By Wilma “Louvre” Miranda, Contributing Writer
Being Filipino, I don’t typically celebrate Lunar New Year like a lot of my friends do. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t celebrate with them, especially when it comes to eating all the yummy food and enjoying the company of friends and family. To contribute in my own little way to the celebration, I decided to try out new recipes.
I follow a few food blogs on Facebook, and RasaMalaysia.com recipes popped up on my feed. I did several things slightly different, such as pleating my dumplings, using a different dipping sauce, and not using lemon in the honey walnut shrimp. Regardless, both recipes were fairly easy to make and delicious to eat!
Pork and Chive Dumplings
- 1/2 pounds ground pork
- 1/2 cup chopped Chinese chives (韭菜)
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Chinese Shaoxing wine or rice wine
- 3 dashes white pepper powder
- 1/4 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup water
The dipping sauce:
- soy sauce
- rice wine vinegar
- brown sugar
- chopped ginger or garlic
- top with sesame oil
Mix the flour with water and knead the formed dough for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough is soft. Separate the dough into two equal portions and roll them into cylinders (about 1 inch in diameter). Cover the two portions with wet towels, and set them aside.
Prepare the chives by chopping off the root (white part). Use only the green part. Mix the chives with ground pork all the seasonings to make the filling. Chill the filling in the fridge for 30 minutes.
To prepare the skin, cut the dough into 1/4 in. pieces. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough until it becomes a round skin about 3 inch in diameter. Scoop a small spoonful of filling into the center of the skin and seal tightly with your fingers. Pleating is optional for this recipe.
Boil water in a pot at a high temperature. Drop the dumplings into the boiling water, and cover the pot. As soon as the dumplings start to float, dish them out onto a serving plate. Serve the dumplings hot with the dipping sauce. Stir together an even amount of the ingredients to taste for the dipping sauce.
Since it was my first time making dumplings, it took me a very long time to make all the dumplings using up all the dough and filling. I ended up making about 24 dumplings to eat for dinner (split between the significant other and myself). Since I prepared all the ingredients way ahead of time before I was ready to make dinner, I kept the dough under damp paper towels and the meat mixture in the refrigerator for longer than 30 minutes. I also pleated my dumplings (adding to the prep time), by following this video by Epicurious featuring Anita Lo.
After dinner, I finished making the rest to freeze for later use. I searched several ways on how to store dumplings and found it to be quite simple. After making each dumpling, place them on a tray or container (not touching each other), and once all the dumplings are made, put the tray in the freezer for about 20 minutes. Once the dumplings feel frozen enough (they may not be frozen through but the skins should be), they can be placed in a Ziploc bag and stored in the freezer.
Honey Walnut Shrimp
- 1 pound large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup walnut halves
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1/2 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup corn starch, for coating the shrimp
- Oil, for deep-frying
The caramel glaze:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup water
Add the egg white to coat the shrimp. Rinse the walnut halves with water, drain and set aside.
In a bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, honey, condensed milk and lemon juice. Mix well, and set aside.
Prepare the caramel glaze by heating up 1/2 cup of water until it boils. Add in the sugar, and keep stirring until golden. Add the walnut halves into the caramel. Lower the heat for another 1-2 minute(s), and then, remove the walnuts. Place the walnuts onto a piece of parchment paper to dry. Make sure the walnuts do not stick together. Do NOT use regular paper towels because the walnut halves will stick to the paper.
Heat up the oil in a pan or wok. Once the oil is heated, coat the shrimp with the corn starch generously. Shake off the excess corn starch before frying the shrimp. Fry the shrimp in the hot oil. Once the shrimp is fully cooked, place the shrimp onto paper towels to drain excess oil. Toss the cooked shrimp with the mayonnaise sauce in a bowl. Transfer the honey walnut shrimp to a serving platter, and top the shrimp with the candied walnuts. Serve immediately and enjoy.
Since I didn’t have parchment paper, I used aluminum foil instead to dry the glazed walnuts. To prevent them from sticking to the foil, I brushed the foil with coconut oil (I’m sure any oil with a neutral flavor will work). As seen in the picture, I placed the shrimp on a bed of broccoli. I simply blanched the broccoli in salted water. A pleasant surprise I discovered was that the dipping sauce for the dumplings (since I cooked both recipes in one night) was also a good dipping sauce for the undressed broccoli.
Photo credit: Wilma Miranda