The Best Dumplings Recipe for Lunar New Year Celebrations

Guest Author
Feb 10, 2021

As we count down to Lunar New Year, we partnered with Nouera to bring you great content ahead of the celebrations! Today, Nouera tapped Asian-American chef Natalie Mei Watters for the best dumpling recipe, perfect for pairing with Potli’s infused sriracha and chili oil. And to spotlight the brilliant mind behind Potli, we’ve included an excerpt from Potli founder Felicity Chen’s latest interview with Ophelia Chong from Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE).

>>Read more for an astrological explanation of the Year of the Ox>>

A widely celebrated dish on Lunar New Year is dumplings. Dumplings represent abundance and good fortune, so of course enjoying them on the New Year is important! The following dumpling recipe was designed to be paired with Potli’s infused pantry items. Below the recipe you’ll find a spotlight on the Potli Co-founder and CEO, Felicity Chen, interviewed by Ophelia Chong of Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE).

Lunar New Year Dumpling Recipe by Natalie Mei Watters

Makes: 2 dozen dumplings
Serving: 6 dumplings
Serves: 4

best dumpling recipe

Dumplings are synonymous with abundance, so this recipe makes more than enough for you to enjoy and share with others. Dumplings are traditionally eaten at midnight for Chinese Families to welcome the Lunar New Year. The legend of dumplings varies from the the ancient myths that they look like ears that need to be protected from winter frostbite, to the fantasy of the shape looking like the crescent moon of the Spring Festival (the fifteen days after the new year), to more superstitious beliefs supporting that dumplings look like coin purses filled with gold.

Some customs call for a gold coin to be cooked into one of the dumplings and whoever gets that one will be blessed with luck for the year. Feel free to explore your creativity when making dumplings, as each family has a different style of filling and shaping the dough. For Taishanese (the dialect my family speaks) dumplings sound like “coming together” and are round with the pinching coming together at the top, all of this represents a family gathering and coming together. My recipe includes a lite salting of the cabbage and a bit of vinegar in with the wood ear mushrooms, as pickled dumplings are commonly eaten in Guangdong, the provenance where my ancestral village is located.

Ingredients

ingredients

For Dumpling Wrappers:

(If you are feeling crafty give it a try, if not please buy a package of pre-made dumplings)

1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour

1 cup tepid water

For Filling:

1 1/2 cup napa or Chinese cabbage (shredded)

1 tablespoon vegetable oil (like avocado or

2 teaspoon ginger (grated or minced)

1 cup shiitake mushrooms (chopped)

1/2 cup scallions or spring onions (finely sliced)

1/8 cup wood ear mushroom (soaked in water and vinegar, then chopped) – optional

1 cup baked tofu (broken into small pieces)

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry

1 tablespoon soy sauce

Salt (to taste)

For Dipping sauce (for 1 serving):

Sriracha-Orange

4 droppers or 2 teaspoons of Potli Cannabis Infused Sriracha

2 teaspoons fresh mandarin orange juice (or other citrus)

2 teaspoons maple syrup

Garnish with cilantro

Chili-Ginger

1/4 oz or 2 teaspoons Potli Cannabis Infused Chili Oil

2 teaspoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons lime juice

1/2 teaspoon finely sliced ginger

Instructions

  1. Start by making the dough for the dumplings. Place flour into a medium size bowl. Slowly add water while stirring the mixture with chopsticks. Once all the water is added and the texture of the dough is flakey, use hands to knead the dough for a few minutes. Make a ball and leave in a bowl covered with a damp towel.

