Please refer to our DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
We love Chinese food at our house. However, it seems like since we moved away from the D.C. metro area years ago, we haven’t been able to find Chinese food that we absolutely love. (Sad trombone sound.)
While studying Chinese New Year, we decided that our food pairing with the book we read would be Chinese dumplings — or pot stickers.
Potstickers vs Dumplings
Dumplings and pot stickers are very similar and the terms are often used interchangeably. However, dumplings are boiled while pot stickers are quickly pan fried. With pot stickers, you fry them in a little oil for a few minutes and then pour water in the pan and place the lid on the pan and let the pot stickers finish steam cooking for a few more minutes.
[bctt tweet=”Pot stickers get their name because they lightly stick to the pan. #recipes #LilCooksRead #cooking #ChineseNewYear” username=”lilcooksreading”]
For our studies, we read Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Chinese New Year: With Fireworks, Dragons, and Lanterns by Carolyn Otto. The book is a factual account of the different traditions that encompass the Chinese New Year including the significance of colors, different foods served, the parades and other festivities and activities–some that kids will recognize as close to some of our celebrations in America!
We enjoyed the book and the photographs were amazing. However, the book read a little dry and educational. I think it could’ve been an excellent story if it had been narrated by a Chinese child who took us through all the traditions in his/her country and home. You can also try Chinese New Year with Nathaniel: Learn about the Chinese New Year.
How to Make and Fold Chinese Pot Stickers
Our pot stickers were so yummy, but they weren’t the prettiest dumplings around. We didn’t realize how difficult the process of folding and creasing the dumplings was until we made them! We wanted the pretty folded back and forth creased ones–the hardest ones, of course! (I have a new-found respect for those restaurants that make them to order now!) Since we’ll be making these again, I might even order the dumpling press.
To get a general idea of the process, I recommend watching this video first and then making our recipe after. This video gives you several options of how to fold them.
Chinese Pot Stickers (Dumplings) Recipe
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon chopped chives
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
- 1 pound ground pork
QUICK COOKING TIP: We couldn’t find ground pork at our store, so we used mild pork sausage and it tasted just fine.You can also make them vegetarian or with ground chicken or turkey.
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 Tablespoons chives, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 Tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
- 50 dumpling or wonton wrappers (round, if you can find them)
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 quart of water
[bctt tweet=”Jiaozi, a kind of Chinese dumpling, are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year. #recipes #ChineseNewYear #LilCooksReading” username=”lilcooksreading”]
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- Mix pork, garlic, egg, 2 Tablespoons chives, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger in a large bowl. Stir until combined.
- Place a dumpling wrapper on a lightly floured surface. Spoon about 1/2 Tablespoon of filling not the middle of the wrapper.
- Wet one edge of the wrapper with your finger.
- Fold the dry side of the wrapper over the filling and press into the wet side, crimping and folding together to form small pleats and seal the dumpling.
- Repeat the process until all the dumplings have been filled.
- Heat 2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil in a pan with a lid.
- Place enough dumplings in pan to cover bottom. Cook until brown on both sides, about 2-3 minutes each side.
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pan over the dumplings and immediately cover with the lid. Cook until the dumplings are tender and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
- Repeat process to cook remaining dumplings.
- Cool slightly and serve with soy sauce mixture for dipping.
Other Chinese New Year Books for Kids
(affiliate links are used in this post)