How To Make Top Chef Canada Competitor Felix Zhou’s Lunar New Year Dumplings

February 1, 2024

The Lunar New Year is a celebration filled with intricate traditions and old superstitions. Felix Zhou, executive chef at Grand Villa in Burnaby shares some of the customs and beliefs that he’s grown up with as well as a delicious dumpling dish that is easy to recreate at home:

For centuries, the Chinese have believed that cleaning on the first couple of days of a new year, especially sweeping on New Year’s Day, brings bad luck. Since this seems to be one of the oldest New Year’s superstitions, go ahead and skip the sweeping. I can’t say for sure if vacuuming on New Year’s Day yields the same effect.

Many believe that washing your hair on New Year’s Day can wash away your good luck for the year ahead. This superstition is rooted in the belief that the Lunar New Year is a time of renewal and that washing your hair on this day will symbolically rid you of any luck or fortune you may have accumulated in the past year.

Sweets symbolize the sweetness in life. They are an indispensable snack for the Lunar New Year. Eating sweets represents sweet occurrences or getting a sweet start to the coming year.

Families and friends gather over traditional dishes to celebrate the coming year and connect over customs that link them to their ancestors. Felix is a fan of these homemade Lunar New Year Dumplings that will easily become a favourite meal in your own home! —Vita Daily

Lunar New Year Dumplings (Serves 4-6)


For the Dough:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup water (adjust as needed)
A pinch of salt

For the Filling:

1 pound ground pork
½ pound of ground Chinese sausage
1 cup finely chopped Napa cabbage
1/2 cup finely chopped green onions
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

Dipping Sauce:

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

For the Dough:

  1. In a large bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and a pinch of salt.
  2. Gradually add water while stirring, until the dough comes together.
  3. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 5-7 minutes until it becomes smooth.
  4. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.

For the Filling:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground pork, ground Chinese sausage, chopped Napa cabbage, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, grated ginger, minced garlic, sugar, salt, and pepper.
  2. Mix the filling thoroughly until well combined. Set aside.


  1. Roll out the rested dough on a floured surface into a long cylinder.
  2. Cut the cylinder into small pieces to form individual dumpling wrappers.
  3. Roll each piece into a thin, round wrapper, about 3 inches in diameter.

Filling the Dumplings:

  1. Place a small amount of the pork filling in the center of each wrapper.
  2. Moisten the edge of the wrapper with water.
  3. Fold the wrapper in half, creating a half-moon shape, and pinch the edges to seal.


  1. Boil a large pot of water.
  2. Carefully add the dumplings to the boiling water.
  3. Cook until the dumplings float to the surface and the wrappers become translucent (usually 5-7 minutes).
  4. Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon.

For the Dipping Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and sugar.
  2. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.


  1. Arrange the dumplings on a serving platter.
  2. Garnish with chopped green onions if desired.
  3. Serve the dumplings with the dipping sauce.


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