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Gung Hay Fat Choy … Happy Chinese New Year!

January 23, 2012

One of my all-time favorite foods to indulge in is Chinese cuisine. Although I’m partial to this family-owned restaurant in the community I grew up, I also enjoy creating my own Asian fare.

In honor of Chinese New Year and the Year of the Dragon – which began January 23 – here are two of my favorite homemade Chinese creations: Cashew Chicken and Shu Mai (or steamed won tons). The Shu Mai recipe is written below as it’s an adaptation of an Everyday Food recipe.

The Cashew Chicken, also from Everyday Food, is so easy, simple, and one of the best chicken dishes I make. Cashews are now a staple in our home.

Gung Hay Fat Choy. Happy Chinese New Year!


Steamed Shu Mai

(Adapted from a Everyday Food magazine, April 2006)

You can do some much with this base recipe. Once you get the filling made, they can be steamed for Shu Mai, used in wonton soup, or made into fried wontons.

1 ½ lbs. ground pork or chicken

3 scallions, chopped

1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger

1 Tbsp. chopped garlic

1 tsp. soy sauce

1 tsp. sesame oil
Course salt

1 package wonton skins (can be found in the grocery store pre-packaged deli and cheese area)

1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a fork. This filling makes about 40 small wontons.

2. Lay the wonton wrapper flat. Spoon about one rounded teaspoon of filing in the wrapper.

3. With a pastry brush or your clean fingers, dampen with water the outer sides of the wonton skin. Fold each corner inward toward each other and press together. The water will seal the wonton. Continue these steps until you’ve used up your mixture, or have had enough of wonton-making. This is the most time-consuming part – enlist a friend, child or significant other!

4. If you’re not using right away, put them on a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper. Lay a damp paper towel over the wontons and refrigerate. The damp towel will keep them from drying out.

5. If you are making Shu Mai, fill a large pot with water and boil. Then place a steamer on the top of the pot. Spray non-stick cooking spray on the steamer and place wontons in the steamer. Place lid on top and steam for about 15 minutes.

6. Remove Shu Mai and continue until all are cooked.

7. Feel free to create your own dipping sauce of soy sauce, ginger and garlic.

8. For wonton soup, you can steam them in broth. For crispy wontons, fry in canola or peanut oil.

28 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 1:11 am

    I think it would be fun to celebrate the year of the dragon dining on your luscious foodies. With your with variety of recipes, I think you could have a dandy of a multi-culture-cuisine restaurant if you set your mind to it.
    Happy Chinese New Year. 🙂

    • January 24, 2012 10:32 pm

      That’s one of the reasons I love holidays — the FOOD!

  2. January 23, 2012 2:00 am

    This sounds delicious Leah, and the extra work that goes into making it adds to the festive flavour I’m sure!

    • January 24, 2012 10:32 pm

      You know, it’s not even that hard! The shu mai are sort of time consuming because of filling each one. But they’re so worth it!

  3. January 23, 2012 5:21 am

    Happy Chinese New Year! So happy for the Shu Mai recipe — YUM!!

  4. January 23, 2012 6:05 am

    Happy Chinese New Year to you, too, Leah! Cashew Chicken is one of our faves…ordered, never made here! You always have the best recipes, so can’t wait to try this one!

    • January 24, 2012 10:33 pm

      I think you’ll really like it. It’s so easy and delicious.

  5. January 23, 2012 7:04 am

    I’m not sure I can ever commit to cooking something like this (as opposed to ordering it), but it does look delicious! A group of students and I are leading a Chinese New Year craft activity for patients at a children’s hospital. If you and Sophie have done anything like that, I would welcome ideas!! 🙂

    • January 24, 2012 10:33 pm

      Sophie and I have not done any crafts for Chinese New Year. But if you go to Pinterest, they have TONS of ideas!

  6. January 23, 2012 7:35 am

    Happy Chinese New Year! As always, your food looks delish!

    • January 24, 2012 10:35 pm

      Thanks, Susan! Sadly I don’t have a vegan suggestion for you on those recipes.

  7. January 23, 2012 10:02 am

    happy Chinese New Year! My daughter’s Chinese, so we’re celebrating, too!

  8. January 23, 2012 10:12 am

    Does your family know how lucky they are to have you cook such gorgeous meals for them? YUM! I want to live at Leah’s house!

    Happy New Year!

    • January 24, 2012 10:36 pm

      Thanks, Michelle. And I must say that yes, they do. Bryan thanks me every night for dinner.

  9. January 23, 2012 11:12 am

    Happy Chinese New Year! We lived in Shanghai for two years, and those steamed dumplings you have pictured were our absolute favorite treats.

    • January 24, 2012 10:36 pm

      Thanks, Sarah! Those are my favorite too. I bet you had some delicious ones in Shanghai!

  10. January 23, 2012 1:24 pm

    I didn’t know they were so easy to make. We love Asian food, so I’m going to try these. Thanks!

    • January 24, 2012 10:37 pm

      They really are. But everyone is scared of making Chinese food. Let me know if you try them.

  11. January 23, 2012 4:56 pm

    Happy New Year and WOW! What a delicious recipe! I love good Chinese food and this certainly is delicious!

  12. January 23, 2012 6:34 pm

    Oh my goodness… that looks delicious. Times like these, I wish I lived closer to civilization. Closest chinese restaurant (and grocery store) is 45 miles away! Boo..

    • January 24, 2012 10:37 pm

      I guess that means you’ll just have to stock up next time you’re at the grocery store and freeze the ingredients when you’re craving Chinese!

  13. January 24, 2012 8:10 am

    I receive Everyday Food too! I just love it; it helps my love for cooking. Thanks for another great addition to my recipe stash, Leah. I am a Chinese food fan, as is my husband!

    • January 24, 2012 10:38 pm

      We love Chinese food too! I’ve gotten so many great recipes from that magazine. It’s really a great one to read.

  14. January 26, 2012 6:09 am

    I’m cooking Chinese this week! This is the perfect inspiration. I’m thinking about trying a dumpling/wonton of some sort. I may just be “borrowing” your recipe. 🙂

  15. January 28, 2012 1:39 pm

    Mmmm I love those crispy noodle things! So addicting lol 🙂

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