Hey everyone, and welcome to the third edition of Thyme Flies. Today, we’re taking a different approach to our culinary journey around the world. We’ll cook jiaozi – stuffed dough that’s pan-fried and steamed (a specific kind of dumpling). However, since yours truly is based out of Segovia, we only have access to a limited amount of traditional Chinese ingredients and spices. Thus, we’ll call these Chinese-inspired jiaozi as to not offend our Chinese readers.
Dumplings are an incredibly common dish worldwide; almost every region of the world has their own style. In the American South we have chicken and dumplings, Latin America has empanadas (corn dough fried around a stuffing), and Germany features Maultaschen, a specialty of the Swabian region.
Jiaozi hold a special place in Chinese history and culture. Legend has it that in the first century CE, Zhang Zhonjing, a famous doctor, traveled to a village plagued by frostbite and cooked the first jiaozi with lamb stew and dough wrappers. From there, they exploded in popularity, appearing in tombs during the 600s and onwards. Jiaozi are eaten year round and serve as a staple for Chinese cuisine. However, they hold a special place during the Chinese New Year, with families coming together to make these dumplings.
Traditionally, jiaozi consists of a flour and water dough filled with ground chicken or pork, cabbage, and mushrooms. Today, we’re making something similar – the same flour/dough mixture, but with chopped chicken, mushrooms, carrot, green onion, and garlic. Just a disclaimer: these are certainly a process to cook – almost four hours start to finish – so plan ahead. Well, let’s get cooking!
2 green onions – minced
1 carrot – grated
2 cloves garlic – minced
2 mushrooms – sliced
500g chicken breasts – sliced
- To prepare the ingredients, slice the mushrooms and chicken breasts, mince the whites of the onions and the garlic, and grate the carrot on the thinnest side of your grater. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, paprika, and soy sauce.
- Heat the pan on medium-high, then place the sliced chicken in the pan. Dash some more soy sauce into the pan.
- Once the chicken is partially cooked (4-5 min) throw mushrooms into the pan. Wait another 4 minutes, then throw onions and garlic. Add in a little more soy sauce and some pepper and paprika. Once the chicken is fully cooked, pour the mixture onto a cutting board and let it cool.
- Once cooled, chop up the mixture until its almost homogenous. Pour some more soy sauce.