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Chinese dumplings

Makes 60

This filling recipe is adapted from ''Classic Chinese Cuisine," by Salem author Nina Simonds. The wrapper recipe is from Hui Lee, a family friend who is a terrific cook.

WRAPPERS

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups ice water
Extra flour (for rolling)
1. In a bowl, stir the flour and salt.

2. Stir in the water a little at a time, adding only as much as you need to form a smooth dough.

3. Knead the dough for a few minutes until it can be formed into a smooth ball. Cover the dough with a clean cloth; let it rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.

FILLING

5 cups finely chopped Chinese (Napa) cabbage
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground pork
2 cups finely chopped Chinese garlic chives or 1 cup finely chopped leeks mixed with 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine or sake
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon cornstarch, or more if needed
1 cup cold water
1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage and salt. Toss lightly to mix it evenly. Set aside for 30 minutes.

2. Take a handful of the cabbage and squeeze out as much water as possible. Place the squeezed cabbage in a clean bowl. Continue with the remaining cabbage. Stir the ground pork into the cabbage with the chives or leeks and garlic.

3. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine or sake, ginger, garlic, and 1 tablespoon cornstarch, stirring vigorously in one direction to combine the mixture evenly. If the mixture seems loose, add an additional 1 tablespoon of cornstarch.

4. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball, adding flour to the counter if necessary. Halve the dough and form each piece into a long, snakelike roll about 1 inch in diameter. Cut each roll into 30 pieces. Roll the pieces into balls and then press each one into a circle.

5. Using a small rolling pin, short dowel, or lightly floured tortilla press, roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface to form a 3-inch circle. Cover the circles with a clean cloth.

6. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half-moon shape and pinch the edges to seal them.

7. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. When the water returns to a boil again, add 1/2 cup of cold water. Let the water return to a boil again, and add another 1/2 cup of cold water. Heat to a boil again.

8. When the dumplings have returned to a boil three times, they are ready. Drain and remove. Cook the remaining dumplings in the same way. (This is the traditional method of cooking dumplings; for a simpler method, boil them for about 8 minutes, uncovered, over high heat.) Serve with black vinegar.

Kimberly W. Moy

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