Jiaozi, or Chinese Boiled Dumpings

Note: Ingredients taken from the Jeff Smith's The Frugal Gourmet Cooks Three Ancient Cuisines. Dumpling construction technique courtesy of Mrs. Jen Y. Chong.

makes about 36 dumplings

For the Dough:

  • 2 1/2 C unsifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 C boiling water
  • 1 Tbsp. lard, cut up into little pieces

Mix the flour and salt. Add the boiling water and stir with chopsticks. Add the lard. Knead all and let rest on a plastic counter under a bowl for 20 minutes.

To make dumpling skins: Break off a piece of the dough the size of 1 teaspoon. Keep the rest of the dough under the bowl. Roll the dough into a ball and then roll out into a 3-inch circle. You may need extra flour for this. Or, use a tortilla press that has been very lightly oiled with peanut oil on a paper towel. This gets you going and the rest of the rolling is easy. To store skins until use, dust each skin lightly with flour and stack on top of one another.

If you are pressed for time, you may want to purchase a package of pre-made dumpling skins (the round ones) from any Asian supermarket. Don't buy the square ones--those are for won-tons!

For the Filling:

  • 1 cup finely chopped Napa cabbage
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 2 Tbsp. light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. dry sherry
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. MSG (optional)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped green onion
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 Tbsp. medium chopped bamboo shoots or water chestnuts (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Sprinkle salt on chopped cabbage and let sit in a colander for 30 min. Squeeze dry (either by hand or in a potato ricer) and place into bowl. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well. Also add a splash of chili paste, to taste.


  1. Place dumpling skin in the palm of your hand. Dip a finger in cold water and wet the edges of the dumpling skin.
  2. Spoon a lump of filling (approx. 1 Tbsp.) into the middle of the skin.
  3. Fold dumpling in half. Pinch top of semi-circle together.
  4. Push in on both sides of dumpling, so that the dumpling should look like the letter "I" from the top.
  5. Bend one half of each "top" of the "I" and press against middle edge of dumpling. Seal all edges of dumpling.
  6. Your dumpling should look like a half-moon with a big bulge in the middle!

To cook, drop into a big pot of boiling water under they float to the surface. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

- line -

Did you enjoy these dumplings? Then you should definitely write to me and tell me how they were! Send e-mail to schong@hooked.net.

- line -

Return to the poem "Dumpling-Making"

Return to Table of Contents

[Art on the Net]

Sylvia Chong (schong@hooked.net)