2017-12-27 06:09:35 Gurdhit Panesar
The Winter Solstice Festival, called the Dōngzhì (冬至) festival in Chinese, is an event held around the 22nd December which marks the coldest time of year in China. The festival is steeped in tradition, linking back to Chinese yin-yang philosophy and the balance of harmony. After Dōngzhì it is believed that yin subsides and the positive yang energy increases. The festival can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD) and people from all across China celebrate by coming together and making declious food. To celebrate this year, I have prepared a fantastic pork and chive dumpling recipe.
Handmade pork and chive dumplings
· Pork mince (not too lean)
· Chinese chives
· Spring onion
· Soy sauce
· Oyster sauce
· Rice wine vinegar
Finely chop the chives, garlic, ginger and spring onions. Add all these along with the remaining ingredients into a mixing bowl and give it all a good mix.
Pork mince and finely chopped chives
Freshly prepared dumpling filling
Pre-made dumpling wrappers can be bought from a Chinese supermarket (in the freezer section, alongside all those other dumpling-looking things).
The art of making dumplings is all about putting in the right amount of filling (don’t be a hero and try to overload them).
Wet one side of the dumpling wrapper with water to help it seal properly.
When sealing the dumpling, place your index finger inside and start folding from the edge of the dumpling. Fold using an overlapping technique and give it a good press so it seals shut.
To cook your dumplings you need to bring water to the boil and add them carefully to the pan. Give it a gentle stir. When the dumplings are ready they will float to the top of the water. That’s it! (Now it’s time to work out how something which took hours to make is gone in a few seconds). But in the meantime, happy eating!
Recipe and article by Gurdhit Panesar
Gurdhit Panesar is an ex-chef, PhD student and currently writing for China Minutes, Nouvelles d’Europe, UK Edition. He previously studied Chinese in Shanghai and Sichuan, which is where he developed his passion for Chinese cuisine.