Sichuan Chaoshou Dumplings

These Sichuan dumplings, which represent wealth at a new year table, get their heat from the accompanying sauce. Make extra to freeze for later.
Photo by Meg Baggott / Food Styling by Katherine Rosen

Adapted from Noodleholics, Tucson, AZ

Tucson has a strong Chinese community dating back to the mid-1800s, with an exceptionally diverse Chinese culinary scene for a city its size. Noodleholics specializes in noodles from the southern Chinese city of Guilin, but also has staples from other regions. These chaoshou are Sichuan pork dumplings with a chili oil sauce. When eaten for Chinese New year, dumplings represent wealth for the coming year.

Lucky Recipes for Chinese New Year
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry Sherry

  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce

  • ½ teaspoon white pepper (optional)
  • 1 package square wonton wrappers
  • Dumpling Sauce (recipe below)
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, for garnish
Directions

Using clean hands, combine pork, egg, ginger, sesame oil, wine, soy, and white pepper until uniform. Refrigerate until ready to use.

 To assemble dumplings, have a small bowl of water next to the dumpling wrappers. Form dumplings by putting a tablespoon of filling in the center of each square. Moisten two edges with water and fold to make a triangle, pressing out any air and pressing edges together to seal. Wet one edge of the base of the triangle, and fold the other edge over it, pressing to seal. This will make the traditional “hat” shape. As you assemble dumplings, put them on a plate or tray and cover loosely, so they don’t dry out. (Dumplings can also be frozen on parchment paper and stored in plastic freezer bags for up to 3 months. To cook, just boil directly from the freezer.)

To cook dumplings, bring a pot of unsalted water to a boil. Working in batches, add dumplings and cook for about 3 minutes, until they float and are cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and divide among serving bowls. Stir dumpling sauce and drizzle over dumplings. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Makes about 30 dumplings.

Ingedients for Dumpling Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons light soy sauce

  • 1½ tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ cup chili oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
Directions for Dumpling Sauce

Combine soy and sugar until sugar dissolves. Stir in chili oil, sesame oil, and garlic. Set aside until ready to serve.

Pair It

Chateau Ste. Michelle 2017 Dry Riesling (Columbia Valley (WA)). Riesling that is ripe, yet dry, with notes of apple compliment spicy ginger flavors. Vibrant acidity washes away any oily residue from tasty dumpling sauce and balances savory flavors renewing the palate.

Published on February 2, 2019
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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