Boom Town- Jiaozi Love Pt. 3

Use a teaspoon to scoop up a quarter-sized dollop of pork filling. Place the filling in the middle of the dough without letting it touch the edges. Fold the long side over the middle pinching the edges together until they surround the filling. Stop to laugh at the newcomer making Loch Ness monster shapes. Put the dumpling aside and repeat until you have used all of your filling and dough. After boiling serve the steaming dumplings with a vinegar and sesame oil sauce. This is the recipe for a tasty and entertaining meal of North China's specialty dumpling. (For an actual recipe click here.)

On Chinese New Years eve I sat with the Shang clan as they taught me to make Jiaozi. My untrained fingers slowly learned the right amount of pressure to seal the dough. More than a few dumplings became sculptural when I had to stretch the dough to cover the filling popping out the sides. After many laughs I sold them on the curved mountain range look for the extra crust.

Spending a few days with the Shang family further affirmed that cooking and eating together are keys to a happy family. The Shangs were not physically affectionate but they exuded love for each other as they prepared their spring festival reunion meal. I haven't seen my own family in nine months and I miss these family moments. I sure am looking forward to sitting around my grandma Jeanette's kitchen table. I recently bought my ticket for a trip home in late march. If I can convince my grandparents to go for it I might try and cook them Jiaozi. It would be a great way to bring my travel experience home to the people that I care about.

To read more about the Shang family and their life in the Da Shang Cun village please visit the first two posts in this mini travel series.
Boom Town- Life in Da Shang Cun Pt 1
Boom Town- The Shang Cemetary Pt. 2


  1. You're bringing tears to my eyes, Ben! You can certainly make Jiaozi in my kitchen for the family. We're starting the countdown to your trip home. Love, Mom

  2. I'm sitting at a kitchen table with Grandma and Granddaddy now in Florida reading your latest installment. We wish you were here to enjoy this with us and play on the beach with the kids. Grandma says that you make fried apple pies the same way they make Jiaozi. Just different ingredients. Lol. Can't wait to see you and hear more of your adventures, what an amazing opportunity you are taking advantage of...we are all very proud.

  3. Ben, as I have time to keep up with some blogs at least for now,I am starting with yours. Certainly enjoyed this one...yum!