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Yuanxiao Dumplings - Chinese Dumpling Recipe

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Chinese dumplings are a popular treat during the Chinese New Year season. Sticky rice (glutinous rice) flour and black sesame powder are available at Asian markets. If you can't find the black sesame powder, just grind black sesame seeds in a food processor.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes


  • 4 1/2 cups (500 g) sticky rice flour
  • 7oz. (200 g) butter
  • 7 oz (200 g) black sesame powder
  • 8 oz (250 g) sugar
  • 1 tsp wine
  • Water, as needed*


Mix the butter with sesame powder, sugar, and wine. (You need to heat the mixture a little bit). Make into small balls, using approximately 1 level teaspoon each and rolling into small balls with your hands.

Place the glutinous rice flour in a large mixing bowl. Add the water, a small amount at a time, working and shaping the dough until it has a texture similar to playdough – not too soft but smooth and easy to manipulate. (Note: Glutinous rice flour can be a bit tricky to work with – at first it looks too dry and the next thing you know the dough is sticking to your hands because you’ve added too much water. If that happens, add a bit more glutinous rice flour. On the other hand, if the dough is too dry, add more water, a small amount at a time).
Pinch off a piece of dough approximately the size of a golf ball. Roll the dough into a ball. Use your thumb to make a deep indentation in the dough, place a sesame ball into the hole and close it up. It is important to make sure the sesame ball is completely covered with the dough. Continue with the remainder of the dough.

Cook the dumplings in boiled water. Make sure to keep stirring in one direction while cooking. When they float on the water, continue to boil for about one minute using less heat.

*The amount of water needed can vary quite a bit depending on the the humidity level where you live and the age of the flour. This recipe is reprinted with permission of Jun Shan, former About.com Guide to Chinese Culture. The recipe directions have been revised by Rhonda Parkinson.

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