Societal Influences on Our Views of Noodles and Health – Adrienne Liou


This paper will demonstrate how noodle culture through Italian immigration has become a staple in American diets. As decades go by, the noodle has gone from beloved to an outcast as messages about nutrition have gotten mixed up with the American fascination of fad diets. The fad diets have affected the way we see our macronutrients and have influenced us to replace the noodle with healthier alternatives that do not contain as many carbohydrates. The phases of noodles in and out in our history has proven that these fad diets are not created for our wellbeing, but are influenced by the health and wellness industries in their efforts to feed off goals of looking and feeling better. 

Final Paper:

As Regina George once asked, “Is butter a carb” (Mean Girls)? Regina George is one of the main characters from the movie Mean Girls, a satire of American teen culture in 2004. She was in the middle of her high fat, low carb diet in an attempt to lose weight. This movie illustrated one of the biggest fad diets of the late 20th and early 21st century and how society was impacting the ways we thought about food and our health. This fat-free diet came about in the mid 1970s and stuck around for decades. It was hypothesized that this diet would promote weight loss and better health overall. This was later proved to be incorrect and was replaced by a number of new fad diets.

There are three macronutrients humans need to have in their daily diets that are essential to survival: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins (Van De Walle). While Regina’s beloved butter is not a carbohydrate, it does contain mostly fats with some protein. Each person has their own view on which macronutrients are considered healthy, but all of them are necessary for our health and normal development. Foods also have varying levels of each macronutrient. For example, meats have a high content of proteins while breads and noodles are loaded with carbohydrates. All three macronutrients have distinct benefits and drawbacks to our bodies and health.

Noodles, a carbohydrate, were not always a common or popular food found on grocery shelves in the United States. It wasn’t until the late 19th century that noodles were introduced due to a large population of Italians immigrating to the United States. Pasta has shaped what and how Americans eat, and the noodle has greatly impacted our culture, our diet, and our search for the alternative.

Italians immigrated to the United States to avoid oppression, poverty, and violence. In the late 19th century, Italy was united, but the people within each province were not. Rural south Italy and Sicily were struck with disease, and the government provided little support. The chaos and violence in Southern Italy initiated this large migration of millions of people. Between the 1880s and the 1920s, over four million Italians immigrated to America (The Great Arrival). They came over to start a new, better life when they first arrived at Ellis Island. 

To begin their lives, they settled down in lower Manhattan, what is now known as Little Italy. Little Italy has some of America’s best Italian food and one of the highest Italian populations. This community allows them to preserve their language and their culture. Little Italy has continued to grow, and it is one of the few places in America that you can “get a taste of the areas once-bustling immigrant community” (McGovern). The immigrants brought their noodles with them and shared their style of food with the Americans. Noodles have now become one of the world’s most accessible foods, and almost every culture has their own version of this prevalent, beloved dish.

While noodles have many different ways of being prepared, they all share similar backgrounds and histories, whether they are formed in the shape of long noodles, dumplings, or ravioli.

 Each country has different cultures and traditions when it comes to food and diets. In Italy, it is common to eat a large portion of carbohydrates, including noodles, breads, rice, and others during their meals. Italians follow a Mediterranean diet, which includes lots of fruits and vegetables with some grainy carbohydrates. The Chinese also eat larger portions of carbohydrates, specifically rice and noodles, and less proteins. Protein is not as important in these cultures as it is in American culture. In America, carbohydrates are looked down upon, and Americans are told by the health and wellness industries to only eat lean proteins and healthy fats; however, this has not always been the case. There has been an “ever-proliferating number of diet fads” (Lavin) which have influenced the way Americans think about these three main food categories.

Over the past 60 years, there have been a tremendous amount of new popular diets. In the 1950s, people were encouraged to pray their weight away, while in the 1970s, the grapefruit diet emerged (Rocketto). People believed that eating a grapefruit with every meal would facilitate weight loss thanks to a specific enzyme in the fruit that burns fat. This is a diet that Americans have continued even now. 

