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Chive Pockets { 韭菜盒子 Jiu Cai He Zi}

Traditional Chinese Chive Pocket Food

by Shirley
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chive pockets {Jiu Cai He Zi} recipe

Chive Pockets, or Jiu Cai He Zi {韭菜盒子 } in Chinese is a popular traditional pocket food in northern China. They feature pan-fried calzone-like dumplings filled with fresh chives and soft scrambled eggs. So yummy and hearty.

Perfect for breakfast or side dishes. You can certainly eat it as a one-pot meal also.

chive pockets {Jiu Cai He Zi} recipe

How to make yummy and healthy classic Chinese Chive Pockets?

As you can imagine, as a traditional pocket food in China, different people surely have different ways of making it. What I share below is my numerously tested and proven home cooking from the scratch method. It has successfully addressed questions such as:

  • How to cook the pockets thoroughly but also relatively easier and faster?
  • How to make refreshingly tasty chive pockets?

With this method, you will get a calzone-sized pocket that has a crispy exterior but a soft but firm bite texture interior. Extremely satisfying and yummy.

How to make the best dough for Chinese pocket food?

I use an unleavened but relaxed dough, the same one I make classic Cong You Bing, or Chinese Scallion Pancakes. Room-temperature water gives the dough a more refreshing flavor and taste.

dough for making Chinese pocket food

By the way, I used to make the dough by hand, but lately, I started to appreciate using Stand Mixer to knead the dough. So effortless and I get this perfectly spongy dough in less than 2 minutes.

The type of flour also plays an important role, the organic non-bleached all-purpose flour is simply so yummy and full of nutrients.

Use a stand mixer to knead the dough

How to make a tasty chive & egg filling for the pocket food?

Tip No.1 is to chop the chive finely, as fine as you can

finely chopped chives and egg for chive pocket filling

A cleaver makes it easier to get the fine-chopping job done easier.

Tip No.2 is to make a super soft scrambled egg for tasty chive pockets

Preheat the hard anodized frying pan before pouring the egg liquid into the pan in a circular motion. Use a silicone spatula to fold the egg into layers constantly during the cooking.

Last but not least is to turn off the heat immediately when you can still see some fluid egg on the surface.

soft scrambled eggs in the frying pan

Continue to fold the egg and let the residual heat continue to cook the egg. This way, the egg is super soft and will bind with the finely chopped chives nicely.

chopped chives with soft scrambled egg for pocket filling

How to fold Jiu Cai He Zi {Chive Pockets}?

This recipe makes a dozen (12) calzone-size Chinese pockets. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, with each portion weighing approximately 86 grams.

Knead each portion inward and organize it into a round disk. Then use a rolling pin to roll it out in all directions and form a round that is about 7 inches in diameter.

how to fold Chinese pocket food?

Add the filling to the lower half of the round, and gently pat the filling to make it flat. It is OK and actually recommended to have the filling above the imaginary horizontal center line. Generously add the filling all the way to the edge of the round in the lower half, just leave a little bit of room to close the pocket.

The dough is super soft and stretchy. As you fold the top half down, it will close the pocket without a problem. This way, you can fill more fillings in the pocket, and make the pocket food more satisfying.

Before you pinch both edges together to close the pocket. Gently pat the pocket to flatten the fillings and get rid of potential air.

The Best Way of Cooking Chive Pockets

Grilled pockets are always enticing and mouth-watering, with flat crispy exteriors. However, when the chive pockets are relatively big, so it is very hard to cook it fully just by grilling it. You may end up finding yourself standing in front of the griddle for hours and constantly flipping the pockets. Needless to say, I was there, LOL. Nevertheless, you will still find the side of the pocket dough may still feel raw.

I said to myself, there got to be a better way of doing this. And surely there is. Here comes my tested way of cooking Chive Pockets using a method inspired by Sheng Jian Man Tou, or pan-fried pork buns.

chive pockets {Jiu Cai He Zi} recipe

The first thing first is to grill the pockets on both sides in a hard-anodized frying pan until they are lightly browned. Immediately pour 1/2 cup of water around the edge of the pan, cover the pan with a lid and let it cook for about 3 minutes, or till the water has almost evaporated. Last, turn the heat to low, flip the chive pockets, and let it cook for an additional 3 minutes.

Right before serving, I highly recommend you grill the pockets on the cast iron griddle briefly on both sides to get that crispy exterior nice bite texture.

All done! Enjoy a super yummy and nutritious superfood Chive Pockets.

chive pockets {Jiu Cai He Zi} recipe

Chive Pockets {Jiu Cai He Zi 韭菜盒子} Recipe

Yield: 12 pockets
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes

Chive Pockets, or Jiu Cai He Zi {韭菜盒子 } in Chinese is a popular traditional pocket food in northern China. They feature pan-fried calzone-like dumplings filled with fresh chives and soft scrambled eggs. So yummy and hearty.

