Beyond the Potsticker – Jiaozi!

17 Apr

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When I was 20 (long, long ago), I taught English in Beijing for a summer. While I was there, one of my students invited me over one weekend and her family taught me how to make jiaozi.

My life has never been the same. 😉

Last week, I went to cook this dish for my friends Tim and Amy and their family. They lived in China for several years and these dumplings are still a family favorite.

A few years ago on Chinese New Year, we threw a giant jiaozi party at their house. There were at least 30 people there. Everyone helped wrap the jiaozi, and then we had a feast.

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Since then, every time I make jiaozi, I have to share some with their family. It just doesn’t feel right to keep all the jiaozi deliciousness to myself!

“Ooohhh, I’m so full,” Tim groaned. A few minutes later, he was snacking on another dumpling.

I was in the same boat. The little morsels are irresistible.

I used to boil them, which was good. But now I pan-fry them, which makes them chewy on top and crispy on bottom. oh. my.

If there’s only one new recipe you try this month (this year?), I challenge you to try this one! Don’t be intimidated…they really are quite easy to make. Who knows, they might even become your family’s new favorite, too!

My Jiaozi Recipe

1 lb. ground beef, pork, or turkey

1 cup minced green onions

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 T. rice wine

1 T. sesame oil

2 T. soy sauce

3/4 t. salt

Pepper

Combine all ingredients. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to marinate.

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Next, make the dipping sauce by combining 1/4 cup soy sauce, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1/4 cup minced green onions. Set aside.

When meat mixture is finished marinating, place a rounded teaspoonful onto each wrapper. I use these from Aihua International Market or the China Lu Market (you can get the sesame oil, soy sauce, and rice wine at either of these stores, as well).

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Beat an egg in a bowl and use your fingers to put some of the raw egg around the edge of half the wrapper (if raw egg grosses you out, you can just use water). Fold the wrapper in half and pinch well to seal, forming little crescents.

The proper way to fold jiaozi involves little folds on the edges, but this cook is too lazy for all that – sorry! If you’re ambitious or just curious about the proper method, watch the following video.

Now it’s time to pan-fry! Here’s an awesome and easy tutorial on how to do so:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1M5vzx-n-D0&list=LL_yVVEL1G7WAWv_FSpDdD5w

ENJOY!!!

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