Chinese New Year Feast Part 2 – Recipes

Home Recipes Chinese New Year Feast Part 2 – Recipes

Here are the recipes for the Watercress soup, Spinach and Tofu Dumplings, and Mock Beef Dumplings from Chinese New Year Feast Part 1, along with some helpful links on dumpling making. Enjoy! I’ll write up the recipes for the delicious stir-fry rice noodles and tasty marinated beef soon… very soon.

Watercress soup


  • 2 chicken thighs
  • One bunch of watercress
  • 1 cup baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dried red dates, pitted
  • 1 tbsp goji berries/wolfberries
  • 5 cups of water


  1. Blanch chicken in boiling water for 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place water in a pot and bring to boil.
  3. Place chicken, carrots, and red dates in pot.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer for about an hour.
  5. Add watercress leaves and wolfberries.
  6. Continue letting it simmer for 20 minutes.

After preparing the soup, I transferred it into my slow cooker and let it keep warm in there before serving.

Spinach and Tofu Dumplings

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 bunch of spinach, rinsed
  • 12 oz firm tofu, diced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package of dumpling wrappers


  1. Bring a large pot of water to boil in high heat.
  2. Blanch the spinach by letting it cook for about 30-60 seconds and then remove it from the pot. Move the spinach to colander and run cool water over to stop the cooking. When the spinach is cooled, squeeze out remaining water.
  3. Chop up spinach.
  4. In a large mixing bowl, stir in the spinach, tofu, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil.
  5. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Ready to assemble dumplings! (See below – Shape the dumplings)

Mock Beef Dumplings

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 3/4 lb soy protein (I used Lightlife Smart Ground veggie protein crumbles, which was very convenient since it resembles ground meat.)
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped scallions
  • 2 1/2 tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced and crushed into a paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 tbsp water
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • 1 package of dumpling wrappers


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the soy protein crumbles, onion, scallions, ginger, and garlic.
  2. Mix well using a large spatula or your hands.
  3. Add the salt, pepper, olive oil, and water.
  4. Continue mixing for a little bit.
  5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it sit for at least 30 minutes. (I actually prepared the filling the night before and left it in the refrigerator. When I was ready to make the dumplings, I took it out and let it to go to room temperature first before wrapping.)
  6. Ready to assemble dumplings! (See below- Shape the dumplings)

The next step is to…

Shape the dumplings.

I wrapped the dumplings in three shapes, which Andrea Nguyen refers to as pea pod, big hugs, and pleated crescent in her Asian Dumplings cookbook. (Visit for more helpful tips on dumplings making.)

The pea pod is formed by folding the wrapper in half and making a series of pleats from one side to the other. The big hug is formed by holding the wrapper in half and bringing the two ends together like a “hug”. The pleated crescent is formed by folding pleats along one portion of the wrapper and pressing it against the unpleated edge.

Links to instructional videos on pea pod, big hug, and pleasted cresent.

I picked up two packages of Twin Marquis dumpling wrappers, one Shanghai style and one Hong Kong style. The spinach and tofu ones were wrapped with the white Shanghai style wrapper. The mock beef ones were wrapped in the yellow Hong Kong style wrapper.

I placed the folded dumplings on to large sheets of parchment paper, which I had lightly dusted with some all-purpose flour. This helps prevent the dumplings from sticking to each other.

These dumplings can be boiled, steamed, or pan fried. I boiled a batch of the dumplings and placed the rest in sealed containers in the freezer.

Serve with your favorite dumplings sauce!

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