Many people wonder how to make Chinese dumplings (餃子 jiǎozī). Dumplings are very popular in China. They originated in Northern China, but are now commonly eaten all over the country.
Dumplings are good for you as they combine flour, meat, and vegetables, making them very tasty. They are especially made for holidays. When the family has a get-together, they make dumplings to celebrate. Just like people in the U.S. have turkey for Thanksgiving, Chinese have dumplings for Chinese New Year.
There are three main ways to cook dumplings. You can boil, steam, or pan-fry dumplings. All three ways are delicious.
Boiled dumplings (水餃 shǔi jiǎo, boiled in water)
Pan-fried dumplings (煎餃 jiān jiǎo, fried)
Steamed dumplings (蒸餃 zhēng jiǎo, steamed)
You can use ground beef or pork mixed with different vegetables, such as Chinese cabbage, celery, green peppers, etc.
You can also use eggs in the place of meat, either fried or scrambled eggs with mushrooms and green vegetables.
Making dumplings is easiest and more fun with teamwork. The whole family can participate, from children to the elderly.
You can buy dumpling wrappers at Chinese supermarkets, which saves time, or if you are skillful, you can make your own.
Main ingredients—ready-made dumpling wrappers, ground pork or beef, Chinese cabbage, eggs, dried mushrooms.
To make 60 dumpling wrappers:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups cold water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
To prepare filling:
- 3 cups ground pork or beef
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 small spoon of Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 3 tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 green onion, finely mince 2 cups shredded Chinese cabbage
- 2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
- 8 dried mushrooms soaked in water, then finely minced
Making wrappers and putting filling in.
Add cold water to flour to form a smooth dough. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients.
- Add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine, and 1/2 spoon sesame oil to the meat, stirring in only one direction. Add the remaining ingredients,
- Add the onion and ginger, stir in one direction, and mix well.
- Put in the vegetables, such as cabbage or celery, and mix up with the meat. Stir in one direction until ready to use.
Divide the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter.
Place a small portion (about 1 level tbsp) of the filling into the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumplings.
Pan-fried or water-boiled dumplings are ready to serve.
To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. After the water boils, put 15 dumplings in the pot, giving them a gentle stir so they don’t stick together. Bring the water to a boil again, and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When water boils again, put 1/2 cup of cold water in again, and wait till is boils. When the dumplings come to a boil for a third time, they are ready. Drain water out, put on a plate, and serve.
If desired, the dumplings can also be steamed or pan-fried.
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