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Jiaozi – Chinese Dumplings

14 February 2021

I made these lovely little parcels for Chinese New Years. I’ve made dumplings quite often and always struggled a bit with the folding, in the end I just tended to scrunch up the top and leave it at that. That’s fine as well, they will still taste great. But this time, after watching yet another folding video on Youtube, I got it, and it’s so much more simple than I thought. Ok, ok they might still not be perfect, but I was pretty happy with the result.

For the filling I used ground beef, I usually do pork or prawn or a combo, but I had some ground beef left from burgers I made earlier in the week. Flavoured with light soy sauce, sherry, white pepper, spring onions, fresh ginger, garlic and sesame oil, perfect!

The first time around I served them steamed and crisped up in a frying pan, the next day I just boiled them (both versions shown in the pictures). Both with a dipping sauce of homemade chili sauce, light soy sauce, sesame oil and a dash of black vinegar.

Jiaozi - Chinese Dumplings

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Finger food, snacks Chinese
By Saffron Serves: ±30 dumplings
Prep Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time: 5-10 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes


  • 1 packet of Jiaozi dumpling wrappers (30 in a packet)
  • 1 cup ground pork or beef
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground white pepper
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped (± extra for garnishing)
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded napa cabbage (or any other cabbage)
  • 1/4 cup shredded bamboo shoots or finely chopped water chestnuts (optional)
  • 2 cm fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • For Cooking the Dumplings:
  • 1 cup cold water (divided)
  • Optional: 3 tablespoons oil for pan-frying
  • Dipping sauce
  • 3 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp chili oil with chili flakes, store bought or homemade (or more to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp black or white vinegar (or more to taste)
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (optional)


The filling:


Defrost the dumpling sheets and keep covered so they don't dry out.


Place the meat in a bowl and add the soy sauce, salt, rice wine or sherry and white pepper and mix through well, keep stirring in 1 direction.


Add the rest of the ingredients and keep stirring in the same direction, ± 10 minutes. You will end up with quite a smooth texture.

Folding (Also see notes)


Fill a small bowl with water.


Lay a dumpling sheet on your work surface and place ± 1.5 tsp of filling in the middle.


Wet the edges of the wrapper with some water.


Fold the dumplings into half moon shapes. The technique I used is as followed: Fold double, and pinch closed on 1 side. You will be keeping 1 of the sides straight (this will be the bottom), and the other side you will stick to it while folding with small pleats, working from 1 side to the other. You will need ± 6 pleats.


However you fold, make sure there is no air left in the dumpling.


Place the dumpling on a tray dusted with cornstarch so it won't still while you're making the rest. No need to dust off all the corn starch before adding it to the pan, it will help form a crispier crust at the end.

Option 1: Boiled


In a large saucepan bring a good amount of water to the boil, enough so that the dumplings can move around freely.


When boiling carefully add the dumplings, boil for ± 3 minutes until they start rising to the top.


If boiling from frozen you need 1 extra minute.


Serve right away with dipping sauce and a sprinkle of spring onions.

Option 2: Steamed & Fried


Add a drop of vegetable oil in a large frying pan for which you have a lid.


Lay the dumplings in the pan making sure the don't touch.


Fry on medium to high heat for ± 2 minutes until just starting to crisp up.


Pour in 1 cup of water and close with a lid so it will steam, ± 3 minutes.


Remove the lid and keep cooking letting the water evaporate and the bottoms crisp up.


Serve right away with dipping sauce and a sprinkle of spring onions.

Dipping Sauce


Mix all the ingredients together, taste and adjust to your liking.


I also have a little video on my instagram page showing how to fold, here is the link to the post, video is at the end.

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