A dumpling is composed of meat and/or vegetables, rolled inside a thin piece of dough. It can be boiled, steamed or fried. The most common ones are called jiaozi (饺子). Jiaozi are mostly eaten in the Shandong area (North-East of China) and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
Why do we make dumplings?
It is traditional to make jiaozi with your family during the Chinese New Year (also called Spring festival). As their shape recalls a gold bullion, they are seen as a symbol for fortune. But their history goes back to the Han Dynasty 1800 years ago. At that time, a man called Zhong Zhongjing, the “Medecine Saint” noticed that during winter, people’s ears would freeze. Thus, he decided to wrap medicinal herbs in dough and folded it in the shape of an ear. He then boiled his preparation and gave it to the people.
By Ines Jackson