dumplings dough

  1. Place shredded cabbage into a bowl and add a few pinches of salt, massage the salt into the cabbage until the cabbage wilts slightly releasing the water. Place cabbage in a sieve to drain for ten minutes while preparing other ingredients, then squeeze out excess water.
  2. Add oil to a wok on medium-high heat then add ginger, and let simmer, add mushrooms, let simmer. In a large bowl, mix pieces of baked tofu with white pepper, soy sauce and cooking wine, then add scallions, wood ear mushrooms and salted cabbage. Then add cooked mushrooms and ginger. Mix thoroughly so all the flavors meld together. Salt to taste.
  3. To make the wrappers, divide the dough ball in two, then roll each half into a log shape, use a knife to cut each half into 12 even pieces (24 total). Roll each piece into a small ball. One at a time, flatten each ball with a pin to make disks.
  4. Place a small amount of filling in the center of the wrapper and fold in half, if it doesn’t stick use a little water as a glue. If you feel creative, try making different pleats of folds in the dough. I made many that were not picture worthy but tasted great. For a better tutorial on how to fold dumplings, check out this link.

how to fold dough for dumplings

5. To pan fry one serving of dumplings, put 1 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat. Coat the bottom of each dumpling with hot oil (this will insure even browning), then place all pre-oiled dumplings into the hot pan. Move the dumplings in the pan so they don’t stick. Once the bottom is nicely golden (about 2 minutes), add hot water and cover to steam. Keep covered while you make the sauces.

6. Enjoy!

About the chef: Natalie Mei is a plant-based chef and yoga instructor who credits her approach to cooking and wellness to her Northern California upbringing and her family’s Chinese traditions. Connecting breath with body movement in alignment with mindful culinary practices are her passions – there is nothing more potent than wisely choosing how we use our bodies. 

About the founder of Potli: Dedicated to healthy living, Felicity Chen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Potli. Potli makes us more intentional about how we select our most common, everyday kitchen ingredients and speaking to the ‘maker’ in all of us. Potli expands upon Felicity’s founders’ Asian heritage and passion for functional ingredients by creating high-quality, craftsman kitchen staples for everyday use. Felicity is born and raised in California, and has also committed to sourcing delicious ingredients from her home state.

Read below for an excerpt of Felicity’s latest interview with Ophelia Chong, founder of Asian Americans for Cannabis Education (AACE)

Photo of Founder Felicity Chen with her mother operating the forklift
Photo of Founder Felicity Chen with her mother operating the forklift

What was your first experience with Cannabis? I was a ballerina for many years, and it was my Freshman year of high school, we had a sleepover at one of the dancer’s houses. Some boys dropped the weed off and we tried to make pieces out of a coke can and an apple.

Your family has been in the food industry for at least one generation (3 generations), has that influenced your selection of products? Definitely. My grandfather left China during the war and washed dishes for restaurants before learning from the chefs how to make sauces and spices in the traditional way. The way we make Sesame Oil and Sesame Paste are still using the most traditional methods. When my grandfather made his way over to the states to bring these traditional flavors, he ate Burger King for two years straight to make ends meet. My mother has the same kind of work ethic that my grandfather does. As a woman, she’s operating the warehouse and keeping the systems completely and totally organized. And naturally, I grew up eating all sorts of Chinese cuisines right in the bay area: Shanghainese, Tawainese, Canton, Hong Kong-style, Dim Sum, Dong Bei, Szechuan. I’m not even naming them all. What it taught me is that food is always essential. As humans, we have to eat so there is always business to be made when you are in the food world. I combined my two passions, the love of food and the creativity of cannabis together to bring the world Potli.

Tell us how your mother influenced you and what was the best bit of advice did she give you? If you ever have the wonderful opportunity of meeting my mother, you’ll probably feel the warmth and kindness she emulates. Everyone that meets her tells me she is the nicest person ever, and it’s true. When I told her that I was building Potli, she insisted that I promise her that I was going to help people and not hurt people. And when I told her that by building Potli, we are trying to make people feel better with the foods they eat, a lightbulb turned on for her.

Your recipes for your products are very familiar to Asians, how do you explain them to non-Asians? I would just say to try it. If you like it you like it. If you don’t no worries, more for me!

Licenses: Potli, CDPH-10002242

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