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Mandarin - jiao zi

Jiao zi is Chinese style dumplings with meat and vegetable stuffing. They are typically served as snacks or during lunch, in big platters. They can be fried or steamed, and is usually served with red or plain vinegar. The ones I'm about to node are of the Southern Chinese variety. The Northern variety has soup inside, and are smaller. While the Southern ones have wet stuffing, it is not to the degree of its counterpart, resulting in a "meatier" tasting dumpling. Both are excellent, and can be found cheap at any Chinatown at street-side stalls. In China, for 4RMB (US$0.50), I can buy a tasty meal on the street. There has been a recent boom in the restaurant industry in Shanghai, especially in the snack variety. Dumplings are one of the main meals served.

Here is a recipe I stole off my mom. Enjoy.

  1. Dough: Add a pinch of salt to a bag of plain flour. Grab a small handful in your palm, and roll it into a ball about 2cm in diameter. Use a dumpling stick to flatten it out (found in Chinatown), or if your fingers are feeling nimble, flatten it out into a circle, with the edges especially thin. Moisten your fingers or the stick with a few drops of water to make it work better.
  2. Stuffing

    Minced pork (shoulder pork is good), 250 grams
    Chopped Chinese cabbage, 250 grams

    Add 2/3 teaspoon of salt into the pork, add a bit of chopped garlic or some chopped green onions, a bit of soy sauce, and 1/4 bowl of water. Stir quickly with a spatula until the mixture becomes sticky. Add the vegetables and swirl it some more, until the mixture is even.

  3. Wrapping: Put the mix into the prepared dough and wrap in a semicircle. The sticky mix should hold it together. Press the edges to make sure they stay put.
  4. Cooking: If you want to fry it, put it in a wok, add some oil, and leave it until it is golden brown. I like it this way better, because it goes better with vinegar. Or, steam it in a wok, until it is cooked. This takes longer and isn't crunchy, but it is almost fat-free. Your choice.

Editor's note: approx. 1c. water per 2.5c. flour

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