Yield: Yields thirty-six 3-inch dumplings.
A savory pork, shrimp and salted cabbage filling, seasoned with ginger, garlic and scallions, is the most traditional filling for jiao zi. Butcher counters in Asian markets often offer several grinds of pork. For dumplings, use a coarser grind with more fat to ensure a tender, juicy filling. Hand-minced or ground beef or lamb, both typical in northern Chinese cooking, can be substituted for the ground pork and shrimp.
Web extra: Watch Thy Tran’s step-by-step demonstration of how to make the dumplings.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes to form a smooth, firm, elastic ball. (If you began the dough in a bowl, lightly dust a clean, dry surface with flour before kneading.) The dough should not be sticky and should bounce back when pressed with a fingertip. Divide in half with a bench knife and roll into two 6-inch logs. Sprinkle each log evenly with flour, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and let rest for at least 30 minutes at room temperature before rolling and filling.
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage with the pork, shrimp, scallions, garlic, Shaoxing, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Stir until well mixed. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes.
Using a small rolling pin, roll a piece of dough into a thin 3-inch circle; with the dough in one hand and the pin in the other, roll from the edges toward the center as you rotate the dough. This rolling technique helps create a round with thin edges and a thicker center.
Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. As you work, arrange the filled dumplings in a single layer without touching on large plates, so they don’t stick together.
Make Ahead Tips
The dough can be covered with plastic and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. If refrigerated, return to room temperature before rolling. The filling can also be made up to 8 hours ahead and refrigerated. Filled, shaped dumplings may be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 hours or frozen for up to three months. To freeze, arrange just-formed dumplings in a single layer on lightly floured baking sheets and freeze for at least four hours. Once they are frozen through, tranfer the dumplings to freezer storage bags. The dumplings can be boiled or pan-fried directly from the freezer; simply increase the cooking time by three to four minutes.
If you have helpers, set up an assembly line and roll out each wrapper, then pass it along to the next person to fill. If you’re filling all the dumplings yourself, it’s best to roll out several wrappers, and keep them covered with a kitchen towel as you fill them, to prevent them from drying out.
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So good. It takes time but it is worth it. We ended up making some of the dumplings too big which meant they took longer to cook. Keep the dumplings on the small side so they all cook at the same speed and are easy to eat.
By Cristin-- Dumplings were Very Delicious! I used store bought wonton wrappers to make this recipe, and recipe was great. Then froze them in single layer for one hour before putting some of them into freezer bags. The rest was pan fried right after preparing dumplings. I will make these for years to come!
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