How to make jiaozi (Chinese dumplings)

Published on Yahoo Lifestyle UK & Ireland on 4th February 2013:

Dumplings by Qin Xie

There’s probably nothing more perfect than jiaozi for a Chinese New Year celebration – it’s the sort of dish that families make together and enjoy together.

Jiaozi, or Chinese dumplings as it’s more frequently known, are essentially little parcels of pastry wrapped filling. It’s traditionally considered a dish from Northern China although it’s enjoyed all over China.

The pastry is made with just water and flour while the filling can be almost anything you want. Most fillings are meat based and vary from region to region, like pork and garlic chives or beef and celery.

Here’s a recipe for pork and Chinese leaf dumplings:

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How to make tangyuan (glutinous rice balls)

Published on Yahoo Lifestyle UK & Ireland on 4th February 2013:

Tangyuan, Qin Xie

The name sounds rather strange even before you translate it (the Chinese characters for “tang” and “yuan” mean “soup” and “sphere” respectively) but it’s really just a sweet filling wrapped in a glutinous rice flour pastry and served in its cooking liquid.

In China, the most popular flavour for tangyuan is black sesame but it’s also commercially available in flavours such as rose, peanut and red bean.

There are lots of theories about when to enjoy tangyuan, which varies according to the part of China that you’re from. Some have it at the turn of midnight for Chinese New Year while others have it on the 15th day of the festival.

Either way, the most important part of the tangyuan tradition is about family. Not only is it something to be shared with family during New Year celebrations but, in Chinese, tangyuan also sounds like “tuanyuan”, or reunion.

Here’s a recipe for easy peanut butter tangyuan:

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