ADAPTED from my mom via a Skype conversation
INGREDIENTS: 500 grams of ground pork, 200 grams of chives, 500 grams of napa cabbage, 1-2 teaspoons of xiaoxing wine, salt, sugar, 2-3 teaspoons of soy sauce, a dash of sesame oil, 1 kilo of wonton wrappers
DIRECTIONS: First rinse the ground pork and use a paper towel to absorb the excess moisture. Then place the ground meat on the cutting board and run it through with a knife several times until the meat begins to stick to the knife. The texture should change and the color will become more pink. Place the meat in a large mixing bowl and add a few teaspoons of wine and half a teaspoon of salt and a quarter cup of water. Let the meat marinate for 10-15 minutes.
Meanwhile set a pot of salted water on the stove to boil. Remove tough outer leaves of the napa cabbage and cut off the base. Rinse the leaves in water. Then briefly dunk the leaves a few at a time into the boiling water. Let the leaves cool in a colander.
Chop the chives, discarding the tough bottoms, and add them to the meat mixture. Finely chop the napa cabbage and squeeze the excess water out. Add the napa to the dumpling filling and add soy sauce, sesame sauce, sugar, and salt. Microwave bits of the filling and taste, adjust seasoning accordingly.
NOTES: This will take your entire afternoon. This version also makes a meatier version than what I’m used to. You can increase the veggies by a third if you like, but I think winter dumplings should be heavier.
Furthermore, always freeze dumplings on a layer of saran wrap. Do not freeze on a bare surface like a ceramic plate, because it will need a consider use of brute force to remove them.