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—Your New Friend, Gray
Dim Sum makes a great treat for Chinese New Year or any time of year.
Ni Hao!That means Hello in Chinese. I know I may not look it, but I am a quarter Chinese. And, I love celebrating Chinese New Year. Some people call it the Lunar New Year, too, and it is celebrated in many places around the world. Today, my cousin Tammy is visiting from Taiwan and I am going to show her how to make Chinese potstickers. Some people know these as Gyoza, too. They are healthy and delicious and easy enough for a kid cook to make with some help from someone over 14 who knows how to use a frying pan.
These are one of my favorite foods
After you mix all the ingredients that you see in the recipe below, the fun part is placing a little mixture in each potsticker skin, then folding and pinching the sides together to seal the meat or veggies inside.
To see all the steps watch our RECIPE VIDEO. If you’d like to learn some Chinese words and Chinese New Year facts, scroll to the bottom of this post.
1 tbls. finely chopped ginger (you can substitute 1/2 tsp. ground ginger if fresh is hard for you to find)
Good quality soy sauce to taste. Approximately 4-6 tblsp.
2 tblsp. good Sesame oil.
1 package dim sum wrappers or gyoza skins, preferably round
finely chopped water chestnuts. If you are making these veggie style, you might want to try: clear mung bean noodles, tofu, and chopped cabbage.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, blending well.
Place a teaspoon of filling in center of wrapper.
Use finger to trace a little warm water around edges of wrapper.
Fold wrapper in half and press edges together to get them to stick.
Generously coat bottom of a non-stick pan with vegetable or canola oil.
When medium warm, lay dim sum in oil.
Let fry until one side is golden brown.
Add about a half cup of water to pan. CAUTION: steam will rise so be careful not to burn your self. Quickly place a lid over the steaming dumplings.
When water is gone, dumplings are ready.
Note: some people skip the frying part and only steam their dumplings in a steamer. They can also be deep fried by an adult to taste more like wontons. You may have to adjust water depending on heat of pan, etc. In our family, we throw fresh peas or broccoli in the pan during the steaming part so that we have veggies to accompany our dim sum.
Dim sum is great served with Japanese ponzu, Thai chili dipping sauce, or many other Asian sauces. Our family blends a Japanese/Chinese/Guamanian style sauce:
1/4 cup of good Tamari Soy Sauce or regular low sodium soy sauce
3 green onions finely chopped.
Juice of half a lemon.
1/8 cup of vinegar
1 medium hot jalapeno or other hot pepper (optional for kids)
optional: 3 drops of Thai fish sauce. If you like sauce on the sweeter side you can add 2 tblsp. of Asian seasoned vinegar or Mirin. If you are a huge ginger lover, then you may want to add a teaspoon of finely chopped ginger.
There is a legend that in ancient times, Buddha asked all the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Only twelve came, so Buddha named a year after each one of them.
At Chinese New Year celebrations, women and girls wear red clothing, people decorate with poems written on red paper, and children receive ‘lucky money’ in red & gold envelopes. Red symbolizes fire, which according to legend can drive away bad luck.
The lantern festival is held on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. In many areas the highlight of the lantern festival is the dragon dance. The dragon—which might stretch a hundred feet long—is typically made of silk, paper, and bamboo.