Traditional Pot Stickers

This traditional recipe is from the area of Northern China.

Ingredients:

Directions:

Crumble pork into a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain and set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the pork, cabbage, green onion, ginger, water chestnuts, salt, sugar and sesame oil. Chill in the refrigerator 6 to 8 hours, or overnight.

Place a tablespoon of the pork mixture into each of the wonton wrappers. Fold the wrappers, and seal the edges with a moistened fork.

In a large, deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons vegetable oil over medium high heat. Place the pot stickers into the oil seam sides up. Heat 30 seconds to a minute. Pour water into the skillet. Gently boil 7 to 8 minutes, until oil and water begins to sizzle, then add remaining oil. When the bottoms begin to brown, remove pot stickers from heat.

In a small serving bowl, mix together the chili oil, soy sauce, and vinegar, adjusting proportions to taste.

Wonton wrappers are stuffed with finely chopped vegetables and pork then fried.

JiaoZi is usually served with a spicy dipping sauce.

History of JiaoZi (pot sticker):

It is suggested that jiaozi may have derived from dumplings in Western Asia, particularly during Mongol rule. Other sources, however, indicate that similar dumplings were already sold and eaten during the Song Dynasty According to folk tales, jiaozi were invented by Zhang Zhongjing, one of the greatest practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine in history. They were originally called "tender ears" (Chinese: 娇耳; pinyin: jiao'er) because they were used to treat frostbitten ears. A plate of potstickers (guotie), and dipping sauce.

Jiaozi are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year and year round in the northern provinces. They look like the golden ingots yuan bao used during the Ming Dynasty for money and the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money, so serving them is believed to bring prosperity. Many families eat these at midnight on Chinese New Year's Eve. Some cooks will even hide a clean coin for the lucky to find.

Jiaozi were so named because they were horn shaped. The Chinese word for "horn" is jiao (Chinese: 角; pinyin: jiǎo), and jiaozi was originally written with the Chinese character for "horn", but later it was replaced by a specific character 餃, which has the food radical on the left and the phonetic component jiāo (交) on the right.

Jiaozi are eaten all year round, and can be eaten at any time of the day – breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can constitute one course, starter or side dish, or the main meal. In China, jiaozi are sometimes served as a last course during restaurant meals. As a breakfast dish, jiaozi are prepared alongside xiaolongbao at inexpensive, roadside restaurants. Typically, they are served in small steamers containing ten pieces each. Although mainly consumed at breakfast, these small restaurants keep them hot on steamers, and ready to eat all day.

As a dish prepared at home, each family has its own preferred method of making them, using favourite fillings, with types and methods of preparation varying widely from region to region.

From Wikipedia