Egg and chive pockets (韭菜盒子)

Chive pockets (韭菜盒子 Jiu Cai He Zi) are filled with egg, chive, and mung bean vermicelli. They’re another childhood favorite of mine and something that I would always look for on the menu when we went out to eat. Since they’re not always easy to find, I started to make my own, which always include dried shrimp and MSG to give it an extra oomph and umami taste.

Usually at dumpling shops or restaurants you’ll get big boy chive boxes (like the size of my hand!). I love them big but I also enjoy these little boxes.

Special thank you to Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this recipe!

For the dough I used:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, I used Bob’s Red Mill
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup hot, but not boiling, water

For the filling I used:

  • 4 eggs scrambled with a pinch of salt, broken into small pieces with your spatula or give it a once-over with a knife
  • ~2 cups of chopped garlic chives, tough stems removed and chopped into ~1cm wide pieces
  • 1/2 cup cooked mung bean vermicelli, cut into 1 cm pieces (I just go at it with scissors)
  • 2 tbsp dried shrimp (optional)
  • 2 tsp neutral oil 
  • 1/2 tsp MSG
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp white pepper 

To make:

  • Mix together flour, salt, and oil. Add in water slowly while continuing to stir with chopsticks until large chunks start to form, starting with 1/2 cup of water and adding more as needed. Knead dough with your hand until smooth (should take about 5 minutes), at which point the dough should be slightly tacky to touch but not sticky, then cover and let rest for 30 minutes 
  • Mix chopped garlic chives and oil together, then mix in the rest of the filling ingredients well (eggs, vermicelli, dried shrimp, seasonings)
  • After dough has rested, divide dough in half. Then, roll out each half into a log and divide into 8 pieces, yielding 16 total pieces. Add the pieces you’re not working on back into the covered bowl to keep them from drying out. Note: for bigger pockets, divide dough into 8 total pieces
  • Roll each piece into a ball, flatten with your palm, and then roll out into a 4.5-5 inch round. Take the rolling pin over the edges so that you don’t have real thick edges.
  • Spoon a heap of filling into the center, fold the dough in half so you half a semi-circle, and seal the edges closed with your fingers. Then use your thumb to pinch small pleats into the dough if desired.
  • Alternatively, follow a simpler folding technique that I used for my beef meat pies.
  • To cook, heat up enough neutral oil over medium heat in a non-stick pan so that it covers the bottom layer of the skillet. Pan fry the first side covered for ~3-4 minutes until golden brown and then flip and pan fry the other side.
  • Note: if you’re looking to make bigger pockets, you will need to steam cook these to get them thoroughly cooked. Once both sides have been pan-fried to a golden brown, add some water and cover and cook for a couple of minutes until dough is cooked through. Remove the lid and let them re-crisp up for another minute or two
  • To freeze for later, freeze the boxes on a tray in a single layer, not letting the boxes touch. Once they’ve solidified (~2 hours) remove them from the tray and transfer to a ziploc