Monday, August 18, 2008

Dumplings (Gaoza) 餃子 [Jiao Zi]

"Jiao Zi" is a Chinese pastry dumpling stuffed with vegetable and variety of meat.

Origin: North of China.
Jiaozi was invented by doctor Zhang Ji of East Han dynasty (2nd century). He retired and went home in Henan and witnessed the people there are poor and fighting hard against the frizzing cold weather. He then wrapped minced lamb meat, chinese herbs and Sichuan pepper with small dough discs into a small ear shape dumpling, boiled them in water then distributed to people to keep them warm in winter till end of Chinese new year, which people started to cook the same dumpling every year, then eating dumpling became a tradition during the Chinese new year. Later in Tang dynasty(10th century) and Song dynasty(12th century) also had similar dumpling in minced meat in moon shape.

Existed in vegetarian or mixed with meat. Stuffed often with Garlic chives 韭菜餃子 [Jiuo Tsai Jiao Zi], Chinese Cabbage 白菜餃子 [Bai Tsai Jiao Zi], Muster green 雪菜餃子 [Xue Tsai Jiao zi], Coriander 香菜餃子 [Xiang Tsai Jiao Zi] , mushroom, sweet corn, pork 豬肉餃子 [Zhu Rou Jiao Zi], beef 牛肉餃子 [Niu Rou Jiao Zi], chicken 雞肉餃子 [Ji Rou Jiao Zi], shrimps 蝦餃 [Xia Jiao], white fish 魚餃 [Yu Jiao] etc. Also variety of cook style: Boiled 水餃 [Shui Jiao], steamed 蒸餃 [Zheng Jiao], pan fired 鍋貼 [Gou Tie] or 煎餃 [Jian Jiao], with soup 湯餃 [Tang Jiao].

How to do?
1. Prepare the stuffing as you like with salt and spices.
2. Home made dough pressed into small discs or ready to prepare dumpling skin 餃子皮 [Jiao Zi Pi].
3. Place a dumpling skin on your palm, place a small quantity's stuffing in the middle of the skin, then fold the skin in half and close it with many small folds pressed with fingers.
4. Boil, steam, pan fire etc. as you like.
5. Serve with individual dipping like soy sauce, black or white vinegar, all kind of chili sauces.

Where to eat?
Any Shandong province specialist restaurant or Northern noodle pastry specialist restaurant.

山東小館 Les Delices du Shandong
88, bd de l'Hôpital
75013 PARIS
T 01 45 87 23 37
m° Campo Formio

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