My family never gets tired with my hand made food, especial these Chinese dumplings, also called JiaoZi in China. JiaoZi is actually the generic term in Mandarin for one of the Chinese dumplings.
JiaoZi are eaten all year round and can be eaten at any time of the day - breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can constitute one course, starter or side dish, or the main meal. It typically consist of minced meat and vegetable fillings wrapped in thin round flour dough skins or wrappers, which are then sealed and pleated by hand.
Every family has its own preferred method of making them, with favourite fillings - it can be pork, beef, mutton, seafood, fish, chicken, cabbage and Chinese chives, with more combinations of these ingredients. Vegetarian fillings are increasingly more common too. And of course, JiaoZi's types and preparation vary widely according to region.
Nutritional Information (24 dumplings):
1. 3 cups (300 g) plain flour(all purpose), sifted;
2. 180 ml (3/4 cup) lukewarm water.
1. 16 oz (500 g) lean minced beef;
2. 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste;
3. 3.5 oz (100 g) scallions(spring onions), chopped;
4. 3 teaspoons ginger, chopped;
5. 1/8 teaspoon five-spice powder;
6. 1/2 teaspoon chicken powder;
7. 1 tablespoon light soy sauce;
8. 1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry;
9. 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce;
10. 1 tablespoon brown sugar;
11. 3 tablespoons vegetable oil;
12. 1 head savoury cabbage, medium to large size.
Preparing the filling:
1. The filling can be prepared one day ahead if you use fresh meat. First of all, remove the cabbage stem and blanch it in a boiling water for 1 minute or more until the cabbage leaves are soft. Cool it down for a while, then squeeze the cabbage leaves to get rid of some exceed water. Chop it finely.
2. Heat the oil to hot in a wok, then remove from the heat to cool down. Mix all the filling ingredients together, refrigerate it till ready to be used.
Making the pastries:
1. Mix the flour with the lukewarm water gradually to make a dough. knead for 5 minutes until it is soft and springy.
2. Divide the dough into 4 portions and roll each one into a 12 inches long roll. Cut each roll into 24 pieces.
3. Flatten each piece. Using rolling pin to roll each piece into 2 inches (5 cm) circles.
Making Chinese dumplings(JiaoZi):
1. Place 1 portion of filling in the centre of each pastry(wrapper) and fold the dough over it, making a bonnet shaped pouch.
2. Pinch the edges together to seal the dumpling. Repeat until all the dough and filling are used.
Boiling the dumplings(JiaoZi):
1. Bring half big sauce pan of water to a boil over high heat, then add the dumplings.
2. Stir them around gently with a ladle, and let the water return to a boil. Add 1 mug of cold water to stop the boiling, then bring back to a boil.
3. When the water boils again, add more cold water and bring to a boil a third time. The dumplings will be done when they float to the surface. Remove, drain well, and serve with dark rice vinegar or your favourite dipping sauce.