Dumplings

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New York Times suggests that dumpling making is great for bringing strangers together, but what about uniting old lovers?

I’ll let you in on a little secret--it works just as well, especially when paired with sex, frank discussion, and a bottle of Riesling. After all, when lovers’ paths realign, experiences apart may have resulted in transformative tastes in both the kitchen and the bedroom. Dumpling making together is a delicious way to set the tone for checking in on our desires and boundaries inside and outside the kitchen and bedroom.

This mouthwatering recipe for a lusty and genuine reunion was developed over a chilly fall evening shared between me and an old lover. We had met through salsa, and discovered we not only danced like we were making love, but also cooked like we were making love. Attentive and communicative, cooking together was always a leisurely and sensual affair. While our life paths had landed us on completely opposite coasts, when he whispered over the telephone that he had discovered an excellent recipe for pork and chive dumplings and more to show me in a week, I was instantly ready again to tease and be teased in so many ways.

Reunited in the kitchen, we caught up over the earthy scent of shiitake mushrooms and garlic chives.  We learned together that our travels and experiences had led us to appreciating new flavors. Our kitchen banter alternated between from shouts of “Do you think this filling needs a touch more of soy sauce? Should we leave out the carrots this time?” to purring into each other’s ears “So would you like my mouth to kiss you here, and my strapon to fill you there?” By the end of the night, we knew our dumplings, and most importantly, our explorations in the bedroom had become some of the most delicious we’ve had because we trusted each other enough to communicate and discuss our culinary and carnal wants and yearnings.

So next time we fog up the windows, dear reader, either in the kitchen, in the bedroom, or both, let’s do it in the spirit of collaboration and partnership. Despite the risk of sounding like the corny motivational poster hanging above my advisor’s desk, I truly believe “teamwork makes the dream work” whether it comes to cooking our dream dinner or creating an unforgettable memory between the sheets.


RECIPE FOR PORK AND CHIVE DUMPLINGS

I use Woks of Life's recipe below. I like to add a 1/4 teaspoon of fish sauce and 1 tsp of oyster sauce to add more savoriness to the filling. I also add 5 finely diced medium size shiitake mushrooms to the filling as well.

Pork Chive Dumplings

Cook time: 10 mins

Total time: 2 hours 10 mins

Ingredients

  • 7 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2¼ cups water
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1¼ lbs ground pork
  • 1 egg
  • 7 cups Chinese chives, chopped finely
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and knead into a smooth dough. This process should take about 10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for an hour.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Start by adding the oil to a small pot over medium high heat. Heat the oil for about 7 minutes and allow it to cool. This "cooking" of the oil is supposed to bring out a nuttier flavor in the filling. This tip comes straight to you from Willy's mother, a Beijing local, and an authority on dumpling-making!
  3. Once the oil is cooled, add the ground pork to a large bowl, along with the egg, chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, and cooked, cooled oil. At this point, you should make and boil a test dumpling and try it to make sure the taste is to your liking. You can then adjust by adding more salt if needed.
  4. Once the filling tastes right to you, begin assembling the dumplings. The best way to do this is to divide the dough into manageable pieces and then rolling each piece into a rope. Cut them into small pieces (in a size similar to if you were cutting gnocchi, or about the size of the top part of your thumb).
  5. Roll the pieces out into circles, and add about 1½ teaspoons of filling to the center (it helps if you have an assembly line going, with one person cutting out the dough pieces, one person rolling it out, and one person filling/folding).
  6. You can then make folds like you see in our other dumpling post, or you can just fold the circle in half and press them together. Willy's method is to fold the circle in half, press it together at the top, and then make two folds on either side. Whatever way works for you...they don't have to be pretty to taste good.
  7. Place the dumplings about a centimeter apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. When you're ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully drop the dumplings into the water and keep them moving, so they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. Bring back to a slow boil, and cook until they float to the top and the filling is cooked through (about 5 minutes). Serve with black Chinese vinegar and/or chili sauce!
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