From what I understand, jiaozi originated from northern China, but now many Chinese enjoy eating them. There are regional differences and I think each family has their own favorite way of preparing them. I compare it to Southern barbecue; it’s enjoyed across the US, each region has its own specialty and everyone has their own opinions on how it should be prepared.
I have eaten dumplings and watched a friend’s Ayi make them, but this was my first time to make them myself. On this day, we were using the pre-made dumpling wrappers, but made the filling from scratch. Ground pork was mixed with a vegetable called Chinese chive, ginger, Chinese 5 spice (I have no idea what the five spices are), soy sauce, salt and probably a few other things. My contribution was helping to chop mounds of Chinese chive. The chives were very mild tasting and didn’t have much of a scent.
|I had to take a picture of this|
|Which sauce would you like?|
|He's a good helper!|
|Mixing the ginger with the pork|
on an awesome chopping block!
After the filling had been made, we set out to fill each –and every --individual wrapper. Let me tell you, there were a lot of wrappers – my guess is around 500! It took about an hour with six or more people filling. and we had a lot of wrappers to fill! Again, I observed many women sharing their different opinions on how the crimping around the edges of the dumplings should be done. I was taught one way and I stuck with it. It was really neat to see the dumplings all in a row and notice the differences between the styles of crimped edges.
|Starting to fill the wrappers.|
|Everyone has a different way of crimping the edges.|
|This rectangular wrapper is a wonton wrapper.|
|Some of the finished product.|
|A little of the aftermath.|
There was enough filling and wrappers left over that I was able to bring some home. My Ayi filled the rest and then froze them so we can enjoy them later.