When I was at Chapel Hill, my favorite restaurant was a place named Lantern. It was an upscale Asian restaurant that opened sometime during my junior year. Years after graduation I came across this recipe for Pork and Chive Dumplings from Andrea Reusing in Gourmet. I made it a few times, along with the dipping sauce, before putting it together and realizing that it was the same Andrea Reusing who is the chef-owner of Lantern. Random, but very very cool. So when I was considering dumpling recipes to serve as a part of my Chinese New Year menu, I had to serve these.
I really enjoy the combination of the ginger, cilantro, and scallions in these dumplings. They provide it with wonderful flavor. And it makes a huge difference that you use fatty ground pork, rather than leaner ground pork for your filling. That will ensure that the dumpling filling remains moist and succulent, rather than drying out. I also like the addition of sriracha, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. It's a nice little touch.
Instead of serving the dumplings with the Lantern dipping sauce, we decided to try out Fuchsia Dunlop's dipping sauce from her "Zhong" Crescent Dumplings recipe in Land of Plenty: Authentic Sichuan Recipes Personally Gathered in the Chinese Province of Sichuan. Her dipping sauce is sweet and thick, a nice variation on the typical dipping sauce.
Recipes after the jump!
Pork & Chive Dumplings
INGREDIENTS:1/2 pound fatty ground pork (we used ground Berkshire pork)
1/2 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon Vietnamese chile-garlic sauce (aka sriracha)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced or grated
1/2 teaspoon unseasoned rice vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of white pepper
3 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro stems
3 tablespoons finely chopped flowering chives, flat Chinese chives (garlic chives), or scallions (we used scallions)
24 to 30 round dumpling wrappers (we couldn't find round, so we used square)