The cabbage soup diet was also another popularized eating plan that included nothing but cabbage soup for a week. This diet promoted weight loss due to the low-calorie intake, but these effects are not long lasting, nor do they have much effect on body fat. Later, the cookie diet, the Scarsdale diet, and the Beverly Hills diet became popular. Eventually in the 1990s, people were encouraged to eat low-fat diets to decrease their overall body fat percentage. Fats were seen as the unhealthy macronutrient, and Americans began to cut it out of their diets. Over the years, this message has changed, and now Americans have turned on carbohydrates. This war against carbohydrates has begun a chain of fad “low-carb” or “carb-free” diets, and initiated social changes in our culture about the way we eat think about food today.

The fat-free food boom began in the 1970s when a significant number of senators were dying of heart disease, and soon researchers connected the dots between diets and diseases (Why We Got Fatter During the Fat-Free Boom). Eight United States senators died of heart disease within a period of 20 years. These senators were eating plenty of buttered foods and fatty desserts like cheesecake. Highly saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood, and this could create blockages in the bloodstream and major arteries. The theory was that fats were causing heart disease, so many people were “replacing milk and cheese and fatty meat with carbohydrates, with pasta and potatoes and rice” (Why We Got Fatter During the Fat-Free Boom). These researchers were not trying to promote unhealthy, processed carbohydrates; instead they were encouraging whole grains, fruits and vegetables as opposed to saturated fats. However, this message got lost in translation. 

Americans determined that all carbohydrates are good, and all fats are bad. Due to this mindset, the greater population turned to eating noodles and other carbohydrates, and, as a result, noodles were perceived in a different way. No more pasta with alfredo sauce because it contained too much fat, no more macaroni and cheese, and no more cream sauces. These were mainly American conventions, as Italians still followed a Mediterranean diet of “lots of fresh vegetables, salads and pulses, along with serious bread, pasta, a good deal of fresh fish and fresh and dried fruit. Meat and dairy were not absent from their diets but were treats rather than staples” (Levy). Italians have lower rates of heart disease and diabetes, and it is due to their diet. Having a balance of healthy fats such as olive oil and carbohydrates from noodles can allow us to look at feel our best. 

Americans followed suit by including more and more noodles in their diet, but they turned to tomato sauces and vegetable sauces, as these did not contain as much fat. Due to the low-fat diet, Americans began having pasta that contained more proteins and carbohydrates. Some examples are pasta bolognese and spaghetti and meatballs. Bolognese sauce is made with ground beef and tomatoes. This sauce originates in Bologna, Italy, and it has become very popular throughout the United States.

When Americans began to implement these low-fat foods into their diets, fat free and low-fat pasta sauces hit the supermarket shelves. These alternatives caught consumers’ attention thanks to marketing campaigns promoting healthier lifestyles and weight loss as a result of eating less fat. While these new products contained less fat, manufacturers increased levels of carbohydrates in order to imitate the flavors of the real thing. During this time, Americans were consuming more and more sugar and they were also getting fatter and fatter (Why We Got Fatter during the Fat Free Boom). There were also more people diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic in America. Scientists realized that by addressing the heart disease problem by cutting out fats, other problems like obesity and diabetes were fueled. During this period, it became clear that cutting all fats out of our diets was not the key to staying healthy and losing weight; there had to be a different way.

Eventually, as this fat-free diet phased out, new meal plans were phased in. Carbohydrate-free and low-carbohydrate diets emerged, changing the markets in terms of foods and noodles. People began focusing on low carb foods such as lean meats and healthy fats. Trans fats were banned, saturated fats avoided at all costs, but many people began no carb diets as well. This diet can make people lethargic due to the lack of energy that they would normally get from carbohydrates. Noodles were now coming out that were multigrain or lower in carbs. This was the next phase of the changes in society that influenced the noodle industry.

Eventually, people began making alternatives for noodles that did not contain as many carbohydrates. Some options were the Japanese Miracle Noodles, spaghetti squash, and spiralized vegetables. The Japanese miracle noodles were a low-calorie substitute for the usual flour pastas. These noodles are gelatinous and contain konjac yams. Because this was a low-calorie option, it has been very popular; however, the consistency of these noodles differs greatly from traditional white flour pastas. 

Others went a step further and turned to vegetable noodle alternatives. Spaghetti squash was a common substitution to normal noodles. Spaghetti squash is a type of gourd with a stringy flesh. When cooked, the flesh resembles noodles that you would see in a classic Italian restaurant, but these noodles are also differently flavored and textured. The last option was spiralized vegetables. This was an easy option because the noodles could be made out of almost any kind of vegetable. Using a handy kitchen device called a spiralizer, transforming vegetables into long strands of noodles became not just possible, but popular. Zucchini noodles, called zoodles, are the most common, but sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets also make great noodle alternatives as well.

