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Jiu Cai He Zi: The Savory Dumplings

Written by Luisa Davis on . Posted in food

Jiu Cai savory egg and chive dumplings is one of the Chine’s finest delicacies. If you are bored with those same old dumpling recipes and thinking of trying something new and sharp, then Chinese chive pockets are the answer! In this article, we are about to reveal the basic chive pocket recipes and we will be discussing a lot about its nutritional ingredients.

You will be fascinated by the idea of half steamed and half seared dumplings filled with an all egg stuffing. Well, you are going to drool a lot more than I am writing about Jiu Cai, once we will share it delicious recipe with you. But we move on to that, let me just share some of the cool about this traditional Chinese Hot pocket.

Jiucai Hezi – A Brief Introduction

The world itself literally means garlic chives small box in mandarin. This savory delight emerged from the land of Shandong in China. It is still enjoyed in the region for its great combination. In fact, there is no celebration in China or in the Shandong Peninsula in particular that goes without serving a platter of Jiu Cai He Zi. It has become the festive meal for the Chinese New Year celebration.

It is immense of the popularity of this recipe in China that the world now wants it too. People actually love to order this pocket pie as an appetizer or a side meal whenever they hit any Chinese restaurant.

Good news! Now you don’t need to visit a Chinese food outlet to enjoy some crispy Chinese chive pancakes or its dumplings; we are about to bring these to your home.

Wait for what?

You heard me right; you can too impress your guest by adding something that good to your menu. All you need is to get ready to get some flour, eggs, and chives for the inspiring pack of flavors.

Traditionally, the dough is first prepared, stuffed and sealed into dumplings. Then these dumplings are cooked in water and some sesame oil.

Tips to make it better:

Making Jiu Cai He Zi looks simple enough and may not put you in any trouble. But to get the best texture and taste in a single recipe is all we live for. For Jiu, make sure to use self-rising flour or flour that would turn out to fluffy and flaky once cooked. You can use any, but for best quality pockets the type of the flour matters the most.

Next, the setting of the dough for at least half an hour is necessary for easy handling and better texture. Make sure to wrap the dough, else it will lose all of its moisture, and that is something we all should avoid. While kneading the dough, use lukewarm water, as it allows quick and easy mixing and results in a smoother dough.

Finally comes the stuffing!

You can always add more ingredients to add more flavors. Some people like to put in some diced bell peppers or shredded cheese. Let’s just say that a little creativity wouldn’t hurt anybody.

Why have Jiu Cai He Zi?

Firstly, it would be quite unfair to you to not try Shandong’s finest delight. Secondly, the dumpling together with the stuffing is a complete dose of nutrients.

With eggs, chives, sesame oil, flour, and vermicelli, there is no macronutrient that you will be missing out here, lots of protein with carbs and some fats, that is a pretty good combination for all of us, either young or adult.

Chinese Chive Pocket Recipe

Jiu Cai He Zi is another named of Chinese Chive pocket. These pockets are prepared out of simply wheat flour, and the filling is primarily loaded with chives and vermicelli. Instead of vermicelli, you can always use any noodles of your choice.

The dumplings are cooked both in water and in some oil, and this method gives a soft tender texture from the inside and golden crisp one on the outside. The use of seasoning is minimum in these dumplings, which makes them quite light and earthy in taste. However, you can add more seasoning or replace white pepper with black one if desired.

Remember, no cuisine restricts you from the blend of spice you want to use, as long as you keep the essence of the recipe intact. Enough with the talk! Let’s jump straight to the recipe:

Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
  • 3 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Filling:

  • 2 oz garlic chives, cut very finely
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 oz vermicelli, soaked in warm water until soft
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

There is no Jiu Cai He Zi without a dough pocket. So, this is where we should take a start from, prepare the dough! To do that first mix all the dry ingredients in a bowl or any suitable container. Gradually pour in water while mixing the flour mixture. Knead this dough until it turns smooth and soft but not sticky. Now cover this dough with a plastic wrap and set it aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, you can prepare the filling.

Beat eggs in a bowl and add all the filling ingredients to the bowl. Mix well and set it aside. Take a nonstick skillet or a wok and lightly grease it with some oil. Now pour in half of the beaten egg mixture into the pan and swirl it around to spread it in a thin layer. Flip the eggs and cook until firm and cook the remaining half. Cut the eggs into a thin piece.

Now take the wrapped-up dough and remove the wrap. Divide the dough into 4 to 6 pieces that depend on the size of the dumplings you want to prepare.

Now spread piece into a circle. Divide the prepared egg stuffing at the center of each dough circle. Fold each into semicircular dumplings. Coat each dumpling with some oil and set them aside.

Add ¼ cup water into a nonstick pan and cover the lid. Let this water boil and then reduce the heat to medium. Just when a thin layer of water is left in the pan add the dumplings one by one. Cook each dumpling until it is golden brown from both the sides.

Conclusion

You must have tried a number of dumplings before, but Jiu Cai He Zi provides an unparallel experience of taste and texture when it comes to Asian cuisine. It has such a unique combination of ingredients used in its filling that you would end up enjoying the crisp and crunch in each of its bites.

These dumplings are better suited for every occasion, especially to serve at parties as a snack. You can add more value to the dish by serving it with a delicious bowl of dip or your favorite sauce. These dumplings can also be stored in the freezers, and you can simply fry them before serving.

Perhaps, immense ease and good flavors is the combination this recipe offers you at best. Must give it a try and share your experience with others to spread the warmth of its flavors.

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Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis

Luisa Davis is a frelance writer and foodie based in Portland, California. Though raised on her mother's homestyle Italian cooking, she has spent most of the last five years traveling and immersing herself in other countries' cuisines. Her work have been published in various publications, both online and offline.

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