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Jiaozi Story

Dumplings, or jiaozi, are a favorite food in Chinese culture. According to Chinese culinary lore, they were invented by the Chinese medical practitioner Zhang Zhongjing during the Han dynasty (206 BC–AD 200).

Jiaozi are traditionally associated with northern China where wheat growing was more common and are now enjoyed by people throughout China, Taiwan, and in diasporic Chinese communities as a lunchtime or dinnertime meal. Dumplings can be filled with a variety of meat, cooked egg, and vegetable fillings and are best accompanied by some freshly cooked vegetables, pickled cucumbers, and other side dishes.

Because they are similar in shape to traditional Chinese silver and gold ingots used as currency in traditional times, jiaozi often appear on the table at Chinese New Year’s Eve feasts, where they symbolize hope for wealth and prosperity in the coming year. They are easy to prepare, especially with a group of friends, and make the perfect focus for a Chinese meal.

Submitted by Professor Steve Riep, Asian and Near Eastern Languages

History of Jiaozi

Voiced by: Steve Riep

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