The Art of Dumplings: YAP Cooks Up a Storm for AAPI Month

By Amanda Moses

Chī hǎo hē hǎo in Chinese translates to “Eat Well,” which is exactly what members of the Young Adults Program (YAP) did on May 1st when they learned how to make dumplings during a workshop with the Sylvia Center in the Brooklyn Sports Club (BSC).

In honor of May being Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, members learned how to cook Crescent Dumplings with the Sylvia Center, an organization that works to educate young people on the correlation between food and health, empowering them to lead healthier lives.

Dumplings are a culturally significant dish in Chinese culture because it symbolizes wealth and prosperity. While many Asian countries serve dumplings, in China it is particularly important to serve during celebrations, signifying hope since it was made with easily accessible ingredients in times when food was scarce.

Additionally, the art of making dumplings is a historic tradition in which family members gather to roll up the tiny dough balls and stuff them with meat or cabbage.

Members of YAP learned how to make Crescent Moon Dumplings using: soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, oil, garlic, ginger, scallions, shiitake mushrooms, tofu, carrots, spinach, cilantro leaves, and flour.

Crescent Moon Dumplings

Makes 60 pieces

Serves 8-10


1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of soy sauce

1 tablespoon of honey

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

2 teaspoons of toasted sesame oil

2 tablespoons of oil

1 large garlic clove, peeled and thinly sliced

1 ounce of fresh ginger, minced

4 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced

12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps finely chopped

2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded

1 pounds of firm tofu, drained

1 large bunch of spinach (or 1 bag baby spinach leaves), minced

1 cup of cilantro leaves

1 cup of all-purpose flour

60 fresh round dumpling wrappers


1. In a small bowl, mix together 1 cup of soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar and sesame oil. Set the

dipping sauce aside.

2. In a skillet over high heat, add the oil and stir-fry the garlic, scallion, ginger, and mushroom.

After lightly golden, 2-3 minutes, add the carrots, tofu and spinach. Cook a few minutes

more. Remove from heat and drain any excess liquid from the filling mixture. Add chopped


3. Put water in a small bowl. Dust a plate with all-purpose flour. Put a wrapper on the palm of

one hand. Dip your opposite pointer finger in the water and run it across the outer 1/2-inch

edge of the wrapper. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper and fold

the wrapper into a half-moon, pressing the wet edges together to seal. Place the dumpling

on the plate. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

4. To cook, steam over boiling water for 5-6 minutes. Alternately, you can pan fry the

dumplings: heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a large skillet. Place the dumplings in the skillet and

cook 3-4 minutes until browned on one side. Carefully add 1 cup of water and cover. Steam

until cooked through. Serve warm with dipping sauce on the side

Chī hǎo hē hǎo!

Amanda Moses