Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Celebrating Chinese New Year with Kids: Make Your Own New Year Dumplings and Enter to Win a Special Children’s Forbidden City Book!

This year, Chinese New Year starts on February 19, and we will be moving from the Year of the Horse to the Year of the Sheep. What better way to celebrate than to make your own dumplings! Dumplings, called jiaozi in Mandarin, have been popular in China for hundreds of years. They’re especially popular on Chinese New Year. The recipe below is for a traditional pork and chive filling, but the great thing about dumplings is that you can make all sorts of different fillings.

Chinese New Year Dumplings
Recipe provided by China Institute


Dumpling (jiaozi) Dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt

Pork & Chive Filling:
1 cup ground pork (can also use beef)
1 Tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
3 Tablespoon sesame oil

1/2 green onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
4 Tablespoons shredded bamboo shoots
2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced

1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced


Stir the salt into the flour. Slowly stir in the cold water, adding as much as is necessary to create a smooth dough. Don't add more water than is necessary. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. Add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine, and white pepper to the meat, stirring in one direction. Add the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction, and mix well.

Now, prepare the dough for the dumplings. First knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter to create the dumpling wrappers.

Place a portion (about 1 Tablespoon) of the filling into the middle of each dumpling wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumpling wrappers.

To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. Bring the water to a boil, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready. Drain and remove. If you want, they can be pan-fried at this point. Repeat this process for the second half of dumplings.

Post a photo of your dumplings to China Institute’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ourforbiddencity. The chef of the yummiest looking batch will receive a free copy of their We All Live in the Forbidden City books!

China Institute’s We All Live in the Forbidden City program includes children’s books and educational workshops that celebrate Chinese cultural history in ways that are accessible and fun for kids. Your family will love the following unique books!

This Is the Greatest Place!
The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals
Ages 4-9
Brian Tse, author; Alice Mak, illustrator

Rabbit is eating breakfast with his friends, Baby Squirrel, Young Porcupine, and Little Brother Panda, when an unexpected visitor arrives. He is a master builder, searching for inspiration to design a great palace for the Emperor of China. Together, Uncle Builder and the little animals explore how nature supplies us with the wonders that enrich our lives. Created by internationally renowned children’s book artists Brian Tse and Alice Mak, this book teaches children about Chinese architecture, how nature’s influence can be seen around us, and how people and animals can live together in harmony. The illustrations capture the majesty of both the natural world and the Forbidden City and are enhanced with interactive components for readers, including a gatefold spread and lift-flaps.

In the Forbidden City
Ages 9 and up
Chiu Kwong-chiu, author;
Design and Cultural Studies Workshop, design and illustrations

Serving as the seat of imperial power for six centuries, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous and enigmatic landmarks. Accompanied by a mischievous cat, readers will tour this colossal architectural structure, discovering the secrets hidden inside the palace walls. They will encounter the people who have walked through its halls and gardens, including emperors, empresses, and rebel leaders, and hear exciting tales about the power struggles and intrigues of everyday life. This large-format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous foldout spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes. Every book includes a plastic magnifying glass for looking at the drawings more closely.

Celebrate the Chinese New Year with your children this year! Find more kids’ crafts, activities and coloring pages at www.walfc.org/play/activities/.


One lucky winner will receive their choice of either This Is the Greatest Place! (ages 4-8) OR In the Forbidden City (ages 9+)! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM EST on Tuesday, February 17, 2015.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I would like to win This is The Greatest Place.

  2. I would like this is the greatest place.

  3. This is the Greatest Place is my pick!

  4. In the Forbidden City-sounds very interesting

    tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

  5. I like the book "This is the Greatest Place"

  6. I like This is the Greatest Place.

  7. I have a six year old and an 11 year old so it is a hard choice! I think I will go with the Forbidden city because it sounds like it would be interesting!

  8. In the Forbidden City please

  9. In the Forbidden City sounds very interesting. I think I would enjoy it as much as my daughter would. It would also be a great addition to our local library, where I work.

  10. This Is The Greatest Place would be my choice.

  11. I think I'd like This is the Greatest Place.

  12. I'd like to win In the Forbidden City.

  13. Anonymous4:01 PM

    I'd like This is the Greatest Place Rosanne rosans4@comcast.net

  14. In the Forbidden City.

  15. love to win the Greatest Place. thankyou, ken pohl19@comcast.net

  16. I would want the Greatest Place book for my grandson-

  17. I would like to win the Forbidden City

  18. I would like to win "This Is the Greatest Place"
    jofo120 at yahoo dot com

  19. I would love to choose "This Is the Greatest Place!"

  20. I'd like to win This is the Greatest Place.

  21. I would like the The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals

  22. We would love to read The Forbidden City. I home educate my three children and we are currently "touring" the world by "visiting" each continent for one week in immersion studies. This would be wonderful for our "trip" to Asia.

  23. I would like The Forbidden City

  24. I would share this with our eldest. She loves Japan and I think she would enjoy this book as well.

  25. this is the greatest place

  26. This Is the Greatest Place!

  27. I like This is the Greatest Place. Thank you


  28. I'd like to win “This Is the Greatest Place!”.

  29. This is the greatest place book would be perfect for my daughter

  30. I'd like This Is the Greatest Place book.

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  31. I'd choose In the Forbidden City.

  32. I like "This is the Greatest Place"

  33. My kids would love This is the Greatest Place!

  34. I would love to win This is the Greatest Place!


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