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Chinese Jiaozi Recipe (Pork and Chive Dumplings/韭菜饺子)

Chinese Jiaozi (Pork and Leeks Dumplings)
Chinese Jiaozi (Pork and Leeks Dumplings) pictures (11 of 12)

There is an age old saying that Chinese people live to eat, or in Chinese “民以食为天.” I am Chinese and I can strongly attest to the claim–Chinese people live for the sole purpose of eating and stuffing ourselves silly with food, food, and more food. If Maslow were to create a Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Chinese people, it would look something like this…

Chinese Hierarchy of Food Needs(OK, that was just me trying to amuse you. It’s sad, but Level 5 is actually not a myth and some people–especially the wealthy–do eat them. But I will never EVER cross into Level 5.)

Hence, Chinese New Year is a celebration of marathon eating and drinking–throw in some gambling, firecrackers burning, karaoke-ing into the mix–for 15 glorious days. For more than two weeks straight (actually 16 days if you count New Year’s Eve into it), we would be out and about looking for great eats–in restaurants, at home, at friend’s and family’s home, or just about anywhere we smell food. As a foodie, I simply looooove Chinese New Year….

Today, I am serving up a dish that most Chinese people (especially from Northern part of China) can’t do without during the Chinese New Year’s festivities--jiaozi (饺子) or Chinese dumplings. Ironically, born and raised in Malaysia,  jiaozi/dumpling has never been a part of my family’s dining table. In fact, I only discovered jiaozi when I attended college here in the US, where my Chinese friends from China would make buckets of them for the festival. Well, I must say that I am very lucky to have discovered this delicacy, and now I can’t live without them.

The beautiful thing about jiaozi is its versatility. For the filling, you can pretty much use anything you want: ground pork is the most common ingredient, but you can also fill these jiaozi/dumplings with beef, chicken, shrimp, vegetables (for vegetarian jiaozi/dumplings), or be creative and do a filling of different combos. Once I dined at a Jiaozi restaurant (dumpling house) in Beijing and it serves no less than 30 different kinds of dumplings with every possible savory filling possible. It’s simply mind boggling to decide which one to order, but suffice it to say, you can’t go wrong with jiaozi, regardless of the filling.

For today, I made a very traditional Chinese dumplings with chives and ground pork filling (韭菜饺子). Other than time consuming, it’s really not that hard to make these jiaozi. I was inspired by my friend Jen Yu at Use Real Butter.

Now, I dare you to make Chinese jiaozi/dumplings from scratch; it’s fun and the rewards are remarkably satisfying and mouthwatering!

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66 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. Brilynn

    I made pierogies today from scratch… that almost counts!

    I actually do want to make dumplings though, so it will happen sooner or later.

  2. Rasa Malaysia

    Anonymous – thanks. Yes, they are juicy, especially good when dipped in vinegar.

    Addie – Gong Xi Fa Cai.

    Big Boys – thanks and Gong Xi Fa Cai to you boys, too. :)

    Brilynn – awesome…would love to see your dumplings. :)

    Andaliman – Yes, it’s true. I am Chinese and a living proof!!! Ooooh, what is Korean gochujang? Will have to try it out.

  3. Dhanggit

    these dumplings reminded me of my best fooding in beijing :-)those good times!! and your photos are killing me! they look beautifully delicious!! i will definitely put this in my to “eat list” thanks for sharing!!!

    happy lunar new year and happy valentine :-)

  4. Oppss

    Happy CNY and Gong xi Fa Cai!
    I made some pan-fried potsticks last weekend too. but yours looked way better and “juicier” than mine.

  5. ai wei

    acme across from sugar bean! wow, the chinese dumplings are looking good! wanna learn how to make this.

    happy chinese new yaer to you!

  6. Claude-Olivier

    Awsone photos, interesting post, what could I say more ! oh, i like this smalls dumplings, it’s too good! cheers

  7. joey

    Oooh! These look and sound delicious! We have a lot of Chinese restaurants here and I am a big fan of dumplings…I have never made my own though! Maybe it’s high time I give it a try! :)

  8. lucia

    eek! even if i can afford level 5 exotic food, i wouldn’t want to! i’m not too fond of meat… esp. from animals.

    well i don’t like level 4 expensive food too. my family and friends used to say i am stupid because i don’t like good expensive food.

    have you guys heard of another saying of the chinese and food?
    “the chinese eats anything with four legs except the table.”

    • Susan Osborn

      Lucia tht saying is a quote from Winston Churchill. And given the amount of brandy he consumed each day he was apt to say anything.

  9. Jen Yu

    Bea!! You are such a stud! Those look really good. I am so jealous that you can get such great ingredients (the leeks, I miss those) in So Cal :( Not so trivial out here in the sticks! Happy New Year, you stud woman. I don’t always get a chance to comment, but I always check out your masterful creations. You rock :) xxoo

  10. Judy

    That looks so good. I don’t know where you find time. I feel rather inspired by you now to try this….one day. One weekend maybe. :)

  11. tigerfish

    Gong Xi Gong Xi!
    I also like jiaozi. One of my frens from Shanghai recommended using Qi Cai (another kind of veg) for the pork filling. Nice also. For just jiaozi alone, I can eat buckets of it! :P

    Heeee….am also not game for Level 5. Too exotic :O

  12. Kate / Kajal

    hey dont mock the chinese …( this comming from a wannabe chinese ), i’m with them on living for the sole purpose of eating. Gosh u should see me when i’m in HK … i can eat like a freakin cow.
    HEHE and yes u did succeed in amusing me with that wacky table. I know some lazy indain expats in HK who rice and soya sauce … or actually so i’ve been told :)
    The dumplings are my fav., but i make them with beef not pork.

