Learning How to Make Traditional Chinese Dumplings with CAPA Shanghai

Aug 15, 2019 10:40:00 AM / by Absa Samba

Making Chinese dumplings from scratch in Shanghai? Definitely an item that's crossed off on Absa's bucket list! Here's a story of how 18 Champlain College students got involved in this cultural activity and learned how to make dumplings. Want to make some of your own? Absa shares more details on the recipe in this post.

One of the things I hoped to accomplish coming to Shanghai is learning how to make traditional Chinese dumplings. Doing this activity with CAPA is definitely one of the highlights of my time in Shanghai.

When I made my interest known to the CAPA staff, Colin Speakman and Carol Ma, the Shanghai Director and Program Manager respectively, they offered to be a part of it. The CAPA office organized and paid for the activity. They coordinated a dumpling making event for all 18 of us Champlain College students on our custom CAPA Shanghai Internship program. It was an activity that also coincided with the CAPA farewell dinner. I cannot thank them enough for their kindness and support throughout this program!

We made dumplings which were served at the Farewell dinner. The dumplings were very tasty and I enjoyed them.

Me trying the dumplingI'm trying the dumplings we made!

We gathered at the Vienna International Hotel in Shanghai at 6:40pm to make dumplings called Jiǎozi. The activity was both exciting and educating as Carol cheerfully coached us on how to make the dumplings. I can’t wait to recreate it when I am back to the US and share it with my family.

CAPA Shanghai's Program Manager teaching students how to make dumplingsCarol Ma, CAPA Shanghai's Program Manager teaching students how to make dumplings.

We made two different dumpling options: boiled beef and vegetarian dumplings. In total our group made 70 tiny dumplings. Here is the recipe to try and how to cook boiled beef and vegetarian dumplings before getting to Shanghai.

What you’ll need:

Ingredients for Beef and Vegetarian DumplingIngredients for the beef and vegetarian dumplings.

1. Beef Filling: ground beef, onion, and salt
2. Vegetarian Filling: mushroom, eggs, chopped carrots, and salt
3. Dough: salt, flour, and water

Preparation steps:

For beef dumplings: 200g beef or ground beef and 50g tiny slice onions blended with 2tsp of salt.

For vegetarian Dumplings: 10g mushroom, 100g carrot, 100g egg (2 eggs) slice into tiny pieces and mixed together with 1tsp of salt.

A mix of Carrots, Eggs, Mushrooms and Salt for vegetarian dumplingsA mix of carrots, eggs, mushrooms, and salt for vegetarian dumplings.

Make your dough softly and to your preferred size of dumplings by blending the 2 cups of flour, 2tsp of salt, and 3oz of water. Put into small ball like sizes and then spread open to put the filling.

Me learning to lock dumplingsI'm learning how to lock the dumplings here.

Put in the appropriate amount of filling on the dough and lock it. Check these simple and detailed steps on how to lock your dumplings to avoid the fillings leaking (a.k.a. how to protect that tasty juice) here.

Dumplings made by students, pretty good job for first-timersDumplings made by us students. Pretty good job for first-timers.

Now bring water to boil in a cooking pan.

Dumplings getting boiledDumplings getting boiled.

Put the dumplings in boiling water in the cooking pan and cook for 8 to 10 minutes. Your dumplings are ready to serve.

Boiled DumplingsBoiled dumplings.

MJ trying the dumpling
MJ trying the dumplings as well.

I want to give credit to CAPA’s Colin Speakman for helping with taking some of the photos for this blog.

Thanks, Absa!

Absa Samba


Absa Samba is an official CAPA blogger for summer 2019, sharing her story in recurring posts on CAPA World. A Social Work major at Champlain College, she is studying abroad in Shanghai on a custom program with CAPA and Champlain College this semester.

Absa's journey continues all semester so stay tuned.

Learn More about the CAPA Shanghai Program

Topics: Shanghai, China, Local Culture