Jiaozi is the name of a typical Chinese dumpling stuffed either with flavoured meat paste or finely cut vegetables or maybe a combination of both, that is enclosed within a thin, flattened dough, sealed by pinching the edges together by what is known as crimping. This Chinese dumpling has crossed borders and gained popularity across Japan, Eastern and Western Asia including Vietnam and Nepal.
Jiaozi, also known as gyoza, mo mo, momocha or pot sticker in different regions even though it belongs to the Chinese cuisine. It has a double saucer like shape. The main ingredients in Jiaozi Recipes includes white flour and salt for the skin and ground meat, soy sauce, black pepper, white pepper, salt, brandy and sesame oil for the filling. A Jiaozi is served with soy vinegar dipping sauce or hot chili sauce. It can be cooked by boiling, steaming or frying.
Jiaozi has been a traditional favourite food eaten especially during the Chinese New Year and also at other times. Jiaozi obtained its name due to its horn shape (Chinese for horn is Jiao). Gradually, Jiaozi became part of any meal- breakfast, lunch or dinner kept hot in steamers all day, ready to be consumed at any time even as a snack.
Difference between Jiaozi and Wantons
Jiaozi is shaped similar to a ravioli but has a slightly thicker and chewier outer covering and is more flat and is consumed along with either a soy-vinegar and or hot chilli sauce, while wontons on the other hand have an even thinner cover, are differently shaped, being more rounded, and mostly served alongside a chicken or vegetable broth. In fact, the ingredients used in making the wrappings are different in both cases.
Depending on the method of cooking employed-
1. Water dumplings made by boiling
2. Steamed dumplings made by steaming
3. Dry fried dumplings which are shallow fried
Ingredients and Preparation
Cold water is used to prepare smooth dough using a little salt in flour and allowed to rest. Soy sauce, rice wine, white pepper finely sliced ginger, garlic, cabbage, scallions are mixed well with the meat. Dough is rolled into small circles and a small portion of the filling is placed in the middle of the wrapper before sealing the edges using wet fingers. The dumplings are slowly dropped into a pan with boiling water and stirred slowly so that they do not stick. They are drained and removed once filling is cooked. They may be pan fried if desired.
A serving size of ~101 g of Jiaozi would provide-
• Total calorie content of 118.2 calories of which calories from fat are 72.
• Total fat is 8 g of which saturated fat is 1.6 g. Cholesterol content is 15.3 mg.
• Sodium content is 682.7 mg
• Total carbohydrate is 5.3 g of which dietary fibre accounts for 0.6 g and sugar 1.2 g with the other carbohydrate components making up the rest.
• Protein value is 6.4 g.
• The estimated % calorie distribution is 13.1 % from Fats, 75.8% from carbohydrates and 11.1 % from proteins.
1. Using a combination of tuna, salmon or sardine fish bits or other soft boneless fish along with finely chopped vegetables in the recipe can make the jiaozi high in omega 3 fatty acids. These are essential for maintaining healthy vision, skin, joints mobility, maintaining fluidity of cell membranes, control levels of circulating triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. Use of ground flax seeds in the filling provides similar benefits.
2. Soya granules would work as a wonderful meat substitute providing the same texture, imbibing all the flavours and proving useful to persons with high cholesterol profile and obesity as also to vegans as well as women experiencing menopausal symptoms, providing protection from osteoporosis and cancer.