Jiu Cai savory egg and chive dumplings are one of China’s finest delicacies. If you are bored with the same old dumpling recipes and are thinking of trying something exciting and new, then Chinese chive pockets are the answer! In this article, we will reveal some basic chive pocket recipes and give an overview of its nutritional content.
You should already be fascinated by the idea of half steamed and half seared dumplings filled with an all egg stuffing. I am drooling even while writing about Jiu Cai, and you will too once we share its delicious recipe with you. But before we move on to that, let me share some of the cool tidbits about what is sometimes referred to as the Chinese Hot pocket.
Jiucai Hezi – A Brief Introduction
The word 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 of flavor. In fact, there is no celebration in China, or especially in the Shandong Peninsula, that goes without serving a plate of Jiu Cai He Zi. It has become the most traditional festive meal for the Chinese New Year celebration.
The immense popularity of this recipe in China has made the world now want it too. Many people love to order this pocket pie as an appetizer or a side meal whenever they hit a Chinese restaurant.
But 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 them straight into your home!
What are you waiting for?
You can impress your next guest with something unique and exploding with taste. All you need is to get some flour, eggs, and chives ready for the inspiring pack of flavors.
Traditionally, the dough is prepared first and then stuffed and sealed into the dumplings. Then the 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 give you any trouble. But getting the very best texture and taste in a single recipe is what we all live for. For Jiu, make sure to use self-rising flour or flour that will turn out fluffy and flaky once cooked. You can use any, but for best quality pockets the type of flour matters a lot.
Next, setting the dough for at least half an hour is necessary for easy handling and better texture. Make sure to wrap the dough, or else it will lose all of its moisture which is something you should definitely 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 introduce more flavor. Some people like to put in some diced bell peppers or shredded cheese. Let’s just say that a little creativity goes a long way.
Why have Jiu Cai He Zi?
Firstly, it’s just flat out criminal 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 missing, with lots of protein along with carbs and some fats. That is a pretty good combination for anyone, whether young or old.
Chinese Chive Pocket Recipe
Jiu Cai He Zi is also sometimes called a Chinese Chive pocket. These pockets are prepared out of simple wheat flour, with the filling primarily loaded with chives and vermicelli. Instead of vermicelli, you can always use any noodles of your choice.
The dumplings are cooked in both water and some oil. This method gives a soft tender texture on the inside and golden crisp on the outside. The use of seasoning is minimal in these dumplings, which makes them quite light and earthy in taste. However, you can add more seasoning or replace the white pepper with black if desired.
Remember, no cuisine restricts you in 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:
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4 to 1 cup lukewarm water
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 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, we must start by preparing 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 half of the beaten egg mixture into the pan and swirl it around to spread it into a thin layer. Flip the eggs and cook until firm and then cook the remaining half. Cut the egg mixture into thin slices.
Now take the wrapped-up dough and remove the wrap. Divide the dough into 4 to 6 pieces, depending on the size of the dumplings you want to prepare.
Now spread each piece into a circle. Put the prepared egg stuffings in 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. When just a thin layer of water is left in the pan add the dumplings one by one. Cook each dumpling until golden brown from both sides.
You must have tried a number of dumplings before, but Jiu Cai He Zi provides an unparalleled experience of taste and texture when it comes to Asian cuisine. There is such a unique combination of ingredients used in its filling that you will enjoy crisp and crunch in every bite.
These dumplings are suitable for any 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 freezer, and then you can simply fry them before serving.
This recipe offers you immense ease and exotic flavor with a touch of class. Give it a try and share your experience with others to spread the warmth and love.