Watch CBS News

Cooking Corner: Chinese New Year Recipes

Follow KDKA-TV: Facebook | Twitter

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- This week, Market District Chef Crystal Baldwin stops by the Pittsburgh Today Live kitchen with recipes to celebrate the Chinese New Year, "The Year of the Pig."

Lion's Head Meatballs
(Compliments of Chef Crystal A. Baldwin)

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour


  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1⁄2 cup water chestnuts, minced
  • 1 bunch scallions, minced
  • 2 tsp ginger, minced and divided
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce, divided
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 tbsp peanut or canola oil
  • 1 head Napa cabbage, cut into 2-inch pieces, reserve 4 whole leaves
    10 shitake mushrooms, stems removed and sliced thinly
  • 2 cups unsalted chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth


  1. In a bowl, combine pork, water chestnuts, scallions, 1 tsp ginger, garlic, rice wine, salt, sesame oil and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Mix until evenly incorporated. Divide mixture evenly into 4 meatballs; dust lightly with the cornstarch.
  2. Heat 2 ½ tablespoons of oil in a wok or pan over high heat. Add the meatballs and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe the wok out and add the remaining oil. Add the 2-inch pieces of Napa cabbage, shitake mushrooms and remaining ginger; stir-fry until just tender crisp, approximately 4 minutes.
  3. Place the cooked cabbage mixture in a Dutch oven or heavy bottom pot. Pour remaining soy sauce and chicken stock over the cabbage; arrange meatballs evenly on top of cabbage. Place the reserve cabbage leaves over the meatballs. Bring to a simmer; cook over medium low heat, covered, for 45 minutes.

Laughing Donut Holes
(Compliments of Chef Crystal A. Baldwin)

Makes: 40
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 ¼ cups flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp lard
  • 4 tbsp water
  • 1 cup white sesame seeds
  • 6 cups canola oil


  1. Mix the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a bowl. Make a well in the center and add the salt, sugar, egg, lard and water. Gently mix to form a dough. Fold the dough in half for 2 minutes, press down gently with your hands each time you fold the dough (do not knead the dough vigorously.)
  2. Cut the dough into pieces about the size of a small marble. Roll each piece into a ball, moisten with a little water and roll them in the sesame seeds. Roll each dough ball again to press the sesame seeds into the dough.
  3. Heat the oil in a wok or pot to 300°F. Fry the dough balls in batches for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the donuts have "split open" and are golden brown. Remove the donuts and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Stir-fried Shanghai Style Noodles
(Compliments of Chef Crystal A. Baldwin)

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes


  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 lb Udon noodles
  • 2 ½ tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 ½ tsp soy sauce
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 1 baby bok choy, washed and trimmed
  • ½ tsp sesame oil


  1. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a wok or large skillet (frying pan) over medium heat, add the mushrooms, and stir-fry for 2 minutes until cooked through. Put in the drained noodles and stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the bok choy sugar and soy sauces. Stir-fry for 2 minutes until well combined. Stir in the sesame oil and serve.

Note: Marinated Pork or Chicken can be added to the dish.

  • 4 oz lean pork (tenderloin or loin) or chicken
  • ½ tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • ¾ tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp rice wine or sherry
  • Mix together and let marinate for 5-10 minutes. Stir-fry in the wok with the oil until cooked through before proceeding with the rest of the ingredients in the directions.

Steamed Pork Buns (Char Sui Bao)
(Compliments of Chef Crystal A. Baldwin)

Makes: 12
Prep Time: 2 hours (not including 6 hour marinating time)
Cook Time: 40 minutes


  • Dough
  • 1⁄2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 1⁄4 cups flour
  • 3⁄4 cup cornstarch
  • 1⁄4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp lard
  • Filling
  • 1lb pork tenderloin, well trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ asp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 3 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 2 tbsp honey, divided
  • 1 ½ tbsp rice wine or dry sherry
  • 4 ½ tbsp soy sauce, divided
  • 2 tsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 each scallions, thinly sliced
  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • Steaming Liquid
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 inch piece of ginger, sliced
  • 1 tsp white vinegar


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the garlic, five-spice powder, hoisin sauce, 1 ½ tbsp honey, rice wine, 3 tbsp soy sauce, dark soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside 1/3 of the marinade; cover and refrigerate. Add the pork to the remainder and coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight. Remove the pork and reserved marinade from the refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking. Preheat oven to 475°F. Put the pork on a rack over a parchment lined sheet tray
  2. Roast, basting with the reserved marinade every 10 minutes until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145°F and is slightly charred, approximately 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  3. Let rest for 15 minutes then dice and set aside. In a pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the scallions and cook for 1 minute. Add the pork, remaining soy and oyster sauces and honey; bring to a simmer. Mix the cornstarch with 3tbsp of water and whisk into the pork; cook until the sauce thickens. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the yeast and 1 cup warm water. Set aside until small bubbles begin to form, about 10 minutes.
  5. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture and lard to the yeast mixture and mix until smooth and elastic about 15 minutes. Let rest at least 10 minutes.
  6. Divide the dough into 12 even pieces. Divide into equal sized balls and cover those not working with. Roll each ball into a 5 inch circle and place scant 1/4 cup filling in center of dough circle.
  7. Bring up sides to cover filling and meet on top. Pinch and seal closed. Cover and let rest 1 hour.
  8. Arrange buns seam side up, 1 inch apart in a bamboo steamer. Add water, ginger and vinegar, into a flat-bottomed wok or large, high-sided skillet. Place steamer in pan; steam 12 minutes or until puffed and not sticky. Remove from steamer and serve.
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.