Executive Director Tiffany Chang Lawson’s Dumpling Recipe for the Lunar New Year

By: Tiffany Chang Lawson, Executive Director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Asian Pacific American Affairs

January 27, 2017

Tomorrow marks the start of the Lunar New Year. Many Asian American families will celebrate by gathering for a traditional meal. We will give our homes a thorough deep cleaning to make way for the new year and all the good luck it will bring.

My mother’s family is originally from Mainland China – my grandmother was born and raised in Beijing, China and my mother was born and raised in Taiwan. Dumplings are a staple for many Chinese American families like ours that trace their origins to Northern China.

This is my grandmother’s recipe which was passed down to my mother and then to me. I am sharing this recipe with my fellow Pennsylvanians as we herald the arrival of the Year of the Rooster. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family has through the years. Happy Lunar New Year!

Grandma Chang’s Dumpling Recipe

Makes about 25 dumplings

Dumpling Ingredients

2 cups finely chopped dill
1 bunch finely chopped green onions
1 lb lean ground beef
2/3 cups minced green onions
1 egg beaten
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated ginger root
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 (10 ounce) packages round dumpling wrappers
vegetable oil
1/4 cup water

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

3 tablespoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
1 teaspoon minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon white sugar
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 teaspoon minced green onion

  1. In a large bowl, combine beef, dill, green onions, egg, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, pepper and mix until thoroughly combined.
  2. To fill the dumplings, place a wrapper on a floured work surface, and place a tablespoon of filling in the center. With a wet finger, dampen the edges of the wrapper. Fold the dough into a half-moon shape, enclosing the filling. Press and seal to remove extra air, tightly sealing the edges together. Place the dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet while you finish sealing the rest of the dumplings.
  3. In a large skillet, heat 1/2 inch of oil over moderately high heat.
  4. Place dumplings into the hot oil, flat side down, without crowding, and fry until the bottoms are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the dumplings over, and pour the water over them. Cover the pan with a lid and let the dumplings steam until the water has nearly evaporated and the dumplings have begun to fry in the oil again, 5 to 7 minutes. Uncover the skillet, and let the dumplings cook until all the water is evaporated and the wrapper has shrunk down tightly over the filling, another 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, white vinegar, ginger, sugar, garlic, and green onion.

Serve immediately. Best if prepared right before eating. If you need to prepare ahead of time, the dumplings can be frozen. To reheat frozen dumplings, follow the instructions in step 4.

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