Happy Chinese New Year Lunar Festival – Sticky Rice Dumplings with Sesame Paste Recipe
To celebrate the Lunar Festival / Chinese New Year on Sunday Feb 14th 2010, we took a dumpling workshop at the Museum of Chinese in America (MOCA) and made some easy Sticky Rice Dumplings stuffed with Sesame Paste. This was perfect since the Lunar Festival is all about celebrating life and prosperity with varous types of dishes that have been recognized as being auspicious. Dumplings are just one of the dishes that are often prepared and eaten during the Lunar Festival.
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Ok, to be honest I was kind of expecting a class on Jiaozi 饺子 but this class was more of simple introduction to dumplings and we ended up making sweet instead of savory dumplings. Teaching the workshop was Wai Hon Chu who is the co author of The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide The book was named by the New York Times as one of the best cookbooks of 2009 and it outlines the many types of dumplings from around the world.
Wai kind of explained that just like ‘bread’ or ‘pasta’ can have different variations across cultures, so can dumplings (think Chinese jiaozi or Polish Perogies). After I heard that, I was ok with making these dumplings but I have to admit we still all had cravings for jiaozi after the workshop and immediately went out to Chinatown to get a few steamed plates of the savory jiaozi! Here’s my recipe post from a few years ago.
Sticky Rice Dumplings with Sesame Paste Recipe
2 1/2 tablespoons of black sesame, finely ground in a coffee grinder
2 tablespoons of sugar
1 teaspoon of crisco shortening or lard :-).
2 cups of sweet glutinous rice flower
1/4 cup of sugar
1 cup of water
some potato starch for dusting.
Combine the sugar and rice flower and add water. Then knead by hand for a few minutes. Flatten dough on a non stick pie plate and steam for 20 minutes. While cooking the dough, prepare the filling by combining the ingredients and rolling the filling into small balls the size of marbles. When dough has cooked, remove from heat and allow cooling for a few minutes. Wearing a pair of plastic gloves, carefully remove the dough and knead with potato starch until smooth.
Assemble The Dumplings:
Divide the dough in half and roll each piece into a long cylinder with a length of about 12 inches. Then cut each cylinder into 12 pieces. Take each small piece, using your fingers flatten into a small pancake and add the filling. Fold the edges over, then fold again and roll over potato starch to form a small ball. The dumpling is ready to eat! You can decorate by dipping the dumpling in water and then coating it with sesame seeds or powdered sugar. Enjoy and Happy Lunar Chinese New Year’s!