Celebrate the Lunar New Year With Paul Taylor Dancer Christina Lynch Markham’s Homemade Dumpling Recipe
Christina Lynch Markham calls dumplings the perfect food. “You can take them to go, eat them by hand—like a PowerBar, but without all the chemicals,” says the longtime Paul Taylor Dance Company member. “I think of it as a little present: It’s just the right bite of carbs, protein and vegetables.”
Lynch Markham’s extended family typically gathers every other month to prepare a large batch together to take home and freeze. The recipe has been handed down through her Grandma Rose, who learned it from her own grandmother in Northern China. What makes it unique are the green beans in the filling. “My family really likes to experiment with different vegetables,” she says. “This isn’t what you’d normally get at a Chinese restaurant.”
(Makes approximately 40 dumplings)
For the filling:
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 tbsp minced scallion
- 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
- 2 tbsps rice wine vinegar
- 2 tbsps dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 1/2 tbsps olive oil
- 1 1/2 tbsps sesame oil
- 2 tbsps chicken stock (or water)
- 16 oz green beans, boiled and minced
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the wraps (if making from scratch):
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- pinch of salt
- 1 1/4 cup room-temperature water
- Mix together all filling ingredients and stir vigorously to soften the meat. Microwave a small spoonful so you can taste it and adjust seasoning. Let marinate for at least 30 minutes. (If you’re leaving it for longer, put in the refrigerator.)
- Meanwhile, if you’re making the wraps from scratch, mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Slowly pour the water int and mix until the dough forms a ball. Knead it until it no longer sticks to your hand. It should be soft and smooth. Cover with a kitchen towel and set aside for 30 minutes.
- Sprinkle some flour on a large work surface and knead the dough again. Poke a hole through the middle and gently stretch it into a giant doughnut, about one inch wide. With a sharp knife, slice the dough into one-inch balls. Flatten each round with the palm of your hand. With a rolling pin, roll from the outside in to create a disc, approximately the size of your palm. The center of the disc should be slightly thicker than the outside rim so that it can withstand the weight of the filling.
- Spoon a teaspoon of the filling into the center of each wrap, avoiding the rim. Fold the wrap in half (like a taco), wet the edges with water and pinch together, sealing it with thumb and forefinger. Slowly crimp the edges. Do a final press of the entire edge to ensure that the filling is securely inside.
- Place dumplings on a floured surface until you’re ready to cook. (Or, you can freeze and store for up to a month.)
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the dumplings and stir gently with the back of a spoon. Work in batches if necessary. Once the water reboils, add a cup of cool water into the pot and let it come to a boil a third time.
- Strain the dumplings, and they’re ready to eat!
Dumplings can be enjoyed dipped in soy sauce, rice wine vinegar or hot chili oil (or a mixture of all three). Pan-fry leftovers in olive oil for delicious fried dumplings.