Chinese New Year is Tuesday, February 1, 2022. The celebrations will begin with the full moon and Spring Festival and continue until February 15 ending with the Lantern Festival.
We will be celebrating the Year of the Tiger in 2022 with our friends here locally and thinking of our family in China. To bring in the new year properly we will pass on the tradition of preparing and eating dumplings to insure wealth, prosperity and blessings in 2022. We plan on making pork dumplings. Other traditional foods to celebrate the lunar new year include longevity noodles, sweet rice balls and spring rolls. The longer the noodle the longer your life will be!
Gayden is in charge of dumpling making and assembling in our household. I will create the rest of the menu with Chinese style longevity noodles and vegetables and a whole baked fish. During New Year preparations in China, every member of the family participates and wraps dumplings. In certain regions, the daughter-in-law must make a dumpling to be considered part of the family.
When preparing vegetables, some symbolic vegetables to consider are bamboo shoots, leeks and chive, seaweed and mushrooms.
When we were in China, we received lessons from a master dumpling maker. He and his “brigade de cuisine,” mainly family as is also the tradition, demonstrated their technique for making the dough from scratch. Everyone had a role and participated. It was pure magic to watch them move through the motions as if dancing in complete synchrony. They accomplished this without a recipe, just one with and knowing the feel of the dough, how much to knead it and exactly how to roll it out to the perfect thickness.
These dumplings are filled with chopped pork and cabbage, celery and green onions. We buy wonton wrappers and fill them with the veggie and meat mixture. Gayden browns the dumplings first and then steams them to make “potstickers.” I love the steamed dumplings but I also love the crispy, crunchy, browned bottoms on these potstickers. Happy Chinese New Year!