Chinese dumplings or Jiaozi, with meat and vegetable fillings, is a traditional Chinese Food, which is essential during holidays in Northern China. Chinese are Masters in the Art of Making Dumplings.
Details of making Chinese dumplings:
*1 lb. ground pork (or beef)
*6 T. sesame oil
*2 t. sugar
*0.75 t. salt
*0.25 t. pepper
*0.25 lb. cabbage
*1 t. salt
*0.25 lb. chopped green onions
*3 c. flour
*0.75 c. cold water
*0.5 c. flour (to prevent sticking during kneading)
vinegar (white or rice)
garlic (fresh, chopped fine, or powdered)
ginger (fresh, chopped fine, or powdered)
small bowl with water for dipping
- Filling: Mix ground pork, oil, sugar, chop cabbage，salt and pepper until fine. Let sit for 10 minutes; then squeeze out the excess water.
- Skin: In a bowl, add water to the flour and knead into smooth dough; let it stand for 10 minutes. Roll the dough into a long baton-like roll and cut it into 50 pieces. Use a rolling pin to roll each piece to a thin circle.
- Combine: Place 1 portion of filling in the center of a dough circle. Fold the circle in half and moisten the edges with water. Use index finger and thumb to bring the sides together. The smooth edge will conform to the decreased length of the pleated edge. Pinch the pleats together then pinch to seal. Place the dumpling on a floured tray and repeat this with the remaining dumplings.
- Boil: Boil 10 cups of water and add dumplings; gently stir to prevent dumplings from sticking together. Bring to a boil; turn the heat to low and cook for three minutes. When serving, use vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, hot bean paste, etc. as dipping sauces.
- Serving: Serve the dumplings hot (if you cook them in bamboo baskets you may wish to serve them from it directly at the table) with bowls of soy sauce mixed with red wine vinegar.
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.
There is no set rule as to what makes dumping fillings. They can be anything from vegetables, meat to seafood. Whatever the fillings, the wrapping skill needs to be exquisite to make jiaozi look attractive.
Shape and variety
Chinese dumplings may be round or crescent-shaped, boiled or pan-fried. The filling may be sweet or savory; vegetarian or filled with meat and vegetables. Of course, all this variety can be confusing.
As China is a country with a vast territory, there are great difference in various regions in ways of making jiaozi or even serving it. For example, dumplings wrappers are made with a rolling stick in most areas of Beijing and Hebei Provinces, whereas in some parts of Shanxi Province and inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, wrappers are hand- pressed.
How to make Chinese dumplings?
To make Chinese dumplings, first of all, chop the meat into pieces and mash them, then add salt, sesame oil, soy sauce, ginger, scallions, Chinese cabbage and MSG if you like. Mix thoroughly the ingredients; add two spoonful of water if necessary.
In a big bowl, add water to flour gradually. Mix and knead by hand to form soft dough, then cover it with towel and put it aside for about an hour. Then scatter some dry flour on the board, knead and roll it into a sausage—like dough about 5 centimeters in diameter, then chop it into small pieces. Press each piece with your hand and get a pancake. Finally, to hold the pancake with your palm and put the filling in the center and wrap into half-moon shaped and seal the edges.
The next step is easy. Put the dumpling into boiling water, when it is well cooked, it is ready to be served. Before eating, you need to prepare some small dishes to contain the mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil or pepper oil [to your own taste.
Ways of serving
Ways of serving Chinese dumplings also vary from place to place. Generally, Chinese dumplings are boiled in clear water and served dry with vinegar, soy sauce, garlic or pepper oil if one likes them hot. In some parts of the Northeast China, however, dumplings are boiled in broth together with vermicelli made from bean starch, and served together.
Chinese dumplings and culture
New Year’s Food
Chinese dumpling is one of the most important foods in Chinese New Year. Since the shape of Chinese dumplings is similar to ancient Chinese gold or silver ingots, they symbolize wealth. Traditionally, the members of a family get together to make dumplings during the New Year’s Eve. They may hide some coins in one of the dumplings. The person who fined the coin will likely have a good fortune in the New Year. Chinese dumpling is also popular in other Chinese holidays or festivals, so it is part of the Chinese culture or tradition.
Making dumplings is really a team work. Usually family members will join the work. Most ChineseTo starte to make dumplings when they was a kid in family, they know how to make dumplings.Especially good at making dumplings, particularly making skins, which is the hardest part of making dumplings.
Sending Off Friends
Chinese dumpling is often the food for sending off friends or family members away. I guess this is another tradition.