Not only were the noodles themselves changing on the shelves, but the pasta sauces were as well. Brands like Trader Joes and Prego came out with carbohydrate free or sugar free pasta sauces to cater to their consumers. By eating less carbohydrates, our bodies are not able to function at the highest level. The manufacturers of these products understand the benefits and drawbacks to reducing carbohydrates in their products, and they know that this is what draws the consumers in. Americans strive to have the perfect body and good health, but are low-carb diets really the way to achieve that? Maybe the noodles themselves are not the issue, but what the manufacturers do to our food. The processed fats and sugars prevent us from being at our healthiest. These capitalistic motives of the health and wellness industries are what is causing Americans to change their lifestyles to be “healthier.” In balance and moderation, we can achieve this healthy lifestyle. We no longer need to turn against our noodles to reach our goals. Instead of binging on our foods and restricting ourselves, we can see noodles as a treat. 


Works Cited

“The Great Arrival.” Library of Congress,

Lavin, Chad. “Diet and American Ideology.” Eating Anxiety: The Perils of Food Politics, 2013, pp. 1-22. JSTOR,

Levy, Paul. “The Rise and Fall of the No-Fat Fad.” The Telegraph, 26 May 2015,

McGovern, Kyle. “How to Find Old New York in Manhattan’s Vanishing Little Italy.” Thrillist, 26 Feb. 2019,

Mean Girls. Produced by Mark Waters, 2004.

Rocketto, Leah. “The Most Popular Diet Trends over the Last 100 Years.” Insider, 17 Jan. 2019.

Van De Walle, Gavin. “The Best Macronutrient Ratio for Weight Loss.” Healthline, 2 Sept. 2018,

Why We Got Fatter During The Fat-Free Food Boom, 28 Mar. 2014,





Noodle Narrative – Adrienne Liou

Noodle Narrative

Adrienne Liou

For my interview, I interviewed my childhood best friend, Paul Kim. We have been family friends our entire lives and went to the same school kindergarten to twelfth grade. He is half Korean and half Taiwanese and was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. Paul is currently a student at New York University, and he is studying journalism with a concentration in food studies. I felt as though he would be a good interview candidate, as he has had an interesting experience with food in general as an Asian who was born and raised in the United States. Paul would also have an interesting perspective on noodles because he is currently studying foods in his classes.

Paul was born and raised in the south and because of this, he did not have to chance to really identify with his Asian identity. The staple southern foods are not the same as the foods he had at home as a kid. As one of few Asians in a predominately white school, he felt as though others were not accepting or understanding of his complex cultural background. Others lumped Asians into one category, but Paul was aware that there were distinctions between his Korean and Taiwanese cultures. Because of his environment, he grew up with a vague Asian-American identity. This all changed when he moved to New York for college. There is a higher population of Asian Americans there than there is in Atlanta, thus there is more Korean and Taiwanese food for him to experience. This allowed him to understand his two cultures better than he had been able to while growing up.

Because his childhood lacked a lot of the authentic and distinct Asian culture, he grew up eating noodles such as lo mien and ramen noodles. These noodles are not a good representation of true Chinese noodles as dan dan mien, zha jiang main, or dao xiao main are. While these are types of noodles that Americans label as “Asian noodles,” they are not quite traditional or authentic noodles that would be eaten in Asian countries. However, like these noodles, Paul also does not follow the traditions of someone from Asia. These noodles represent Paul as they incorporate some Asian characteristics, but they are also American.

As a New York resident, his favorite noodle restaurant is in the heart of New York City, Momofuku Noodle Bar. Not only is this restaurant in a convenient location, but it is owed by a Korean-American chef, David Chang. This chef also does not really identify strongly with being Korean. He is able to make ramen, but it is not ramen in a traditional sense. David Chang is known for his combination of Asian flavors with a French Technique. Paul is able to relate well with these noodles from Momofuku Noodle Bar and this chef because they all have Asian aspects to them, but they have a blend of other cultures as well.

