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DIY Dumplings
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The making of jiaozi, boiled dumplings, is a Spring Festival tradition. Making them yourself can be a lot of fun.

Nowadays, jiaozi are made with numerous different stuffings, like pork with cabbage, egg with leek, and pork with fennel. Mutton, beef and seafood can also be used to replace pork. Other vegetables and mushroom can also be used.

Below, we show you how to make pork and leek jiaozi.

Ingredients (serves 4)

White flour, 500 g; water, 300 g; minced pork 500 g; Onion, 20 g; ginger, 20 g; water, 150 ml; salt, 15 g; chicken powder, 7 g; soy sauce, 10 g; pepper powder, 2 g; sesame oil, 30 g; leek, 400 g.

Step 1: Prepare the stuffing. This is the most important part because it very much
determines how the dumplings taste.

Mash the onion and ginger, and put in the water to marinate for 15 minutes. Then pour the water little by little into the minced pork, mixing well before adding the rest of the ingredients. This brings out the fresh taste of ginger and onion in the stuffing.

Next, add salt, chicken powder, soy sauce, sesame oil and pepper, stir well. The stirring must be done in the same direction all the time.

Step 2: Make the wrapping.

Mix the flour and water, stir well to make the dough. Cut a thin slice from the dough and pull off small lumps. Use a rolling pin to flatten out the small dough balls.

Step 3: Make raw jiaozi.

Put stuffing into the dough wrapping. Place one hand on the other and use the thumb

and index fingers to press on the top of the dough wrapping to seal.
Step 4: Boil your jiaozi.

Bring the water to the boil, add the dumplings and reduce to simmer. When the dumplings float to the surface, wait for two more minutes before serving.
Jiaozi tips:

1. Flour for making jiaozi is available at the supermarket.

2. The best pork is from the back of the animal, containing 30 percent meat and 70 percent fat.

3. Vegetable juice, like that of green cabbage and yellow carrot, can be used to make the dough. The dumpling will look colorful, taste better and contain more nutrients.

(Beijing Weekend February 17, 2007)

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