30 Days Challenge Cooking/Baking -Day 21: 饺子

Yesterday, we met with our Chinese Calligraphy class to cook some 饺子 (jiaozi – chinese dumplings). I know the turkish (Manti) and german(Maultaschen) dumplings, and of course the italian Tortellini, the king of dumplings :’D We learned 饺子 jiaozi and 包子 baozi in my chinese language class, but I never understood the difference between the both of them. I knew that 包 bao meant bread, so it had to be made out of bread. But what were the 饺子 jiaozi made with? I found out that they both are madd of dough, but the 饺子 jiaozi are cooked in water and have a longer form, and the 包子 baozi are baked in the oven and are round. I hope that’s right how I understood it.

Before 4 of us met our teacher at 2pm to go grocery shopping for the ingredients, I met with a friend of mine, May June. I met her last year in my Oral communication and written communication class. We were then in the same presentation group in oral comm and spent our friday afternoon breaks together, eating something, preparing our presentations, or talking about books, movies, and tv shows. She is a fulltime foreign student from Myanmar (former Burma) and studies english literature and language in germany, at the same university as me. We sat for about an hour in the cafeteria and talked about our studies, plans for the winter break, books we have to read, and language courses. She then gave me a present, which was the main purpose she wanted to see me before the holidays. I found a cute little paperblank timer in the wrapping bag :) It really was nice catching up with her a little bit before the break, and talk a little bit of english.

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Then I headed to the chinese studies building to meet with my teacher andthe other 3 students, one of them was my friend Thanh who actually told me about the calligraphy class.

After finding the other two boys one of them a syrian-german named adnan, and the other one a vietnamese-german who everyone called hyu (this is how it was pronounced, but I am not sure how it is spelled). At the supermarket we bought 7 kg flour, 7kg mince, about 7 kg chinese cabbage, 2 pieces of ginger, and 3 bunches of spring onions. We also had one package of mushrooms and one zucchini for vegetarian 饺子 jiaozis, because one of our group was vegetarian. Furthermore we bought 3 cucumbers for a cucumber salad, 3 bunches of clementines for desert, 12 bottles of water ( I don’t know why so much), and 6 bottles of spiced wine. Later, the husband of our teacher also brought some wine (6 bottles!!), chocolate and a noodle salad. I later found out that he seemed to be an alcoholic, since he always wanted everyone of us to drink wine with him :’D

After the shopping, we returned to the building and started. While the others prepared the dough, I washed and cut the vegetables. The dough was only prepared with flour and warm water. I saw the others kneading it properly. Then our teacher showed us how to cut the cabbage. We had to cut it lenghthy to halves, then put one halve on its straight surface, first cut the cabbage into lenghths, then hold everything together and cut it into tiny little pieces. As small as possible. After the others were ready with the dough, they prepared the mince. For that, they needed the onions, the ginger, and some spice (Unfortunately I couldn’t see what kind of spice it was, probably caraway or nutmeg). They mixed everything together, and I guess they kneaded it as well. After I cut about 2 cabbages (out of 8) we were exchanged. We could stop cutting and rest our hands in the pillow-smooth dough. Now we would finally prepare the 饺子 jiaozi. For that we had to pull out one piece of dough from the bowl (in total we had 3 bowls of dough, and 3 bowls of ingredient, because we expected about 20-30 people, but only about 15 came). We had to roll the piece of dough on the table with our hands, and form it into a long sausage form. Then, rip walnut big pieces from that, and roll each between your palls, press it, put it on the table, and roll it out with a rolling pin. It should have a circle form,  the dough shouldn’t be too thick nor too thin. Then, place the filling (mix the prepared mince with the cut cabbage) in the middle of the circle, and close it well, best in chinese style.

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My teacher filling the dough.
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This is how she closed the circles. I love how the closed line looks like. It really is an art. I tried, but failed :’D

After a while,  more people joined, and everyone took over one field of work. I rolled out the dough into sausage forms, ripped them and rolled them betweenmy palm, another guy joined as well. A few people rolled them into circles  and many were filling. Our teacher’s husband joined us as well. He was full of flour in the end :’D and he had black clothes. My friend Thanh did the filling as well. Because we had so uch ingredients, we finished at about 7 pm ( egan atabout 5pm). It took us about 2 hours, but the result can be looked at, and tasted as well.

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And this was not all. We had about 5 times more than these. We definitely had about 200 饺子 jiaozi :’D We could took a lot of that home with us as well.

Before I went ho e at about 8 pm, I talked with the other and also my teacher and her husband. It was a nice atmosphere, and everyone was so nice and diverse. It really was fun, and I would really liked to do it again. My teacher even hugged me before I went :3 so cute!

 

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