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Favorite filling for Chinese dumplings?

ipsedixit Apr 15, 2013 10:00 PM

Chinese dumpling (餃子 or jiaozi), what's your favorite filling for them?





Seafood and pork?

All vegetables?

Something else?

Me? I'm a traditionalist. Pork and Chinese garlic chives.


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  1. Kris in Beijing RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 05:52 AM

    Pork, pork, pork -- and an allium.

    I loved the menu structure of my favourite "take people to eat jiaozi" restaurant in Beijing-- at the top of each page was a primary--pork,chicken, lamb, beef, mushroom, egg, tofu-- then the list ran to 20 choices like "plain," "with onion," "with carrot," "with mustard greens," etc.

    It was easy to get a huge variety by ordering a half plate[8] from each page.

    1. w
      Westy RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 05:54 AM

      Ground pork. Chinese cabbage, finely chopped ginger.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Westy
        jeanmarieok RE: Westy Apr 16, 2013 10:21 AM

        my go-to also - I love it!

        1. re: jeanmarieok
          Westy RE: jeanmarieok Apr 16, 2013 11:36 AM

          Ming Tsai did this combination in one of his books. Excellent. (response to Jean MarieOK).

        2. re: Westy
          flavrmeistr RE: Westy Apr 17, 2013 08:45 AM

          Pork, leeks, ginger or shrimp, pork, woodear or pork w/chili oil, garlic. Me so hungry now.

        3. MGZ RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 05:56 AM

          "I'm a traditionalist. Pork and Chinese garlic chives."

          Fine my me, but as Kris noted below, I'll take most any allium or even a couple mixed together.

          6 Replies
          1. re: MGZ
            MGZ RE: MGZ Apr 16, 2013 06:18 AM

            I should confess, that, havin' a few free lobsters headin' my way, Mrs. Z has asked if I could use some of the meat for dumplings. I got no ideas about ho to do so, so if anybody has experience? Sauce?

            1. re: MGZ
              Kris in Beijing RE: MGZ Apr 16, 2013 06:47 AM

              Here's a more-complex-than-really-necessary recipe with US ingredients that IS really good. After the first time, you'll start to pare the ingredients and the prep, but it's good to start by following a complete recipe.


              1. re: MGZ
                ipsedixit RE: MGZ Apr 16, 2013 08:03 AM

                Boil the lobster tails, rough chop it, combine it with some steamed pumpkin, or kabocha, toss with some salt and white pepper and a gentle dose of sesame oil. That's your filling and use a basic soy sauce and black vinegar with some minced garlic as a dipping sauce if you wish.

                1. re: ipsedixit
                  Melanie Wong RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 10:59 AM

                  Suggest not boiling the lobster tails first. They'll cook completely when the dumplings are boiled.

                  1. re: Melanie Wong
                    ipsedixit RE: Melanie Wong Apr 16, 2013 11:16 AM

                    Yes you're right.

                    1. re: Melanie Wong
                      MGZ RE: Melanie Wong Apr 16, 2013 11:35 AM

                      Yeah, I'd likely just submerge the bugs in water for a minute or so before cleaning and chopping. Pumpkin is not readily available in NJ right now, but there are some hard squashes still around. Whadda you think about lobster and roasted acorn squash for a dumpling. Any thoughts as to seasoning?

              2. JAB RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 08:57 AM

                Cod fish.

                2 Replies
                1. re: JAB
                  ipsedixit RE: JAB Apr 16, 2013 10:08 AM

                  Cod fish.

                  As opposed to ... cod beef?


                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    JAB RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 10:13 AM

                    As oppossed to Sole fish. ;>)

                2. K K RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 09:37 AM

                  Tie between pork and cabbage or pork and chive.

                  Next up, fish and chive, with a tie between shrimp and chive, or shrimp + pork + chive.

                  But when I go to Hong Kong next, there is a place I want to try where they do pork and fennel, and a made to order tomato and egg (where they remove the tomato skin by hand).

                  Equally important to the experience is either a quality black vinegar for dipping, or the right texture and flavored chili sauce (but not doubanjiang).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: K K
                    ipsedixit RE: K K Apr 16, 2013 10:09 AM

                    Ever try shrimp and pumpkin? Very good combo.

                    1. re: ipsedixit
                      K K RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 10:15 AM

                      Good to know, thanks...but that combo is almost non existant at the restaurants I frequent.

                      Do you do the one bite raw garlic one bite dumpling approach of eating? Used to do that at home. But outside, I just swipe some chili sauce (and also use that chili sauce on cold side dishes).

                      Speaking of which, what are your favorite cold side dishes to order to eat with dumplings. It's a must and part of the experience when eating outside.

                      1. re: K K
                        ipsedixit RE: K K Apr 16, 2013 10:20 AM

                        If you are ever in LA/SGV, 101 Noodle makes shrimp and pumpkin dumplings.

                        Of course I know about the one bite garlic, but I do it more than with dumplings, and probably more often in public than I should.

                        As to side dishes, I like a good dish of well-marinated seaweed, Thousand Year Old Eggs (those go great, by the way, with raw garlic), pig ears and pickled vegetables (cabbage, carrots, etc.)

                        1. re: ipsedixit
                          K K RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 10:28 AM

                          Thanks, perhaps more likely will visit Irvine location before SGV.

                          Huge fan of seaweed myself. Also like the tofu noodle shreds (liang ban gan si with a drizzle of sesame oil), or cold cucumber with woodear, as with the pig ears.

                          1. re: K K
                            ipsedixit RE: K K Apr 17, 2013 10:18 AM

                            Should add shredded daikon to the list of side dishes.

                            In fact I could make a meal just out of marinated daikon slivers and some Chinese green onion sesame bread.

                  2. raytamsgv RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 10:16 AM

                    Just about any combination as long as it includes ground pork.

                    1. eLizard RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 10:31 AM


                      i would eat all of my food in dip and dumpling form if i could.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: eLizard
                        ipsedixit RE: eLizard Apr 16, 2013 10:40 AM

                        Shouldn't your handle then be "ePork"?

                      2. c oliver RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 12:50 PM

                        Took an Asian dumpling class from Andrea Nguyen last weekend. Made 'her' har gow which includes a little pork fat and a bunch of other stuff. WAY better than what I usually find at dim sum spots. Also made her vegetarian crystal dumplings with shallot, garlic, shitakes, wood ears, jicama, carrot and Chinese chives. Crunchy and wonderful.

                        1. w
                          wattacetti RE: ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 02:31 PM

                          Base is ground pork, Napa cabbage that has been chopped and then salted down to remove excess water, finely chopped ginger (or grated frozen ginger), green onions, soy, sesame oil, pepper.

                          To this I have added any/all of the following:
                          garlic chives
                          coarsely-chopped shrimp
                          fresh shiitake mushrooms
                          cloud ear
                          bamboo shoot
                          water chestnut
                          finely chopped Chinese celery

                          If pan-frying (guotie; 鍋貼) or steaming (zhengjiao; 蒸餃) I've also added chicken jello to have an extra liquid centre.

                          For pork, the best was the Berkshire shoulder that a local butcher ground for me at 60/40, but I'll only go to that effort if I'm making them for my parents (I can settle for "medium").

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