Handmade Chinese Dumplings ( Jiaozi )
Pork and Chinese Leek Flavored Dumplings Recipe
I guess eating all these fresh hand made noodles lately got us back into the kitchen. This time to make some Chinese Dumplings or Jiaozi as they are called in Chinese.
Chinese dumplings are mostly a traditional Northern China dish. In Beijing it’s quite common to order a plate of Jiaozi in place of rice with your meal. Jiaozi can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Chinese dumplings are traditionally served steamed in a bamboo basket and dipped with a mixture of soy sauce and white vinegar or boiled with soup (as shown in photo below), or pan fried. The heart of the Chinese Dumpling is the stuffing of course and every family has their own recipe. Today we’re going to make a simple Pork and Chinese Leek dumpling mix. Feel free to experiment on your own for the choice of meats, vegetables, etc. I’ve eaten all kinds of varieties of jiaozi that include lamb, beef, tofu, mushrooms, chicken, pork, and even fish dumplings.
Chinese Dumpling Jiaozi Stuffing Mixture (makes ~ 100 Jiaozi)
one packet of round Chinese dumpling skins (be sure it is Chinese Dumpling skins and not Wonton skins. Wonton skins are thicker)
1.5 lbs mix of lean and fatty ground pork (the fat gives great flavor but too much will cause your Chinese dumplings to leak out during cooking so try to get a mixture of both lean and fatty pork)
4-5 cups of chopped Chinese Leeks (can also use regular leeks but will need to slice thinly)
1 cup of chopped Napa cabbage
3 tbsp of corn starch
2 tbsp of salt or soy sauce.
Mix up your lean and fatty ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Chop Chinese Leeks and Napa Cabbage to about 1/4 inch pieces and mix in with the meat. Add 3 tbsp of corn starch, salt and ground pepper to the mix. Stir until well mixed. Since the leeks will soften and reduce in size during cooking, you’ll want a higher proportion of leeks in this mixture. Add more if necessary.
Folding your Jiaozi Chinese Dumplings
There’s a whole art to folding these Chinese dumplings and here’s your chance to create your own style. The following is just a recommendation on how to fold your Chinese dumpling jiaozi. I’ve met some handy veterans that can stuff and roll these Chinese dumpling jiaozi with one hand!
First fill the Chinese dumpling wrapper with about a teaspoon of stuffing, then taking your index finger brush a small amount of warm water just on the far edge of the wrapper opposite of you. Gently fold the Chinese dumpling wrapper over with your fingers and seal to finish. To make a fancy edge, you can double fold over and then press to the wet edge of the Chinese dumpling wrapper. (See photo).
Cooking your Jiaozi Chinese Dumplings
As I mentioned before Chinese Dumplings are very versatile in Northern Chinese cooking. You can simply steam your jiaozi or boil them with noodles. Chinese dumplings are also great pan fried like potstickers.
Chinese Dumpling Jiaozi Soup:
Add a quart of water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Add your Jiaozi into the boiling water. When the Chinese Dumplings float they’re ready. Drain and set aside. (at this point you can pan fry them if you want to go that route – they can be eaten with soy sauce/white vinegar mixutre or hot sauce). To make a Chiense Dumpling soup, boil a few quarts of chicken or vegetable stock. Add Napa cabbage, mushrooms. Then mix in your Chinese dumplings. Season with soy sauce, sesame oil, raw chopped scallions. Enjoy!