JiaoZi dumplings are one of the quintessential foods eaten during the Chinese New Year. Made with ground meat, vegetables and spices, they’re one of the most important foods to eat during New Year’s celebrations. In North America, these dumplings are known as pot stickers. Follow these steps to make a special version with fillings to grace the fortunes for the new year.
Things You’ll Need:
* 1-2 packages round JiaoZi wrappers
* 1 lb. ground pork
* ½ cup Chinese (Napa) cabbage
* 2 bunches of cilantro
* 1 small bunch Chinese chives
* 2 tsp. fresh grated ginger
* 4 cloves of garlic
* 1 tbsp. dark soy sauce
* 2 tbsp. sesame oil
* 2 tbsp. Chinese rice cooking wine
* 2 tsp. ground black pepper
* 1 tsp. ground white pepper
* ¼ cup vegetable oil
* 4 tbsp. light soy sauce
* 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
* well-washed 5-yen coins
* roasted chestnut meat
* roasted peanut meat
* Chinese brown sugar candy
* small bowl
* small sauté pan
* large wok or sauté pan
* kitchen tongs or a regular fork
* whisk or fork
* large bowl
Step 1 Thoroughly wash cabbage, cilantro and chives. Very finely mince the green vegetables and garlic to a size no larger than ¼-inch pieces. Divide the garlic into two equal portions. One portion will be used for the dumplings. One portion will go into the sauce.
Step 2 Peel a knob of ginger ½-inch in length. You can easily peel ginger by scraping the skin off with a spoon. Once the ginger is peeled, grate the ginger using a fine cheese grater or a dedicated ginger grater. Set aside.
Step 3 In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, soy sauce, one tablespoon of sesame oil, cooking wine and both peppers. Stir contents in one direction to keep the meat fibers together, which will keep the dumplings from falling apart when you eat them.
Step 4 Once the spices and liquids have been incorporated, add in the vegetables, ginger and garlic to the meat. Again, stir in the same direction as before.
Step 5 Before filling the wrappers, test a small amount of the filling. To do so, heat a teaspoon of oil in a small sauté pan. Fry a teaspoon of the filling until it is cooked through, approximately three minutes. The filling should stick together in a ball.
Step 6 Taste the cooked filling. Adjust any of the flavors of the uncooked filling to your liking.
Step 7 Once you’ve tested the filling and adjusted the flavors, set a small bowl filled with water near your working space. Lay out one wrapper and wet the edges with the water.
Step 8 Take the dumpling wrapper in your off hand and put a small spoonful, approximately 2 tbsp., in the center of the wrapper. Stuff one of the special items into the middle of the filling. The special items are a 5 yen coin, a small lump of brown sugar candy, a roasted chestnut and a roasted peatnut.
Step 9 Fold the wrapper in half so it resembles a half circle. Pinch the two places where the wrapper is folded over. This is the bottom of the half circle.
Step 10 Then, working from one end, gather a small fold on one side of the wrapper. Pinch the fold onto the other, unfolded side of the wrapper. Keep folding and pinching until the dumpling is sealed. Continue to make dumplings until you use all of the filling.
Step 11 In a 12-inch sauté pan or wok, heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Gently lay your dumplings in the bottom of the pan. Fry them for approximately five minutes, until the bottom of the dumplings start to brown. Using a pair of kitchen tongs or a fork, turn the dumplings over to an unbrowned side and cook until the dumplings are browned evenly on all sides.
Step 12 Splash one tablespoon of water into the pan and quickly cover the pan. Let the dumplings steam in the evaporating water for another minute longer.
Step 13 To make the sauce, combine the light soy sauce, the rest of the sesame oil, vinegar, garlic and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk the sauce vigorously with a whisk or a fork until all the ingredients are completely homogenous.
Step 14 Serve and enjoy.