Pork and Chive Potstickers

Makes about 16 dumplings.

Note: Recipe from United Noodles.

Filling:

2/3 lb. ground pork (70 percent lean)

2/3 c. chopped Chinese chives, also known as garlic chives

1 tbsp. finely chopped ginger

• 1/2 tsp. salt

Pinch of ground white pepper

• 2 tbsp. light soy sauce

• 1 tbsp. Shaoxing rice wine

• 1 tbsp. sesame oil

• 2 tbsp. cornstarch

• 2 egg whites

Chinese dumpling wrappers (about 16)

2 tbsp. vegetable or canola oil for frying

• 1/3 c. water

Frying mixture:

• 3 tbsp. water

• 1 tsp. cornstarch

1 tbsp. vinegar (rice wine or apple cider vinegar)

Dipping sauce:

• 3 tbsp. Chinkiang vinegar

2 tsp. Ciu Chow chili oil (recommend Lee Kum Kee brand)

• 1 tsp. minced garlic

1 tbsp. chopped green onion

Directions

Place ground pork, Chinese chives, ginger, salt, pepper, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and egg whites in large bowl. Stir to combine.

Place 2/3 tablespoon of the mixture in the center of a wrapper. Line the edge of the wrapper with a little water. Fold wrapper in half, pressing to remove any air pockets. Crimp edges, pressing them to seal. Place pot stickers upright on the countertop, pressing slightly to create a flat bottom. Repeat steps with remaining wrappers.

To fry the pot stickers, heat oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place wrappers, flat side down, in the pan in a clockwise spiral (or flower) shape, working around the edge of the pan, then filling in the center. They should fit tightly in the pan.

Allow pot stickers to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until bottom is just golden brown. Holding a lid over the pan to avoid splattering, add 1/3 cup of water. Set lid on top of pan, offsetting it to allow steam to escape. Cook until water evaporates, about 6 minutes. Remove lid from pan and cook until bottoms are crisp and golden.

To ensure pot stickers stay together in their flower shape, stir together the frying mixture (water, cornstarch and vinegar). Using a small spoon, pour a little of the mixture into the crevasses between the individual pot stickers. Shake pan gently to prevent sticking. Cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat.

Carefully turn a plate that is larger than the pan upside down over pot stickers. Flip pan onto the upside down plate so the pot stickers are crispy side up on the plate in their flower formation.

Combine dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and serve.

lunar new year cake (nian gao)

Serves 4.

Note: Nian Gao, also known as sticky rice cake, is eaten during Lunar New Year, especially in the southern China provinces. Its sweetness and stickiness signifies prosperity and togetherness. Serve this with your favorite hot tea. Recipe from United Noodles.

• 1 (10-oz. pkg.) nian gao

• 2 large eggs, beaten

• 5 tbsp. flour

• 1/2 tbsp. cornstarch

• 1 tbsp. ice water

• Pinch of salt

• 1 tbsp. cooking oil

Directions

Cut the nian gao into 2-inch squares (or other shapes of similar proportions).

In a bowl, whisk eggs. Add flour, cornstarch, ice water and salt until the batter reaches a smooth consistency.

Place oil in pan over medium heat. Dip the nian gao squares in egg batter and, working in batches, pan-fry nian gao squares for 30 seconds. Add roughly a tablespoon of egg batter on top of each nian gao square, then flip. Cook until lightly browned on both sides. Serve with hot tea.