Recipe: He Zi (Chinese Pan-Fried Pockets)

In Chinese, 盒子 (hézi) literally translates into box — an edible box, of course. A typical “box” that you’ll see sold as a quick street food item consists of chopped chives and eggs (or some other variation of that) stuffed into a dough “box,” although that box is shaped more like a crescent moon. I like to think of them as the older cousin of dumplings. Both are like savory pocket pies, but hézi usually are larger, have more filling, and a crisper skin. 

If you’ve stuck around HMHS for a while, you know last time we made Eggplant He Zi (click here for that recipe). This one is similar, but a more traditional version (and less time-intensive!). Of course, this one is still not the OG — with eggs and chives. Here, we mimic a more traditional dumpling filling, but jazz it up a bit with a He Zi format. (Basically, instead of eating 10 dumplings, three of these would suffice LOL). Our recipe here consists of ground pork, dried shrimp, and Korean glass noodles — and I dare say they’re perfect as the weather cools down and you’re craving some delicious food!

Dough

4 cup all purpose flour
1/2  tsp yeast
1 and 1/2 cup warm water
  1. Add all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Form into a dough — should be soft and smooth.
  2. Let prove for 1 hour, until doubled in size.

Filling

1 lb ground pork
8 oz Korean glass noodles (sweet potato starch noodles) -- cook according to package instructions
1 large onion (yellow)
1 tbs dried shrimp
½ tbs finely diced ginger
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs oyster sauce
½ tbs sugar 
¼ tbs salt

1. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and set aside. 

Putting It All Together

1. Once dough has doubled in size, punch down. Split dough into 20 smaller, equal size pieces.

2. Taking each piece, flatten out. Using a rolling pin, form a flattened, circular piece of dough, with a diameter of about 2.5 inches.

3. Fill with prepared filling.

4. Next, pinch together the sides of the wrap, until filling is enclosed. Then, you can make any sort of edge pattern you want (see video below for guidance).

5. Heat a non-stick pan to the highest heat (around 425F). Pour 1 tbsp oil into pan, and using a pastry brush, spread the oil evenly to ensure the entire pan is covered with oil.

6. Place six or seven (depending on space) He Zi into the pan. Leave the cover off for about two minutes. Then, add 3/4 cups of water, and cover the pan.

7. Cook until all the water has evaporated (usually 7-8 minutes).

8. Using a pastry brush, brush some oil onto each He Zi. Then, flip the He Zi and fry until (both sides) are golden-brown.

8. Prepare whatever dipping sauce you want, and enjoy while hot!

Hope you enjoyed the recipe, and make sure to tag us on IG or FB @hungrymindhungrystomach if you make your own–we’d love to see and share your creations!

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