Makes about 50 dumplings
5 cups cored and finely minced Chinese (Napa) cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound lean ground pork
2 cups finely minced fresh Chinese garlic chives (if unavailable, substitute 1 cup minced leeks – mostly the whites – plus 1 tablespoon minced garlic)
For the Seasonings, mixed together:
2½ tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1½ tablespoons rice wine
1½ tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch, or more as needed
To Form, Cook, and Serve the Dumplings:
50 dumpling or gyoza skins
Cornstarch as needed
3 quarts water
1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and salt and let sit for 30 minutes. (This will draw water out of the cabbage).
2. Squeeze as much water as possible out of the cabbage and combine the cabbage with the ground pork, minced chives, and seasonings in large bowl. Stir vigorously. If the mixture seems loose, add another teaspoon of cornstarch.
3. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each dumpling skin and fold the skin over to make a half-moon shape. Spread a little water along the edge of the skin and use the thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the outside edge of the skin; the inside edge of the dumpling should curve in a semicircular fashion to conform to the shape of the pleated edge. Place the sealed dumplings on a baking sheet lightly dusted with cornstarch.
4. In a large pot, heat the water until boiling. Add half the dumplings, stirring to prevent them from sticking together, and, once the water boils again, cook for 5 minutes. Remove with a handled strainer and drain, then cook the remaining dumplings. Serve the dumplings with the dipping sauce.
¾ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons peeled and finely shredded fresh ginger
¼ cup water
3 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar or Worcestershire sauce
1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl.
2. Transfer to a serving dish and use at room temperature. Refrigerated, the sauce will keep in a tightly covered container for up to a week.
© Copyright Nina Simonds 2008
Gingery Faux Won Ton Soup with Bow Tie Pasta
6 to 8 Servings
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 pound)
1 pound lean ground pork
3½ tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
4 tablespoons chopped scallions, white part only
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
1 egg, lightly beaten
1½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1½ tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon olive or canola oil
1½ tablespoons chopped garlic
6 cups chicken stock, preferably low-sodium
1½ cups bow tie pasta (farfalle)
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut off the root end and discard several inches of the thick stalk end of the Swiss chard. Trim and discard any wilted leaves. Cut the remaining stalk and leaves crosswise into thin ribbons, about ½-inch wide, separating the stalk from the leafy sections.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the ground pork and the seasonings, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon to form a stiff paste. Using your hands and a serving spoon, scoop out a generous tablespoon of the meat mixture and roll it into a ball, dipping the spoon into a cup of water to prevent it from sticking. Place the meatballs on a sheet of wax paper and repeat with the remaining mixture to make 20 meatballs.
3. Heat the olive oil in a heavy soup pot until hot, about 10 seconds.
Add the garlic and the stalk sections of the Swiss chard and stir-fry
over medium-high heat for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock,
partially cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium, add
the meatballs and pasta, and cook the soup for about 10 to 12 minutes,
or until the pasta is almost tender. Add the green sections of the chard, partially cover, and continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes, skimming the surface of the soup to remove any scum. Add the salt and pepper, and taste for seasoning, adjusting if necessary. Serve immediately.