lunar new year dumplings

Lunar New Year Dumplings Recipe

Welcome to Lunar New Year! Today, we’ll be making Homemade Chinese Pork Lunar New Year Dumplings in honor of the holiday. These little bundles of yum are seriously delicious, and you don’t want to miss out on this recipe! Making dumplings can sound intimidating at first, but this recipe doesn’t require any special equipment. 

Lunar New Year has deep roots. It’s celebrated in China and other Asian countries, and begins on the first new moon of the lunar calendar, and ends on the first full moon of the lunar calendar. Legends about a monster named Nian claim that the beast would prey on humans on New Year’s Day, but he was afraid of the color red, loud noises, and fire. To ward him off, people decorate their homes with bright red decorations and set off brilliant fireworks. 

These dumplings are mouthwatering, and the dipping sauce is divine. The recipe does require preparation and patience, but it’s worth every minute. Think about it as an opportunity to chill out, quiet your mind, and embrace the process; it’s very meditative, particularly as you roll and form each dumpling. Get the family involved, too! It’s a fun opportunity to spend time together.

There are a few important ingredients to create the authentic flavor of these pork dumplings. I’ve included some ideas for substitutions if you can’t locate all of them, but do your best to find an Asian market in your area. There’s no better way to explore a culture than to source ingredients, and you’ll likely find new favorites to love, too! You can also order toasted sesame oil, Chinese black vinegar, Shaoxing wine, and chili oil online.

Take time to explore this incredible holiday! There are many ways to observe Lunar New Year wherever you live, and it’s worth a bit of effort to discover how magical the celebrations can be around the world.

Makes – about 24

Prep Time – 1½ to 2 hours

Cook Time – 20-25 minutes

Ingredients

For the Dumpling Dough
  • 2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Cornstarch
  • ½ teaspoon Salt
  • ½ cup Boiling Water
For the Dumpling Filling
  • 1 packed cup (about 8 oz.) ground Pork
  • 1 cup shredded Cabbage
  • ¼ cup finely chopped Shitake Mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped Green Onion
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced fresh Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon finely minced Garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese Shaoxing Wine
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoon White Pepper Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Black Pepper Powder
For the Dipping Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese Black Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped Green Onion
  • ¼ teaspoon finely minced fresh Ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon finely minced Garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon Chili Oil
lunar new year dumplings

Instructions

For the Dumpling Dough
  1. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, cornstarch and salt and mix well.
  2. Add the boiling water and stir with a spoon or chopsticks till it comes together into a shaggy dough.
  3. Once all the flour is incorporated in to the shaggy dough, touch it and see if you can handle kneading it. The dough should be warm but not hot.
  4. Knead the dough with the palm of your hand. If needed as a tablespoon or two of room temperature water. The dough should be a stiff one and not too soft, so use water sparingly.
  5. Once kneaded in to a smooth round ball, cover it and let it rest for 30 minutes to an hour for the gluten to develop.
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
For the Dumpling Filling
  1. Add ½ a teaspoon of salt to the shredded cabbage and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium sized bowl add ground pork.
  3. Squeeze out all the moisture from the cabbage and add it to the pork, along with finely chopped green onion and mushrooms, finely minced ginger and garlic. Mix well.
  4. Next add the soy sauce, Chinese Shaoxing wine, sesame oil, sugar, salt, white and black pepper and vigorously mix in one direction till it forms into a sticky paste like situation.
  5. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes for the flavors to develop.
lunar new year
lunar new year
lunar new year
For the Dipping Sauce
  1. In a bowl mix together, soy sauce, black vinegar, sugar, green onion, ginger and garlic and chili oil.
  2. Keep aside to server over the dumplings.
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
Making the Dumpling Wrappers
  1. On a very lightly floured surface, divide the dough ball into two. Keep one half covered while we work on the other.
  2. Roll the half into a 1-inch-thick rope and then cut it into twelve, about 1-inch-thick pieces.
  3. Roll each piece into a smooth ball and then slightly flatten them with the heel of your palm.
  4. Roll out each piece into 3” round circle. Keep wrappers loosely covered with a kitchen towel to prevent drying out. Repeat with the other half.
lunar new year
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
Forming the Dumpling
  1. Place half a tablespoon of the ground pork filling in the center of the rolled-out dumpling wrapper.
  2. Fold the top half of the dough over bottom half, making a half moon shape. Lightly pinch the middle point of the half-moon together.
  3. Holding the dumpling in one hand, use you other thumb and pointer finger to fold a tiny pleat on either side (of the pinched middle point) of the dumpling.
  4. Now, firmly press to seal the dumpling closed. If your wrappers have dried out, you might have to moisten the edges with a little water to make it stick closed.
  5. Place the formed dumpling in a lightly floured baking sheet.
  6. Repeat with the remaining dumpling wrapper and dough.
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
Cooking the Dumpling
  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil.
  2. Drop a few dumplings in the boiling water. They will immediately skink to the bottom.
  3. Let the dumplings cook for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring the water occasionally. The dumplings are done when they float to the surface.
  4. Remove with slotted spoon to a dry plate. Repeat with the remaining dumpling.
  5. Serve the dumpling immediately with the prepared dipping sauce.
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings
lunar new year dumplings

Notes

Here are some substitutions

  • Soy Sauce – Choose Tamari for a gluten-free option or Coconut Aminos for a soy-free option
  • Toasted Sesame oils imparts a beautiful and a distinct ‘dumpling flavor. It is easily available in the Asian section of most supermarkets. There is no substitution, but you can leave it out.
  • Chinese Shaoxing Wine adds a beautiful fruity flavor. Substitute with sherry or just leave it out for an alcohol-free version.
  • Chinese Black Vinegar is fruity with a sweet undertone. If unable to find, use 1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar and 1 tablespoon White Vinegar instead.
  • You can substitute white or cremini mushroom instream of shitake mushrooms.
  • Chili oil is a very unique concoction and very hard to substitute. In case you have to substitute, use ½ teaspoon of toasted Sesame oil and some chili flakes and sesame seeds. Or you can leave it out altogether.
  1. You can freeze the uncooked dumpling in a flat tray and then store it in Ziploc bags for later use.

 

34 comments on “Lunar New Year Dumplings Recipe

  1. These look absolutely delicious and I am loving the idea of making these form scratch! I am pinning this and making them soon 😉

  2. We’re having dumplings for the Lunar New Year too. I love that you included Shiitake mushrooms in your recipe. That really makes the dumplings so flavorful.

  3. Oh my! This is such a really amazing recipe! It look so good! I know my family would love this so much!

  4. I am overcome with desire to eat all the dumplings right now. We are in a major snowstorm though, so I can’t even order these. I’ll be thinking about them until I can!

  5. I really love dumplings they are super tasty. This sounds like a great recipe for my family to enjoy.

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