Next, we discussed how Paul’s habits of eating noodles have changed over time. He describes his way of eating noodles as “chaotic.” When he was younger, his way of eating noodles and food in general was set to a specific schedule. He would eat breakfast before school, lunch at the same time every day, and dinner when his mom had finished cooking. When he started cooking on his own, he cooks when he has the time, whether it is for dinner or 3 o’clock am. He describes noodles as his favorite late night snack due to the burst of energy you get right after eating them and then the “crash” that happens shortly after.

Later, we discussed how the changes in society are influencing the noodle. Paul has become aware that Asian culture is now more prominent in western societies. As the fastest growing ethnicity in America, people are less compromising with food. There has been a shift from eating Asian-American food to eating true traditional Chinese food. There has also been an increase in distinct flavors from the different provinces in China. The phrase “Chinese food” is now too general and can be compared to saying “European food.” There is a large variety and flavors from the different areas that these generalizations are not specific enough. Now, there is more regionalism in food. For example, there is Sichuan food, Guangdong food, and different flavors from many other provinces in China.

Later in the interview, we discussed how other cultures are manifested in the noodle’s cultural DNA. Other cultures are influencing Chinese foods and noodles because people themselves are influenced by other cultures. Because of globalization, there are more foods that are merging, creating a type of fusion of cultures in food. Paul brought up an example of Vietnamese Cajun pho. This is a noodle in a soup that is traditionally from Vietnam, but when the Vietnamese refugees moved to America during the Vietnam war, they were influenced by the Cajun flavors in Houston and gulf area. This led to a fusion of flavors which became a pho noodle soup with crawfish instead of the usual beef.

Finally, we discussed Paul’s favorite noodle recipe. His favorite recipe is a Cajun pho noodle soup. This was the food that truly got him interested in writing about food. He realized that there is a lot of history to be told through food. His Cajun pho recipe took a total of four hours to complete. He was so happy with his finished dish that he went back for two more servings. When he does not have the time to make this pho dish, he enjoys making instant ramen, as most college students do. These noodles may not be as labor intensive as the pho noodles, but they still put a smile on his face.




Beef Noodle Soup – Adrienne Liou

When I was younger, my mom always read the story Saturdays and Teacakes. This story was about his Saturday traditions with his grandmother. I would always think about how I didn’t have a weekly tradition with my parents or grandparents. I’ve recently learned that my family has a tradition with noodles, but I did not realize this when I was younger.


My family makes beef noodle soup when relatives come in to town, for any kind of celebration, or when my brothers and I leave for school. This dish is made with beef, soy sauce, tomatoes, and a variety of spices. It also includes long flat noodles and bok choy on top. My mom, born in Taiwan but raised in the United States, learned how to make this dish from her mother. They owned a restaurant in Augusta, Georgia, and beef noodle soup was their most popular dish. My mother got the tradition of eating beef noodle soup from her family when they were still living in Taiwan, and she continued it on in my family.


I never really paid attention to this dish until I got into college. When I was younger, this was just a dish we would eat occasionally. I was always excited to eat it because my mom makes it the best, but it was never my favorite. When I got to college, I realize how much I missed my mom’s cooking. I missed the way the whole house would fill up with the aromas from what she was making in the kitchen. The way I would be drawn away from my homework to see what she was up to.


A few months into last school year, I noticed that boyfriend was really missing his mom’s homecooked meals. He has only been in the United States for a few years, so some days he just really misses good Chinese food. As a surprise, I decided to try to make my mom’s beef noodle soup. He had it once when he was at my house visiting my family and he really enjoyed it. I’m not much of a cook, but I made sure to buy the best ingredients I could find. I drove to the biggest Chinese grocery store I could find and bought the most expensive beef shank. I wasn’t sure about the all the spices, so I just bought a few that I thought would go well in the soup.


Once I got home, the real work began. I wasn’t sure how big to slice the meat, or how long to fry it on the pan. I finally got the beef to a nice brown color and decided to continue with the soup. I boiled the meat and added my variety of spices I had collected from the store. Every few minutes I would stir the soup and remove the scum that had floated to the top. I left the soup to simmer for a couple hours.


Right as I was about to boil the noodles, my boyfriend walks into the apartment. “Wow! That smells great! What are you making?” He came and hugged me from behind as I dropped the noodles into the boiling water. Finally, when the noodles were done, I put everything together in a bowl. I made sure each one of us got enough noodles and a few pieces of beef along with the bok choy. I could tell he was excited to try the soup I made. That night, I told him I made this dish so he wouldn’t miss home as much. I hoped it reminded him of his mom’s homecooked meals that he loved so much.


