Potstickers, dumplings, jiaozi, guotie, whatever you want to call them, they’re delicious. Dumplings are definitely a staple in our home. We always keep a bag of frozen homemade dumplings for those emergency hungry times.

Pan-fried dumplings are incredibly satisfying: crispy on the outside, juicy on the inside, filled with so much flavor. You could just buy a bag of frozen dumplings at the grocery store and call it a day or you could make your own at home and impress yourself with your amazing dumpling making abilities.

Golden brown and crispy on the bottoms with a juicy pork filling inside, these Chinese pork dumplings will make you feel like you’re at your favorite dumpling spot.

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But what even are dumplings though?

Dumplings are juicy, crispy little bundles of deliciousness. In this particular case, we’re talking about Chinese dumplings, or jiaozi. Jiaozi are a ground meat filling (sometimes vegetable) wrapped up in a piece of thinly rolled out dough. Chinese dumplings can be deep-fried, boiled, steamed, and pan-fried. They’re served in soup and on their own with a dipping sauce. Dumplings are super versatile, you can eat them for breakfast, lunch, dinner, a late night snack, you name it, and dumplings can be there for you.

The best dumplings are the ones you make at home.

There is something gratifying about making something from nothing. It’s why sourdough is so popular – making food from scratch will give you a deep satisfaction. It’s why generations of families sit together at the kitchen table at dumpling making parties. But also, let’s face it, those dumpling making parties are just an excuse to wrangle kids in to doing free labor. Still, take an afternoon to make some homemade dumplings – heck make a triple batch and freeze the extras – and you’ll be eating like dumpling royalty for days. Also, if you make your dumplings at home you can customize them infinitely. Dreaming of shrimp and chives? Maybe a green chile cheeseburger dumpling? You can have it all, wrapped up in one beautiful bite.

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The perfect homemade dumpling dough

The key to any good dumpling is the dough. You want it to be plush and chewy and pliable. There is a space in the world for thin skinned dumplings (like xiao long bao) but for homemade potstickers you want a rustic al dente wrapper that you can really sink your teeth into.

There are different kinds of doughs for different kinds of dumplings – how much flour and water you add yields different textures. For our potsticker dumpling dough we’re going to be using a hot/warm water dough which makes a very pliable, easy to work with dough. It has a 55% hydration, which is perfect for crispy, yet chewy dumpling skins.

All you need to make homemade Chinese dumpling wrappers is water and flour. Because it’s a warm/hot water dough, this basic dumpling wrapper recipe is perfect for potstickers or steamed dumplings. Incidentally, boiled dumpling dough usually uses cold water so the dough can hold up to the rigors of boiling. Boiled dumplings, or shui jiao, are actually considered more difficult to make than dumplings for pan-frying or steaming.

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How to make dumpling dough

Put some flour into a bowl. Add hot/warm water. Mix. That’s it, you have dumpling dough! It really is that simple, but let’s break it down a bit.

  1. Add flour to a large bowl. I like to use a kitchen scale because it means less washing up and more accuracy. It’s really win-win. We’re going to use all purpose flour will will give our dumplings a nice balance between chewiness and softness. After you add the flour to the bowl, make an well in the middle, just like when you make pasta.
  2. Add warm water to the dough. Pour warm water in to the well. Warm water helps the starch form gluten which means our dough will be soft, stretchy, and easy to work with. Use a pair of chopsticks to mix the water into the dough so that it forms a shaggy ball.
  3. Knead. From here you can knead the dough by hand until it becomes a smooth ball or you can do what I do and use a stand mixer. I almost always prefer using a stand mixer when I can, it makes kneading hands off.
  4. Rest. This is just where the dough takes a little nap so it’s easier to roll out the wrappers. You can optionally re-knead and let it rest again so that it’s even easier to roll out.
  5. Roll and shape. The classic way to portion out dumpling dough is by poking a hole in your dough and then stretching it out into a big thin doughnut/bagel. From there you cut it and you have a thin rope of dough that you can cut small pieces off of. The pieces are then rolled out using a small rolling pin and you’re ready to make dumplings!

Now that our dumpling dough is made and our wrappers are ready to roll out, it’s time to talk about dumpling fillings.

What are dumplings filled with?

You can pretty much fill dumplings with anything. Most of the time they’re filled with ground meat (pork, beef, chicken, lamb), vegetables, aromatics, and sesasoning. The vegetables are what makes the inside of your dumplings extra juicy and the aromatics add flavor.

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How to make homemade dumpling filling

  1. Prep: The first step to making a good dumpling filling is prepping the vegetables. You could go with an all meat dumpling but I find that all meat dumplings tend to be missing something – vegetables add an extra bit of moisture, flavor, and texture that just compliments the meat. We’re going to be using cabbage but you can use chives, spinach, carrots, kale, hearty greens, mushrooms, anything you want. The key is not having too much moisture. In the case of cabbage, we’re going to salt it a bit then squeeze it to remove some moisture so our dumplings don’t get too soggy.
  2. Mix: Once you vegetables are being salted, it’s time to mix up the meat. Mix together a bit of cornstarch with water then stir it into the ground pork. Stirring in a bit of cornstarch and water will make the insides of your dumplings super tender. It’s the secret to juicy, tender dumplings! When you stir in the water-cornstarch mix everything will come together into a homogenous paste, which is exactly what you want. When the pork is nice a smooth, mix in the vegetables.
  3. Season: It’s all about the aromatics and seasoning! Ginger, garlic, shaoxing wine, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, and salt are you friends. Stir them all in and your dumpling filling is ready to go.

