It will be a nice change to take my mom out to eat. My mom was the eldest of seven children, so going out to eat was out of the question for her family. I guess old habits die hard because even now, while she can afford to go out, she will opt to slave all day and prepare a huge spread for the extended family.
I guess that's why, when I graduated from college, she did not even flinch when I asked her to cook for my graduation party with all my UW friends.
Graduation was such a busy time. Many of my friends had family flying in from Hawaii. Commencement exercises took place in the morning in the Hec Edmundson Pavilion (where the UW basketball home games are played), and we followed it up with a 10-course meal at the House of Hong in the International District. That afternoon, my dad went with some of my friends to pick up a keg of beer, while my mom and the rest of the family got busy with making dinner. They brought the food from UGeo's place in West Seattle to my apartment in the U District. The one request I had were these dumplings.
My mom used to make these all the time when I was younger. I remember eating these and thinking "this will be my last one" with each successive dumpling. I had a hard time stopping. On occasion I helped her fill them, but she had a specific way of pleating them (I know my pleats are not the same as hers). I didn't dare help with the cooking because I know there was some kind of formula for cooking them...wait for the water to boil, add a cup of water, wait for the water to boil again...or something like that. I didn't want to be the one to mess up the system.
In the wisdom which accompanies the fat of middle age, I've learned that its much easier to clean up water than oil. It's also a lot healthier to eat a boiled, rather than deep fried, dumpling.
I still don't know how KikukatMom boils them, I still don't make my pleats like hers, but my dumplings are pretty close to the ones she used to make...or at least I think they are because they have the same effect on me...it's hard to stop eating them.
click on recipe title for printable recipe
1 lb ground pork
1 box (about 10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 can water chestnuts, chopped
1/2-inch piece ginger, grated
2 tbsp shao hsing wine
3 tbsp shoyu
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
round wrappers (If using Twin Dragon brand, buy 2 packages)
Mix all ingredients. Place 1-2 tsp filling in center of wrapper. Moisten edge, pleat, and fold over. Pinch to seal. Cook 6 at a time in gently boiling water. Remove from water with slotted spoon and place in a single layer on large, rimmed cookie sheet. Use plastic wrap if adding a second layer. Serve with dumpling sauce.