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year! Today, February 7, is not only Super Bowl Sunday but Chinese New Year’s Eve! This is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate because it’s a time where there is an emphasis on family and gathering around a table to enjoy a feast together. Basically this holiday revolves around family community, tons of delicious Chinese food, and giving and receiving lai see (red envelopes) filled with money so I think you can see why it’s so great!

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This year is the Year of the Monkey and some CNY traditions to bring prosperity and good luck throughout the year are:

  • Family feast on New Year’s eve
  • Eating long noodles (for long life), wontons (for wealth, shaped like gold ingots that used to be part of Chinese currency), and other types of “lucky food”
  • The color red, which sounds similar to the Chinese word for “prosperous”. You’re sure to see lots of red and gold during this holiday, ranging from firecrackers to the lai see

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For this New Year’s, my mom and I made homemade pork and shrimp wontons and dumplings. Since my mom immigrated from China to the States at a young age, she didn’t learn to cook traditional Chinese food. Fortunately I wasn’t completely deprived of that, thanks to nearby relatives. However this year, I really wanted to try my hand at making wontons and dumplings!

I was thrilled with how well these turned out! They were juicy, flavorful, and satisfying- just what I craved on a cold winter’s night. It was made easier by using store-bought wonton and dumpling skins. I filled them with a savory pork and shrimp filling, boiled the wontons, and pan-fried the dumplings so they would be crispy. I also made a quick spicy chili oil that provided just the right amount of heat and acidity from the vinegar.

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Since the folding of the wontons and dumplings are a little labor intensive, it was nice doing it with my mom and I recommend getting some family or friends together to help out since it’s more fun as a group activity!

Even though I made these specifically for Chinese New Year, I already know I’ll be turning to this recipe throughout the entire year!

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Pork and Shrimp Wontons and Dumplings

Yield: 6-8 servings

Recipe from I Am a Food Blog and NY Times Cooking 

Ingredients:

Spicy Chili Oil

  • 3 tbsp neutral-flavored oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 fresno or jalapeno pepper, finely chopped (reserve other 1/2 for filling)
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar

Pork and Shrimp Filling

  • 2 lbs ground pork
  • 1/2 lb fresh shrimp, peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped in 1/4-inch pieces
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp sweet rice wine (I used sherry because that was what I had)
  • 2 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 fresno or jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cup scallions, chopped with green and white parts

Other

  • 1 package (~50) square wonton skins from Asian market or grocery store (Whole Foods)
  • 1 package (~50) circle dumpling skins from Asian market
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • Cooking oil
  • Packaged noodles of your preference

 

Directions:

Spicy Chili Oil

Mix all ingredients together. Taste and adjust accordingly. Set aside.

Pork and Shrimp Filling

In large mixing bowl, mix all ingredients listed under “Pork and Shrimp Filling” using wet hands or wooden spoon until well incorporated. Pan-fry a small flat patty just to check for seasoning; taste and adjust accordingly. Cover filling with plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.

Assembling Wontons

[Watch video starting from 0:44 for visual instructions.]

Open package of wonton skins and cover with damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. One at a time, take wonton skin and put 1 teaspoon filling in the center. Brush edges lightly with beaten egg. Gently fold one side over the other to form a rectangle, pinching edges together and squeezing out as much air as possible.

Pull lower corners in toward each other and pinch together. If necessary, use beaten egg to help glue corners together. Place on baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to cook.

Assembling Dumplings

[Watch video starting from 0:28 for visual instructions.]

Open package of dumpling skins and cover with damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. One at a time, take dumpling skin and place small amount of filling inside- I recommend starting with less filling until you become more comfortable folding the dumplings.

Brush beaten egg on half of the edges of dumpling skin. Gently fold one side over the other to form a semicircle, pinching edges together and squeezing out as much air as possible. With the edges of the semicircle on the top, start from the left side of the dumpling and make pleats to form a final seal.

Cook Wontons and Noodles

Bring large pot of water to a boil over medium heat. Add wontons, making sure not to overcrowd the pot. Stir gently to prevent them from sticking. Cook when wontons float to top and water comes back to boil, about 5-8 minutes; cut one open to check if fully cooked. Drain well. Repeat with remaining wontons if cooking in batches.

Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package instructions; drain.

Cook Dumplings

Heat large pan over medium low heat and pour just enough oil to coat the pan. Cook and brown dumplings on all sides until fully cooked and crispy. One tip to prevent sticking and burning is to add a few splashes of water into the hot pan and cover when browning the last side of the dumplings.

 

Serve wontons and dumplings with noodles and spicy chili oil.

 

 

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