A Lunar New Year Family Meal

A Lunar New Year Family Meal

Handmade by the Whole Family

From 2013 to 2018, my wife and I lived in Shanghai. It was an incredible and unforgettable experience. We were fortunate enough to travel throughout Asia and experience many different cultures. One of the most memorable experiences was found right in Shanghai in the lake town of Zhujiajiao. Our friends Alex and Cadence had a family home there, and we were invited for the Lunar New Year a few times.

This was a family event; Alex's family came together and made Jaiozi (dumplings) from scratch. Everyone gathered around the table. Some rolled the wrappers, others filled and folded, everyone had a great time. While cooking together in restaurant kitchens is the norm, we don't typically cook or prepare food together at home. Dumplings are delicious, simple, easy to adapt to any diet or taste, and are a great way to get together.

Ingredients: Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

1lb Pork Ground
0.5lb Shrimp Peeled and Deveined Small Diced or Minced
2 Tbs Ginger
1 Tbs Garlic Chives
2 Tbs Scallions
2 Tbs Soy Sauce
0.5 tsp Sesame Oil
0.5 tsp Salt
0.5 tsp Sugar
0.5 tsp Black Pepper
2 packs Dumpling wrappers, square or circle

Instructions: Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

Using a food processor, pulse the pork with the seasoning and ginger.

Fold in shrimp, ginger, scallions, and garlic chives. Take a small portion into a patty and cook-off in a nonstick pan.

Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Feel free to change or play around with the flavoring of your dumpling.

Here's the fun part: no stress using water to seal; just start with a small amount of filling and go for it. From folding in half to fanning one side, play around and see what works! Just make sure there aren't any holes and they are sealed tight. Next, place dumplings on a tray lined with parchment and dusted with cornstarch as you fold them.

Cook them in batches in boiling water and serve with julienne ginger soy sauce and black vinegar.

Ingredients: Scallion Noodle
Adapted from Alex Xu's Scallion Noodle recipe
1 pack Shanghai noodle
250 g Scallion Greens
250 g Neutral Oil ie, Canola
125 g Dark Soy
50 g Light Soy
50 g Black Vinegar
75 g Sugar
1 pc Star Anise
1 ea Dried Chili
10 g Ginger


Instructions: Scallion Noodle
Blanch noodles until just cooked and reserve; remember you'll need to reheat them later.

Trim the scallion greens and reserve the whites for the soy chili sauce. Cut the scallion greens in thirds about 2.5 inches in length and julienne if thick (doesn't have to be perfect).

Combine with the oil and cook on medium heat until the scallions brown but are still a bit green.

Drain the scallions from the oil and reserve both. Melt the sugar in the dark and light soy sauces with the dried chili, ginger, and star anise till aromatic and bubbling. Strain, add the vinegar and cooked scallions.

Once the scallions are coated, remove and reserve for garnish.In a nonstick pan or wok, add scallion oil, noodles, and soy reduction to your liking and heat in batches. Don't load your pan, or you'll have a greasy gloopy mess. Serve and top with the cooked scallion tops.

Ingredients: Baby Bok Choy

1lb Baby Bok Choy
2 Tbs Minced Ginger
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Tbs Cornstarch
Instructions: Baby Bok Choy

Blanch bok choy in saltwater. I blanched mine in chicken stock for more flavor; you could also use mushroom stock or veggie stock.

Reserve a half-cup after blanching. Cool till room temp and whisk in 1 tbs of corn starch. Saute ginger and garlic till fragrant and add bok choy. Once warm, add your slurried stock to your bok choy and toss till it is glazed and beautiful. Season to taste. Arrange and serve.


Ingredients: Soy Chili Sauce

0.25 cup ABC Soy
0.25 cup Soy
0.25 cup Black Vinegar
0.25 cup Chili Crunch
0.25 cup ginger minced
0.25 cup Scallion
2 Tbs Toasted Sesame Seed
2 Tbs Cilantro Chopped
Combine all and reserve.