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Chinese Dumplings for Lunar New Year

Dumplings 饺子jiǎozi are a staple in Chinese cuisine, but with Spring Festival 春节chūnjié coming up, they are even more symbolic. Because of the crescent and plump shape, dumplings look very similar to the gold ingots historically used for currency. So, during Chinese New Year, Chinese people will eat dumplings because they represent wealth for the coming year. Plus, they are delicious.

With Lunar New Year coming up, here is a recipe for 50 Chinese Leek and Pork Dumplings 猪肉韭菜饺子zhūròu jiǔcài jiǎozi.

Chinese Leek and Pork Dumplings: 猪肉韭菜饺子

Preparation time: 1-2 hours

For 4 people 

Ingredients (材料 cáiliào):

  • Flour (1kg)
  • Minced pork (500g)
  • Chinese leek (500g)
  • Ginger (100g) 
  • Soy sauce (4 tablespoons)
  • Salt (1 tablespoon)
  • Sugar (2 tablespoons)
  • Cooking oil (3 tablespoons)
  • MSG (3 tablespoons) [optional]
  • 面粉 (2斤) miànfěn (liǎng jīn)
  • 猪肉碎 (1斤) zhūròu suì (yī jīn)
  • 韭菜 (1斤) jiǔcài (yī jīn)
  • 姜 (100克) jiāng (yībǎi kè)
  • 酱油 (4勺) jiàngyóu (sì sháo)
  • 盐 (1勺) yán (yī sháo)
  • 糖 (2勺) táng (liǎng sháo)
  • 调和油 (3勺) tiáohéyóu (sān sháo)
  • 味精 (3勺) wèijīng (sān sháo) [可选 kěxuǎn]
You’ll also need a rolling pin 擀面杖 gǎnmiànzhàng!

Instructions (做法步骤 zuòfǎ bùzhòu):

Dough (面团 miàntuán):

1. 首先shǒuxiān面团miàntuán准备zhǔnbèihǎojiāng面粉miànfěnfàngwǎnjiā1/3sān fēn zhī yīdeshuǐróudào面粉miànfěn柔软róuruǎn而且érqiě粘手zhānshōu这个zhège揉面róumiànde步骤bùzhòu叫做jiàozuò”和面”“huómiàn”

Translation. Let’s start by preparing the dough. In a large bowl, put the flour and add ⅓ of water. Knead the dough with your hands until it combines to a smooth non-sticking dough. The action of kneading the dough is called 和面huómiàn (be careful, 和 is not pronounced “hé” here)!

2. ràng面团 miàntuán xǐng15 shíwǔ dào30 sānshí分钟 fēnzhōng

Translation. Let it rise for 15-30 minutes. This is called 醒面 xǐngmiàn.

Filling (馅儿 xiànr):

1. 韭菜jiǔcài干净gānjìnghòuqiēsuì

Translation: Wash the Chinese leek, and chop finely.

2. jiāngduòsuì

Translation: Mince the ginger.

3. wǎnzhōngfàng韭菜jiǔcàijiāng猪肉zhūròusuì

Translation: In a large bowl, combine the Chinese leek, the ginger and the minced pork.

4. jiāyántáng酱油jiàngyóu调和油tiáohéyóu如果rúguǒyǒudehuà可以kěyǐjiā味精wèijīng搅拌jiǎobàn均匀jūnyún

Translation: Add the salt, sugar, soy sauce, cooking oil, MSG if available. Mix it together.

Dumplings (饺子 jiǎozi):

1. 面团miàntuánqiēchéngxiǎo剂子jìzi擀好gǎn hǎoyòngdiǎn面粉miànfěnfáng粘连zhānlián

Translation: Cut the dough into small pieces 剂子jìzi, and roll them gǎn. Use some flour to avoid sticking. 

2. jiāng馅儿xiànrfàngzài饺子皮jiǎozipíshang不要búyàotàiduō!

Translation: Put the filling on the dumpling wrapper 饺子皮jiăozipí, but not too much!

3. bāochéng饺子jiǎozi这个zhège步骤bùzhòu有点yǒudiǎnnánjiāngliǎng饺子皮jiǎozipí捏合niēhézài右侧yòucè部分bùfènyòng食指shízhǐjiāngxiàng中间zhōngjiān方向fāngxiàng夹紧jiājǐnliǎng左侧zuǒcè一样yíyàngbāohǎole

Translation: Wrap the dumpling. This is the tricky part! Join the two sides of the dumpling wrapper together. On the right side of the dumpling wrapper, create two pinches, one at a time, with your index finger. Do the same on the left side. And you are done wrapping your dumpling!

For Fried Dumplings (煎饺 jiān jiǎo):

1. Put a thin layer of oil in a skillet and add the dumplings

2. After a couple of minutes, add water so it covers ¾ of the dumplings.

3. Wait 10-15 min until the water evaporates. Lower the heat towards the end, so it doesn’t burn.

4. When the dumplings look golden (as in the picture), it’s ready!

For Boiled Dumplings (水饺 shuǐ jiǎo):

1. In a pot, bring water to a boil and add the dumplings.

2. Wait for it to boil a second time, and add a large glass of cold water.

3. Wait for the water to boil a third time and add another glass of cold water.

4. Once the water comes to a boil for a fourth time, the dumplings are perfectly cooked!

For the dipping sauce, we usually use vinegar soy sauce 酱油醋jiàngyóu cù, a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. Now, let’s eat! 开吃吧kāi chī ba!

To learn even more about dumplings, here are three of our articles about Chinese dumplings you can read (premium):

Eating Dumplings for the Winter Solstice (master)

Wrapping Dumplings (master) 

Regarding ‘Jiaozi’ (master)

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