Want to learn how to make Chinese dumplings from scratch? Dumplings are called jiaozi in Chinese, which is a reference to the Chinese New Year: Jiao means "to join," and zi is the time when the first and eleventh hours meet (i.e., midnight). Chinese dumplings made from scratch can have any fillings you like, but the most common traditional filling is ground pork.
To make Chinese dumplings from scratch, you will need:
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup chopped garlic chives
- 1/2 teaspoon each soy sauce and sesame oil
- 1/2 tablespoon rice wine
- dash each salt and white pepper
- two cups flour
- 1/2 cup water
- wet towel
- rolling pin
- large pot
- slotted spoon
- black vinegar (optional)
- Combine the ingredients for the filling: pork, garlic chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, salt and pepper.
- Mix the filling well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, so you'll have time to make the dough for the dumpling skins.
- Combine the flour and water. Knead the dough for about 20 to 25 minutes; it should become soft and pliable.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll each half into a log about one inch thick.
- Cut a 1/4-inch piece off one dough log. Cover the rest with a wet towel so it won't dry out while you're working.
- Roll the dough out into a circle, about three inches in diameter.
- Place about a teaspoon of filling in the center of the skin. Fold it in half and seal the edges (you may need to wet them slightly for it to stick).
- Repeat the process with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Gently drop in the dumplings, leaving enough room for them to move around.
- Cover the pot and boil until the dumplings float to the top. Remove them with a slotted spoon.
- Serve the dumplings with black vinegar, a Chinese condiment and sauce similar to balsamic vinegar.
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