STREET FOOD FROM ASIA IN YOUR KITCHEN
Nanchang and Zhanjiang China...This blogpost will start in these two cities in China. Zhanjiang is a tropical
city in the most Southern part of the country on the South China Sea. Across from the harbor you see above is
an island called Donghai Dao. It's where my oldest daughter was born. The impressive pagoda on the left graces
a park in the Central Southern Chinese city of Nanchang. This is where my youngest daughter was born. While
in both cities and the surrounding areas we enjoyed not only being parents to these wonderful babies who are
now growing up to be proud citizens of the United States, we also enjoyed the cuisine of that huge and awesome
land called China. So, when Multi-Culture Day was planned at their school they wanted their Dad to prepare
some foods from China that they love...and they love how their Italian-American father makes them. I'm tearing
up just writing this. Anyway, I spent the greater part of yesterday making 100 of the pan-fried dumplings, potstickers,
call them what you like. They are a pork, nappa cabbage, green onion, sesame oil, soy and ginger filled wrapper
which are simply pan-fried in peanut oil. When I made these for the first time it was for my oldest daughters'
First Communion and she was so proud that her other Chinese girlfriends thought they were so good...so now
they are a family tradition. Let start making them and they will become a go-to recipe for you for your next party.
Start with a lb. of fresh ground pork. Also, you will need a pack of
won ton wrappers which you can buy usually in the produce section of your supermarket. They usually are about 48 to
a pack and 1 lb. will give you plenty of filling. Add to this 1 1/2 cups of chopped nappa (Chinese) Cabbage, not the
familiar green cabbage. Add 1 tbs. of finely minced fresh ginger, 3 tbs. soy sauce, 2 tbs. rice wine, 3 tbs. minced
green onion, 1/2 tsp. white pepper, 3 drops of sesame oil (too much of this ruins the dish, be careful). Mix this until
it is well blended. Set this mixture into the fridge for 1 hour for the flavors to develop.
Now remove the meat mixture from the fridge and set up an area with a bowl of warm water, the won ton wrappers, a
baking tray. Lay out about 6 of the wrappers onto your work surface. Fill the center of the wrapper with 1/2 tsp. of
the meat. Then wet the sides of won ton lightly and fold one corner over to the other to make a triangle. Press the
ends with the tips of your fingers. Remove the finished raw dumpling to the baking tray and continue until you have
used up all the wrappers. Any excess meat you can use in a stir fry the next day. Or use another pack of won tons
and make as many as you can till you've used up the meat.
Finally was done with 100 of them!! Don't over
fill them as they will split and then not be any good to fry.
In a heavy and wide skillet, heat about 1 tbs. of peanut oil. Bring to a high heat then lower it to medium. Add about
6-8 dumplings depending on the size of your pan. Do not overcrowd. Turn them after 3 minutes. They should be
a crispy golden brown on one side. Pan fry for additional 2-3 minutes, and drain on paper towels. Continue with
the rest of the dumplings, adding more oil as necessary.
This is how they should look on each side. Crispy and
fragrant. Arrange them on a platter and serve them with a dipping sauce of 1 cup of soy sauce, 2 tbs. honey, 1 tsp.
chili flakes, 2 tsp. thinly sliced green onions, 1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger, and 1/8 tsp. of sesame oil. Mix well.
Here is the tray for the kids' school.
There will be some lucky kids as that school!!
This recipe lends itself well to freezing. Just wrap tightly in plastic wrap, then aluminum foil. They should last in the
freezer up to 1 month. Do not defrost..just place them on a baking sheet in a 375 oven for 8-10 minutes then serve.
Of course I got carried away yesterday and then made some
Vietnamese styled mint and chicken rolls, Char Siu (Chinese BBQ Pork)...those two recipes will be part 2 of this Asian blog.
But now, I must go pack for a trip to Seattle and Vancouver. LaGuardia Airport awaits me....