Chinese Dumplings- Jiaozi 饺子

 

Jiaozi - Bam's Kitchen

Jiaozi typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) are divided into various types depending on how they are cooked. Boiled Dumplings are called shuǐjiǎo. Steamed dumplings are called zhēngjiǎo. Shallow fried dumplings (potstickers) are called jianjiao. Within each of these categories, there are numerous types of dumplings- too many to name.  Pictured above are boiled dumpling. All very yummy in my opinion....

Jiaozi are eaten all year round and can be eaten at any time of the day. They can constitute one course, starter or side dish, or the main meal. Every family has its own preferred method of making them, with favourite fillings, and of course, jiaozi types and preparation vary widely according to region.  The history of jiaozi dates back to ancient times, some 500-600 years ago. As the Spring Festival marks the start of a new year, people choose to eat jiaozi to connote their wishes for good fortune in the new year. China has been perfecting the art of dumpling making since the Sung dynasty. It is a tasty tradition that is passed on from generation to generation.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

In Bam's Kitchen, I was able to watch and learn from the skillful hands of my dear friends as I am certain it has been passed down from their grandmothers and their grandmother's grandma. You get the idea! I think they might have made these dumplings, just a few times before....They can make 10 in the time it takes for me to make one and each one of theirs is symmetrical and perfect.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

The four of us friends gathered in Bam's Kitchen, and hence there are four - yes four spring onions on my dumplings. I know you are shocked as you know I would have never intentionally place 4 of any item on plate, due to bad luck. However, in this situation it is very good luck as the 4 of us together are the perfect harmony for friendship and cooking.

Chinese Dumplings- Jiaozi 饺子 (serves 4 adults as main course or 2 hungry teenagers as a snack) 

Wrappers:

  • 48 Jiaozi wrappers (You can find these in the freezer section of asian store or fresh in the wet markets - round small wrapper)- In Japan these are called Gyoza wrappers and these can be used if you cannot find Jiaozi wrappers but they are a little thinner.
  • Little dish of water
Pork Filling:
  • 1 pound minced pork
  • 1/2 cup minced scallions
  • 2 minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • salt to taste
Vegetable Filling:
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped chinese cabbage
  • 1/2 cup firm tofu chopped finely (optional)
  • 2 scallions finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • salt to taste
Dipping sauces as you like (mix in small bowls)
  • soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar or Chinese vinegar, sesame oil
  • soy sauce and sesame oil
  • soy sauce and Chinkiang vinegar or Chinese
    vinegar (my favorite)

Step 1: In a medium bowl combine ingredients for pork filling (pork, scallions, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, white pepper, and salt) and set in refrigerator for at least one hour so that flavors have a chance to mingle.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 2: If you would like to make the vegetable dumplings mix the celery, carrots, cabbage, tofu, garlic, ginger, scallions, sesame oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, white pepper and salt together and set in refrigerator for at least one hour so that flavors have a chance to mingle.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 3: Take the frozed jiaozi wrappers out of the freezer and let come to room temperature about 10 minutes before time to wrap up dumplings. (Keep jiaozi in package or under damp towel so they do not dry out)

Step 4: Take 1 Jiaozi wrapper from pack and lay flat on your hand.

Step 5: Wet your finger tips with water and run your fingers on the outside of wrapper all the way around (This is to help the wrapper stick so that it stays together during the cooking process)

Step 6: Place about 1 teaspoon of either the pork filling or vegetable filling in the center of wrapper (Less is more in this situation as if too full then jiaozi will not stay sealed)

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 7: Fold jiaozi in half like a half moon and crimp.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 8: Then start at one side and fold the jiaozi wrapper inwards and towards to center and crimp.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 8: Repeat process by staying on the same side and fold the jiazi wrapper inwards and towards the center and crimp. Repeat 2-3 times on each side. (FYI: there are many ways to secure these little jiaozi- In Japan I learned how to make dumplings by making my crimping all on one side numerous times. As long as the jiaozi stays together during the cooking process the "HOW" you get it to look and stay together are all personal preferences)  However you get style points if your dumplings are cute and symmetrical.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 9: Set jiaozi aside with a damp towel over if going to use immediately or if freezing dumplings put on a floured baking pan and place in freezer for about an hour until set and then you can transfer to a large sealable baggie and use at another time within the next 2 months.

Step 9: Boil water in large pot

Step 10: Carefully drop dumplings in water with slotted spoon (place burner on medium high heat).

Step 11: Very important : For fresh dumplings allow the dumplings to come up to a full boil and and then add one glass of cold water as this brings down the temperature of the water but still allows them to cook more gently.(Perform this step 2 times for fresh dumplings - allow dumplings to come to full boil and then add one cup of cold water)  For frozen dumplings perform the same procedure but allow the dumpling to come up to a full boil for 3 times and add a cup of cold water after each boil as frozen takes a little longer to cook. (Add one cup of cold water after dumplings come to a full boil. Do this 3 times for frozen dumplings) This is a very important step as if you let the dumpling boil hard for 5 minutes straight without letting the temperature of the water reduce it will cause the wrappers and fillings to separate and you will have broken dumplings. This step or process will take about five minutes and the dumplings will float up to the top when cooked. (Advice by Lynn- seasoned jiaozi maker)

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 12: With a slotted spoon take out dumplings and drain and place on plate and serve with dipping sauces as desired. Garnish with spring onions.

Chinese dumplings jiaozi

Step 13: 吃饱吃好  Eat Eat and Enjoy!


 

 

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Chinese Dumplings- Jiaozi 饺子

By HWC Magazine  , , , ,   

September 13, 2011

  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yields: 4 Adults or 1 Hungry Teenager

Ingredients

jiaozi wrappers (chinese dumpling wrappers) -

ground pork -

green onions -

ginger -

sesame oil -

rice vinegar -

white pepper -

tamari (soy) sauce -

celery -

Carrot -

chinese celery -

Chinese black rice dark vinegar -

Directions

00:00

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