“They’re almost too pretty to eat!” announces cookbook author Kristina Cho of her beautiful rose siu mai. Her steamed Chinese dumplings shimmer with a dusting of beet root powder: just enough to give the traditional Lunar New Year food a romantic sheen.
Lunar New Year lands on February 1st this year, and dumplings are a popular choice due to their reputed good-luck properties—but we’re eyeing these dumplings for Valentine’s Day, too. They’re just so romantic. And using a KitchenAid® stand mixer with a pasta roller attachment, they’re a snap to make.
Kristina—who hails from a Chinese-American Ohio restaurant family but now lives in the Bay Area—is the cook and blogger behind the celebrated cookbook Mooncakes & Milk Bread. On her charming Instagram, you’ll spy her decorating her home for the Lunar New Year. First, she deep cleans, she tells us, “to get rid of any lingering bad energy from the year before.” Then she decorates her home with branches, handmade paper lanterns and little mandarins “for a fresh set of good luck.”
That’s when the prep for the big feast starts. Kristina—who writes on her blog that she actually enjoys “cooking dinner for 20 people without any notice”—always has a Lunar New Year’s Dinner. Some years it’s an intimate feast, she tells us, and others treat it like a house party “with an enormous amount of food.” She used to hew to family traditions but has recently started her own, such as learning Chinese calligraphy so she can make her own couplets to hang. “It’s more important to me to celebrate the holiday and express my culture in a way that feels natural to me.”
That might entail making “a whole bouquet” of dumplings. She shows you exactly how to do it in the video below.
“They are seriously so pretty,” says Kristina. We couldn’t agree more. Here’s her recipe!
Rose Siu Mai
dumpling wrapper materials:
- 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp beet root powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp (125 ml) hot water
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp shaoxing cooking wine
- 3 green onion stalks, chopped
- 2 tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 2 tsp sugar
- In a medium bowl, combine flour and beet root powder; make a well in the center. Pour in the water and mix with a flexible spatula until you have a shaggy dough. Knead for 4-5 minutes until smooth. Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest for 30 minutes and up to 2 hours at room temperature.
- After resting, divide the dough into 4 parts. Take one piece of dough and lightly dust with cornstarch. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/4” thick.
- Prepare your pasta roller. Pass the dough through the pasta roller a few times (gradually getting thinner with each pass) until it is fairly thin (setting 6 on a KitchenAid pasta roller attachment). If it starts to stick, lightly dust with cornstarch. Lay out the thin dough on a clean work surface. Cut the sheets in half if needed to fit better on your work surface. No need to cover the sheets of dough, if they dry out a little it actually makes it easier to assemble the rose dumplings. Cut out 2.75" to 3" rounds using a cookie cutter. Stack wrappers on top of each other, making sure each wrapper is lightly dusted with cornstarch so they don’t stick. Repeat with remaining dough. You should be able to get about 54 wrappers out of the dough.
- Combine all the dumpling filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cover and let marinate for 30 minutes.
- Arrange 3 wrappers next to each other, slightly overlapping and in a straight line. Dab the areas where the wrappers are overlapping so the wrappers stick together. Add a heaping tablespoon (about 1.5 tablespoons) of dumpling filling along the center of the wrappers. Adjust the filling so that it’s equally dispersed along the centerline of the dumpling. (See video for reference.) Fold the wrappers in half lengthwise, like a hot dog. Lightly dab the folded edge of the wrappers with water to stick the dough together, then gently roll up the wrappers starting from the left and going right to make a rose. Place the dumpling on a baking tray lightly dusted with cornstarch and repeat with the remaining dough and filling. Re-knead the scraps and roll out more wrappers if needed. Cover the dumplings with a kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil. Line a bamboo steamer (use one that is the same diameter as the pot) with parchment paper (with holes punched out) or cabbage leaves. Fill the steamer with dumplings. Cover the steamer with the lid and steam for 8-9 minutes. Remove the steamer from the pot and lift the lid to allow the steam to release. Once the dumplings cool slightly, enjoy with soy sauce.