Chinese Dumpling Making
Chinese Dumpling Making

They can be simple to prepare or made with the fanciest ingredients, dumplings or “Jiǎozi” (饺子) is the ultimate comfort food in China.  Making these delicate delights is a true form of art; I have a new found respect for this Chinese cuisine— Jiǎozi.

What makes this Chinese delicacy so special? So tasty?
Dumplings are a popular dish throughout China. They are eaten all year round, but hold a special significance during the New Year chūnjié (春节 ) when they represent good fortune and family.

This Jiǎozi recipe is very straight forward, so that even the laziest chef would enjoy preparing them.

Basic dumpling Jiao Zi:
Chop sticks kuaìzi (筷子)
1 Pot of boiling water
A packet of dumpling wrappers píer (皮儿) the round shape can be found at any local Asian supermarket (Shanghai traditional style is the square-shaped won ton).

Ingredients xiàner (馅儿):
Ground beef 牛肉níuròu or pork 猪肉zhūròu (vegetarians can substitute the meat)
Green onions大葱dàcōng
Salt 盐yán
Sesame oil 芝麻油zhīmayóu
Chili (optional) 辣椒làjiāo
Prep time: less than one hour
Cooking time: 15 minutes

Combine all ingredients and mix into a paste for the dumpling filling.
The technique is the difficult part, but it’s also the beauty of it. Use the chop sticks to place a small amount of the filling into the middle of the Jiǎozi.
Carefully fold and pinch the top edges together.
Tip: seal the edges together with a little bit of water shuǐ ( 水 ). At the open sides of the wrapper, pinch into two ends, then delicately pinch all the sides together- it should look like an intricate shaped moon.
Ensure all the edges are completely sealed.
You can only call yourself a true “Jiǎozi” professional when the dumpling can sit up on it is own without toppling over.
Boil for 10-15 minutes.
Generally served with vinegar, sesame oil, chili, soy sauce, or oyster sauce—whatever your preference– dumplings can be enjoyed any way you want!


I highly recommend taking a Chinese cooking class in China you don’t need to be Master Chef or the next Iron Chef. To make the cooking class even more interesting try it in Chinese!

It takes learning another language to a whole new level – it’s fun and exciting and allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and language at the same time.

By Eloise de Jong (student) and Liu Lao shi. Established in 2005, That’s Mandarin Jing an, is one of the oldest Mandarin language schools in China, we receive around 3000 students per year. Our school holds weekly cultural events and activities every Wednesday evening – in Chinese. For more information please visit our website.