I was supposed to share this Jiao Zi recipe in our Chinese New Year series this year however due to the time constrain, I did not manage to. But as the saying goes, better late than never. So here it is! I certainly hope you will practise making them and serve them to your friends and relatives during the next Chinese New Year.
Jiao Zi look like yuan bao, silver or gold ingots used as currency during the Ming Dynasty, and as the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money, serving them is believed to bring prosperity. This is the reason why many families eat these at midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve.
Jiaozi typically consist of a ground meat (pork, chicken or beef and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough that is slightly thicker than the wanton skin. It is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping.
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Serve 4 persons
For the dumplings:
60 dumpling wrappers (store bought wrapper)
650g napa cabbage
1 ½ tablespoons salt
500g ground pork/beef/chicken (as long as they aren’t too lean)
Handful of black fungus
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons chopped green onions, green and white parts
3 tablespoons ShaoXing wine
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons superior soy sauce
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Some water for wrapping the dumpling
For the dipping sauces:
3cm of ginger, thinly shredded
Chinese black vinegar
Hot Chilli Sauce
- Soak the black fungus in water till soft. Rinse, drain and cut into small pieces. Set aside.
- Rinse and cut the cabbage into small pieces.
- Toss the cabbage and salt together in a large bowl and let sit for 15 minutes.
- Drain the cabbage in a colander over a sink and use your hands to squeeze out the excess moisture.
- In a large bowl, stir together the minced meat, cabbage, black fungus, ginger, green onions, wine, sesame oil, soy sauce and white pepper.
- Stir in one direction with a chopstick until well mixed.
- Put slightly less than a tablespoon of filling in the middle. Don’t be greedy otherwise you might not be able to seal or pleat the dumplings.
- You can fold the dumplings in two ways –
- Fold the dumpling in half (semi-circle): Lift the dumpling from the work surface and fold it in half. Dampen the edges and press to seal or
- Make a pleat in either side: Use your opposite thumbs to fold a tiny pleat on either side of the dumpling, then press firmly to seal the dumpling closed. You may need to dab a little water under the pleat to make it stick.
- Place the dumplings on a big tray/plate that has been dusted with some flour to ensure that the dumplings do not stick to the plate.
- Repeat step 6 and 7 until all the filling is used.
Boiling the dumplings:
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then drop the dumplings in.
- Cook till the dumplings float to the top and the skins are cooked through.
- Transfer to a big plate or dish out into individual plates and garnish with some chopped coriander.
- Serve immediately with the below dipping sauces.
- Add the shredded ginger into the Chinese black vinegar.
- Add some soya sauce into the hot chili sauce.
If you have leftover dumplings and you want to freeze them, put them on a baking sheet and put them into the freezer. Once frozen solid, gather them into a container and keep frozen for up to 3 months.