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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