How to wrap dumplings

There are infinite ways of wrapping dumplings. My tip to you is: don’t worry about it! If your first batch of dumplings is just folded over and pressed together it’s totally fine! You can even just pinch up the sides, it’s a style. The goal is to make homemade dumplings, not to stress out about different dumpling folds.

How to freeze homemade dumplings

You might be wondering, can I eat 40 dumplings in one sitting? The answer is yes, but if you are more regular person this recipe will probably give you some extra dumplings. Or, if you’re smart you’ll double or even triple this recipe so you can have extra dumplings in the future. Dumplings are one of those things that do extremely well frozen. They take almost no extra time to cook from frozen and it’s basically an instant home cooked meal.

To freeze your dumplings, space out uncooked, formed potstickers in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to freezer bags.

How to cook dumplings

All hail crispy bottom dumplings! Crispy bottom dumplings are the best dumplings, am I right? That textural contrast between super crispy burnished bottoms and the tender steamed tops is the best.

To get crispy bottoms on your dumplings, pan fry them in a bit of oil over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, the add a bit of water and cover to steam to 4-5 minutes. Lift the lid off and continue to cook off the water and the bottoms of your dumplings will be golden and crisp and the insides will be tender and cooked through.

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How to make a crispy dumpling skirt

  1. Heat up a bit of oil in a non-stick pan over medium to medium high heat.
  2. Add your dumplings, leaving a bit of space between them.
  3. Crisp up the bottoms of the dumplings, 2-3 minutes.
  4. Whisk 2 teaspoons of flour with 1/3 cup of water and add to the pan. Cover the pan with a lid and steam for 3-4 minutes.
  5. Remove the lid and continue to cook until the flour slurry starts to evaporate and crisps up golden brown.
  6. Flip the dumplings over on to a plate and admire your extra crispy dumpling skirt.

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Why you should make homemade dumplings

  • You don’t live anywhere near an Asian grocery store and can’t get your hands on frozen dumplings let alone dumpling wrappers
  • You want to learn a new cooking skill
  • You want to impress your dumpling loving friends
  • You want to customize your dumpling fillings
  • You love dumplings

Crispy bottom dumplings for life!
xoxo steph

How to Make Homemade Dumplings | www.iamafoodblog.com

How to Make Homemade Dumplings

Homemade crispy bottomed dumplings are 100x worth it.
Serves 6
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Resting Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs

Ingredients

Homemade Dumpling Wrappers

  • 300 g all purpose flour about 2 cups
  • 165 g very warm water about 2/3 cups, 110ºF-120ºF

Dumplings

  • 1.5 cups cabbage finely chopped
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 tbsp ginger minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup green onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1.5 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper

Instructions

Make the dumpling wrappers

  • Add the flour to a large bowl and create a well in the middle. Pour the very warm water into the well and use a pair of chopsticks to whisk, incorporating the flour little by little until everything comes together into a very shaggy dough.
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  • Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead until smooth. Shape into a ball, cover with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, knead the dough again so that it is smooth and elastic. You can use it right away but it will roll out even better if you let it rest for another 30 minutes. Shape it into a ball. (See notes for stand mixer instructions).
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Make the dumpling filling while you wait for the wrappers to rest

  • Toss the cabbage with a pinch of salt in a large bowl and mix well. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes, the squeeze out and drain as much of the extra water as possible.
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  • Mix together 2 tbsp water with the teaspoon of cornstarch and stir into the pork until it forms a paste.
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  • Mix in the ginger, garlic, green onions, soy, shaoxing wine, sesame oil, salt, white pepper, and squeezed out cabbage until incorporated.
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Make the dumplings

  • After the dough has rested, poke the center of the dough with your finger and stretch it out to create a bagel shape. Keep stretching and rotating it out into a large, thin ring.
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  • Cut the ring and you should have a rope of dough. Roll it out until it is about 1.5 inches in diameter. Cut off 6 pieces and weigh the pieces of dough, about 10-12 grams each, which looks like about 1 tablespoon of dough. Cover the rope of dough so it doesn’t dry out.
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  • Take each piece of dough and roll it into a ball then flatten it with your palm until it is about 1.5 inches, lightly dusting with flour as needed. On a lightly floured work surface, use a small rolling pin and roll out the edges of the flattened disk, rotating and rolling so that the edges of the wrapper are slightly thinner that the middle. Aim for the wrapper to be 3.25 to 3.5 inches in diameter. Lightly flour and cover with plastic wrap while you roll out the other 5 portions of dumpling dough. Once you’ve rolled out 6 wrappers, shape your dumplings. (See notes on how many dumplings you should make at a time).
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  • Place 1 tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Fold over into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. You can also pleat/fold the dumplings: start by folding the dumpling skin in half and pinching. From the middle, fold over/ pleat one side of the dumpling skin and push against the back skin to secure. Repeat until you reach the edge the pleat the other side. If you're using store bought wrappers, lightly moisten the edges of the wrapper with water before folding.
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  • After you’re done making the 6 dumplings, continue to roll out and make your dumplings with the rest of your dough, 6 at a time.
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Cook your dumplings

