Journey to the jiaozi: A hearty, healthy Spring Festival
Updated: 2009-01-23 14:43
Jiaozi, or what we in English call dumplings, are one of the quintessential foods eaten during the Spring Festival and it's common for all the family to help in the preparations.
Today I'm cooking alongside my colleague Christy Lee who informs me we're making the pork and cabbage variety.
First we add wheat flour into a bowl, with a bit of water to make a thick dough that we then knead on a board.
As Christy Lee explains, from here things start to get a bit more meaty. In Chinese custom, heavy handed chopping was considered a good way to scare off bad spirits.
Then it's time to add some spring onion, ginger and Chinese cabbage and after all the fun of chopping. Mix it all together, adding a bit of soy sauce, salt and spice.
Reaching for the blob of dough make a lifesaver and then separate that into two pieces. These are then further rolled and small pellets are snapped off about an inch in size.
With these you then flatten firmly between both hands and then take a rolling pin holding the dough in the center -- lightly flatten just the outer edges -- turning clockwise in quarter turns.
Once you have your dumpling pillows ready, its time to pack in your filling and then gentle squeeze the edges to create a picturesque crimped seal.
With the pot boiling place your jiaozi lovingly in one by one. Once you've got about 15 in give them a soft stir using the back of a ladle, making sure they don't stick to the pot or bust their load.
And in a few minutes there you have it.
The broth in the pot is also said to aid in digestion.
From all of us here at the China Daily, wish everybody a hearty and healthy Spring Festival.