The Rabbit Loves Dumplings

3…2…1…Happy Chinese New Year!! This is the year of the rabbit and it’s said to be a placid year, which is welcomed and much needed after the ferocious year of the Tiger. So what could be more relaxing than cooking? Though it actually fell on February 3rd and I’m a little behind, I thought it would be fun to make a Chinese inspired meal in honor of the holiday. It was a very easy decision to make dumplings because they are absolutely delicious and my favorite!

After deciding on dumplings I looked into Chinese traditions and found some interesting facts.  Dumplings are normally served on the New Year which clearly worked out great and they symbolize togetherness and blessings from heaven!  One other fact I found that was funny was that you should greet others by saying “Gung Hey Fat Choy”! Don’t worry you won’t offend anyone it means “Wishing you prosperity and wealth”!

I was really excited to try to make these, and believe it or not it actually wasn’t that hard to do.  The most important thing is to make sure there is no air in the dumpling after you seal them. Otherwise it will open the dumpling and make them water logged (This was my issue with my first batch but they still tasted good).  Don’t be discouraged by your first try my second ones were much “prettier” and were so tasty! Enjoy and 好运 [hǎo yùn] (Good Luck)!

Ingredients

For dipping sauce

Do equal parts

  • Sesame oil
  • Soy sauce
  • White vinegar

For Filling

4 tbs sesame oil

4 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs white vinegar

1lb. ground pork

1-1/2 cups scallions, finely chopped

1 tsp flour, mix with water till it forms a paste

½ tsp salt

½ tsp grated ginger (powder ginger is fine too just put a little more)

½ tsp black pepper

1 package wonton wrappers (found in deli section of Meijer)

Directions

For dipping sauce combine sesame oil, soy sauce, and white vinegar and wisk together

  1. Combine pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, white vinegar, scallions, flour, salt, pepper, ginger in a medium bowl and stir with rubber spatula till combined.

2. Put 5-qt pot of water on stove to boil.

3.  Place parchment paper, or tin foil on a baking sheet to set the dumplings                   before and after boiling.

4.  Place wonton wrapper on sheet put 1 teaspoon of filling in middle.  Dip                      your finger in water and wet edges to seal.  Push air out as you seal.

5.  Boil for 8 minuets.  Cook in two batches about 20 in each batch.

6.  Let set for 2 minuets then serve with dipping sauce.

Makes about 40 serves 4

Wasabi Please!

Before college I had never tried sushi- I was missing out! Lucky for me I was introduced to sushi soon after I started school at Michigan State. We are very fortunate to have authentic restaurants offering fresh sushi within walking distance of campus. Sushi Ya was the closest restaurant to me and I soon became addicted- I mean obsessed. My sister and I went at least twice a week and had to work at restraining ourselves from going daily. This was the beginning of my sushi eating and my favorite roll was the MSU roll, which I would definitely recommend for first timers. This is a tempura roll, which is basically a fried roll, with crab and no raw fish.

My sophomore year of school I tried other Sushi restaurants like Sansu and Omi. Sansu has some really creative rolls to offer, and has a really cool atmosphere but is a little bit more expensive. However they offer 25% off for MSU students on Tuesday nights (bring your ID and show it when you ask for the check). At Omi I usually get traditional rolls such as the spicy tuna or spicy scallop but my roommate raves about their veggie roll. I believe Omi has the best spicy tuna roll out of the three.  Both are great Sushi restaurants but I’m still partial to Sushi Ya. As my palate has progressed I’ve chosen new favorites like the Boston Roll and the Spicy Rolls. I love the combination of crisp vegetables, avocado and fresh fish, this = so yummy.

So please go out and try these places if you haven’t before. Also remember that there are plenty of options that do not include raw fish. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Sushi Ya

124 W Grand River Ave,

East Lansing, Michigan 48823

(517) 333-0804

 

Omi

210 M.A.C Avenue

East Lansing, MI 48823

(517) 337-2222

 

Sansu

4750 South Hagadorn Road

East Lansing, MI 48823

(517) 333-1933