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by A Total TaiTai Tale

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Eating Jiaozi for prosperity this year!

There are several different folk stories explaining the origin of 饺子 (jiaozi – Chinese dumplings)and its name. One fo them* is that jiaozi look like gold lingots which were used as currency during the Ming Dynasty, and as the name sounds like the word for the earliest paper money so serving them is believed to bring prosperity.

In China many families eat these at midnight on Chinese New Year’s Eve.I wasn’t going to get up at midnight so we just ate them at noon (and pretended we were at my sister’s in St Barts where it was actually midnight 😜).

I cooked them two different ways:
* I steamed some so those one are called zhēngjiǎo (蒸餃 – Steam dumplings)
* I pan fried some and those are called guōtiē (鍋貼 – pan stick) or jiānjiǎo (煎餃 – dry-fried dumplings).
I very rarely boiled them: shuǐjiǎo(水餃 – water dumpling)

The Japanese Gyōza and Nepali Momo are from the same family, howeverp;Jiaozi and wonton are different things.

* Another one is Jiaozi may also be named because they are horn-shaped. The Chinese word for “horn” is jiao (角) the character for Jiao was replaced by the specific character 餃, which has the food radical on the left and the phonetic component jiāo (交) on the right. (wikipekia!)

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