Dumplings are a favorite snack in most of China, from Beijing in the north to Shanghai on the east coast, from the southern province of Guangdong to Sichuan in the far west. The fillings differ from one area to another, as well as according to season. In summer in Beijing, the basic pork stuffing might be seasoned with fresh dill or chopped Chinese chives. The dumplings may be steamed, fried, boiled, served in soup (like the famous Cantonese wonton soup), or, as in this Sichuan version, bathed in a tangy sauce.
- 8 oz (250 g) ground pork
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons rice wine or sake
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 25 wonton wrappers
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon chili oil
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 green onions (scallions), sliced
- To make the Filling, combine all the ingredients, except for the wonton wrappers, and mix well.
- Place a teaspoonful of the Filling in the center of a wonton wrapper and use a fingertip dipped in water to moisten the edge of the wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to make a semi-circle, then press firmly to enclose the Filling, making sure there are no air pockets inside the wonton. Repeat until all the Filling is used up.
- Carefully lower the dumplings into a pot of boiling water with a strainer or slotted spoon. Simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and drain.
- To prepare 4 servings, place ¼ teaspoon garlic, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, ¼ teaspoon chili oil, a pinch of sugar, and a pinch of cinnamon in the bottom of 4 bowls. Divide the boiled dumplings among the bowls and garnish with sliced green onions.