For the past seven years I have made many wrapped hors d’oeuvres for our Chinese New Year party. The food for this holiday is all about symbolism. Spring rolls represent wealth because they are said to look like gold bars. Dumplings look like gold coins and their round shape signifies family reunion. Chinese wrappers are a breeze to work with. I probably should qualify that statement. As a caterer, I am certain I made thousands of appetizers and entrees over the years with phyllo dough. Phyllo can be quite temperamental, it tends to crack,dry out and sometimes disintegrate if not handled properly. Pre made won ton, and spring roll wrappers were much easier to use. In addition to covering them with a damp towel when working with them the only thing I had to learn about these wrappers were the shapes and how to wrap them correctly. So the next challenge was to make my own wrappers. Last year I made Shanghai Soup Dumplings and this year I was ready to improve upon my fledgling ability. I read and watched many tutorials on dumpling making, realizing this wasn’t a skill I would develop overnight. The website I found to be the most helpful was www.asiandumplingtips website of cooking teacher and cookbook author, Andrea Nguyen. Because of the amazingly clear information on the website I purchased her book, Asian Dumplings. I feel I have only scratched the surface in dumpling making but at least I have learned to make my own. I am not including any recipes with this post, visit her website and purchase her book, she is a excellent teacher.
A Shanghai soup dumpling from Chinese New Year 2011
The steamed dumplings had a vegetable filling of spinach, carrot, and shiitake mushrooms.