  13. WL

    Dumpling looks delicious and the recipe seems simple – I’ll try!

    A couple of questions:

    1) How many dumplings does the recipe yield?

    2) Can we pan-fry them like guo-tie?

    Thanks!

  14. Nate 2.0

    We’ve made lots of jiaozi but never attempted making the skin ourselves. Does it take a lot of skill/patience to roll them right?

  15. Rasa Malaysia

    Thanks all for your sweet comments. :)

    WL – I didn’t count exactly how many it yields because I keep eating them as soon as they were out…LOL, but I think they made about 25 plus minus…don’t quote me…but I got two plates of them.

    Nate – it doesn’t take much skill to knead the dough, just patience…haha, I did it while watching TV, so not that painful. :P

  16. Precious Pea

    Ooooo..looks really juicy and delicious! I have been looking high and low for dumpling skin recipe as i wanna try doing it at home. Guess i will be making this on Sunday to impress some guests. Hehe..thanks!

  17. daphne

    LOL. Love that Maslow’s look alike triangle.

    I can’t get enough of dumpling as well. Made some pan-fried ones over the weekend too. Didn’t make it from scratch though.. too lazy!

  18. eatdrinknbmerry

    新 年 快 樂 !

    pork/leek is my favorite flavor combination for dumplings. i love to add a little bit of shrimp in there. have you been back to D-10053? their shrimp/leek is so good… i’m pretty sure they put egg whites in there to add that a bit of silkiness to it. your dumplings look great.

  19. aria

    oh rasa M! you have got my number with these dumplings! love the maslow’s herarchy, i should do one for russuan italians girls w/ a penchant for asian flavors!
    hahah

  20. vkeong

    I love to eat jiaozi! When I was in college I would stock up these pre-made dumplings and dump a few into my favorite instant noodles..

  21. ruth

    I tried this recipe. It’s really good. It requires much skill making the skin round and uniform in size using this method. To solve this problem i just rolled out the dough and cut them with rounded cookie cutter.

  22. Irene

    Hello!
    Your dumplings look really appetising and I’m craving for some right now!
    I’ve been told that to cook a more delicate dumpling, the boiling itself has a few procedures. Initially, we’ll have to bring the water a to boil, lower heat to cook the dumplings for a couple of mins while stirring. After which, add icy cold water and stir. Cover and let water return to a boil and repeat this for a third time until the dumplings are done. Does it really affect the quality of the dumplings?

    -Irene

  23. Josh

    Having made jiaozi (and totally fallen in love with them) while I was studying in China, I can say that the fiddly cooking method (with the bringing to a boil 3 times) does make a bit of difference: it helps them not explode with air, and it is handy for timing how long to cook them.

  24. Fia Creamfeta

    oh wow that looks good, AND there’s nothing but water and flour in the dumpling?! Even better! Thanks I’m going to try this very soon.

  25. lin

    Hi!

    This look so good! Is there a way to subsitute the rice wine? Since, its hard to find it where I lived.

    Thanks!

  26. samantha

    Hi! I love your blog so much! I have a question though, I make dumplings all the time, but this recipe didn’t go too well with my friends. Did I do something wrong? The filling was a bit “rough” in texture when we tasted it.

    • Jia You

      Hi Samantha I think your problem is the meat you used. Sometimes when I keep my meat in the fridge for too long it becomes quite hard when i boil it. Try setting it to room temperature first then boil it. You want a soft, gentle texture when you bite it.

  27. I’m european, so…the 3rd stage in your pyramid is the bottom line for me…:). Tomorrow I will try your dumplings…can’t wait…have a nice day

  28. teresa

    Thanks for the recipe! I will attempt make the dough for the first time! One question for you is about how many these would make?
    Thanks!!
    Happy New Year!
    Teresa

  29. Law

    Hello!

    I just had my first attempt at making the wrappers myself using a glutinous flour, but that doesn’t seem to work ; the wrapper rips before you can make it into a dumpling. Which flour would you recommend? Thanks!

  30. Samantha

    Made this tonight and the filling was a bit too dry and bland. Will probably try adding shrimp and more seasoning next time.

  31. Sarah

    If you don’t have the rice wine or sesame oil, I’ve found just using a garlic and/or basil based oil mixed with the pork works really well. Adding a bit of cayenne pepper and cinnamon goes really well with the chives/ leeks.
    I also found a little bit of melted butter with the dough works really well. :)

  32. Lisa

    Hi, I want to make these, I have all the ingredients… One question, is the meat cooked first, or is it raw mixed with everything then cooked in the wrapper? First time for me!

  33. I have made this butter cake using your recipe. Very soft and delicious. I added strawberry jam and dried coconut on top. Very easy to make. I used self rising flour instead of normal flour and reduce sugar to only 150 g. It worked just fine. Thank you. I will make again.

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