Back in 1990, I took my shiny new English teaching degree to Nanchang, China, to teach for a year. Students and teachers had several "jiaozi parties" in my little apartment, which took all after noon between making the dough, grinding the pork with a cleaver, adding vegetables, and forming and cooking the dumplings, or jiaozi /GEE-ow-zuh/
I will show you short cuts on how to make scads of dumplings that can be fried or boiled and eaten with broth. You will never have to pay a lot of money for just 5 or 6 dumplings at P.F. Chang's again!
1Put ground pork in a medium mixing bowl and add the scallions, cabbage, cornstarch, cilantro, and ginger, and mix well. (Notice I use cilantro and ginger paste for convenience without diminishing flavor.)
2I use cilantro and ginger paste for convenience without diminishing flavor.
3Put 1-2 eggroll wrappers on counter, place drinking glass or biscuit cutter on top, and push and twist until it cuts through the dough.
4Place a "light" teaspoon of the pork mixture in the middle of the dough circle. Don't overfill or your dough will tear open!
5Using water from the bowl, wet the top half of dough with your index finger.
6Fold the bottom half of dough to top and pinch in the middle, making a half circle.
7Fold and pinch each side, sort of like a pie crust.
8(This is where the Chinese would decide if your dumplings were ugly or pretty! Trust me, many of mine were ugly at first, but they all taste the same!)
9Set finished dumplings/jiaozi on large cutting board.
10FOR BOILED JIAOZI SOUP: Boil 6-8 cups water in large pot. Add jiaozi and watch for it to boil again.
11After the jiaozi rise to the top in a rolling boil for 5 minutes, add 2 more cups of COLD water and let it reboil for another 5 minutes.
12Ladle jiaozi into bowls with broth. Serve with small dishes of a mixture of 2 T soy sauce (Chinese: jung yo) OR amino acids (I use Bragg's brand), 2 T white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of white sugar mixed together.
13FOR FRIED JIAOZI (more common in the U.S.): Using the largest frying pan you can find, heat 4 T oil, preferably grape seed or coconut, but vegetable will do, on medium high heat. Lay jiaozi close together, filling the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on one side, cooking until just golden brown.
14Flip over and cook for another 3-4 minutes, watching until they are just golden brown. (This is also called "Sticky jiaozi" by the Chinese for a reason!)
Remove from heat, and use a spatula to put on plates.
15Serve with small dishes of a mixture of 2 T soy sauce (Chinese: jung yo) OR amino acids (I use Bragg's brand), 2 T white vinegar, and 1 teaspoon of white sugar mixed together.
16Serve and enjoy! GOMBEI! (CHEERS!)
NOTE: Chinese will often pour some of the dipping sauce directly into the jiaozi soup, or add some soy sauce.)