These round dumplings signify family reunion. In northern China families traditionally spend New Year's Eve together preparing the dumplings, which are eaten at midnight. One lucky person may find a gold coin inside! Crescent-shaped Jiaozi are a symbol of wealth and prosperity because of their resemblance to ancient Chinese money (silver ingots).
3 cups all-purpose flour
Up to 1 1/4 cups cold water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ground pork or beef
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper, or to taste
3 tablespoons sesame oil
1/2 green onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
4 tablespoons shredded bamboo shoots
2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely minced
Stir the salt into the flour. Slowly stir in the cold water, adding as much as
is necessary to form a smooth dough. Don't add more water than is necessary.
Knead the dough into a smooth ball. Cover the dough and let it rest for at least
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling ingredients. Add the soy sauce,
salt, rice wine and white pepper to the meat, stirring in only one direction. Add
the remaining ingredients, stirring in the same direction, and mix well.
To make the dumpling dough: knead the dough until it forms a smooth ball. Divide
the dough into 60 pieces. Roll each piece out into a circle about 3-inches in diameter.
Place a small portion (about 1 level tablespoon) of the filling into the middle
of each wrapper. Wet the edges of the dumpling with water. Fold the dough over the
filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Continue with the remainder
of the dumplings.
To cook, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add half the dumplings, giving
them a gentle stir so they don't stick together. Bring the water to a boil,
and add 1/2 cup of cold water. Cover and repeat. When the dumplings come to a boil
for a third time, they are ready. Drain and remove. If desired, they can be pan-fried
at this point.