Traditional Food for Chinese New Year—-Jiaozi
The Chinese dumpling is called as Jiaozi in Chinese, gyōza in Japanese, or mandu in Korean. The dish is widely popular in China, Japan, and Korea as well as outside of East Asia, especially in North America. It is one of the most important traditional food for Chinese New Year.
Usually, Jiaozi consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping. Jiaozi is often confused with wonton, but they are completely different. Jiaozi have a thicker, chewier skin and a flatter, more oblate, double-saucer like shape, and are usually eaten with a soy-vinegar dipping sauce or hot chili sauce. But wontons have thinner skin, are sphere-shaped, and are usually served in broth. The dough for the jiaozi and wonton wrapper also consist of different ingredients. The preparation process is as following.
To make dumplings back home is not an easy work. It is complicated and time consuming.
First of all, slowly stir the salt into 4 cups all-purpose flour in the cold water to form a smooth dough. Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Then cover the dough and let it rest for at least half an hour.
Then, prepare the filling ingredients when waiting for the dough to be ready. Add some soy sauce, salt, rice wine and white pepper to the mince, stirring in just one direction. Mix the mince with well chopped cabbage. Add minced garlic, ginger, spring onion and dried mushrooms in, stirring in the same direction to mix all ingredient well.
When the dough is done, it’s time to make the wrap for dumplings. Knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide the dough into 80 pieces, and roll each out into a circle with a diameter of about 3-inches. Then, place about a spoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with some water and fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal.
The prepared dumplings need to be cooked in a large pot of water. Add appropriate portion of the dumplings according to the size of the pot, making sure that there are not too many boiled in one pot. Gently stir the dumplings while boiling to prevent them from sticking together. When the water comes to boiling, add a cup of cold water and cover the pot keep cooking. Repeat the process till the dumplings come to a boil for the third time. Drain and remove them from the water and they are ready to be served. The dumplings can be pan-fried at this point if desired.