China A to Z: J is for Jiaozi

Is Jiaozi a Chinese answer to ravioli? Or is ravioli an Italian answer to jiaozi? At a guess the second is more likely.

Jiaozi (pronounced, more or less, gee-ow-dsuh) is Shandong comfort food. A filled dumpling, usually boiled or steamed, not fried. They use a wide variety of fillings.

Making jiaozi is an important part of family life. Especially during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year). Where everyone makes and gives dumplings as they go visiting.

Chinese friend making dumplings. It seemed to be very important for her to make them for me. A sign of caring.

In restaurants they are often steamed not boiled, and served in bamboo steamers.

My son chowing down at a favorite home-style restaurant specializing in dumplings.

They even have specially designed take out trays to keep each dumpling in place. We found that putting the dipping sauce in a coffee cup worked better than trying to drizzle it over the dumplings.

Even though I wouldn’t say that they are my favorite food, after getting well beyond soaked on a very rainy day take-out dumplings, along with a glass of wine, really hit the spot.

Any guess what K is for?



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