Jiao Zi, or dumplings, symbolize wealth and abundance for the year to come. They are shaped like gold ingots and are a staple of Chinese New Year. On New Year’s eve, the entire family gathers to make dumplings together. Our family will hide Chinese jujube’s inside some of the dumplings. The person to eat the most dumplings with jujubes is considered the luckiest for the new year.
Skins: you may choose to skip this step and purchase pre-made skins at any Chinese grocery.
- 8 cups white flour
- Approximately 2 1/2 cups (very) cold water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Dissolve salt in water. Add 2 cups water to flour and mix thoroughly by hand or machine.
- Mix until you get as hard of a dough as you can. You may not use all the water or may need additional water.
- If the dough is too soft, add more flour.
- Knead thoroughly for 10-15 minutes.
- Cover the dough and place in the refrigerator while you make the filling.
- When your filling is ready you should separate dough into 2 portions.
- Form into long sausages, about 1 inch diameter.
- Cut sections every ½ inch.
- Roll the cut sections with and form into balls. You will need additional flour to prevent sticking
- Use rolling pin to form into round, flat skins about 3 inches diameter.
- If they are too thick, the jiaozi will be very doughy. Modify sizes of balls as appropriate.
- 2 pounds of ground pork
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or cooking sherry
- 2 cups of minced Chinese chives
- 3 cups of minced and strained Nappa cabbage
- 6 large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and roughly minced
- 1.5 inch finely minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil, or more to taste
- You may use a food processor to mince all the vegetables
- Add first 6 ingredients together and stir vigorously with 2 pairs of chopsticks in the same direction for 5-10 minutes. Always stir in the same direction so that the meat fibers stick together.
- Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine thoroughly
- Smell the filling mixture, it should smell aromatic. If it is not, add more seasame oil and cooking wine.
Make the dumplings: Place one disc onto the flat of your palm, then place a teaspoon of filling into the center of the disc. Place a little water on the outside edge of the dough. Fold the dough over at an angle onto the other side, fold one crease over and then pinch it to the side, and continue creasing and pinching until you reach the edge of the dumpling. For the fried dumplings, place the filling into the center of the disc and just fold the edges of the disc into the center.
Boil the dumplings: Bring large pot of water to boil. Add enough jiaozi to cover the base of the pot about 1.5 times (about 25 in a 12″ diameter pot, about 50 in a good size wok). Stir lightly, ensuring the dumplings do not stick to the bottom and do not break. When it comes to a rapid boil, add 1 cup cold water. Cover. Repeat. When it comes to a rapid boil for the third time, they are ready to serve.
Fry the dumplings: Spread a tablespoon of oil in a pan and put dumplings into the bottom of the pan. Add water to half the height of the dumplings, cover, and cook on medium heat until the water evaporates and the bottom is golden brown.
Dipping sauce: 5 tablespoons of Chinese black vinegar and 1 teaspoon of Chinese chili oil.
Uncooked or cooked JiaoZi keep very well in the freezer. To freeze, place on trays so they are not touching (if they touch, they will stick together). Freeze overnight. The next day, place into plastic bags & seal.