01/20/2012 01:54 EST | Updated 03/24/2012 05:12 EDT

Lunar New Year: Classic Pork Dumplings (RECIPE)

The Year of the Dragon launches on Monday. Serve these delectable appetizers fpr New Year celebrations with a savoury sauce to add a modern twist to this classic combination of flavours.

Substitute ground beef or chicken for the pork, if desired.

Pork Dumplings

50 ml (1/4 cup) toasted and chopped walnuts (see directions)

250 g (1/2 lb) ground pork

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped cilantro

30 ml (2 tbsp) chopped chive bud

1 ml (1/4 tsp) garlic powder

1 ml (1/4 tsp) ginger powder

1 ml (1/4 tsp) white pepper

5 ml (1 tsp) salt

25 to 30 dumpling wrappers

Walnut Sauce

125 ml (1/2 cup) toasted and pureed walnuts

45 ml (3 tbsp) water

15 ml (1 tbsp) rice vinegar

15 ml (1 tbsp) cooking sake

15 ml (1 tbsp) tamari soy sauce

In a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat, toast walnuts, stirring occasionally until lightly brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Let cool and chop.

In a large bowl, combine pork, cilantro, chive bud, chopped walnuts, ginger power, white pepper and salt.

Take 1 dumpling wrapper and wet outer rim lightly with water. With dumpling skin flat on one hand, place 15 ml (1 tbsp) of the pork mixture in the centre. Fold wrapper edge up into a taco shape and pinch together while creating pleats on one side of the dumpling. Repeat for remaining filling and wrappers.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add dumplings (2 to 3 batches at a time), then immediately stir them so they don't stick together. Cook until done, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and place on a clean tray. Do not overlap as dumplings will stick together.

Sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together pureed walnuts, water, rice vinegar, cooking sake and tamari.

Serve with dumplings.

Makes 4 servings.


Crispy Dumplings: In a large non-stick pan, add 15 ml (1 tbsp) of oil and as many dumplings as you can fit in a single layer with spaces between each. Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) cold water to the pan, cover and cook on low heat for 10 minutes. Cook until all the water has evaporated and the bottoms are crispy and golden.

Nutritional information per 7 dumplings with sauce: 412 calories; 18 g protein; 23 g fat (6 g saturated fat); 31 g carbohydrate; 2 g fibre; 1190 mg sodium.

Source: California Walnuts, walnut