Good Eats

Good Eats – Chinese Dumplings ( Jiao Zi)

Chinese dumpling (Jiao Zi) is a very common dumpling dish in Asia. Dumpling is typically made with ground meat, shrimp and some vegetables wrapped in a very thinly rolled piece of dough. In a typical Chinese home, dumplings are a must eat around Chinese New Year, especially New Year’s Eve. If I remember correctly, dumplings symbolize longevity and wealth. A typical dumpling looks like a gold ingot currency used in imperial China from its founding under the Qin Dynasty. Dumplings are also an excellent activity to do with friends over, they are easy to teach and make a good evening activity filled with good food and good friends.

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To make this recipe more friendlier for busy people, we decided to go with the store bought dumpling wraps. You can usually find them in the Asian store’s frozen aisle.
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A typical dumpling should look like a gold ingot currency if folded correctly. I would give all the credit to Victor, he wrapped and folded all the dumplings while watching TV.

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Ingredients:

1 pack dumpling wrappers – you can typically get these at your local Asian supermarket.

1 pound ground meat ( I typically use chicken or pork)

2 cups of Napa cabbage finely chopped

1 cup mushrooms (Button or Portobello)  finely chopped

1/4 cup ginger finely chopped

1 egg

4 teaspoons 5 spice powder or equivalent (can be found at your local international section of the grocery store)

4 teaspoons soy sauce

4 teaspoons Chinese vinegar

optional:

2 carrots finely chopped

2 stalks green onions finely chopped

Instructions:

  1.  Take a large mixing bowl, mix all of your fillings together, and stir well to homogenize all of the ingredients
  2.  Take a bowl or cup with a small bit of water, take a dumpling wrapper and wet the edges by dipping your finger in the water and brushing the edges of the wrapper
  3. Pinch the center of the wrapper, working from the center, pinch one side of the wrapper and fold it over the other edge with the edge facing the center, when done, take the other side of the center pinch and fold together.
  4. Repeat the process until you run out of wrappers or dumpling filling. Alternatively, if you don’t want to fold and pinch you can fold both edges over the center and seal the dumplings.
  5. Once you are done with all of the dumplings, fill a pot with a quarter amount of cold water and bring it to a boil before you place the dumplings in the pot. After the water is boiling, put in the dumplings into the pot of boiling water. Make sure you do not overfilled the pot so that they can cook evenly.
  6. When the dumplings are boiling add in a 2 cups of cold water and bring the water to a boil again. Repeat step 5 and 6 twice to make sure the dumplings are fully cooked.
  7. For the dipping sauce, mix some Chinese vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil.  You can also add some chili flakes or hot sauce if you want some kick in your dumplings.

The best part of these dumplings is that once your learn the process, you can customize the ingredients and dipping sauces to however you like. Folding these dumplings is the most difficult part of the process and I know its a bit confusing, but once you get a few going they will get easier. I hope you enjoyed making and eating these dumplings as much as we do.

 

 

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