Happy Chinese New Year's everyone. I know technically the New Year was on Monday, but traditionally this is a weeklong celebration, so I think I still made it in time. After living in Hong Kong for almost two years back in my twenties, I decided that Chinese New Year is totally my favorite holiday. I had the privilege of celebrating two of them and they were delightful. There are so many wonderful , exciting traditions and foods, I can't even begin to do them justice.
I do think my favorite part of the holiday was that it brought so many people together. In such an enormous city, with everyone so busy, it was fun for me to see all these people unified by this holiday. Everyone was scouring the stores for egg rolls, (which are actually cookies, not the fried things you get at American restaurants) black mushrooms, faat choy (which is a veggie that resembles hair--definitely an acquired taste) and lai see envelopes, which were my favorite. Lai see envelopes are pretty red pockets that are decorated beautifully in which you put money. These envelopes are then distributed to all your young, single friends, typically children.
In honor of the holiday, I am entering a contest at the Kitchen Post. The contest is called "The Dim Sum of all Fears" and requires that you try a dim sum recipe that is a bit intimidating to you.
The following is my very favorite dim sum recipe. It looks more complicated than it is, and it is divine! So, so good. It was a plus that they are lower in fat than your average pot sticker. But, beware. They are so good that there is no way you will be able to get 12 servings from this recipe. Bil and I devoured probably 2/3 of the recipe in one sitting. It was so good we forewent the rest of the meal in favor of the pot stickers. Please, please try this and let me know what you think. It's worth it!
Here is my recipe which comes from Cooking Light magazine:
Ginger-Shrimp Pot Stickers with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce
12 servings (serving size: 2 pot stickers and 1 tablespoon sauce)
3/4 cup shredded green cabbage
1/3 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup matchstick-cut carrots
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound cooked peeled small shrimp
Dash of hot sauce
24 wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
1 cup water, divided
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup peanut butter
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoons chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Chopped green onions (optional)
1. To prepare pot stickers, combine first 10 ingredients in a food processor; pulse 4 times or until coarsely chopped. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to prevent drying), spoon about 1 1/2 teaspoons shrimp mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of dough with water; bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching points to seal. Pinch 4 edges together to seal. Place pot stickers on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch.
2. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 pot stickers to pan; cook 2 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Slowly add 1/2 cup water to pan; cover and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and cook 3 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Repeat procedure with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canola oil, 12 pot stickers, and 1/2 cup water.
3. To prepare sauce, combine 1/4 cup water and next 5 ingredients (through sugar) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Serve sauce with pot stickers. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired.
Calories: 125 (35% from fat)
Fat: 4.9g (sat 0.8g,mono 2.2g,poly 1.5g)
Weiss, Overland Park, KS, Cooking Light, MARCH 2008