The year of the Monkey is just around the corner. Chinese New Year celebrations start on the 8th February and with hundreds of thousands of people set to celebrate across the UK, it’s time to get your festivities in full swing. Our easy to follow recipe of half-moon dumplings with spicy chilli oil is a traditional Chinese dish considered to bring you prosperity and luck in the New Year.
Take a look at the mouth watering recipe below. These pork dumplings are a traditional favourite with a fiery dipping oil twist. Laden your table with these tasty pork dumplings as an appetiser or let them take centre stage as a main dish.
Pork Dumplings with Spicy Chilli Oil
|Chilli Oil Ingredients||Pork Dumpling Ingredients||Equipment|
|210ml oil||800g ground pork||Chinese Style Spatula|
|12 cloves of garlic, minced||8 cloves garlic, minced||Bamboo Steamer|
|4 tablespoons ginger, minced||8 teaspoons ginger, minced||Chopsticks|
|100ml dark soy sauce||1 cup mushrooms, roughly chopped||Mixing Bowl|
|100ml black vinegar||1 cup green onions, finely sliced||Baking Parchment|
|100ml toasted sesame oil||1 cup coriander, chopped||Wok|
|2 teaspoons ground Szechuan peppercorns||2 tsp sesame oil|
|4 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes||1 teaspoon salt|
|4-6 teaspoons sugar||2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper|
|Fresh dumpling wrappers, as needed|
For the Spicy Chilli Oil1) One by one, add the ingredients to a bowl and stir until the oil is mixed together thoroughly and evenly. Taste and adjust the chilli oil as you go to achieve the heat that’s right for you. Keep to one side for later.
For the Pork Dumplings (serves 16)1) If you’d prefer to precook the pork beforehand, slowly fry on a medium/low heat for around 5 minutes.
2) You’ll need a Mixing Bowl large enough to hold the meat mixture. Combine all the dumpling ingredients until you’re happy the flavours have evenly distributed.
3) Take one of the fresh dumpling wrappers and place one generous tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle.
4) Wet the corners of the wrapper with water to make sure it seals properly. Not too much water otherwise it will go soggy and be difficult to fold. For extra luck, make your dumplings with lots of pleats.
5) Take one corner and fold into a half moon shape, make sure all the air is pushed out of the dumpling otherwise the air pockets will burst when they are in the bamboo steamer.
How to Use Your Bamboo Steamer1) Prepare your Bamboo Steamer by lining it with baking parchment so the dumplings don’t stick to the bottom.
2) Arrange all the dumplings in the bamboo steamer in lines rather than circles, as circles are considered bad luck.
3) You’ll need a wok wide enough so it doesn’t touch the sides of the bamboo steamer. Fill your wok with two inches of water and place the steamer in the middle.
4) Place your wok on the hob on a medium heat and bring the water to a simmer.
5) Once the water has reached simmering point, place your steamer in the middle of the wok and steam for approximately 15-20 minutes. Check the progress of your dumplings half way through.
6) Serve your pork dumplings immediately and enjoy!
There are many Chinese New Year superstitions and we’ve shortlisted a few to help bring you luck in the year of the Monkey. You may or may not be superstitious, but following these four top tips can help you, just in case.
Red is the Chinese national colour. It’s always associated with happiness and good fortune so why not set the table with these lucky red table cloths and napkins. They are made with 100% polyester so it’s easy to remove stains when someone accidentally drops their pork dumpling on the table.
Sweep Up Superstitions
It’s tradition to do a big clean before New Years to sweep away anything negative from the previous year. This floor cleaner from Jantex removes tough stains and leaves you with a gleaming floor that makes sure any bad luck bounces off it.
Sharpen Your Knives Before the New Year
It’s important to sharpen your chef knives before the New Year. Sharpening them during the festival could sever all the luck you’ve work hard for. Vogue’s Electric Knife Sharpener is simple to use and ensures your knives stay razor sharp for the year ahead. Or if you’d like to treat yourself to a new knife take a look at our buying guide to help you choose the right one for you.
Replace Your Broken Crockery
Whether a few of your plates have a chip or you’ve misplaced some of your favourite ramekins, take a look at our extensive crockery range to refresh your collections. And rest assured, there will be no chipped crockery gracing your table with our reliable lifetime edge chip warranty.
By Briony Cook