餃子 (SC:饺子;Pinyin: Jiǎo Zi) Other names used commonly in other countries include “Dumplings” “Pot Stickers” (Pan Fried) and “Gyōza” in Japanese cuisine.

Jiaozi are one of the major foods eaten during the Chinese New Year and year round in the northern provinces of China. They look like the golden ingots “yuan bao” used during the Ming Dynasty for money and the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money, so serving them is believed to bring prosperity. Many families eat these at midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve. Some cooks will even hide a clean coin for the lucky to find.

Jiaozi may be divided into various types depending on how they are cooked:

Boiled (Chinese: 水餃; pinyin: shuǐjiǎo; literally “water dumpling”)

Steamed (Chinese: 蒸餃; pinyin: zhēngjiǎo)

Pan fried (Chinese: 鍋貼; pinyin: guōtiē; literally “pan stick”, also referred to as Chinese: 煎餃; pinyin: jiānjiǎo; literally “dry-fried dumplings”).

Dumplings that use egg rather than dough to wrap the filling are called “egg dumplings” (Chinese: 蛋餃; “dànjiǎo”).

Cantonese style Jiaozi called gaau (Chinese: 餃) are standard fare in dim sum. The most common type are shrimp dumplings (har gow).

The Shanghainese food “Xiaolongbao” is not considered a type of Jiaozi in Chinese culture even though it sometimes can be called “Soup Dumplings” in English, and technically it is. That’s all because Xiaolongbao is bun shaped to keep the juice well inside when it’s getting cooked. 

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