Happy year of the horse, y’all!
“Huh? Don’t we celebrate Chinese New Year on February 10?” No, that was last year. Chinese New Year is celebrated on the second dark moon after the winter solstice, somewhere between January 21 and February 20. In 2014, today is the day.
Complex? Well, maybe a bit. In China, some public holidays relate to the Gregorian calendar, while others, such as Chinese New Year, relate to the Chinese calendar. That calendar is lunisolar, which indicates both the moon phases and the solar terms. Farmers used to tell time based on the sun and the moon, so it goes way back.
At full gallop! The Chinese calendar is related to the Chinese zodiac, and the horse is one of the 12-year cycle animals appearing in that zodiac.
Why you should celebrate, too… Because this traditional Chinese holiday is not only celebrated in China but in all Chinatowns around the world. If more than 20% of the world population is partying, why shouldn’t you? Have some dumplings!
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 8-10 medium shrimps (peeled, deveined, and cut into small pieces)
- 1 stalk scallion (finely chopped)
- 3 dashes pepper
- 1 teaspoon rice wine
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 inch / 2.5 cm ginger (grated)
- 1 pack potsticker/dumpling wrappers
Combine the ground pork, shrimp, chopped scallions, ginger, and all seasonings together. Set aside. To make dumplings, place a small spoonful of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Dab a little water with your finger and circle around the edge of the skin, and then fold and pleat the dumpling accordingly. Repeat the same for the rest. Arrange the dumplings in a bamboo steamer (lined with parchment paper at the bottom). Put it on top of a skillet or frypan with a good amount of water on the bottom and steam for 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately with black vinegar or dumpling dipping sauce.