Commonly called potstickers in America and gyoza in Japan, these dumplings are often described as "Chinese ravioli," for some bizarre reason. Jiaozi are made with circular pieces of thin dough, filling put in the middle and then the dough pinched over, usually making a sort of crescent shape. Jiaozi fillings are normally meat and vegetables, but there are some sweet varieties with peanuts, coconut, etc. These are relatively unusual.

Jiaozi may be cooked by steaming or frying; a preference for one or the other is usually regional. Jiaozi are fairly common in overseas Chinese restaurants and frozen in the grocery store. They're fun to make at home, though; a band of friends or family can make several hundred in a session. Those not eaten can be saved as leftovers and divided up to put in home freezers. (Jiaozi are good as cold leftovers, too, though that may be culinary heresy.) A dipping sauce is sometimes served. The recipe varies but a basic example is soy sauce, hot chili oil, and scallions. Jiaozi are highly recommended! Mmm.

In contrast to baozi, the jiaozi dough is very thin. In fact, the word is jiaozi pi, where pi means "skin." (This is the source of the title of the story "Skin of the Heart," from Nishi Keiko's "Love Story.") These wrappers may be purchased ready-made at most supermarkets in the USA.

Basic recipes for jiaozi may be found at SOAR under "Chinese," or at