Ingredients

For Chive Egg Filling:

  • 1 lb fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 6 eggs
  • 7 tbsp cooking oil, such as avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt, such as Himalayan pink salt
  • 3/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce

For the Pocket Dough:

  • 660 g all-purpose flour, organic unbleached preferred, about 4 cups
  • 30 g avocado oil
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 340 g water, room temperature,

For Pan Fry Pockets:

  • 1 tbsp avocado oil

Instructions

Make the Dough:

  • Add 660 g flour, 30 g avocado oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 340 g room temperature water to the large mixer. Use a bamboo spatula to fold and mix everything together loosely.
    combine all-purpose flour, avocado oil, salt and water in a large mixing bowl
  • Attach the mixing bowl to the Stand Mixer, and turn the speed to slow until a spongy dough is formed. Stop to scrape the dough off the mixing bowl wall if needed. Or you can make the dough by hand.
    Make a soft & spongy dough
  • Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel and let it rest while you are preparing the filling.

Make the Chive Egg Filling:

  • Wash, rinse the chive well multiple times, and let the water drain.
    chive pockets ingredients
  • Crack the egg into a bowl, and add 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper. Use an egg whisk to blend well. Chop the chive very finely, as fine as you can.
    finely chopped chives and egg for chive pocket filling
  • Turn the heat to medium and heat a hard anodized frying pan for 1 minute and add 1 tbsp avocado oil. Use the silicon spatula to spread out the oil evenly across the base and pour in the egg liquid. Immediately use the silicone spatula to fold the egg. Starting from the outskirt of the pan and tilt the pan to let the egg liquid flow to the open area.
    fold the egg liquid in the pan to make soft scrambled eggs
  • Once the eggs are mostly solidified but you can still see some fluid portion on the surface, turn off the heat and continue to fold, and let the residual heat continue to cook the egg. This ensures the softly scrambled eggs, which will bond with the finely chopped chives better.
    soft scrambled eggs in the frying pan
  • Add the soft scrambled egg to the chopped chive. Toss, and mix the soft scrambled egg with the chopped chives. Add 6 tbsp avocado oil, 2 tbsp sesame oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp black pepper, and continue to toss, fold and mix using a pair of bamboo spatulas. Lastly, add 1 tbsp light soy sauce, and toss/fold/mix well and set it aside.
    chopped chives with soft scrambled egg for pocket filling

Fold Chive Pockets:

  • This recipe makes a dozen (12) pockets. Divide the dough into 12 equal portions, each portion weighing about ~85 g.
    dough for making Chinese pocket food
  • For each portion, use both hands to press the dough continuously and organize it into a round disk. Then use a rolling pin to roll out in all directions into a round, which is roughly 7 inches in diameter. The filling in this recipe fits 12(twelve) 7-inch diameter wrappers.
    roll out a 14 inches diameter round dough for making pocket food
  • Add chive egg filling generously to the lower part of the round. It is OK to exceed the imaginary horizontal center line. Gently pat flat using the bottom of a spoon. Just leave a bit of room along the edge of the lower bottom circle to pinch & seal.
    add chive egg filling to the round wrapper
  • Fold down the top half of the wrapper.
    fold down the top half of the round wrapper
  • Before sealing the edges, gently pat to flatten the dumpling and get rid of the potential trapped air. Then pitch the two sheets together along the edge to seal the pocket. Make sure the pocket is sealed properly.
    seal the edges to form pocket
  • You can fold all 12 pockets at once first. One call-out is to make sure you have dusted a thick layer of flour underneath the freshly wrapped chive pocket. Over time, the juice from the chives may slowly seep into the dough wrappers.

Pan Fry Chive Pockets:

  • Turn the heat to medium and heat a hard anodized frying pan for 1 minute and evenly spray a tiny bit of avocado oil using an oil sprayer bottle.
  • Lay 3 pockets flat on the frying pan and cook for 2 minutes. Use the flexible turner to press down to flatten each pocket and make sure the entire base is grilled. Then flip the pocket and cook the other side for another 2 minutes. Again, use the flexible turner to press down to flatten each pocket.
    Pan Fry previously grilled pockets
  • Add 1/2 cup of water along the edge of the pan, cover the pan with a lid, and cook for 3 minutes, or till the water is almost evaporated.
  • Turn the heat to low, flip the pockets, and cook for an additional 3 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat. Flip the pockets again, let the residual heat cook the other side for about 1 minute and then remove the pockets from the pan. All done for this batch of Chive Pockets. Repeat to cook the other 3 batches.

Optional Step - Serving Chive Pockets:

  • Right before serving the pockets, I recommend grilling them briefly on both sides on a cast iron griddle to have a crispy exterior bite texture.
  • Enjoy the super yummy and healthy Chive Pockets Jiu Cai He Zi!
    chive pockets {Jiu Cai He Zi} recipe
Nutrition Information
Yield 12 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 335Total Fat 18gSaturated Fat 2gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 15gCholesterol 93mgSodium 372mgCarbohydrates 34gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 9g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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