Pork Dim Sum (Asian Pork Dumplings) and Dip

"This recipe uses fresh pork, but it can be made more easily of you start with ground pork instead. The same basic recipe can also use chicken, shrimp, or vegetables instead. NOTE: You can make your own Chinese 5 spice powder by combining equal quantities of cinnamon, cloves, fennel, star anise, and Szechwan peppercorns and blending in a spice grider."
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
photo by Late Night Gourmet photo by Late Night Gourmet
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  • NOTE: skip to next step of you decide to use ground pork instead.
  • Trim fat from pork until there's 10 ounces of pork remaining. Cut pork into small pieces.
  • Rub pork with 1 tablespoon of Chinese 5 spice powder, 1 grated garlic clove, and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger. Allow to rest in refrigerator for at least one hour to infuse the flavor into the pork.
  • Thoroughly blend chopped Swiss chard, 2 grated garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of grated ginger, 1 tablespoon of Chinese 5 Spice Powder, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 1 beaten egg, and 1 ounce of Chinkiang vinegar.
  • Cook mixture in medium-high heat pan until vegetables are soft, stirring frequently to break it up and cook evenly. Remove from heat and drain juices.
  • If using fresh pork, keep in refrigerator until ready to grind, then grind thoroughly. Cook in a medium-high pan for about 30 seconds, then flip over and cook for another 30 seconds. You just want to brown it a little bit (the steaming will finish the cooking process).
  • Blend pork with drained vegetables and cool in refrigerator while preparing the won ton wrappers.
  • Cut the corners off the wonton wrappers, stacking several at a time. If you have a circle mold, this will make things easier.
  • NOTE: use the photo that's keyed to the following steps as a guide.
  • Separate wonton wrappers and lay several out at a time on a dry surface. Wet the edges of each wrapper. Scoop 1 teaspoon of pork mixture into the middle of each wrapper. Fold wrapper over so the edges touch. Wet the outside of the dumpling along the seam. Starting at one end of the dumpling, pinch together the edge in a fan-fold pattern. Repeat for each wrapper and pork mixture.
  • Place a sheet of parchment paper over the holes of a steamer. Arrange the dumplings in the steamer so that none are touching each other. Steam dumplings for 15 minutes. Repeat for remaining dumplings.
  • Make a dipping sauce by blending 2 ounces of Chinkiang vinegar with gochujang, lime juice, fish sauce, sesame seeds, 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon of Chinese 5 spice powder. Allow to rest for at least 15 minutes to integrate fully.

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I have two teenagers who keep things very busy around our house during the daytime. I also work long hours at Ford Motor Company, and I do want to spend time with my family every day. If I try to cook when my kids have their friends over, I'm certain to be interrupted. In other words, my available times for cooking are very limited. I don't want to give up on anything I love - my family, my job, my cooking - so I do most of my cooking after everyone has gone to bed. My wife is a teacher, so this can be very late at night during the summer. Sometimes, I don't get started with my prep work until 12:30 a.m. Am I crazy?? Maybe. I'm also constantly working on healthier ways to prepare food. I deconstruct every recipe I like, and try to make it with healthier ingredients. The big challenge is keeping the food tasty. I believe it's possible to enjoy what you eat and still be healthy. I lost 15 pounds in 6 months largely by preparing my own food (and exercising). If I didn't keep such loony hours, I'd call myself "The Healthy Gourmet".
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