Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fennel Dumplings/Jiaozi 【茴香饺子】

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 :

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)
1/4 tsp salt

200 g Dill leaves 
300 g Ground pork 
1/3 cup water 
2 tbsp Cooking wine
3 tbsp minced scallion
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp Soy Sauce 
1/2 tsp salt  
1/4 tsp White/black pepper powder 
1/4 tsp Chinese five spice powder 
A little Chicken essence 
A little sugar
1/4 cup cooking oil
1 tbsp Sesame Oil

 375克 中筋 
1 杯 凉水 (可适量增减)
1/4 茶匙盐

200克 茴香叶 
300克 猪肉馅 
1/3 杯  
大勺 料酒 
3 大勺 葱花
1 大勺 姜蓉
1/2 小勺 食盐
小勺 生抽 
1/4 小勺 胡椒粉 
1/4 小勺 五香粉 
鸡精  少许
1 大勺 香油/麻油 
1/4 杯 食油/橄榄油 

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.

1. 把中筋面粉,水和盐混合后和成一个软硬适中的面团。把面团盖上,放一边饧面45分钟。

2. 开始拌馅,把茴香摘好洗净切碎,姜切碎。

3. 把肉末放到一个大盆里,用筷子或木勺边搅拌边加入料酒和水,喜欢馅料更湿润的,可以多加两大勺水。

4. 把葱花和姜蓉加入拌匀后,加盐,胡椒粉,五香粉,酱油,蚝油,鸡精和糖,大力用勺子搅上劲。把调好味的肉末静置20分钟煨煨。

5. 20分钟后,在肉末里加入食油和香油拌匀,最后才加入切碎的茴香拌匀,这样可以防止茴香出水。

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.

6. 把饧好的面团取出,台面上撒点手粉,揪或切出40-45个剂子。也可把面团分成几份处理,可以避免干裂。

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。

8. 取一大勺馅料放到皮中央,对折后先捏中间,然后由中间向两边将饺子皮边折起边捏紧。把饺子码放到撒了点粉的大盘子或盖帘上。


9.  把饺子全都包好后,煮滚半锅水,水里可以加点盐。水滚之后用个汤勺把水快速划圈成漩涡状,趁这个时候把饺子下锅,这样做饺子就不会粘锅了。煮饺子水要宽,一次不要煮太多,15-20只最恰当。

10. 饺子下锅后水再次煮滚时,往锅里加2-3大勺的凉水,水就马上不滚了,俗话这叫点水,(有的人喜欢点两次甚至三次的水。我的饺子不大,点一次我觉得就可以了)水再次煮滚后大约30秒饺子即可起锅。

The dumplings are now cooked. Take it out and serve with soy sauce, black vinegar and some red oil.




  1. These sound absolutely delicious. I always want to make dumplings, but every time I try have problems actually shaping them and sealing them - they always seem to explode in the water or just end up looking really lumpy. I'm going to try your instructions!

    As for dill and fennel seeds - I started using fennel fronds in place of dill when I found I didn't have any dill. They do look and taste very similar (aniseedy) but are actually from different plant families. But it is definitely worth experimenting, as your lovely recipe proves :)

    1. Hey there... there are many youtube videos now teaching how to seal dumplings, if you are not particular about its shape.. it is really just the matter of sealing it up.

      I am still confused about my dill/fennel thingy, I did sprinkled fennel seeds and they grew into dill... or I should say, look very similar to wild fennel... so I am really not sure what I actually had!