Classic Dish for Celebrating Lunar New Year: Pork Dumplings

photo of Lunar New Year recipe: Honey Pork Dumplings


(FAMILY FEATURES) For countless cultures around the world, food is an integral part of many traditions, including the Lunar New Year recipe. Spring rolls, varieties of noodles and steamed fish represent a small portion of the dishes typically enjoyed on this occasion, yet one of the most common is dumplings.

If you’re celebrating the Lunar New Year—February 12 through the 17th—consider this sweet take on traditional fare with Honey Pork Dumplings. Tender pulled pork is braised at low heat for 4 hours to slowly soak in the flavors of carrots, onions and wildflower honey. Once finished, the pork is wrapped inside small dough balls and steamed in a wok 15 minutes for a quick, contemporary version of a symbolic recipe.

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Honey Pork Dumplings

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board

Servings: 8


  • 1 teaspoon yeast, dry active
  • 3 ounces warm water
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for dusting table, divided
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • nonstick cooking spray


  • 2-1/2 pounds pork shoulder
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced in half
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup wildflower honey
  • 1-1/2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • water
  • nonstick cooking spray


To make dumpling dough:

  1. In mixing bowl, combine yeast and water. Let stand until yeast dissolves, about 15 minutes.
  2. In stand mixer fitted with hook attachment, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder and honey with yeast. With mixer on low speed, combine yeast mixture and oil. Increase speed to medium and mix until tacky dough forms, about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn dough out onto floured work surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. Form dough into ball.
  4. Spray bowl with nonstick cooking spray and add dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rise in warm area until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.

To make honey pulled pork:

  1. Preheat oven to 275 F. Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. In hot saute pan, sear all sides of pork until brown. Transfer pork to braising pan and add carrots, onion, jalapeno, water, soy sauce, honey and rice wine vinegar. Wrap braising pan with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Braise 4 hours.
  3. Remove pork from liquid and shred.

To assemble dumplings:

  1. On sheet tray, use hands to roll approximately 1/2-inch diameter balls out of braised pork.
  2. Divide dough into eight portions. Flatten each with hands and place one pork ball in each dough ball. Bring all edges of flattened dough on top of pork balls to make dumplings. Place balls on lined sheet trays.
  3. Place bamboo steamer with 2-3 tiers in wok. Pour enough water into wok to reach just below bamboo steamer and bring to boil. Remove bamboo steamer from wok. Spray bamboo tiers or steamer insert with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Working in batches, arrange dumplings about 1 inch apart on bamboo steamer tiers. Place bamboo steamer with dumplings in wok. Cover and steam until puffed and tender, about 15 minutes.
  5. Serve immediately or store in airtight container and freeze.


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