The history of Chinese dumplings dates back to hundreds of years ago. It is strongly believed that these healthy Chinese food options had their origin during the Sung dynasty. Since then, Jiaozi prepared with vegetable and ground meat fillings is served in spring time and most popularly, during Chinese new year. It forms a major food item in new year celebration. According to Chinese belief, serving dumplings that resemble the ancient Chinese ingots in shape, at the beginning of the year brings wealth to the family. So, the family members gather together and make dumplings in bulk on this auspicious day.
The calorie count and nutritional value solely depends on which type of dumpling you are referring to, the kind of filling used (vegetable or meat) and also, the serving amount. If you are watching your weight, or are conscious with the calorie content of dumplings, try the healthier steamed version. On an average, serving 6 vegetable dumplings is equivalent to providing 400 calories, while serving pork dumplings of the same amount provides approximately 500 calories.
Whether you want to make your Chinese new year celebration a complete one, or just want to serve some good foods on weekends, make homemade dumplings from scratch by using your favorite fillings. The basic trick is to wrap filling in a flour dough (or egg) and fold the edges to hold the contents. You can use any type of filling that you can think of, like mixed veggies, fish, shrimp, mutton, pork, beef, chicken, etc.
Ingredients for Skin
- Flour, 3 cups
- Flour, ½ cup (for kneading)
- Cold water, ⅔ cup
Ingredients for Filling
- Ground beef or pork, 1 lb.
- Cabbage, 4 oz. (finely chopped)
- Sesame oil, 6 tbsp.
- Sugar, 2 tsp.
- Salt, 1 tsp.
- Pepper, ¼ tsp. (freshly ground)
- Green onions, 4 oz. (chopped)
Start with the flour dough (for the skin). Take flour in a bowl and slowly add water, while mixing continuously. Make a smooth dough out of this flour mixture, and allow to set for 10 minutes. Shape it into a long roll, and cut it to make 50 pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll each of these pieces to make a small circular dough. For filling preparation, combine together all the ingredients, beef, cabbage, oil, sugar, salt, and pepper. Leave it for 10 minutes, and remove excess water. Coming to the wrapping part of homemade dumplings, take one dough circle at a time, and add filling in the center.
Bring two opposite sides together to fold it in half, and then moisten the edges. Gently make pleats to shape dumpling into a crescent or half moon shape. Press the edges to seal the filling properly. Repeat these same steps with the remaining dough circles. Place all of them in a large platter. For cooking Chinese dumplings, boil water in a large pot and transfer half of the dumplings. Gently stir with a wooden spatula to avoid sticking. When it begins to boil, add ½ cup water. Cover lid, repeat boiling, and adding water for second time. Drain water and your dumplings are done for serving.