Throughout my childhood, my father traveled for work. He has been all over the world, though because of the circumstances (business before pleasure) he can describe the inner décor of a Hong Kong airport easier than the shops or tourist destinations. However, as brief as some of the trips were, he almost always found time to visit the Chinese restaurants of each location. He recorded each one into his address book so that he could visit them again if ever in that place. My father takes great joy in cooking his carefully constructed renditions of his favorite Chinese dishes. Here is one that gets better each time.

You will need a large mixing bowl and steamer. If you don’t have a steamer, you can create a make-shift one using tinfoil. Fill a pot with water 1/4 full (enough to boil and steam). Poke small holes into tin foil and put over pot creating a bowl-like basin. It should rest above the water and not be submerged. Filling is enough for approximately two packages of wonton skins.

Ingredients:

2 packages of wonton skins (if you cannot find, you may use egg roll wrappers and then carefully cut into quarters)
3 pounds of fresh ground pork or chicken (use extra-lean only)
2 cans of water chestnuts
1 bunch of scallions
4 tbsp dried minced onion
4 tbsp fresh ginger root
6 tbsp soy sauce
6 tbsp cooking sherry
4 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp M.S.G. (optional, though does bring out the flavor)
1 dash of white pepper

Filling:

Put chicken or pork into large mixing bowl. Coarsely chop water chestnuts. Blend into bowl. Finely dice scallions and add to mixture. Sprinkle the minced onion into bowl. Coarsely dice the fresh ginger, add. Stir in soy sauce, sherry, sugar, M.S.G. and white pepper in bowl and mix well. Scrape sides of bowl.

To prepare the dim sum:

Place a wonton skin over thumb and forefinger. Stuff about 1 tablespoon of filling into center of skin and squeeze thumb and forefinger together around filling to seal.

Place enough dim sum in steamer that they do not touch. Steam until fully cooked (around four to seven minutes).

by Aimee Herman

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