The dumpling is a traditional dish in Northern China. Known as jiaozi in Chinese, dumplings can be served anytime of the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a light snack. In fact, in Northern China, wheat-based foods such as dumplings, noodles, and bread often replace steamed rice as the main part of the meal.
In Beijing, there are many dumpling restaurants that offer jiaozi. My favorite restaurant is Tianjin Bai Jiao Yuan, a humble but buzzing neighborhood dumpling house that serves up to hundreds of delectable northern-style dumplings with pork, beef, shrimp, crab, sea cucumber, mantis prawn, and salted egg yolk as fillings. Made with the most basic ingredients of ground pork and chive, this Pork and Chive Dumplings recipe reminds me of my many eating trips at Tianjin Bai Jiao Yuan.
Makes 20 dumplings or serves 4 as an appetizer or snack
- 20 store-bought jiaozi or pot sticker wrappers or homemade dumpling Wrappers
- 4 cups (1 liter) water, for boiling
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) dumpling dipping Sauce, for dipping
- 8 oz (250 g) ground pork
- 2 oz (50 g) fresh garlic chives, cut into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 3 dashes white pepper
- Make the Filling by combining all the ingredients together. Chill the Filling in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- To assemble the Pork and Chive Dumpling, place a piece of dumpling wrapper on your palm and spoon about 1 heaping teaspoon of the Filling onto the wrapper. Do not overfill. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of water and circle around the outer edges of the dumpling wrapper. Fold the dumpling over to form a half-moon shape. Finish by pressing the edges with your thumb and index finger to ensure that the dumpling is sealed tightly and there is no leakage. Repeat the same for the remaining wrappers and Filling.
- Place the dumplings on a floured surface or baking sheet. Cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent drying.
- Bring the water to a boil in a pot. Gently transfer the wrapped dumplings into the boiling water and boil until the dumplings float to the top, about 3 minutes.
- Remove the dumplings with a slotted spoon, draining the excess water, then serve immediately with the Dumpling Dipping Sauce.
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