Snack and Refreshments

"Four Joys" Dumplings

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Fluffy Rice

1 lb. wheat flour
5 oz. minced beef
5 oz. minced mutton
4 oz. bamboo shoots 2 tablespoons winter mushrooms, plumped
1.1/3 tablespoons soya sauce
1.1/2 tablespoons salted soya paste
1.1/2 tablespoons cooking wine
1 teaspoon gourmet powder
a pinch of pepper
2 tablespoons scallion
1 tablespoon ginger
3 tablespoons sesame oil
a little each of carrot and pre-boiled green soya beans
a pinch of salt

1) Place flour in a small pot, pour in boiling water little by little from a kettle held high, stirring meanwhile with chopsticks. Spread this dough on workboard to cool.

Cut 40 pea-sized cubelets each out of the mushroom and bamboo shoot; shred the remaining parts.

Pare carrot and cut 40 pea-sized cubelets out of it.

Mince scallion and ginger.

2) Place minced beef and mutton in a small container. Add soya sauce, soya paste, cooking wine, gourmet powder, pepper, minced scallion and ginger. Mix well by sitrring around always in one direction till the mince becomes cohesive and firm. Then add water (about 2/3 cup) slowly, continuing to stir in the meantime. When this is well mixed, add shredded mushroom and bamboo shoot and sesame oil. Mix again.

3) Knead dough on a well-floured board until it is quite smooth. Divide into 40 balls and pin-roll these into round wrappers about 4 inches in diameter, thin at the edge and a little thicker in the middle.

Hold a wrapper in left hand, put a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold the wrapper in half across the filling and pinch the opposite edges together with the thumb and index finger of the right hand. Pick up the other two loose flaps and fold over again, meeting at the center and press together with a pinch. Pinch together the four slits thus formed, setting in each meanwhile a green soya bean, a cubelet of carrot, bamboo shoot and winter mushroom. The resultant dumpling is like a quadruple house roof with four ridges meeting at the center and inlaid with "gems" of green, orange, white and black colors, called the "Four Joys" Dumpling.

Arrange the 40 dumplings on a wet muslin-covered rack and steam to cover on high flames for 10 minutes.

Notes:

(1) When making the dough, be sure to pour in the boiling water little by little and keep stirring the flour all the time so that there is even mixing and heating.

(2) In preparing the filling, see that the additional water (step 2) is well absorbed by the mince, or the filling will not keep its firmness and the bottom of the dumpling, after steaming, is liable to fall off. So it is necessary to stir the mince all the time while water is added little by little.

(3) Shredded water chestnut and dried northern mushrooms (soaked and shredded) may also be added to the mince.

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