Chinese New Year in Paraguay, Part 1.

January 24, 2012

The following conversation took place at the meat counter of my local grocery store.

Lo: Can I get 1 kilo of ground pork, please?

Meat Man: We don’t have ground pork.

Lo: Okay, can you weigh out 1 kilo of that ::points at cheapest cut of pork without a bone:: and grind it for me?

Meat Man: We don’t have a grinder.

Lo: Do you have ground beef?

Meat Man: Yes.

Lo: How does that come to the store?

Meat Man: We grind it here.

Lo: …

I suppose it was a losing battle from the start. After all, it is Paraguay (sorry for the string of bitter-laced entries. I’m not having a great month).

In any case, I was thus forced to test out my mom’s dumpling recipe without the juicy ground pork. And…well, there is a reason we use ground pork. The beef dumpling wasn’t terrible but definitely on the drier side, despite having tripled the sesame oil addition. [Side note: Next time, if still saddled with beef, I think I’ll stick with making cheeseburger dumplings, which are actually quite tasty.] But all told, the results were nontheless nothing a good drenching in red vinegar and chili paste could not solve.

Happy Chinese New Year! I hope the Year of the Dragon brings you health, wealth, happiness, and good fortune at the meat counter!


2½ cups of flour
½ cup boiling water
¼ cup cold water
1 T. oil

Mix together and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out in logs, cut, ad make dumpling skins. Makes about 50.


1 lb. ground pork
1 tsp. finely grated ginger
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. soy sauce
1 c. chopped/blanched napa cabbage
1-2 finely chopped green onions

Mix together, add 1/4 c. chicken broth, and mix until smooth.


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