Monday, May 24, 2021

In celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Arlington Public Library has created a tutorial on how to make Chinese jiaozi, a type of dumpling that usually has ground meat and vegetables. Dumplings are very special to many Asian cultures. They can be sweet or savory and made with a myriad of fillings and wrappers. Due to how labor-intensive they can be, dumplings are often made for special occasions and may involve the whole family. Whether it is China and Taiwan’s jiaozi, Korea’s mandu, Japan’s gyoza, Nepal’s momo, Mongolia’s buuz, India’s modak, they are all delicious.

Today’s recipe features a variation of China and Taiwan’s jiaozi. This is a recipe that our library staff member uses when she makes them for friends and family.

Ingredients

Filling

1 lb ground pork

½ lb shrimp (de-veined and peeled)

½ lb chives

2 inches of ginger

1 bunch of green onions

1 egg – egg whites only

Seasoning – will not all be used at the same time, so keep measuring spoons handy.

3 tbsp soy sauce

3 tbsp sesame oil

2 tbsp cooking wine

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp white pepper

Additional Ingredients

1 pack of dumpling wrappers (may vary from 48-60).

Flour to keep the dumplings from sticking together

Water

Make sure to put in the soy sauce as the instructions say. The pork needs more sodium for the soy sauce than the shrimp does. This recipe will make about 48 dumplings.

Instructions

Making the Filling

1.      With a cleaver knife, cut the shrimp into small pieces. The shrimp should nearly be a mash. Be careful not to completely mash the shrimp to maintain the chewiness of the dumpling filling. When mashed, add salt and pepper to taste.

2.      Finely mince or grate two inches of fresh ginger. Add some of the ginger to the shrimp for taste.

3.      Press the ground pork down to the shape of the bowl. Add the remaining ginger, two tablespoons of soy sauce, and one tablespoon of cooking wine to the pork. Mix it together a bit, then add ½ teaspoon of sugar. Mix in the white pepper and a pinch of salt. Add in 1 tablespoon of sesame oil and mix it in. While mixing, add 2-3 teaspoons of water to the pork. Pick up and throw the meat in the bowl to create a sticky consistency. Try to mix the filling in the same direction. This will help build the sticky consistency.

4.      Transfer the ground pork to a larger bowl and add the shrimp. Combine it together, then add one tbsp of soy sauce. Continue to mix well. 

5.      Throw the meat against the bowl and mix it until it is sticky and can be rolled into a ball shape.

6.      Cover the meat and refrigerate the filling for 20-30 minutes.

7.      In the meantime, start the vegetables. Chop off the ends of the garlic chives and finely chop them. Add one tablespoon of cooking oil to the chives and mix. 

8.      Finely chop three green onions.

9.      Crack one egg and separate the egg whites from the yolk.

10.  Set aside ½ cup of water.

11.  Take out the filling from the refrigerator after at least 20 minutes have passed.

12.  Add the green onion to the filling and mix in. Then slowly add in the chives as you mix.

13.  Mix until the green onion, chives, and filling have bound together. 

Wrapping the Dumplings

1.      Add flour to the cutting board or baking pan, whatever you choose to lay the dumplings out on. This will keep the dumplings from sticking to the board. Lay out a few dumpling wrappers at a time onto the cutting board. Avoid laying out too many because you do not want the wrappers to dry out before you can fold the dumplings.

2.      Add a spoonful of the filling into the center of the wrapper. 

3.      Wet your finger with water and coat the entire edge of the wrapper. Pinch close from the middle. Push in the edges and fold in. Add one pleat on each side of the middle pleat.

4.      Dust the dumpling bottom with flour and place it on the cutting board.

Cooking the Dumplings

1.      Fill a pot with water and add in a pinch of salt. Set the pot to boil. Make sure that the water is at a rolling boil before continuing to the next step.

2.      When the water is at a rolling boil, put the dumplings in. 

3.      When the water reaches a rolling boil again, add in cold or room temperature water until the boiling stops. You will not need to add a lot of cold water. Repeat this process one more time. You should add in cold water only twice.

4.      Once the water starts boiling for the third time and the dumplings have floated to the top, take out the dumplings. 

1.      Note: If you are cooking the dumplings frozen, you may need to add cold water up to three times.

5.      Place the dumpling on a plate coated with sesame oil. The oil will keep the dumplings from sticking together. 

6.      To make the sauce, mix sesame oil and soy sauce together. 

Want to panfry them and make your jiaozi into potstickers? You can use the directions below!

1.      Heat your pan up and add a bit of oil to cover the bottom of the pan.

2.      Carefully lay your dumplings in the pan. Make sure not to crowd the dumplings. You want the bottom of the dumplings to be touching the pan, not pushed up against each other.

3.      Add water (test with ½ cup) until the bottom of your pan is covered and the dumpling skin touching the bottom of the pan is covered.

4.      Turn the heat on to medium-low and cover your pan. Let it simmer until the water has steamed out and the potstickers are cooked. The skin will turn translucent when it is done.

5.      Prepare your dipping sauce and enjoy your potstickers