  • In a nonstick pan, over medium heat, heat up a touch of oil. When hot, lay the potstickers in the pan, in one layer. Cook, until slightly browned, then add 2-4 tablespoons of water and cover and cook for 3-4 minutes. When the water has cooked off, lift off the lid and continue cooking until the bottoms are brown and crisp. Enjoy hot, with soy sauce and chili oil!
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Notes

Stand mixer dumpling wrappers
Add the flour and water to the bowl and whisk together with chopsticks. Use the dough hook and knead on low until all the water has been absorbed. Mix on medium-low until a dough starts to form, about 2-3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. When the dough comes together, shape it in a ball, and let rest, covered for 30 minutes before kneading it again.
How many dumplings to make at once
If you’re working with a partner, one of you can roll out dumpling dough while the other makes dumplings, otherwise if you’re by yourself, 6 is probably the right amount. Freshly made dumpling wrappers need to be used almost immediately otherwise they become dry and difficult to shape and the pleats won’t hold together.
Storage
It’s best to use the dumpling wrappers fresh but if you absolutely need to store them for later, make sure you brush them well with tapioca or potato starch in between each wrapper before stacking them together.
Once they are generally dusted and stacked, wrap them tightly with plastic wrap and then place in a air-tight container, refrigerate, and use within the next 2 days.
To freeze dumplings once you've made them: space out uncooked potstickers in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze until solid. Transfer to freezer bags. Cook from frozen adding a couple of minutes to the covered cooking time.
Estimated nutrition is based on one serving = 6 dumplings.

Estimated Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
How to Make Homemade Dumplings
Amount Per Serving
Calories 322 Calories from Fat 40
% Daily Value*
Fat 4.4g7%
Saturated Fat 1.2g8%
Cholesterol 55mg18%
Sodium 545mg24%
Potassium 462mg13%
Carbohydrates 42.6g14%
Fiber 2.3g10%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 25.9g52%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

9 Comments

  1. maria says:

    5 stars
    wow, wow, wow…

    my family has previously made homemade dumplings, but nothing in the same realm as this recipe. previously, the dough would be too tough and chewy, with raw parts of dough in the thicker parts of the dumpling, but this recipe nailed the consistency, thickness, and flavor (the filling even gave the inside of the dough a nice saltiness). the dumpling filling was next level, despite our worries that putting it in raw it would not cook, but it did (perfectly). it was a flavor bomb, so much so, that I even forgot to dip them in soy sauce (they were so flavorful that it was uneccesary). we did add a little less sesame oil, but just because we don’t like large amounts of it in our food, which just goes to show how customizable this is. the only thing is that the recipe never mentions when to add the minced garlic and ginger, but apart from that, the instructions were easy to follow.

    1. Stephanie says:

      thanks so much for the detailed review maria! so happy that you guys loved them and that the wrappers were just what you wanted.
      ps – i added when to add the ginger and garlic :)

  2. Medina says:

    Hi!
    The dipping sauce looks spicy and Yummy! Do you have the receipi or any dipping sauce to pair with the dumpling?

    1. Stephanie says:

      hi medina,
      the dipping sauce is this chili oil (How to Make Authentic Chinese Spicy Hot Chili Oil) with some soy sauce and sesame oil mixed in. i’ll do a post on it soon!

  3. Alisha C Nguyen says:

    How many dumplings should this recipe make?

    1. Stephanie says:

      it makes about 40 dumplings :)

      1. Alisha C Nguyen says:

        5 stars
        Very good recipe. They came out delicious. My husband and toddler both couldn’t stop eating them. I only rolled half of them the first day and put the rest of the dough and filling in the fridge. When I made the rest the next day, the dough was so soft and pliable and easier to work with. Next time I might make the dough ahead a day on purpose. Store bought dumplings got nothin’ on these!

        1. Stephanie says:

          hi alisha,
          so happy you and your family loved them and thanks for the tip on the dough in the fridge :)

  4. Mary Stewart says:

    5 stars
    Awesome. Love the homemade wrappers over trying to use store bought. The cornstarch and water is a process called “silking” – it helps to keep proteins moist and tender. Try it with broccoli beef sometime. Back to dumplings – I made a shrimp filling with fine chopped shrimp, coarse chopped shrimp, green onions, minced water chestnuts and ginger. Cornstarch and water. Purse fold. Fry as you describe.
    Triple recipe if you’re taking to a gathering.

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Thanks for reading as always!
-Steph & Mike