Chinese food is always delicious but especially appealing after days of leftover Christmas turkey and ham and pumpkin pie. The American tradition of savoring Chinese dishes on New Year’s Eve is said to have started years ago when many restaurants were closed on the holiday but Chinese restaurants stayed open. Whether you’re planning a party or a cozy evening for two, Chinese tradition offers a number of lucky foods to get 2019 started off right. Pick a food and make a wish. Eating whole fish brings abundance, greens such as bok choy symbolize long life for parents and seeds encourage fertility.

Order takeout from your favorite Chinese restaurant for a feast of chicken lo mein, Crab Rangoon, pork fried rice and dumplings. Or try your hand at crafting your own homemade dumplings. Rectangular dumplings symbolize money and prosperity because they resemble gold or silver ingots. Round or crescent-shaped dumplings pack luck into a small, edible gift.

This recipe from Food and Wine tells you how to make an easy five-minute dumpling dough. You can use gyoza wrappers instead of making dough from scratch.

Pork-and-Kimchi Dumplings

Active Time: 45 minutes; Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes; Yield: Makes about 4 dozen dumplings


  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3/4 cup chopped kimchi
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil


Step 1    

Put the flour in a medium bowl. Add the water in a steady stream, stirring until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth, 5 minutes. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 15 minutes.

Step 2    

In a large bowl, knead the pork with the kimchi, ginger, garlic, egg and salt.

Step 3    

Line a baking sheet with wax paper and sprinkle with flour. Quarter the dough. On a floured work surface, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll into balls; sprinkle with flour. Roll out 6 balls at a time to 3 1/2-inch rounds; brush off the excess flour. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the center of each round. Bring up the sides of the wrapper; press and pleat the edges to seal in the filling. Lift each dumpling by the pleated edge, transfer to the baking sheet and press down lightly to flatten.

Step 4    

In a nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange half of the dumplings in the skillet, pleated edge up. Cook over high heat until the bottoms are lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook until the filling is cooked through, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the bottoms are well browned, 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Cook the remaining dumplings and serve.

Make Ahead

Freeze the uncooked dumplings on a floured baking sheet. Store in a plastic bag for up to 1 month. Cook from frozen.

Serve with Dumpling Dipping Sauce


  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese chile garlic sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil


In a small bowl, whisk the soy sauce with the rice vinegar, chile-garlic sauce and sesame oil, then serve. The dipping sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Read More: For a step-by-step guide on how to make dumplings, go here, and for more Chinese good luck foods for the New Year, go here.