Tue, Feb 8, 2011
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Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings) is a traditional Chinese dish that is popular during the Chinese New Year celebration. The pronunciation of this Chinese pot-sticker resembles the sound of a word for money so the tradition is to serve them during the New Year festivities as a promise of wealth and luck in the coming year. Though popular during the “Spring Festival,” another name for the Chinese Lunar New Year, they are also a staple course for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the year.
There are many variations between regions and even families, with countless filling options and different methods of cooking them (boiling, steaming, pan-frying). Since there is no one way of making them, I referenced two recipes that I found on the Internet and then created my own filling based on my family’s tastes. I opted to boil them because I usually steam and pan-fry pot-stickers when I make gyoza (the Japanese version of Jiaozi). I found that the boiling process is quick, clean and easy.
- 2 cup flour
- ⅔ cup water
- Pinch of salt
- ½ pound ground pork
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tsp ginger, minced
- 1 tsp green onion, minced
- 1 Tbsp bamboo shoots, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp Napa cabbage, finely chopped
- Dash of black pepper
- Dash of chili oil
- ¼ tsp sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 drop of sesame oil
- 1-2 drops of hot chili oil
- Mix the flour, water and salt in a bowl.
- Add additional drops of water as needed to make the dough come together.
- Set the dough aside while you prepare the filling.
- Mix the pork with all of the vegetables and seasonings.
- Divide the dough into roughly forty balls and roll each ball into a 3-inch circle.
- To make more perfect circles, roll out the dough as thinly as possible on a lightly floured surface and cut out 3-inch circles using the rim of a glass.
- Place a heaping teaspoonful of filling in the center of each wrapper.
- Wipe water on half of the wrapper rim and then fold over the other half to form a half moon shape.
- Seal and crimp the edges together.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Place the dumplings in the water one or two at a time. They will sink to the bottom and then roll around in the water.
- Once they rise to the top of the boiling water, scoop them out and let them drain.
- If you cook them individually they should be done after several minutes of boiling but I usually check one just to make sure the pork is cooked.
- Serve the dumplings hot with dipping sauce on the side.
- Mix the ingredients together. I use rice vinegar as the base but the ratio of ingredients is approximate.
- Season the sauce to taste.
- This should be plenty of sauce for the dumplings but you can make more as necessary.