chinese food/dinner/meat/noodles/recipes

Lucky Chinese New Year Dumplings and Noodles

Posted February 17, 2015 by Stephanie
spicy wonton and noodles recipe -

spicy wonton and noodles recipe -

spicy wonton and noodles recipe -

spicy wonton and noodles recipe -

spicy wonton and noodles recipe -

spicy wonton and noodles recipe -

Tomorrow is Chinese New Year Eve and even though I’m coming down with a cold, I’m still going to be putting on my favorite red sweater (okay, my only red sweater) and eating up ALL the delicious foodstuffs. Chinese people are a superstitious bunch, so I’m going to do my best and pretend that I’m not sick at all.

There are so, so many Chinese New Year’s superstitions – here’s a short list if you want to follow along and get some extra luck in the Year of the Sheep.

Family dinner: On Chinese New Year’s Eve (this year on Wednesday, the 18th) you absolutely must have dinner with your family. Usually, it’s a big reunion dinner where people travel to their parents house for a giant feast. Luckily, I live in the same city as my parents, so it’s super convenient.

Lucky food: There are a TON of lucky foods that you can eat, but my favorites are: noodles for long life, dumplings for wealth (because they’re kind of shaped like gold ingots), and whole fish for abundance.

The color red: Red is super lucky – it represents joy and also happens to kind of sound like the word prosperous so most people decorate with red (and gold) and also wear something red on New Year’s. Bonus points if your entire outfit is new on New Year’s Day!

Cleaning: Do a big clean before New Year’s and you’ll be sweeping out anything negative that happened in the past year and your house will be spic and span to welcome in the New Year. But, don’t forget that you’re not supposed to clean on New Year’s Day or you’ll sweep away all of your freshly gotten luck.

I could go on and on, but truthfully, I’m not that superstitious. When I was a kid, my favorite part of CNY, aside from the lucky red envelopes stuffed with money, was the food, of course. I made these quick and easy beef wontons so you guys can have a little Chinese New Year celebration too, if you want. Even if you aren’t celebrating anything, these wontons are super delicious.

It’s the first time I’ve made wontons with beef (usually they’re made with pork and shrimp and I’ve also made them with chicken and turkey) and I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed the texture contrasts: the silky smooth wonton skins and the satisfying bite of the beef. Even if you don’t make the wonton, make the chili oil. It’s spicy, a touch sweet and incredibly addictive when tossed with noodles.

Beef Wontons with Spicy Chili Oil and Noodles Recipe
serves 4

Spicy Chili Oil

  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons black vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-2 teaspoons sugar

Beef Wonton

  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced ginger
  • 1/4 cup wood ear mushrooms, re-hydrated and roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • fresh wonton wrappers, as needed

To serve:

  • noodles of choice, cooked according to the package and drained well
  • sliced green onions
  • chopped cilantro
  • toasted sesame seeds

Make the spicy chili oil by mixing together all of the ingredients. Taste and adjust if needed. Set aside.

In a bowl, mix together the ground beef, garlic, ginger, wood ear mushrooms, green onions, cilantro, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Take a wonton wrapper and place 1 tablespoon of the meat filling in the middle. Dab a tiny smudge of water on the wrapper corners to ensure it seals properly. Bring one corner of the wrapper to the other corner to form a triangle. Fold in the other two corners and pinch to seal. Alternatively, just wet the edges of the wrapper and bring together and pinch into a small pouch.

Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium high heat then add in your wonton. Stir gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Once the wontons float to the top, and the water comes back to a boil, they should be cooked, about 5-8 minutes. (Cut one open to check). Drain well and toss in half of the spicy chili oil.

While the wontons are cooking, bring a pot of water to boil for your noodles. Cook them according to the package, drain and toss in the remaining spicy chili oil.

Serve the noodles and wontons together and top with sliced green onions, cilantro and toasted sesame seeds. Enjoy hot!

 In this post: cast iron pan // serving dish

spicy wonton and noodles recipe -
spicy wonton and noodles recipe -


  1. cynthia says:

    I love love love this post, Steph!!! All the traditions made me so nostalgic :D and oh my goodness, these WONTONS. That chili oil is making me drool… So perfect for LNY!! Happy new year, Steph (and bah, hope you feel better soon!!)

  2. Alana says:

    YUM!!! My favorite thing about Chinese New Year is hands down the food and friends and family part. Mainly the food though. :) Speaking of traditions, you’ve inspired me to do some major cleaning!!

    Hope you feel better soon–rest up, lots of liquids, and definitely these spicy dumplings and noodles!!!!

  3. I confess that I know nothing about the Chinese new year so you article is very informative. And with beautiful food pictures to go along with it, who can complain!

