Dumplings a staple dish to celebrate New Year

By Wes Adams


Traditional Chinese dumplings or jiaozi have been a staple dish in celebrating the Chinese New Year for centuries.These little buggers can pack a flavorful punch and are made with a wide variety of fillings and dipping sauces. In honor of tradition, I'm going to share a pork dumpling recipe adapted from “Asian Dumplings” by Andrea Nguyen. My adaptation of Andrea’s recipe is great for any occasion and you can

play with it -- perhaps some minced and sauteed mushrooms or chopped shrimp? The possibilities are endless when creating these bite-sized delights. Whatever you decide to stuff your dumplings with, have fun and eat well.  Note: to make these dumplings, I chopped

all ingredients by hand. Using a food processor is definitely convenient, but not entirely necessary. They were a little more work, but in the end worth it. Going through the entire process definitely gave me a greater appreciation for the hard work and care that's put into making these tasty treats. 



  • 12 ounces Napa cabbage leaves, roughly chopped (or regular cabbage)

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (use microplane grater -- the ginger should be veryfine)

  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic (use microplane grater)

  • 1/4 cup minced Chinese chives or green onions (white and green parts)

  • 2/3 pound ground pork

  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

  • 1 package frozen round dumpling wrappers (gyoza/potsticker wrappers), defroste at room temperature for 30 minutes

  • For the slurry: 1 tablespoon cornstarch +

  • 1/2 cup water 



1. To make the filling, put the cabbage in a

food processor and process until cabbage is

finely minced. Remove the cabbage to a large

bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Let cabbage

and "paint" the edges of the dumpling wrap-
per. Bring up the bottom side of the wrapper,

sit for 10 minutes. In the meantime, return

the food processor bowl to the stand and add

the ginger, chives, pork, pepper, soy sauce,

rice wine and sesame oil. Pulse 4 times to mix

the ingredients well. Set aside.


2. Use your hands to grab a handful of the

cabbage and squeeze and discard the excess

moisture into the sink. You can also spoon all

of the cabbage into a cheesecloth and then

squeeze all the water out. Place the dry cab-
bage back into the large bowl and add the

pork mixture. Fold the cabbage into the pork



3. Mix together the slurry. Take one

dumpling wrapper, spoon a scant 1 table-
spoon of the pork mixture onto the middle of

the wrapper. Dip one finger into the slurry

fold up and press to shape into a half moon,

encasing all of the filling. Place on baking

sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and re-
peat with rest of dumplings. Make sure that

the dumplings do not touch each other on the



4. When all dumplings are assembled, you

can cook immediately or cover with plastic

wrap and refrigerate for up to several hours.

To cook, half fill a large pot with water and

bring to boil. Gently slide in 1/3 of the

dumplings. When water returns to a boil,

turn heat to a simmer and gently cook for 6-

8 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon and

repeat with remaining dumplings. Serve

with hot chili sauce or a flavored vinegar

sauce for an extra zing.