Lunar New Year Menu

31 January 2024

It is always fun to incorporate other cultures into your dining habits.  So, instead of going to your favorite Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, or other Asian restaurant during the lunar new year celebration period, fix some items in your very own kitchen.  You might need to patronize a specialty grocery store, but it will be worth the trip.

Lunar New Year Dumplings

These tasty bites symbolize longevity and wealth.  We have included the recipe for the wrappers, but you can save some effort if you buy the pre-made ones at the grocery store.




  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • cornstarch, for dusting


  • 3 cups napa cabbage, coarsely chopped, plus whole leaves to line steamer basket
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 6 tablespoons scallions, finely chopped
  • 6 tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic, finely minced or pressed
  • ¾ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • ¾ teaspoon sesame oil

Dipping Sauce:

  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons scallions, whites only, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon toasted sesame seeds



  • For the wrappers, combine flour and salt in a large, heatproof bowl. Constantly stir with a fork while pouring the boiling water into the mixture until dough begins to form.  Knead in bowl until flour absorbs all the water.  Form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth, and allow to rest for at least 1 and up to 2 hours.
  • Meanwhile, chop cabbage finely. Place in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze to remove any excess liquid.  Place dry cabbage in a bowl.  Add pork, scallions, chives, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and sesame oil.  Mix to combine well.  Cover and chill until ready to cook.
  • Lightly dust two baking sheets with cornstarch and set aside.
  • Divide wrapper dough into four even portions. Working one portion at a time and keeping the remaining dough covered, knead until smooth.  Form a 10-inch rope about ¾ inch thick.  Cut into 10 inch-long pieces.  Working a single piece at a time, and keeping the remaining covered, form a ball.  Place the ball on a flat surface and using the bottom of a glass or cup, flatten into a circle.  Lightly dust both sides with flour and roll into a 3 ½ inch circle.  Repeat until all dough is formed.
  • Spoon 2 teaspoons of meat filling into the center of each wrapper. Holding the wrapper flat in your hand, lightly wet edges with water.  Fold in half to make a half moon shape.  Press out air and seal dumpling by using the thumb and index finger of opposite hand to pinch and seal the edge.  Place on prepared baking sheet.  Cover with damp paper towel until all dumplings are made and on the sheet.
  • In a wide pot, place 1 inch of water. Bring water to a boil.  Line bottoms of stackable bamboo steamer baskets with cabbage leaves.  Arrange dumplings in a single layer in each basket.  Stack and cover steamer.  Place in pot but be sure boiling water does not touch the bottom of the steamer.  Reduce heat and steam until wrappers are glossy and translucent.
  • While dumplings are steaming, prepare sauce. Stir together all ingredients in a small bowl and garnish with chives and chile oil, if desired.

Longevity Noodles

Long noodles symbolize a long life and are frequently included in the celebratory meals.



  • 12 shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 pound linguine, cooked
  • 4 tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 3 scallions, cut into ½ inch slices, divided
  • 1 pound pork loin, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into strips
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 8 leaves napa cabbage, cut into strips
  • 3 tablespoons chives or garlic chives, chopped



  • Soak mushrooms in 2 cups hot water and set aside.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil; salt; add noodles, and return to a boil. As soon as water boils, add 1 cup cold water; return to a boil.  As soon as water boils a second time, add 1 cup cold water. When it returns to a boil, drain and rinse noodles with cold water and set aside.
  • Drain mushrooms, slice thinly, and set aside.
  • In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil. In about 1 or 2 minute intervals, add, season if necessary, and saute:  half the scallions and cook until bright green and wilted; pork and soy sauce; carrots; bean sprouts; mushrooms; cabbage cook until wilted.  Remove pan from heat.
  • In a separate saute pan, heat the remaining oil. Add chives and remaining scallions.  Saute until wilted and season to taste.  Add liquid from pan of cabbage and pork.  Add cooked noodles and stir to warm and coat well.  Add cabbage and pork mixture and mix well to combine.


Snow White Cookies

This features pandan, a tropical plant that provides vanilla and citrus tones.  You should be able to find it in the Asian aisle of a large grocery store or in a specialty shop.  You could also approximate it with matcha tea and some form of vanilla paste or extract.



  • 3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup cornstarch
  • ¾ cup powdered milk
  • 1 ¾ cup butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, divided, plus more for dusting
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon pandan flavoring



  • Sift together flour, cornstarch, and powdered milk and set aside.
  • Beat together butter and 1 cup powdered sugar until soft and fluffy. Add egg yolks and beat until well combined.  Add pandan flavoring and beat until evenly combined.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to wet until you have a shaggy dough. Do not knead but you may need to use your fingers to fully incorporate dry ingredients.  Divide into two separate balls; wrap each in plastic; chill for 30 minutes.
  • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
  • Unwrap dough ball and form balls of about 1 ½ inch each. Bake in an oven preheated to 350 until light golden brown or about 25 to 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and dust with powdered sugar. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes.
  • Place remaining powdered sugar in a bowl and roll cookies in the sugar. Allow to stand at least 15 minutes and up to 4 hours.  Generously dust with more powdered sugar.
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