The ingredients of dumpling include flour, potatoes, bread or matzoh meal, meat or fish, even sweets. These ingredients endow the dumplings with rich tastes, so dumplings may be sweet, spicy or savoury. Besides the large variety of the ingredients, the cooking methods of this food will influence the taste. They can be cooked by boiling, steaming, simmering, frying, or baking, so dumplings can be eaten by themselves, in soups or stews, with gravy, or as a fast, takeaway food; a very practical food.
Making Chinese Dumplings
We have mentioned that during your Xian tour, you can make Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) by yourself. So, let get a head start. Remember, Chinese dumplings (jiaozi) may be divided into various types depending on how they are cooked, such as the boiled dumplings, steamed dumplings and dry-fried dumplings. We will begin with boiled dumplings.
Step 1 The skin to wrap the fillings is made with flour. In the past, the skin was made by hand, but now you can buy them from the market.
Step 2 Peel them apart and lay a dumpling skin on your palm, keeping it flat so that the fillings can be put in the centre of the skin as much as possible.
Step 3 After putting the fillings in the skin, use a drop of water on a fingertip to dampen the edges, like the glue on an envelope; fold the skin around the filling and pinch the edges together so your little package holds together while cooking. You can use your imagination to make the shape of Jiaozi fashionable, but look at the traditional shape and try to copy that first.
Step 4 Put the Jiaozi into the pot of boiling water. For the best results, wait till the water begins boiling again, then add enough cold water to bring it off the boil; do this three times then allow them to cook till the skin becomes transparent.
Step 5 Enjoy your Jiaozi meal with chopsticks.