Jiao Zi

Yield: approximately 35 dumplings


  • 1 package Jiao Zi wrappers, or round wonton wrappers (available in the refrigerated section)
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon mushroom soy sauce (Pearl River Bridge brand is excellent)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 scallions, minced (use both the white and green part of the scallion)
  • 2 cups finely shredded Napa Cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Place all ingredients in a medium bowl and work the mixture until well combined. Do not overwork.

Working with a few wrappers at a time, place 1 level teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to form a half moon. Pinch one end of the half moon together. Starting with this end, use your thumb and index finger to form pleats in the top of the dumpling, until it is completely sealed. Stand each dumpling pleat side up on a tray, lightly dusted with flour.

Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil, and season with 2 teaspoons of salt. Add half of the Jiao Zi to the boiling water. Immediately add 1 cup cold water to the pot to keep the water from boiling too furiously. When the water returns to a gentle boil, cook the Jiao Zi about 7 minutes, until the pork is cooked through. Remove the Jiao Zi to a plate, and cook the remaining dumplings in the same manner.

Serve immediately in individual bowls with the following dipping sauce:

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar,
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 teaspoons chili oil, or more to taste

Leftover Jiao Zi may be refrigerated, and pan-fried the next day. When pan-fried they are known as “Guo Tie”, or potstickers. To make potstickers, heat a wok or a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil, or vegetable oil until it starts to shimmer. Add the dumplings one side down, being careful not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the dumplings 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown on one side. Add 1/3 cup water to the pan, cover, and steam the dumplings for about 5 minutes or until all of the water is absorbed. You will hear the crackling sound as the dumplings begin to re-crisp in the oil once the water is gone. Uncover the pan, being careful of the steam. Remove the potstickers with a spatula, and serve with the same dipping sauce used for the Jiao Zi.

written by: Jim Becker, Chinatown Guide

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