the appetizer:

Chinese cooking, like most of Asia, focuses first on a starch like rice or noodles, then adds an accompaniment of meat or seafood, rather than meat first, starch and vegetables second, as found in European-influenced cuisines. Recipes in China are as diverse as the language, with its 80,000 characters, and Chinese immigrants have brought this complex culinary heritage to almost every region of the world.

Global Destinations


Golden Meat-Filled Coins

by Martin Yan

Makes 18

Talk about a quick way to make some dough! Round, golden and full of flavor, these pan-fried dumplings with a rich meat filling symbolize wholeness and good fortune.

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup boiling water
1/3 cup cold water

1/2 pound lean ground chicken, beef, or pork
3 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/4 cup chicken broth
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster flavored sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
4 tablespoons cooking oil


1. Place flour in a bowl. Add boiling water, stirring with chopsticks or a fork. Gradually stir in cold water, mixing until dough holds together. On a lightly floured board, knead dough until smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.

2. Combine filling ingredients in a bowl; mix well.

3. On a lightly floured board, roll dough into a cylinder, then cut into 18 portions. To make each coin, roll a portion of dough into a 3-1/2-inch circle about 1/2-inch thick; keep remaining dough covered to prevent drying.

4. Place a rounded tablespoon of filling in center of dough. Gather edges of dough around filling; pinch to seal. Roll filled dough into a ball; flatten with the palm of your hand until 1/2-inch thick.

5. Place a wide frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons oil, swirling to coat sides. Add coins, half at a time, and cook until golden brown on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Reprinted by permission from Martin Yan's Culinary Journey Through China by Martin Yan (KQED Books).


Chinese Cuisines and Customs

Chinese and Lunar New Year Handbook

from Kate's Global Kitchen:

Chinese Cookbooks

Chinese Recipes


China on Wikipedia

Hong Kong on Global Gourmet's Destinations

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This page modified January 2007