Festive Dumplings

Adapted from The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook
by Patricia Tanumihardja

This dessert is eaten during festivals and celebrations, including weddings and Chinese New Year, and is symbolic of
family unity and harmony. Happy Year of the Tiger!

2 cups glutinous rice flour, (such as Koda Farms Mochiko Blue Star
Brand Sweet Rice Flour), plus more for dusting
⅓ to ½ cup cold water
¼ cup brown sugar
Ginger Syrup (recipe follows)

Put the rice flour in a mixing bowl. Gradually add water and mix until the dough is stiff and no longer sticks to your fingers. Keep in mind that the dough won’t be as pliable as dough made with all-purpose flour. Cover the dough with a damp cloth as you work, since it dries out very quickly.

Dust a large plate with rice flour and glove your hands with flour. Pinch off a walnut-size piece of dough (about ¾ inch across) and flatten into a circle about 2 inches in diameter. Cup the dough in your palm and place ⅛ teaspoon brown sugar in the center. Pinch the edges together to fully enclose the sugar and then roll into a 1-inch ball. Place the dumpling on the plate. Repeat with the remaining dough and sugar.

Fill a large bowl with cold water.

Bring a large pot two-thirds full of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high. Drop dumplings one by one into the pot, stirring to separate them. Cook the dumplings in several batches, depending on how large your pot is. When the dumplings bob to the surface, about 3 minutes, cook them for another 2 minutes.

Scoop the dumplings out with a slotted spoon and plunge into the cold water so they don’t stick together. Scoop them out, draining as much water as possible, and place on a lightly greased plate to dry. Cover with a damp cloth as you finish cooking the remaining dumplings.

To serve, put 6 dumplings in each of 6 bowls and add ½ cup hot ginger syrup. Serve immediately. Makes 35 to 40 dumplings (6 to 8 servings).

Ginger Syrup

4 cups water
½ cup light brown sugar
1-inch piece fresh ginger, cut into coins
1-inch-square piece dried tangerine peel (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring the water, brown sugar, ginger, and tangerine peel to a boil over high heat and cook until the brown sugar has completely dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the syrup is aromatic, about 30 minutes. Keep the syrup warm on the stove until ready to serve. Fish out the ginger and tangerine peel and discard. Makes 3½ cups syrup.

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