It’s traditional for families to get together for a meal over Chinese New Year, and while there aren’t any special dishes that are served solely at this time of year, some are more traditional than others. Dumplings – since they symbolise prosperity – would definitely be on the menu. If you’re preparing your own Chinese New Year banquet, you might serve a plate of dumplings alongside roasted duck or pork (buy it to save time), beef with sizzled ginger and chilli, some stir-fried Chinese vegetables and steamed rice.
You can buy all the fresh produce you need to get the dinner party started at Queen Victoria Market. Head to the Meat & Fish Hall, the fruit and veg stands and the Deli Hall and start shopping. Throughout the Chinese New Year Festival, QVM will also be hosting a range of activities, including lion dances, dragon dances and a 15-metre-long dragon lighting up Queen Street.
For more information on Queen Victoria Market, including opening hours, head to the website.
Here’s a recipe for simple dumplings to get you started.
Too-easy Chinese dumplings
You can experiment with the fillings for these: use chicken mince, chopped raw prawns, even tofu and mushrooms if you’re a vegetarian.
1 tbs sesame oil
1 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
3 green onions, chopped
250g pork mince
1 tbs chopped chives
1 tbs light soy sauce, plus ¼ cup extra
1 tbs Chinese rice wine
½ tsp white pepper
1 packet wonton wrappers
2 tbs Chinkiang vinegar
1 tbs white sugar
1 tbs chopped coriander leaves
Heat the sesame oil in a pan over medium heat. Add ginger, garlic and green onions and saute lightly for 1–2 minutes. Remove from heat. In a bowl, thoroughly combine the ginger mixture, mince, chives, sauce, rice wine and pepper.
Place a teaspoon of pork mixture into the centre of a wonton wrapper. Fold in half, wet around the edge with a damp finger or pastry brush, then press the edges firmly together. Repeat until you’ve used all the mixture. You should get 20 to 25 dumplings altogether.
The easiest way to cook these is in a single layer in a steamer basket lined with baking paper. Pour water into a wok or saucepan, place the steamer basket on top (it shouldn’t touch the water), bring to a boil and steam for 15–20 minutes.
Meanwhile combine the extra soy sauce, vinegar, sugar and coriander. Stir until combined and serve that as a dipping sauce with the dumplings.