Chinese New Year Dumplings

Jiaozi Dumplings

Jiaozi (餃子) or dumpling is perhaps the most special food in people’s life thousands of years ago in China because it is served at a particular time and day. People, typically in northern China, have a custom to stay up on the eve of Lunar New Year to wrap jiaozi before midnight and eat them on the first hour of the Lunar New Year. This is mainly because ‘jiaozi’ sounds like a word meaning ‘bidding farewell to the old and ushering in the new.’

Jiaozi Dumplings
Jiaozi Dumplings
Jiaozi Dumplings
Jiaozi Dumplings

In the old times, usually a coin is hidden in one of the dumplings. The person who find or bite the coin is said to be lucky, good fortune and prosperous in the New Year. Dumplings therefore is shaped like gold ingots, which symbolize wealth. Putting coins in dumplings are not popular anymore, perhaps for safety reason, and save a tooth or two from chipping.

While the custom is still practice on Lunar New Year, however, jiazo becomes a casual and everyday meal nowadays. It is considered an easy, healthy and quick meal to put together with a gingery vinaigrette soy sauce for dipping. Any type of meat could be used as the main ingredients – beef, pork, shrimp or even vegetables for vegetarians.

Making it for the first time, the hardest part for me was to get the folds of the wrapping perfectly. After twenty or thirty of them, my fingers slowly got the hang of it. Now, I could call myself the jiaozi mastah.

Jiaozi Dumplings
Jiaozi Dumplings
Jiaozi Dumplings

Jiaozi (餃子) / Dumpling

Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Yield: 30

1 lb ground pork
2 stalks green onion, thinly chopped
1″ ginger, chopped
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp white grounded pepper
30 jiaozi wrappers
Roasted black sesame for garnish.

Ginger Vinaigrette Dip
1 clove garlic, fried
1/2″ ginger, chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black vinegar
pinch of sugar

Mix everything together. Set aside.

Place ground pork in a bowl. Add green onion, ginger, shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil and white grounded pepper. Mix until well combined.

Scoop about a 1-1/2″ diameter wide mixture and place on middle of the wrapper. Watch the tutorial video below for folding technique, which I consulted and worked well.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Gently place jiaozi in boiling water. Until jiazo float to the top of water, use a strainer to scoop them out. Plate them. Either pour the ginger vinaigrette sauce over or use as dip. Garnish with roasted black sesame.

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29 Responses to Chinese New Year Dumplings

  1. Leah says:

    How interesting that people used to put coins in the dumplings! I like the little bit of history. 🙂

  2. Blog post twinsies! Ur dumplings look beautiful! You definitely did master the folds! We, on the other hand, had a lot more trouble…haha! Love this post!


  3. vnvie says:

    I would have these dumplings throughout the year just as well! Pork and cabbage filled ones are so delicious 🙂

  4. petit4chocolatier says:

    Irene, these look very delicious!

  5. I’ve been having Jiaozi craving lately. This makes me drool!

  6. gotasté says:

    I’ve tried making these long time ago but failed terribly. Yours looks so professional! Love it.

  7. Yii-Huei says:

    So beautiful! I love dumplings 🙂

    • Irene says:

      Thanks, Yii-Huei! I was afraid to attempt it before but knowing how easy it is…I could make a bunch and have fresh ones everyday 🙂

  8. I had no idea about the coin tradition! And these dumplings are just gorgeous. I recently made my first set of dumplings and was surprised at the ease of it. I’ll definitely have to give yours a try!

    • Irene says:

      Me too! I was really surprised how easy mixing the filling together and the wrapping is not all too bad once you get the hang of it. And thanks for pre-made jiaozi wrappers (this would has taken the longest). Let me check out your recipe. I want to try a different filling next time.

  9. Marianne says:

    The pictures look like the dumplings have been pan seared, not boiled.

  10. ideflex says:

    Now I’m really hungry – thanks for visiting!

  11. Trina says:

    These look delicious. Just wondering of you cook the ground beef first?

    • Irene says:

      Hi Trina! You don’t need to cook the meat first. It should be raw for wrapping. It will get cook fairly quick when you boil the entire dumpling.

  12. Pingback: Chinese New Year Recipes

  13. Julia Schiller says:

    Hi Irene, Your photos are beautiful. My company is about to reprint our Raid the Pantry game and I’d love to include one of your photos on the Dumpling card. I’d be happy to send you a free game and include a link to your blog on the Raid website but I need to hear from you in a few days. Julia Schiller, Director, Cheeky Parrot Games

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