I’ve always been intrigued about making my own Jiaozi, more commonly known as pan fried dumplings or pot stickers. There is a local restaurant that serves FANTASTIC dumplings, but I wanted to try my hand at it. I finally had some extra time to do something a little fancier so I jumped at the opportunity. Now, I must admit, this will take a little bit of time… especially if you try to make 70 dumplings all yourself like I did. If you’re smart, you’ll round up all of your housemates, whether they be siblings, parents or friends, and have a dumpling making party. It’s a great bonding experience and you can plow through a ton of these in no time! Now you don’t have to pan fry these either, you could just steam or boil them, too! But pan-frying them gives a super crispiness to the bottom and some extra delicious flavour.

Ingredients

6 strips Maple Leaf Bacon

½ lb Lean Ground Pork

2-3 Green Onions

1/8 Cabbage

1 tbsp Soy Sauce

1 tbsp Oyster Sauce

1 clove Garlic

½” Ginger, grated

25-35 Jiaozi Wrappers

Dipping Sauce: 1:1 Mixture of soy sauce and dark rice vinegar

Directions

1. Grab your bacon and throw it in your food processor and beat it down till its nice and fine. This is my favourite new trick to get super small pieces of bacon.

2. Fry that ground bacon until its almost crispy and set it aside. Also set aside the bacon fat. We can use that later!

3. Mix together your ground pork, green onions and cabbage. Cut your cabbage and green onions as small as you possibly can. We want this mixture to be as homogeneous as possible. I didn’t cut some of my cabbage small enough and it made it a little more difficult during assembly.

4. Add in your oyster sauce, soy sauce, crushed garlic, grated ginger and all of that bacon.

5. Mix everything together, cover it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for at least a half hour to let all those flavours to come together. In the meantime, go to YouTube and watch a few videos on how to assemble dumplings. Pictures won’t do it justice. Watch some old Chinese masters at work. That’s how I learned.

6. And I think I did a pretty darn good job! I used the pleating method. You only need a small spoonful of filling in each one of them. You can get the Jiaozi wrappers at your local Chinese supermarket. It cost me $1.29 for about 75 wrappers. It’s not worth the time and effort to make it yourself for that price! Plus they’re all the same size and thickness.

Tip: Cover the dumplings with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. I covered each row of 12 after I finished it.

7. To cook, heat a pan on medium high and drizzle in a tablespoon of bacon fat or vegetable oil. Add in your dumplings to the pan so that they’re not touching. Fill the pan with a bit of water such that they just come up the sides of the dumplings then cover with a lid.

8. Once all the water has evaporated (3-5 minutes) add another tablespoon of oil and let them fry on the bottom until they are golden brown with the lid still on.

9. Serve with your vinegar and soy dipping sauce while they’re still hot! I need to make a ton more of these. They went way too quickly!