Chinese Dumplings
These are a little time intensive but well worth the effort
if you are a dumpling fan.

Serves: 16 - Makes about 4 dozen - 8 per main serving

• 1 pound finely ground pork
• 1 pound Napa cabbage
• 1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 green onions with tops
• 4 tablespoons soy sauce (The best is Wei-Chuan low salted soy sauce - green label)*
• 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine or sherry
• 2 teaspoons sesame oil
• 1 teaspoon fine salt
• Pinch of white pepper
1 package frozen dumpling wrappers (about 50)*
Small bowl of water

Dipping sauce:
• 3 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 teaspoon Chinese black vinegar*
• 1 teaspoon sesame oil
• Pinch of white pepper
• Chinese hot pepper sauce (optional)

* Available at specialty Asian markets

Get your butcher to grind some very lean pork loin for you. If the pork is not finely ground, mince well with a knife. Place the pork in a large bowl and cover.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat. Add the cabbage; blanch until just wilted. Using a slotted spoon; remove cabbage to strainer. Press down on cabbage to squeeze out all liquid. After the cabbage is thoroughly drained; dice on cutting board.

Place grated ginger in a small bowl; cover with water and let steep for a few minutes. While ginger steeps, slice green onion lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. You should all of the top and white part. Add to the pork.

Place a fine strainer over the pork bowl; strain the ginger so that the juices only are added to the bowl. Press down on ginger to squeeze out all juices. Discard pulp left in strainer.

Add the cooking wine, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and pepper to the pork mixture. Stir in chopped cabbage until mixed thoroughly.

Place a heaping tablespoon of dumpling filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Dip your finger in the water and wet the outer edge of the dumpling wrapper with water. Fold up the sides of the dumpling into a half-moon shape. Hold the dumpling lengthwise, curved side up, Now use your index finger and thumb to pinch the edges of the dough on one side of the dumpling into "pleats" (you only pleat one side of the dumpling), pressing each pleat against the flat side of the dough to seal the dumpling as you go. Start at one corner of the dumpling and work your way to the center (making three to four "pleats"). Then work from the other corner to the center creating another three to four "pleats."

Firmly press the pleated side of the wrapper against the flat side to be sure the dumpling is completely sealed. If there is too much filling and the dumpling cannot be sealed, remove the extra filling to prevent the dumpling from leaking during cooking.

Line up the finished dumplings on a foil-lined cookie sheet to prevent them from sticking together. To cook the dumplings, gently lower them into a medium pot of boiling water and boil for approximately three to five minutes. They are done when the dumpling skins are translucent and the dumplings have been floating for about three minutes. Remove from pot carefully with a slotted spoon. Serve hot with dipping sauce.

For Dipping Sauce, mix the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl and serve on the side. Have hot sauce ready for those that like it hot.

Per Serving: 326 Calories; 6g Fat (15.6% calories from fat); 1g Saturated Fat; 24g Protein; 44g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 49mg Cholesterol; 1591mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 1/2 Grain (Starch); 2 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

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