CHINESE DUMPLINGS (Jiao Zi)
Recipe courtesy of Liya Wang | Makes 36 dumplings
January 2011 Issue
Recipe: Jiao Zi
Liya Wang, a professor of sociology at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, shares her recipe for jiao zi, which she makes at home once a week. The meat-and cabbage-filled dumplings were a family favorite when she was growing up in Tianjin, near Beijing, China.
36 round dumpling wrappers (available at Asian markets)*
• 2 cups Napa cabbage, finely chopped
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 3/4 pound ground pork
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 1 green onion, finely minced
• 2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger
• 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
• cold water for shocking dumplings
1. Finely chop the Napa cabbage and toss with one teaspoon of salt. Place it in a sieve set over a bowl and allow to drain for 30 minutes. Remove from sieve and squeeze as much liquid from the cabbage as you can.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine the pork, soy sauce, remaining teaspoon of salt, white pepper and sesame oil, stirring in only one direction (this ensures that the mixture will be cohesive). Add the green onion, ginger and garlic, stirring in the same direction, until combined.
3. Holding one dumpling wrapper in your hand, place one tablespoon of filling into the middle of the wrapper. Wet the edges with water and fold the dough over the filling to form a half-moon shape. Pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder of the dumplings.
4. To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil (Wang uses a 14-inch wok). Working in batches, add one-third of the dumplings to the boiling water, being careful not to overcrowd your pot. Let the water return to a boil and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of cold water to the pot to shock the dumplings. Bring the water to a boil again, them immediately remove the dumplings. Serve immediately with your choice of dipping sauce.
*Do not use wonton wrappers, which are thinner. Although her parents always made the dough by hand, Wang says she usually uses store-bought dumpling wrappers to save time.