Dumpling is a broad classification for a dish that consists of small pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources), often wrapped around a filling (as in ravioli or wontons). The dough can be based on bread, flour, or potatoes, and may be filled with fish, meat, sweets, or vegetables.
They may be cooked by boiling, frying, simmering, or steaming. Dumplings may be savoury or sweet and can be eaten by themselves, with gravy or sauce, or in soups or stews.
Jiaozi are a kind of Chinese dumpling, commonly eaten in East Asia. It's one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year and year round in the northern provinces. Though considered part of Chinese cuisine, jiaozi are popular and often eaten in other parts of Asia and in Western countries.
Jiaozi typically consist of a ground meat and/or vegetable filling wrapped into a thinly rolled piece of dough, which is then sealed by pressing the edges together or by crimping.
As a dish prepared at home, each family has its own preferred method of making them, using favorite fillings, with types and methods of preparation varying widely from region to region.Common dumpling meat fillings include pork, mutton, beef, chicken, fish, and shrimp, which are usually mixed with chopped vegetables. Popular vegetable fillings include napa cabbage, scallion (spring onions), leek, celery and garlic chives.
There are many ways to fold Jiaozi. Basically, steps for folding the skin includes putting a single pleat in the middle, putting multiple pleats along the edge, making a wavy edge like a pie crust, turning a pleated edge in toward the body resulting in a rounded edge, and putting both ends together resulting in a round shape. Different shapes of Jiaozi require different folding techniques, but the most famous and common technique is the pinched-edge fold.
Take a wrapper and put one tablespoon of filling into the center of the wrapper. Fold a half of edge to the other half. Use left thumb and forefinger to pinch one side of the half-moon wrapper, and then use right thumb to push the inside skin outward, right forefinger to make outside skin into small pleats.
Use right thumb to clench those pleats. Repeat these steps to the other side of the wrapper, and make sure to clench the seal of Jiaozi. This is crescent-shaped Jiaozi, the most popular shape in China.