We love Jiaozi/Chinese Dumplings a lot, frozen dumplings are often my go to for a quick fix for dinner or snack. Though I am very happy with the frozen Jiaozi from the local Asian market, I still make Jiaozi from scratch once in a while when I have time at hand.
I made Dill Jiaozi today for lunch, it is one type that is not sold as frozen, maybe because it is not that common and dill for many, is a taste yet to develop.
One thing though probably worth mentioning. I planted the dill I used today in summer, I just sprinkled a handful of Fennel seeds I have in my pantry and it grown into dill plants!
So now, I am really confused, if fennel seeds gave me dills, why is it called fennel seeds?
Fennel leaves on the left, Dill on the right
Update：I have received a couple of feedbacks on the forum I frequented about the plant I planted. With great curiousity I did a little research and find that the plant I used for these dumplings is indeed Fennel.
According to : http://extension.illinois.edu/herbs/fennel.cfm
There are two types of fennel.
One is treated as an herb (herb fennel – Foeniculum vulgare) and one that is treated like a bulb type vegetable (Florence fennel or Finocchio – Foeniculum vulgare var. dulce).
The herb type grows 3-5 feet tall with fine textured foliage resembling dill. Flat topped clusters of yellow flowers appear in late summer. Stems, leaves and seeds of this type of fennel are harvested and used. Florence fennel is shorter with darker green foliage and is grown for its large, flat thick rosette of petioles at the base often referred to as a “bulb.” Both forms have an anise or licorice flavor.
Ingredient：(make 40-45 medium size wrappers)
3 cup/ 375 g all purpose flour
1 cup drinking water （adjust accordingly）
300 g Ground pork
1/3 cup water
2 tbsp Cooking wine
1/4 tsp White/black pepper powder
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tbsp Sesame Oil
1.Mix the flour, water and salt in a large bowl to make a smooth tough dough, let it rest for 45 minutes.
2. Once the dough is put aside for resting, start working on the dumpling filling, clean and chop the dill and scallion, grate ginger as finely as possible.
3. Place ground pork in a mixing bowl and stir with a spatula in circular motion while slowly adding 2 tbsp of cooking wine and 1/3 cup of water. You can add more water if you like your filling juicier.
4. Add chopped scallion and grated ginger, season with salt, pepper powder, five spice powder, soy sauce, oyster sauce,sugar and chicken essence. Let the ground pork marinate with seasoning for 20 minutes.
5. After 20 minutes, add cooking oil and sesame oil, stir until incorporated. Add chopped dill last to prevent water release from dill and make the filling too soggy at wrapping.
6. Take the dough out and place on a dusted surface, cut the dough into 40-45 equal pieces, you can work in batches to make it easier.
7. Pick up one piece of dough and lightly press it with your palm to make a small coin, then use a rolling pin to smooth it out into a small circular disc about 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter. You can add a little bit of flour to keep the wrappers from sticking.
8. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling and place it in the center of the wrapper. Hold the dumpling with one hand and start sealing the dumpling by folding the wrapper into half and pinch the center until it sticks together, then seal the edges with the other hand by folding and pinching it together. Repeat the same process for all remaining ingredients.
9. Bring half pot of water to boil with a dash of salt in it, once the water starting to boil, use a spatula to swirl the water until it turn into a whirlpool (this is to prevent the fresh dumplings to stick to the bottom) while you place the dumplings into water to cook, around 15-20 pieces at a time.
10. Cook until the dumplings started floating on top of water, add 2-3 tablespoon of cold water into the pot, bring it to boil again.
7. 把剂子用手掌压扁后用擀面杖擀成3寸大 (7.5 公分) 的饺子皮。擀面时可酌量撒点面粉防粘。
The dumplings are now cooked. Take it out and serve with soy sauce, black vinegar and some red oil.