Summer is truly here! And by that I mean I was able to procure the first piece of produce straight from my garden, a delightful little yellow bush scallop summer squash. I'd never had one before, and was surprised by how soft and juicy it was inside; it's very similar to cucumber in its texture. I wanted to make something new and exciting with my bounty, and when Teavivre contacted me about doing a giveaway of their Chinese teas, I decided to try to make traditional steamed Chinese dumplings; something I've always loved eating but have been far too intimidated by to try making myself. As it turns out, the part that I thought was the hardest was actually not that tricky at all, just time consuming. I read over the instructions at Rasa Malaysia and used this youtube video she recommended watching to learn proper dumpling pleating, and after a few weird-looking ones I got in the folding groove and watched an hour whizz past while I listened to The Thomas Jefferson Hour and finished up the last of my pleating. Then I steamed them, which was where I had trouble. I did not line my steamer with parchment paper the first time (my bad) and all the dumplings in that batch got stuck to it and tore apart. So, to avoid a dumpling massacre, make sure you line your steamer with parchment paper, and don't let the dumplings touch each other either, they need their space and will get stuck to each other and tear when you try to separate them. After taking those precautions, the next three batches came out just dandy, and when paired with a bit of soy sauce for dipping, they were heavenly.
To make my Chinese feast even grander, I tried the three sample tea varieties Teavivre had sent. The first was an Organic White Peony tea. It has a floral smell to it, but the flavor is refreshing and light, almost minty. I think it would probably taste amazing iced in the summertime. The second was an Organic Dragon Well Long Jin Green Tea. It had a wonderful sweetness to it for a Green tea, much less bitter than any green tea I've ever had. Deep and earthy. The last one was my favorite, Bailin Gongfu Organic Black Tea. It smells like sweet tree bark and cocoa powder, and has a rich mushroomy flavor with almost vanilla notes. Just an incredible flavor. For the giveaway, the generous folks over at Teavivre have volunteered to give away 2 pouches each of loose leaf Bailin Gongfu Black Tea, Jasmine “Dragon Pearls” Green Tea, Premium Grade Dragon Well Green Tea (Long Jing), and Yun Nan Dian Hong Black Tea – Golden Tip to two winners. And I am going to give each of the two winners a lovely loose leaf tea strainer with moon and stars just like the one in the picture above, so that way they'll be able to enjoy many loose leaf teas in the future! To enter the giveaway, leave a comment below about your favorite type of tea. For additional entries you can:
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If you already do any of those things, just leave a comment on this post saying you do. The deadline for entries is 11:59 pm PST August 5th, and the winner will be announced July 6th.
Disclaimer: Teavivre sent me these products to sample as a part of the giveaway. The opinions expressed in this piece are entirely and completely my own.
(1) 10 ounce package circular gyoza/pot sticker wrappers (you can find these prepackaged at most chain grocery stores by the sandwich meats and cheeses)
3/4 lb Ground Pork
5 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Green Onions, chopped
2 Cups Grated Yellow Summer Squash (any yellow summer squash will do, does not need to be bush scallop)
1 Teaspoon Sesame Oil
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Dried Ginger
1 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Soy Sauce
Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the center of one of the gyoza wrappers and pleat it as they do here. Repeat until all of the wrappers or filling are used.
Place the dumplings in a steamer lined with parchment paper and make sure the dumplings are not touching each other. Steam for 10-12 minutes. Serve with a side of soy sauce for dipping.