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Words of the Day: Jiao Zi (dumplings)

Posted: Tuesday, March 30, 2010 By Ni Hao Books

The Words of the Day for today is 饺子,jiǎo zi (dumplings). When fried, they are called potsticker or gyoza. It's a very important and commonly seen food during celebrations in Northern China, such as during Chinese New Year, birthdays, guest visiting, and such. My parents are from Northern China, so making dumplings are their specialty. The fillings are usually pork with napa cabbage or pork with chives. I remember visiting relatives in the poor villages in China, and they always made dumplings to welcome us. Being so poor, they couldn't afford to buy meat, so the fillings sometimes are just chives with a little oil. It didn't taste very good. Nowadays, chicken fillings are more common here in the US, because people are more health conscious, and chicken is healthier than pork. I'm glad my kids love dumplings, and can sometimes eat 8 or more in one setting. That's the Northern Chinese blood in them.


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