Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Chinese New Year Dumplings and a Giveaway!

It's almost time for Chinese New Year!

This year, Chinese New Year starts on February 19, moving from the Year of the Horse to the Year of the Sheep. What better way to celebrate than to make your own dumplings? Dumplings, called jiaozi in Mandarin, have been popular in China for hundreds of years, and are especially popular for Chinese New Year.

Photo courtesy of China Institute

Dumpling (jiaozi)
Recipe provide by the China Institute

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pork & Chive Filling: 
1 cup ground pork (can also use beef)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 Tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 green onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
4 Tablespoons shredded bamboo shoots
2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced

Photo courtesy of China Institute


Stir the salt into the flour. Slowly stir in the cold water, adding as much as is necessary to create a smooth dough. Don't add more water than is necessary. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. Add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine, and white pepper to the meat, stirring in one direction. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction, and mix well.

Now, prepare the dough for the dumplings. First knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter to create the dumpling wrappers. Place a portion (about 1 Tablespoon) of the filling into the middle of each dumpling wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumpling wrappers.

 To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. Bring the water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready. Drain and remove.

If you want, they can be pan-fried at this point. Repeat this process for the second half of dumplings.

The China Institute also sent us two great books about China and the Forbidden City:

The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals by Brian Tse - Rabbit is eating breakfast with his friends Baby Squirrel, Young Porcupine, and Little Brother Panda when an unexpected visitor arrives. He is a master builder, searching for inspiration todesign a great palace for the Emperor of China.Together, Uncle Builder and the little animals explore how nature supplies us with the wonders that enrich our lives.  Recommended for ages 4 - 9 years.
In the Forbidden City by Chiu Kwong-chiu - Serving as the seat of imperial power for six centuries, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous and enigmatic landmarks. Accompanied by a mischievous cat, readers will tour this colossal architectural structure, discovering the secrets hidden inside the palace walls. They will encounter the people who have walked through its halls and gardens, including emperors, empresses, and rebel leaders, and hear exciting tales about the power struggles and intrigues of everyday life.  Recommended for ages 9 & up.
We also have the opportunity to give away one of these books to one of our readers!  Use the Rafflecopter below to enter, leaving a blog comment telling me who you'd love to share some dumplings with and which title you'd pick if you win.  For a second entry, you may tweet about the giveaway too!  For more Chinese New Year's Activities, check out the website for We All Live in the Forbidden City.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: The China Institute provided me with copies of both books above, along with the recipe to share in this post.  All opinions are my own.


  1. I would select The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals - and I hope to one day share it with a son or daughter we are hoping to adopt from China.

  2. I would also choose The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals by Brian Tse. I would love for my son to read this.
    Digicats {at} Sbcglobal {dot} Net

  3. I'd get This is the Greatest Place for my daughter.

  4. I would share Forbidden City with my kids

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I would choose This is the Greatest Place and I would share it with my daughters



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