  4. This has my mouth watering! Looks absolutely amazing! I’ll definitely be having a go at this recipe!


  5. Holy cow, these look amazing! Happy New Year!

  6. Marcella says:

    I know this post is about dumplings but I’m going to be day dreaming about those pan fried noodles ALL DAMN WEEK. Thanks for the food porn xx

  7. Toni says:

    This looks awesome. <3

  8. I love celebrating CNY! And I would love it even more with these dumplings and noodles! I have to say, that I normally follow ALL of the superstitious practices when it comes to New Year’s. In the South, we eat greens, black eyed peas, etc. This year was the only year I ignored all of those rules. It’s only February, but I think I can say it’s the best year ever. Maybe there’s something to it? Not sure. I think I’ll celebrate CNY instead ;)
    Do I really have to say how GORGEOUS these photos are? I can almost smell the food from here!

  9. Stephanie Happy CNY! I am missing my authentic Chinese dishes too. Wonton equals love! The ribbons of ribbons laced with chilli oil and a side of fresh bright green is comfort. Thank you for shairng!

  10. Fam says:

    Looks fabulous, girl!

  11. Happy New Year! Dumplings are my favorite. This is the perfect way to celebrate.

  12. Ashley says:

    Oh lady, I love everything about this recipe!

  13. Simone says:

    ahh, this looks awsome. The whole day I’m thinking about on which day I’ll try this recipe. I hope next Saturday – yes…..

  14. Angie says:

    I am crazy about dishes like this, and I am looking for new ways to use won ton wrappers. I’ll give this a try. I especially like the chili oil recipe. I am curious, what type of noodle did you use in the recipe? I have had something similar, but I can’t put my finger on the type of noodle it is.

    1. steph says:

      hi angie,

      it’s a super wide flat udon noodle – it’s not very common. if you wanted to sub pappardelle, that would work, or a wide egg noodle would work as well!

  15. Miranda Wade says:

    Definitely trying this out for our CNY, any directions for putting together the spicy oil?

    1. steph says:

      whoops! thanks for that – i fixed it. basically you just mix together all of the ingredients :)

  16. Abby says:

    This recipe looks so insanely delicious, Stephanie! And I loved reading about those superstitions. How cool! :)

  17. Happy New Years Eve! This wonton recipe looks amazing. I’ll definitely be making this often.

  18. Kristen says:

    I love your blog photos. They are eye catching, pleasing, and most definitely hunger-inducing.

    You write your posts with honesty, including your personal experiences and personality through that. Your recipes are effectively written, easy to understand and follow, and relevant to the year’s events (making them even more fun to read!).

    I also found this extremely informative for those that do not know that much about Chinese New Year! Thanks so much for your exciting posts!

  19. Cat says:

    I’m hoping you have a suggestion… my wontons fell apart and turned into complete mush. Not a one of them held together, and they’re basically a pile of goo. Any idea what went wrong? Did I boil them too long, perhaps? I’ve never made wontons before and am not sure what went awry.

    1. steph says:

      Hi Cat,

      Did you make sure to wet the wonton wrappers as you were making them to make sure they sealed together? How long did you cook them for? They shouldn’t take more than 8 minutes to cook – it’s possible that the wrappers were cooked for too long. Also, when cooking, the water shouldn’t be at a roiling boil, more like a fast simmer. Hope that helps!

  20. I would be lucky if I found a bowl of this sitting on my dining room table. The sauce is FAB.

  21. Eek! I can’t wait to make this. Though it’ll have to wait until this weekend as dinner for tonight is already in the oven. Damn! I’ll wear red and clean my apartment tonight to make up for it ;)

    I’m also in love with the photos. They’re (as always) so freaking beautiful and artsy!

  22. Gorgeous photos. Can’t wait to make this.

  23. i’m STILL recovering from an awful cold, i’m faking it today as to not start the year sick. you listed all my favorite things about the lunar new year, and these noodles. i would pretty much motorboat the bowl.

    happy year of the ram/sheep/goat!

  24. Marissa says:

    I hadn’t heard of any of those superstitions – the only ones I know have to do with stepping on cracks, walking under ladders, opening umbrellas inside and breaking mirrors. Now I get to add so many more to my list. :)

    This noodle dish is a knock out. Must try!!

  25. Melissa Leake says:

    I thought this was going to be hard to make, but it was so super easy. I really hate cooking, but this was fun! (I think because it turned out good) Thanks for sharing this!

  26. I love love love the thick rice noodles. This looks like an amazing combo.

  27. Kelly says:

    Happy CNY Stephanie! I loved this post! We always look forward to CNY every year – especially all the yummy food :) These look absolutely incredible! I love all the spicy chili oil in here!

  28. Alexandra says:

    This dish looks incredible. I’m a total sucker for any kind of wonton/dumpling/meat filled pastry, etc. Happy new year!

  29. Greyson says:

    I love Chinese food a lot as is, but my love for it only grew when I saw this delicacy. I would love to make this if I ever had the time, or more importantly, the skill.

  30. GORDIE says:

    Just made it and eating it as I type. Yeap, it’s damn good! Definitely will be making it again. Thanks for sharing this post and hope more people make these dishes rather than just commenting on how it LOOKS GOOD.

  31. This sounds so good and I am very fond of Asian foods and foods which use ingredients associated with Asian cuisine. I will have to try making this.

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