Pork Dumplings for Chinese New Year
I checked cookbooks here and the recipe I've most successfully used for Chinese New Year dumplings comes from a Nina Simonds cookbook, Classic Chinese Cuisine (paperback edition 2003), pp. 110-112.
This recipe has a filling mixture of ground pork, minced Chinese cabbage, minced garlic chives and/or leeks, and minced garlic, seasoned with ginger, more garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil. The filling ratio is about 5 cups of cabbage and 1 cup of chives to a pound of ground pork. (Pretreat the cabbage with salt to draw out moisture and then squeeze all possible moisture out of the cabbage before mixing, so the dumpling filling is not too soggy.) You can either make dumpling wrappers from a flour/water mixture and hand-roll them, or (much easier and surer for Western cooks) buy them at an Asian grocery.
Mix up the filling, season it, then put about a teaspoonful on each dumpling wrapper and fold the wrapping into a half moon shape. There are as many variations of pork dumplings as there are Chinese cooks. Part of most "dumpling feasts" we've taken part in is the gathering of family and friends to prepare the dumplings, which is pretty labor intensive and also a wonderful way to socialize. The big pots of boiling water for cooking the dumplings make gorgeous steam on cold evenings, and the fragrance of the dumplings and sauce is nearly as pleasurable as the actual eating.
I look forward to getting some delicious White Rose Farm pork, partly for next year's dumpling feast (New Year will fall on February 10, 2013)! Thanks.
Love, your China-nostalgic sis, Jin