Chinese New Year Special by Joy Mao

Chinese New Year is my favorite holiday of all time. In Shanghai where I grew up, Chinese New Year’s Eve seemed to be the only night the city didn’t sleep, possibly because the fireworks made it impossible to.

It was the one time of year when everyone went home to their families to gather over endless platters of food. Adults reveled in their much-needed vacation time, and children looked forward to receiving their hong baos (red envelopes) containing that year’s allowance. You started eating around 11am, and started pulling out the fireworks at 11pm.

I remember clearly that during those 12 hours of eating and drinking, many things came in and out of our kitchen, but one thing never stopped—the dumplings.

Even though I’ve been living in the United States for nearly 6 years now, I still crave dumplings at this time every year. To me, they symbolize family, fortune, and good cheer—and I make them every year for the new family I’ve found here. <3

Mao Family Pork-Cabbage Dumplings (serves 4)

STEP 1: Prep ingredients

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STEP 2: Fold the dumplings

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STEP 3: Simmer dumplings until they’ve been floating for ~3 minutes, enjoy with your choice of dipping sauce and bai jiu
Gong xi fa cai!