Since then, we’ve been making beef noodle soup almost every month, trying to change up the recipe and see how we can improve the dish. These noodles were a tradition in my house, but now they are a new tradition. This new tradition helps us feel at home even when we are far away from home and I love that I now have more reasons to have this soup.


I chose to imitate Ping An Mien, a Chinese Family Noodle Story. I chose this piece because I felt as though I could really relate with her story and I could feel her emotions when she described her family and her soup. After imitating this piece, I learned about the similarities of Chinese-American families. She described her noodle traditions with her family, and I was able to see the connections to the traditions within my family. While our families make different kinds of noodles for celebrations and sending family members away, the idea is the same. Spending time with family is important and it is comforting to do it with food. I’ve learned that my culture is about sharing the special moments with the people around you and prioritizing the family connections. Our food is a great way to bring everyone together. This is a common theme in not only my culture, but also in other cultures around the world. There was definitely a lot of culture embedded in Susannah Chen’s story as well as mine. The tradition of eating a specific food when someone leaves or for celebrations is very common in the Chinese culture. For example, some people eat dumplings to send family members off while others eat noodles. I tried to tie in the love and joy and all the emotions we can get from just eating one bowl of noodles and how much it can mean to someone.

Stokes’s Kitchen Table-Adrienne Liou

I have lived in Atlanta my entire life, and as a Chinese-American, my family has different traditions and customs than other American families. I have chosen my friend Stokes’s dining table because her household is very different from mine. We have been friends for five years, and I am constantly at her house, but we don’t usually eat dinner with her family. She has a single working mother who takes care of Stokes and her brother. It is difficult for her to be home much of the time due to her demanding job. I asked Stokes if I could join one of their family dinners to observe the way they eat together, and they were happy to have me.

For this study, I used the participant observation anthropological method from Eating Culture An Anthropological Guide to Food. I chose this anthropological method to get an insider’s perspective on how her family eats together and how it differs from my family. By being an insider, it allows me to “draw wider conclusions about how the culture and society works.” During this study, I was able to help clear off the table to prepare for dinner and help clean up when we were finished.

Their dining table was in a room right next to the kitchen. Their house has an open concept, but the dining table was closed off from the rest of the house. The table itself was round and painted with kid handprints and other paintings from when Stokes and her brother were younger. There were chips out the sides of the tables from years of wear. This table had been with them since they moved from North Carolina, then to California, then to Tennessee, and finally to Atlanta. This table had been with them through it all. Through their childhood, through school, and through their parents’ divorce. This was the table where their family did their work but also ate their meals. Even though each family member has their own desk in their rooms, they choose to sit together when they are working.

Before dinner had started, the kitchen table was piled up with unopened mail and school work. Stokes and I cleared off the table as we waited for her mom to come back from work. When she finally returned, she had two large pizzas in her hand. Her brother quickly joined us just for a few minutes to grab some pizza and eat in his room. Stokes, her mom, and I sat around the table as we talked about our days.

Her family dynamic and kitchen table are very different from my family’s. Our kitchen table is always clean, and it is only used to eat our meals. My mom makes dinner each night for my family to eat together. It is difficult for us to see each other during the day, so we look forward to seeing each other during this time.

Throughout this experience, I learned that their table serves a very different purpose from my kitchen table. Both her and my tables are used for the family to come together, but while my family uses it for eating, their family uses it for their daily activities. Their table has sentimental value to them as it has been with them for most of their time together. The kitchen table symbolizes the love and support that this family has for each other and it holds memories from all their time together. It represents all their memories, whether they are good or bad, but it also shows the new memories they are making together. I am grateful for my opportunity to learn from their kitchen table and see the differences and similarities between her family table and mine.

