Jiaozi is a Chinese dumpling and it is a hot favorite among Chinese households. Jiaozi can be steamed, boiled, or pan fried. The pan fried version is known as guotie (pot stickers) or gyoza in Japan. As the name implies, the dumpling stuck slightly to the wok at the end of cooking but it could be easily removed by nudging it using a spatula.
While jiaozi filling commonly consists of meat and/or vegetables, there’s no limit to what you can add in it. You can make the filling with the ingredients you like/have on hand. Both taste and textures are very important in dumpling making. For me, I love to add shitake mushrooms, carrots, and wombok leaves together with the mince pork to produce different textures (bitey and crunchy). The filling smells and taste wonderful with the addition of seasonings such as sesame oil, shaoxing wine, good quality soy sauce, grated ginger, and garlic. The wrapper and wrapping style for guotie is different from deep fried wontons. Guotie wrappers are white in color, round-shaped, and thicker compared to wonton wrappers. My first jiaozi attempt which was 3 years ago was unsuccessful and I ended up with disintegrated dumplings as I did not seal the dumpling properly. Make sure you pinch the edges of the dumpling firmly so that they won’t break apart when cooking.
Crispy skin on the bottom and tenderly soft skin on the top.
Mr. D & I went to Japan last May and instantly fell head over heels for its people, culture, breathtaking scenery, and of course its FOOD. We visited Tokyo, Kyoto, Kobe and Osaka and by the end of our trip we were deflated but it was all worth it. Everything in Japan is just sooo awesome, well-organized, clean, and a well-thought out country. Japan’s public transportation system is excellent, very efficient, and they are super duper punctual. You can actually set your watch time according to the trains’ arrival time.
As for its people, Japanese are so courteous, considerate and whatever they do, they do it diligently. Janitors in Japan are so meticulous in their job and I was awed by watching them cleaning the stairs, wiping them so carefully making sure every nook and cranny is being paid attention to, and picking up tiny bits and pieces of paper which most of us couldn’t spot. Salute!~ Both of us can’t really speak Japanese but that didn’t pose much problems. It was just a little more inconvenient in Kyoto especially when we were trying to use their luggage delivery service to deliver our bags from Kyoto to Osaka. (Yes, they have a luggage delivery service whereby you just drop your luggage at a convenience store and the luggage will find their way to the destination punctually. Save you the hassle of carrying them up and down the train/bus). But other than that, we managed to communicate pretty well with the locals with a combination of hand gestures and body language, English, and our limited Japanese vocabulary. 😛
The Rainbow Bridge that connects Tokyo and Odaiba. It looks amazing at night. Odaiba is a man-made island and housed a lot of attractions. If you’re a Gundam fan, you are no stranger to this place.