The 12 Dishes of Christmas #7

Chinese Pork & Prawn Dumplings

So in post #5 post we refreshed your memories on this year’s GBC Festival Feast, with our ‘12 dishes of Christmas’ . We’ve got three courses to cover, and 12 dishes in total. We’re now into the mains, having started with the classic turkey, and then dipping into the little less known holiday of Kwanzaa,  were onto main #3. Here we’re exploring the best of Chinese celebration food.

Maybe we’re jumping the gun a little as Chinese New Year isn’t until the end of January but it’s by far the biggest celebration in the Chinese calender, and so, importantly, has the best food!

a photo of a chinese dumpling
Chinese Dumpling

Bring some of this Chinese celebration into your own January 1st New Year’s if you want to be a little more authentic.  A key part of new year, and many other Chinese celebrations is the eating of food that is thought to bring luck and good fortune. Many dishes in Chinese celebration have important symbolism; such as the serving of whole fish, which is two fold in that the word for fish sounds similar to the Chinese word for ‘abundance’ and the head and tail of the fish represent good beginnings and endings. Noodles represent long life due to their length, and spring rolls imply wealth due to their similarity to gold bars.

In Chinese culture, celebratory feast are all about family and celebrating guests. The dish of dumplings is very traditional at Chinese New Year celebrations, and they represent good financial fortunes due to their similarity to small money purses.


For the filling

125g/4oz minced pork
125g/4oz raw tiger prawns, shelled, de-veined and roughly chopped
1 large spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp grated fresh root ginger
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp cornflour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
8-10 goji berries (optional)

For the dumplings

10 ready-made wonton wrappers (available from Asian grocers)
groundnut oil, for greasing

To serve

1 tbsp chilli sauce
>2 tbsp light soy sauce

Preparation method

1. For the filling, mix all of the filling ingredients together in a bowl.
2. For the dumplings, place two teaspoons of the filling mixture into the centre of one of the wonton wrappers. Gather up the sides of the wonton wrapper and mould around the filling into a ball shape, leaving the filling in the centre exposed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers, until the filling is used up. Top each with a goji berry, if using.
3. Oil the bottom of a bamboo steamer and line with greaseproof paper. Place the dumplings in the steamer, cover with a lid and place over a pan of boiling water (making sure the water does not touch the base of the steamer). Steam the dumplings for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through.
4. Combine the chilli and soy sauce in a bowl and serve with the dumplings

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