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Some Fun Facts About Dumplings

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For the Love of Dumplings

Chinese DumplingsMy fortune cookie this evening said that I would be eating dumplings in the near future.  So I thought that this would be a good time to prepare for some dumplings and learn as much about them as possible, including their history.  But, what I stumbled up were some fun facts about dumplings, and I thought that our readers would appreciate reading about those rather than some dry history lessons.  Please let me know if I was right.

Chinese dumplings are eaten on the 5th day of new year in China to resemble good wealth and prosperity.

Wonton, or Chinese dumpling, is a staple food popular throughout China.

In Chinese, wonton means “swallowing clouds”.

The Cantonese wonton has a yellow wrapping (made from flour and egg: think pasta sheet) typically filled with minced pork and shrimp.

Shanghainese Dumplings – This type of Chinese dumpling has a white, thicker wrapping (made from flour only) and the filling includes minced pork and Shanghainese bok choy.

Szechuan Dumplings – Known as “Chao Shou” (crossed hands), they also have a white, relatively thick wrapping. Chao Shou is boiled and served in very, very spicy sauce, as in almost all Szechuan cuisine.

A Dumpling by any other name…

  • Shuijiao – literally means water dumpling; boiled dumplings
  • Zhengjiao – steamed dumplings
  • Guotie – Shallow fried dumplings
  • Danjiao – dumplings that instead of dough, uses an egg skin

Dumplings are eaten in various forms around the world:

  • Chinese wonton
  • Italian ravioli
  • Jewish kreplach
  • Polish pierogi

are all types of dumplings filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables.

Chinese-DumplingsFor Chinese New Year, serve jiaozi (dumplings boiled in water). Place coins in the center of the dumplings. Whoever bites into the dumpling with a coin will have an exceptionally lucky year. And possibly a chipped tooth.

Perhaps this was a history lesson after all.  But, if you thought upfront I was going to talk about history, you might have fallen asleep; Now I hope you were entertained.

But, all I know now is that all this talk about dumplings is making me hungry!

Submitted for your consumption,

Mee Magnum (“Chop!  Chop!”)

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