Real Chinese Food in America - and Your Home
One dish that you can find in most Chinese restaurants that IS quite authentic is steamed or pan-friend dumplings. Most are commerically made, and suffer a bit in taste as a result. And most restuarants obtain their dumplings from only a couple wholesalers, so there are only a few varieties to choose from locally.
Yet, homemade dumplings are very easy to make. All you need is ground pork, won-ton wrappers and a few seasonings.
The dumplings known here as Potstickers are cooked in an unusual manner that combines both pan frying and steaming, which happens very quickly. Sounds like something you probably already knew about real Chinese cooking, right? They conserve precious fuel through quick cooking techniques. It's not hard to do, just different.
Dumplings are one of the most prominent foods served in China during the two-week long New Year celebration. With two of my three children having been born in China, we like to keep some cultural connections intact, despite our non-Chinese-ness. Food and cooking are a natural bridge, as are occasional visits to Chinatown for shopping and festivals.
By the way, this year is the Year of the Tiger. In China, New Years traditions are closer to our American Christmas traditions, in that people return to their families and hometowns for the celebration in very large numbers. Factories and offices close down for up to two weeks to account for this migration. One of our adoption trips was scheduled around this break, as no one would be working during the New Year period.
Up Next - Pan Frying Technique and Potsticker Recipe