Chinese New Year Dumplings Cookoff

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Pork dumplings for Chinese New Year

Dumplings are much loved in the Chinese culture and they feature prominently during the Chinese New Year. The term dumpling is actually a broad classification for a dish that are made of small pieces of dough, rolled thinly, and wrapped around a filling. During the Chinese New Year, pork dumplings are often served, cooked using a variety of methods. The most common would be boiling, frying, steaming, or boiling then lightly frying.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
Chinese New Year Dumplings Cook-off 2018 at Robinsons Place Bacolod.

While it’s made of pork, the dumplings are light because the ground meat is mixed with chopped vegetables and herbs. Usually, a piece of dumpling is dipped in a special soy sauce based dipping sauce. While there are many variations to making Chinese dumplings, there is a signature taste and aroma associated with it because of the usual culinary herbs added to it. These are chives and ginger.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
Steamed dumplings by VMA Global College.

Chinese Dumplings Cook-off

The Robinsons Place Bacolod has held annual cook-offs between students of different colleges here in Bacolod in celebration of the Chinese New Year, which was aptly dubbed as Bacolaodiat.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
Judges (l-r): Stong Ang, Honey Grace Catalan, and Sigrid Says.

I personally love dumplings so I was thrilled when I was invited to be one of the judges of the cook-off, together with Stone Ang of 365 Modern Cafe and Honey Grace Catalan, baker and former restaurateur who also hosted the event.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
The dumpling cook-off at Robinsons was sponsored by Petron Gasul.

Four schools joined in the competition: University of St. La Salle (USLS), College of Arts and Sciences of Asia and the Pacific (CASAP), VMA Global College, and the Southland College Kabankalan.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
The champions — team USLS, while they are hard at work on their dumplings.

Each team was composed of four members and they were given 1 hour and 30 minutes to prepare pork dumplings cooked in three different ways — boiled, steamed, and fried. They were to prepare 8 dumplings for each presentation, for a total of 24 dumplings. Robinsons Supermarket provided all the ingredients for the cook-off.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
The raw ingredients for pork dumplings provided to teams.

I was blown away by the technique and creativity of the teams. While I also cook my own dumplings, I still learned from them, especially that I don’t make my own wrapper. It’s just too tedious for me. Some of them added herbs in the wrapper dough. Others boiled the dumplings in aromatic vegetables. One extracted carrot juice to color their dough. Really creative.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
The perfectly cooked fried dumplings of USLS.

It was a close fight, with two teams showing great promise. But during the taste test, one team came out as a surprise because of the taste. Eventually, the USLS team came out the winner because of awesome technique, exceptional creativity, and flavor. Plus, they prepared three different meat fillings for their three kinds of dumplings and three different sauces as well. And their dumpling wrapper is perfect. It was already obvious while they are still working the dough.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
The two-toned rosette dumplings of USLS. In reality, this is quite difficult to eat because it is equivalent to three dumplings. However, the technique and creativity cannot be denied.

It really pays to research about what you need to cook before joining a contest, especially if it’s international cuisine.

However, the most authentic-tasting Chinese dumplings came out from the VMA Global College team. I had to mention VMA because they turned out really good Chinese dumplings in terms of taste.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
The team from VMA Global College was a close second in the Robinsons Dumplings Cook-off.

Congratulations to all the teams who joined. You turned out great work!

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
Announcement of winners of the Robinsons Chinese New Year Dumplings Cook-Off.

 Chinese Pork Dumplings Recipe

Here’s a recipe for Chinese pork dumplings that I got from Allrecipes.com. I haven’t tried the exact same mix though.

Chinese New Year pork dumplings recipe
Boiled pork dumplings by Southland College Kabankalan. Looks awesome and very aromatic, too.

Ingredients:

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chile-garlic sauce (such as Sriracha®)

Filling

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese chives, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 50 dumpling wrappers
  • 1 cup vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 quart water, or more as needed

Procedure:

  1. Combine 1/2 cup soy sauce, rice vinegar, 1 tablespoon chives, sesame seeds, and chile sauce in a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
  2. Mix the ground pork, garlic, egg, 2 tablespoons chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, and ginger in a large bowl until thoroughly combined. Place a dumpling wrapper on a lightly floured work surface and spoon about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle. Wet the edge with a little water and crimp together forming small pleats to seal the dumpling. Repeat with remaining dumpling wrappers and filling.
  3. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place 8 to 10 dumplings in the pan and cook until browned, about 2 minutes per side. Pour in 1 cup of water, cover and cook until the dumplings are tender and the pork is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Repeat for the remaining dumplings.
  4. Serve with soy sauce mixture for dipping.

Spread the love
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *