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Mrs. Nie's Steamed Dumplings

When I was in high school I spent a semester as an exchange student in Beijing. My host mother would make dumplings for dinner at least once a week, and even more often once she realized how much I liked them. This recipe is very close to the formula she used to make her jiaozi, except that I'm too lazy to make my own wrappers. I like to make about 60 of them at once, freezing most and saving out a few to eat right away.

1.5 lbs ground pork, preferably berkshire or other red-meat variety
1 small napa cabbage
12 scallions
3 cloves garlic
2" fresh ginger
2 Tbsp chili oil
60 northern style dumpling wrappers**

Dipping Sauce
3 Tbsp Zhenjiang/Chinkiang vinegar
1 Tbsp shaoxing wine

Large mixing bowl
2 baking half sheets
Parchment paper
Steamer (preferably chinese style bamboo steamer, but anything will work)
1 large bowl of warm water
1 small bowl cold water
Dry cloth or paper towel
Large cutting board

Quarter napa cabbage lengthwise. Working one quarter at a time, shred and finely mince cabbage leaves until you have a pile about the same volume as your pork. Even with a small cabbage, this will probably only be half of the head. Put in mixing bowl and season with salt

Separate white/light green parts of scallions and reserve the greens for another use. Thinly slice whites, then mince finely. Mix with cabbage

Finely grate garlic and ginger and add to mix

Add chili oil to vegetable mix and combine thoroughly

Add pork to mixing bowl, season generously with salt, then mix everything together with your hands. You should squeeze and mush the mixture so that everything is evenly combined and cohesive. Cover bowl and refrigerate

Prepare a station for assembling dumplings. Lay out your cutting board with water bowls and dry cloth in easy reach. Line one baking sheet with parchment paper and set alongside your cutting board.

Set one package of dumpling skins and your pork mixture next to the cutting board. Working one at a time, place a wrapper on the board and add approximately 1 Tbsp of filling to center of wrapper, pressing filling into a ball with your fingers. Use warm water bowl to rinse your pork hand, then wet one finger with water from the small cold water bowl. Wet the inside edge of the dumpling wrapper but don't totally saturate it. Dry hand on towel, then fold wrapper over filling, bringing the centers of the two edges together. You can either simply press the edges together firmly until they are sealed all the way around, or use any kind of crimping technique you like to seal the dumplings. Repeat until all filling is used, placing each dumpling on the baking sheet without allowing it to touch any other dumplings. When you've filled one sheet, put it in the freezer and use your second sheet

Start pot of water for steaming on the stove. If using a bamboo steamer, prep steamer with paper liners or cabbage leaves and fill with however many dumplings you want to eat right away. Make sure to leave some space between dumplings, as they will expand and sag during cooking. If using a conventional steamer or steamer basket, coat the inside with a thin layer of oil to prevent sticking and add dumplings, leaving plenty of space between them. When water boils, set steamer into pot and cook for approximately 10 minutes

Meanwhile, combine ingredients for dipping sauce in a small bowl. When dumplings are ready, serve directly from steamer trays or basket, and dip liberally in sauce

When dumplings in freezer are completely frozen, transfer to a sealed bag or tupperware container. Use the same instructions to steam as above

** Northern style wrappers are a bit larger and thicker than southern or shanghai style wrappers. They should be round, and at least 3 1/2" in diameter. Fresh is preferable, but you can use frozen, just make sure to let them thaw all the way before you start wrapping. Depending on how generously you fill your dumplings, you may find that you have wrappers or filling left over. Not much you can really do with the wrappers, but you can stir fry any leftover filling and use it to top rice or noodles.

Sloppy Joe With Chinese Characteristics

Serves 4, Cooking time about ~1 hr

This recipe arose from my haphazard attempts to reconstruct a bowl of noodles I ate fourteen years ago. It uses some Chinese techniques, ingredients, and flavors but is by no means "authentic" Chinese cuisine. I've included instructions here for serving the dish with noodles and steamed vegetables, but the important part is the meat/sauce mixture, which can be served in pretty much any way you could eat sloppy joe (thus the name). Some of the ingredients may be a bit unfamiliar to the typical American kitchen, so I've included links to buy online or reference for a shopping trip to your local Chinese grocery store. Enjoy!


2" piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and finely grated
3 Tbsp Zhenjiang/Chinkiang Vinegar
3 Tbsp dark soy sauce
3 Tbsp Shaoxing wine
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp granulated sugar
2 Tbsp Sichuan-style chili oil (I like this recipe, but you can use Laoganma or any other Sichuan style oil with chili flakes in it)
4 Tbsp gochujang
4 Tbsp water
2 star anise pods

4 scallions
1 lb ground beef
1 1-1/2" piece of Chinese brown sugar or 3 Tbsp regular brown sugar
3 Tbsp peanut oil

4 servings lamian style noodles (you can use fresh or refrigerated, I like Yidu Lanzhou style noodles. They come in packets with 4 pre-divided portions and are super cheap)

4 baby bok choy, washed and roughly chopped


Combine first group of ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk until fully combined. Set aside

Slice white and light green parts of scallions very thinly, and mix with ground beef. Cut scallion greens into rough ~1" pieces and set aside

Set large pot of water to boil

In the meantime, add peanut oil and sugar to a wok or large cast iron skillet. Heat over medium low, stirring frequently, until sugar is melted. Take care not to burn. Raise heat to high and add beef/scallion mixture. Stir constantly until beef is browned and coated with sugar mixture. Lower heat to medium and add sauce. Bring to a fast simmer and stir frequently until sauce is reduced to a sticky consistency, about 20 minutes. Remove star anise and keep warm over low heat

When water boils, add noodles and cook per package instructions. Remove with tongs or a skimmer, keeping water boiling, and divide between bowls. Add bok choy to pot and boil for 30 seconds, then remove with skimmer and divide between bowls.

Turn heat on beef mixture back up to medium and add scallion greens, stirring constantly until greens darken in color and become soft. Divide beef and sauce between bowls

Hey Petal! I've been thinking it'd be funny to make LinkedIn horoscopes (i.e. to post on LinkedIn) made entirely of quotes I've written down in meetings. But I don't really know the signs so I'm looking for help! I know this isn't how horoscopes work but I guess I'm thinking more "who'd say this" than "whose near future is described by this." Page is 🔓so you can write signs next to lines, or just comment or w/e, if you feel like it. Thanks!!!

How are we distinguishing on the viewing side between how we’re viewing results?

We’re saying the same thing in different ways. (gemini)

If we had better conventions, we wouldn’t have to use aliases. (virgo)

increase the footprint of functionality (capricorn)

there continues to be a steady flow of new ideas coming over the transom

their largest pain point is it takes them too long (taurus)

Because at the end of the day this is going to be an enabler

What's been your practice?

It feels like we’re falling back into previous conversations. So what’s the focus of this conversation today? (aquarius)

what we know is we value several things (taurus, libra)

we have to point to something physical in the document (virgo)

they've done really well at penetrating a number of customers

It's in the database, so that will be trivial (gemini, aquarius)

It sounds like this is an opportunity to leverage technology to streamline (virgo)

My prior on this is

We need to come to a decision one way or another if we believe we need two different things. (libra)

I think it’s a little bit different. (aquarius)

happier middle ground (libra)

I’d want to see all the metadata (aquarius, virgo)

I think that’s a very good point that you’re making. I remember reading that on Jira too. (leo)

So I’m comfortable with us pursuing this middle-ground (libra)

Is it correct to say (gemini, sagittarius)

sign off on

even under the ideal still has several different steps

All things equal (libra)

I like the best of both worlds (libra, pisces)

it’s very hard, and usually quite domain specific. (virgo)

One comment I would make about this mock that you have here is that the real estate usage here is not ideal. (virgo)

And I would minimize that.

Shouldn't be a big lift

Would it help to just force the issue (aries, scorpio)

Correct, that’s my understanding. (virgo, gemini)

I was really excited by the meeting yesterday. We’ll see when they get back to us. But very exciting. (sagittarius)

Workflow-wise there’s a lot of really cutesy stuff that ends up being really habit-forming that could ultimately be done with this stuff…

That further resonated as well.

So he's supposed to sketch something out then circle back with them for next steps.

We were pretty much all on the same page right from the start of the meeting. (aries)

Which I think is cool. (aquarius)

then it gets even more exciting (sagittarius)

lots to come, but we're really excited that the product can have uses (aries, capricorn)

we're just at stage one (aries)

any questions on that? (sagittarius)

making the case at the top of the house (capricorn)

very key, but very difficult and ambitious to pull off (sagittarius, virgo)

deliver some value fast (libra)

which turns out to be important for reasons i'll talk about later (capricorn)

all of it should be data-driven (gemini, virgo)

We want to front-burner that result about services as well (virgo)

Where are we now? It feels like we're at either Monday or Friday but we're not, are we. (pisces)

And then that'll give us an opportunity to talk through all these different concepts and make sure we're on the same page about them. (libra)

Carve out an hour to go though all those different things. (virgo, capricorn)

Once we're all on the same page on that, we can divide and conquer in terms of the different threads.

Does Monday work for you? (aries)

It should. Mostly open. Anything before 1 is flexible. (pisces)

Obviously the path of least resistance is optimal. But being able to deliver is the most important. (leo, sagittarius)

I hope you trust that the call that had to be made was thought through. (virgo)

I don't know if I'm allowed to tell you this, but I'm going to tell you anyway. (gemini)

I'm very hesitant to say (scorpio)

It seemed as if he was starting to take that for granted

Neither surprising nor particularly worrying

We don't have a mock of that

and just allow you with a couple of strokes

Whatever reporting capabilities you want, we can build (capricorn)

I'm completely onboard with what you're saying.

Keep it simple and separate. (cancer)

That's a well-established capability.

Are you connected? Just make sure you're... this one? (gemini)

I don't know what the hell is happening here. (pisces)

Here, let me try. (aries, leo, sagittarius)

Let me grab one of the dongles. (scorpio)

We're institutionalizing some capabilities here. (capricorn)

None of this is hard-coded. (pisces, sagittarius)

This is not a demo.

Will the historical information be available?

Effectively, there's two environments. (gemini)

Give me all the shit I care about. (taurus)

I don't think you want to overcomplicate this. (aries)

I don't know about you, but I like to be efficient. (virgo)

To be perfectly honest, I look at this and I feel fairly overwhelmed by the number of numbers. (pisces)

Plenty of low-hanging fruit to go get.

Switching gears a little bit (sagittarius)

Lots to do there, really exciting stuff (sagittarius, aries)

deepen the ideation exploration

where I need your help is—

might be helpful for everyone (libra)

If I can summarize my understanding, we can break this whole exercise into three large distinct blocks.

I have a bit of a different mental model.

That is a logical version of what you're talking about.

start giving people a bit more transparency (capricorn)

getting people onboard and excited (sagittarius)

that's the dream, anyway... and sometimes it works out! (pisces)