Dumplings originate from huntun, a kind of stuffed food made of flour.
Yan Zhitui,a native of the Northern Qi Dynasty (A.D. 550-577) once remarked that "Today's Chinese huntun，which is formed in the shape of a crescent moon，eaten by the people throughout the country."(in Note Quotation by Duan Gonglu in the Tang Dynasty on Bei Hu Lu--Household Records in the Northern Qi Dynasty).
In the Ming Dynasty the Universally Used Standardized Form of Chinese Characters remarks that “ The conventional dumpling materials in the present day，are made by powder of rice and wheat, and they vary in dryness, wetness, and size，or the so-called ‘powder angle'. The people in the Northern Qi Dynasty said, the angles were like arrow pincers. The people in the Tang Dynasty called this dish the 'firm pills'.
The Food by Duan Chengshi mentions ‘Jiaowan in the soup’. Jiaowan refers to the dumpling today. ‘Jiaowan in the steam box’ refers to today’s steamed dumplings. Therefore, we know that laowan is similar to dumplings, which can be boiled or steamed.
The word Jiaozi appeared in the Song Dynasty. In the Yuan Dynasty, people call dumpling ‘bianshi’, which may originate from Mongolian.
Like what the Zheng Zi Tong records, in the Ming Dynasty, dumpling is called Jiaoer, fenjiao, shuijiaozi or zhengtangmianjiao. Some also call it water dim sum. In the Qing Dynasty, Manchus in Beijing called dumplings “boiled cake”.
Eating dumplings on New Year's Day began to be popular in the north in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. For example, during the Wanli Period of the Ming Dynasty, Shen Bang says in Wan Shu Za Ji that residents in the suburban Wanping County of Beijing “make bianshi and present it to the eldest family member to give them a long life”. During the Jiajing Period of the Ming Dynasty, the Quwo County Annal of Shanxi states that people “make bianshi with coins in it the next day and invite the son-in-law to compete for happiness”. The word bianshi began to circulate among the people in the Yuan Dynasty.