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.’
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 (餃子) / Dumpling
Preparation Time: 50 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
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.