Journal 1: Dumplings

Dumplings have always been a big food for my family and me. We eat dumplings throughout the year, but to me they represent more than just a basic Chinese dish. This dish consists of pork wrapped in a thin layer of dough. These can then be boiled, steamed, or pan fried. My personal favorite is steamed dumplings. This dish reminds me of family gatherings where we would all come together and make them. We would have them when my brothers came back from college or when my aunt would come back to town. This is also a dish that we eat at Chinese New Year, one of the biggest holidays for my family. This dish is very important in the Chinese culture because the dumplings are in the shape of gold ingots. They represent wealth and prosperity, so we eat them during the new year in hopes of a wealthy year ahead of us. This has been a Chinese tradition for many years. Every year, we would hide coins in a few dumplings. If you found one of the coins, you would have good luck in the coming year. This is one of my favorite new year’s traditions.

My grandparents took my mom to the United States when she was just eight years old. They then opened a Chinese restaurant and taught my mom and my aunts how to cook. Many years later, they taught me the same skills they had taught my mom. When I was younger, my grandfather taught me how to make the dumpling skin to prepare for the new year. We stayed in the kitchen all day to make them together. Letting the dough rest was the hardest part for me because I was so excited to start making the dumpling skins. When the dough was finally rested, we would roll out the dough together to make the wrappers. I always tried to roll them quickly to be like him, but he always reminded me to take it slow and practice so one day I could be as fast as him. My entire family would then help to wrap the dumplings while my mom was in charge of cooking them. My grandfather would hide coins in the dumplings while we were not looking so we didn’t know which dumplings would have them. We would carefully wrap each dumpling and place them on a cookie sheet. My brother enjoyed making dumplings that were shaped in different ways so he would know which ones he made after they were cooked. Two hours would go by and we would make a few hundred dumplings. It was amazing to see how many we could make in one sitting! My mom would pan fry half of them and steam the other half. Once they were cooked, we would all sit together at the dining table to eat our dumplings. We would talk about what we hoped for in this coming year and then we would light fire crackers in the back yard. These family traditions have always made Chinese New Year my favorite holiday.

Dumplings have been around for thousands of years. Each culture has their own type of dumpling, whether it is filled with meat or not. Dumplings were originally used to cure illness. One particularly cold winter, many Chinese citizens got sick and got frostbite from the cold. Zhang Zhongjing created these Chinese dumplings to fight of the sickness by feeding them something warm. People then made different kinds of dumplings based off of Zhang Zhongjing’s original recipe. Dumplings later became a Chinese new year tradition. People would make dumplings on New Year’s eve and eat them between 11:00 pm New Year’s eve and 1:00 am New Year’s day. This was a time of transition between the old year and the new year. These dumplings were a symbol of wealth and good fortune for the new year.




  • 3 lbs green leafy vegetable (like shepherd’s purse, baby bok choy, napa cabbage, or Chinese chives)
  • 1 ½ pounds ground pork (or ground chicken or beef, as long as they aren’t too lean)
  • ⅔ cup shaoxing wine
  • ½ cup oil
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • ⅔ cup water, plus more for assembly
  • 3-4 packages dumpling wrappers


  1. Wash your vegetables thoroughly and blanch them in a pot of boiling water. Transfer them to an ice bath to cool. Ring out all the water from the vegetables and chop very finely.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the vegetable, meat, wine, oil, sesame oil, salt, soy sauce, white pepper, and ⅔ cup water. Mix for 6-8 minutes, until very well-combined.
  3. To wrap the dumplings, dampen the edges of each circle with some water. Put a little less than a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Fold the circle in half and pinch the wrapper together at the top. Then make two folds on each side, until the dumpling looks like a fan. Make sure it’s completely sealed. Repeat until all the filling is gone, placing the dumplings on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Make sure the dumplings aren’t sticking together.
  4. If you’d like to freeze them, wrap the baking sheets tightly with plastic wrap and put the pans in the freezer. Allow them to freeze overnight. You can then take the sheets out of the freezer, transfer the dumplings to Ziploc bags, and throw them back in the freezer for use later.
  5. To cook the dumplings, boil them or pan-fry them. To boil, simple bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop the dumplings in, and cook until they float to the top and the skins are cooked through, but still slightly al dente.
  6. To pan-fry, heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick pan over medium high heat. Place the dumplings in the pan and allow to fry for 2 minutes. Pour a thin layer of water into the pan, cover, and reduce heat to medium-low. Allow dumplings to steam until the water has evaporated. Remove the cover, increase heat to medium-high and allow to fry for a few more minutes, until the bottoms of the dumplings are golden brown and crisp.
  7. Serve with soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar, chili sauce, or other dipping sauce of your choice!