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Preparing for a Perfectly Edible Chinese New Year

Asian_Dumplings_cover I guess when it comes to food, the holiday season isn’t quite over. In just a few weeks, it will be time to celebrate Chinese New Year. If you’ve never made a dumpling before, this is the perfect opportunity to try. It’s really not that hard, and it’s actually a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon.

I’ve made a handful of shu mai and wontons before, but with all of the various Chinese cookbooks floating around our place, I never really had a go-to source for recipes. So when we set about to make a mountain of dumplings for a Chinese New Year party, I needed a reliable resource. Or, at the very least, I needed an excuse to pick up a copy of Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More

Now that I’ve got the book, I can’t say enough good about it. The recipes are fantastic. The illustrations and instructions make every recipe easy to follow. And the pictures are quality.

Last weekend, we spent the day making a hundred and change dumplings to fill the freezer. wontonsWe started with a big batch of the wontons from the recipe for Vegetable and Pork Wontons in Spicy Oil (page 72). We deep fried a handful based on the recipe a few pages earlier. (Fried Wontons, page 69). Outrageous. Then we did a double batch of the Japanese Pork and Shrimp Potstickers (page 41). We pan fried a few to sample right after we made them, and later in the week, we made a cheat’s version of the Gyoza in Smoky Chicken Soup (page 43).  Easy and incredibly satisfying.

potstickers

Finally, we made the Char Siu Pork (page 224), which will find its way into what has to be the world’s favorite dim sum, Char Siu Pork buns. (Steamed Filled Buns, page 95; Char Siu Pork Bun Filling, page 100). The pork rocks. I can’t wait for the final product, which will be showing up here in the not too distant future.tasty_char_siu

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