Thursday, January 30, 2014

Dumplings for Chinese New Year

Gung Hey Fat Choy!

Ask a Chinese person what their favourite Chinese holiday is and the answer is always Chinese New Year.  There are many reasons for loving this holiday.  The young and unmarried are given red packets containing money (called lai sees or hong baos) from their elders, families travel long distance and reunite and there is lots and lots of celebrating, parties and food.

There are many special foods eaten made and served during Chinese New Year, with the biggest feast falling on New Year's Day.  During the 15 day holiday there are many different gatherings and dinners, the first falling on New Year's eve.

Families often gather on New Year's eve, watching the New Year's Gala on television, making dumplings.  At midnight, the dumplings are eaten and shared. 

To read about the legend behind dumplings, see

This year, Chinese New Year falls on January 31st and it is year of the wooden horse. 

So, in honor of Chinese New Year's Eve, let's make some Chinese dumplings, or Jiao zi or Gow Gee.

Jiao Zi

Dumpling dough:

1 cup boiling water

2 cups flour

1 tsp chicken broth powder (optional)

2 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp salt

-In a bowl, mix the flour, chicken broth powder and salt.  Add the boiling water and mix into a soft dough.  Add in the sesame oil.  Knead until smooth.  Form into a ball and leave into the bowl.

-let dough rest for 20-30 mins, covered with a damp cloth.

Dumpling filling:

1 pk ground pork

finely shredded napa (Chinese lettuce), about a cup

1 tsp chicken broth powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1 tbsp sesame oil

1/4 C finely chopped green onions

- In a bowl, mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.


To form the dumplings:

Divide the dough in half. Shape each half into a roll 12 inches long and cut each roll into 1/2-inch slices.

Roll 1 slice of dough into a 3-inch circle and place 1 tablespoon pork mixture in the center of the circle. Lift up the edges of the circle and pinch 5 pleats up to create a pouch to encase the mixture. Pinch the top together. Repeat with the remaining slices of dough and filling.


Place dumplings in a steamer, making sure they are not touching, and steam for 12-14 minutes.  The dumplings may also be boiled.

When dumplings are cooked, you may pan fry them with about 1 tbsp oil in a hot pan or wok until crispy.



For a simple traditional sauce, add 1tsp sesame oil to 1/4 C soya sauce.