Jiaozi – Chi­nese Dumplings

The New Year is just around the corner, so what better time for a very tra­di­tional Jiaozi recipe from our Aus­trian sis­ters, Qi­on­glin and Yuru WU.

Jiaozi is a well-known dish throughout China. The recipe varies from one region to the next. There are also dif­fe­rent fol­ding tech­ni­ques, and the fil­ling can be pre­pared ac­cording to va­rying tastes … using ve­ge­ta­bles or sea­food, for ex­ample. The Jiaozi we are showing you here, are made using mixed minced meat, car­rots and oxheart cabbage.

Hen­dian (Yuru WU)

Jiaozi is a dish tra­di­tio­nally pre­pared and eaten tog­e­ther by the whole family at New Year – and that’s how we do it in the WU home, too. Our grand­par­ents and par­ents, and we the children, all gather round the dining table, and ever­yone has a part to play:

Papa, head chef of the WU family, pre­pares the fil­ling, while Mama gets the dough ready. Then, once it’s all ready, Grandma rolls out the dough in the tra­di­tional manner, while we sib­lings fold the Jiaozi into their dum­pling shape.

As a family, we all really enjoy it, and it’s a great way to start the New Year together.

In­gre­dients

for 4 – 6 people

Dough
  • 750 g flour (type 450)
  • 2.5 tbsp. salt
  • 400 ml lu­ke­warm water
Fil­ling
  • 500 g mixed minced meat
  • 250 g chopped carrots
  • 250 g chopped oxheart cabbage
  • 3 tbsp. soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp. dark soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 2 pin­ches of pepper
  • 3 pieces of scallions
  • 30 ml of oil
  • 20 g ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves

Pre­pa­ra­tion

For the dough, simply mix the flour, salt and water. When you see lumps be­gin­ning to form, knead the dough well with your hands. To test if the dough is soft enough, press it with your finger. If it re­gains its shape wi­thout any indent forming, then it is ready. If this is not the case, simply moisten your hands with some water, and con­tinue knea­ding the dough. Once it has been kne­aded, allow the dough to rest for a while. Do this by sprea­ding a cloth or some cling film over the dough to pre­vent it drying out.

NOTE: The longer the dough re­mains wrapped in the cling film, the softer it will become, BUT don’t let it get too soft, so keep a close eye on it!

Now, let’s turn to the filling.

Add the car­rots and oxheart cab­bage to the minced meat, and season ever­ything with the soya sauce, oyster sauce, salt and pepper. Mix the fil­ling well. Now, heat the oil and add the finely chopped garlic and ginger. After 30 se­conds, or once you can smell the aromas, mix the garlic and ginger, tog­e­ther with the oil, into the filling.

The fil­ling can be varied ac­cording to your own par­ti­cular pre­fe­rences. For ve­ge­ta­rians and vegans, we re­com­mend sub­sti­tu­ting the meat for ve­ge­ta­bles with low water content.

Now it’s time to shape our dum­plings. Sprinkle some flour onto your work sur­face, and put about a third of the dough onto the sur­face. If your work sur­face is large enough, you can put all of the dough out in one go. Cover the rest of the dough. You need small round discs of dough to make the dum­plings. There are two ways of doing this:

  1. The quick method: roll out the dough until it is about 2 mm thick, and cut out the discs using a large cir­cular cookie cutter (approx. 10 cm in diameter).
  2. Tra­di­tional method: shape the dough into a roll, and using a knife, cut it into equally-sized pieces about 4 cm long. Using your hand, press down the small lump of dough until it is flat, and roll out into medium-thick discs (approx. 2 mm). The discs should be about 10 cm in dia­meter. Make sure that the edge is a little thinner than the centre, so that after shaping the dum­plings, they have the same thic­kness all over.

Now for the filling.

Place about 1-2 teas­poons of fil­ling into the centre of the disc of dough, and seal. Take a look at the video to see how to fold the dum­plings pro­perly. You’ll soon get the hang of it with a little practice.

Place the sealed dum­plings on a tray dusted with some flour, and cover with cling film to stop the dough drying out.

Now you just have to cook the dum­plings in boi­ling water for about 7 to 9 minutes.

Fi­nally, serve with a small bowl of soya sauce. And they’re ready.

As we say in the WU house­hold, 请慢用 [qíng màn yòng] and 新年快乐 [xīn nián kuài lè]!

(Bon ap­petit and a Happy New Year!)

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