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Year of the Metal Ox: Chinese New Year Dumplings

Gung Hee Fat Choy, Friends! The Year of the Metal Ox is here to bring happiness, prosperity, and good health to us all. Celebrate this auspicious occasion by making the most traditional Chinese dish, jiaozi (dumplings).

Dumplings have various Chinese New Year symbolism and traditions across China. It is widely believed that the shape of dumplings mirrors that of the ancient Chinese ingot, and will bring wealth and prosperity to the eaters. In some households, a coin is placed inside one mystery dumpling, and the family member who finds it is hailed as having an extra fortuitous year ahead. Traditionally, the emphasis is on skillfully rolling of the doughy wraps so they are thin and yet stretchy, ready to bulge with a full spoonful of filling. Did you know that in northern China, a girl is not deemed suitable for marriage until she has this skill?!

Are you ready to make this traditional Northern Chinese culinary staple for friends and family? Enjoy this special recipe from Beijing, and may extra good fortune come your way in the year of the Ox!

Thanks to our preferred partner, WildChina, and founder, Mei Zhang, for sharing this delicious family secret with us.


Serves 6


Dumpling filling:

  • 1 lb minced pork (organic & with some fat content)

  • 3 packed cups of finely chopped napa cabbage

  • 2 eggs

  • 2 Tbsp minced ginger

  • 2 Tbsp cooking wine

  • 4 Tbsp soy sauce

  • 4 Tbsp cooking oil

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • Salt

Dumpling dipping sauce

  • 3 Tbsp soy sauece

  • 3 Tbsp vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp spicy bean sauce (Lao Gan Ma brand recommended)

  • 1 tsp sesame oil

  • 1 Tbsp green onion cut finely

  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped finely

  • ½ tsp salt


Make the filling:

  1. Place cabbage in a large mixing bowl; sprinkle 2 teaspoons of salt and mix; sit for 15 minutes.

  2. Place pork in a mid-sized mixing bowl; add eggs, ginger, cooking wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons of salt; mix well.

  3. Squeeze liquid from cabbage and discard the liquid

  4. Combine cabbage and pork in the large mixing bowl, mix well. Set aside for use.

Make the dumplings:

  1. Add 2 liters of water to a large pot and boil.

  2. Spread flour on a holding/sheet tray.

  3. Fill small bowl with water. Dip fingers in water and wet the sides of dumpling wrapping.

  4. Place a small ball of filling in the center of your wrapping. Fold in half.

  5. Carefully fold dumpling along round edge of wrapping to seal. Place dumpling on tray.

  6. Place your dumplings in the water, one at a time. Don't over-crowd the pot.

  7. Lightly stir from the bottom of the pot to separate your dumplings. Bring to boil.

  8. Add 1 cup of cold water to the pot. Bring to boil again

  9. Add another cup of cold water to the pot and bring to boil again.

  10. Cook in total for 8 minutes; drain and serve hot.


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