Chinese New Year Dumplings

Whether you like your dumplings steamed or fried, they are a MUST for Chinese New Year.

This traditional dish, eaten on Chinese New Year and Chinese New Years Eve, symbolizes wealth and prosperity for the coming year. This largely has to do with their shape, which are made to look like silver ingots (an old form of currency used under the Qin dynasty). As legend goes, the more dumplings you eat during Chinese New Year celebrations, the more wealthy and prosperous you will become in the new year. If this legend is true, I’m well on my way to being a millionaire!

Dumplings have been around for hundreds of years and as such there are many different variations. Delicate dumpling wrappers can be filled with meat (typically pork, chicken or beef), seafood (typically shrimp), vegetables, fungi, or eggs and the dumplings can be boiled steamed or fried. The possibilities and combinations are truly endless! But no matter what filling you make or how they are prepared, dumplings will always taste delicious!

In this recipe, I combine ground pork, cabbage and chives to create my Pork and Chive Potstickers. I call them potstickers since they are fried in a frying pan on the stove and they really do stick to it once cooked! This cooking technique did take a few tries for me to get it perfect, but I’ve got it down pat now just in time for Chinese New Year!

To cook these Pork and Chive Potstickers, you want to place them in a hot pan with about a tablespoon of oil. In this instance, I use a light canola oil since it has a higher smoke point than my favourite olive oil. Once the oil is hot, I add the dumplings to the pan and arrange them so they are sitting upright and not touching each other. Once the dumplings start to form a bottom crust (after 2 minutes or so) I add a splash of water to the pan (1/3 cup), cover them with a lid and let them steam.

Once the water has all evaporated, I then remove the lid and continue to fry them until they get a nice golden brown crust. The dumplings will continue to fry from the oil that we put in the pan at the beginning since that doesn’t evaporate out with the water. This technique of partially frying, steaming and frying again really ensures that you get that golden, crispy crust. If you fry them until golden, then steam them, you completely lose that delicious crispy crust and may end up with undercooked filling.

Once cooked, I arrange the potstickers on a serving plate and serve them right away with some chopped green onion and some chili oil. Side note: if you have a good chili oil recipe, let me know in the comments below! My homemade versions have not been fragrant enough! Regardless, these potstickers are sure to be gobbled up in no time!

Gung hay fat choy, everyone! Happy Year of the Dog! 🐶❤️

For the full recipe for these Pork and Cabbage Potstickers, click here!

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