Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Dumplings shaped like half moons star in a menu inspired by the tasty traditions – and midwinter optimism – of lunar new year celebrations.

December 6, 2023 | | Recipes

“Dumplings are a quintessential Lunar New Year dish,” says Elaine. “Sometimes my mom would host gatherings with the extended family, and she would ask guests to come early to make dumplings together, so it’s very interactive (and informal), and a fun family bonding activity. It’s also very easy on the hosts because all they have to do is to prepare the fillings ahead of time. The short cooking time also helps.”

This recipe appeared in our Winter 2023 article, A Feast to Ring in the Year of the Dragon, which featured three Chinese recipes, prepared by our photographer Elaine Li of Crave and Capture.



Pork + Cabbage Dumplings

Recipe submitted by: Elaine Li | Crave and Capture ( Visit Website )


Makes 50-55 dumplings

Prep Time

30 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes


  • 4 cups thinly sliced napa cabbage
  • 2 tsp kosher salt (to salt the cabbage)
  • 1 lb ground pork (or ground chicken)
  • ¼ cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, and diced
  • ⅓ cup cilantro, roughly chopped (about 2 stalks)
  • ⅓ cup green onions, thinly sliced (about 2 stalks)
  • 2½ tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • ½ tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • 1 lb (50–55 pcs) store-bought dumpling wrappers


  1. In a large bowl, combine thinly sliced napa cabbage and kosher salt and let sit for 10 minutes to drain excess water. Rinse salted cabbage in cold water and squeeze out the liquid as best as you can.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for the filling, including the cabbage from the previous step. Mix until the filling is fully combined and a little sticky.
  3. Have a small bowl of water nearby. To assemble, put a dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand and place about 1 tbsp of filling in the centre of the wrapper. To keep the dumpling wrappers moist, cover with a clean kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Use your index finger to dab a little water along the rim of the wrapper to help with sealing, and fold the wrapper over to form a half-moon shape. Then pinch and fold the edges until well sealed.
  4. TO STEAM: Place dumplings in a steamer basket lined with parchment paper over boiling water and steam for 8 to 10 minutes over medium-high heat.
  5. TO PAN FRY: Place a little vegetable oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat until the oil just starts to smoke. Place the dumplings in the pan, flat side down, and sear until a lightly golden-brown crust forms on the bottom of the dumplings, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add enough water to fill the pan about a half-inch deep, cover with a tight-fitting lid and steam until the water is almost cooked off, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to sear the dumplings until the water has completely steamed off and the bottoms of the dumplings are crispy and slide easily around the pan.
  6. TO BOIL: Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat, place the dumplings in the pot, bring the water back to a boil, and boil for about 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking.
  7. PRO TIPS: If using other vegetables high in moisture for the fillings, salt them in the same way as the cabbage to draw out excess moisture before mixing with other ingredients. If using hardier vegetables, such as carrots and leeks, soften them first by lightly sautéing.
  8. Freshly made dumplings freeze well. Layer with parchment paper to avoid sticking. When cooking, add about 5 more minutes than when cooking from fresh.

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