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uncooked dumplings
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5 from 3 votes

Chinese Dumplings, an Ultimate How-to Guide

Making Chinese dumplings can be easy and fun! Follow this recipe to learn how to prepare them from scratch.
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Rest30 mins
Total Time1 hr 35 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Dumplings, Jiaozi, Potstickers
Servings: 30 dumplings
Author: Wei Guo

Instructions

Make the dough

  • In a mixing bowl, add water to flour gradually. Mix with chopsticks/spatula until no more loose flour can be seen. Combine and knead into a dough. 
  • Leave to rest (covered) for 10 minutes then knead again until smooth.
  • Cover and rest the dough again for 30-60 minutes until it becomes soft (Chinese cooks would say “as soft as an earlobe”).
  • If using a machine: You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook to make the dough. Knead on low speed for 8 minutes or so until smooth. Cover and rest for 30-60 minutes.

Mix the filling

  • While waiting for the dough to rest, mix the filling of your choice following instructions found in its respective recipe.

Roll the wrappers

  • Divide the dough into three parts. Roll one part into a rope then cut into 10 equal sections (cover the rest to avoid drying out).
  • Press each piece into a small disc with the palm of your hand.
  • Use a rolling pin to flatten it into a thin disc (Please refer to the tutorial video below). Dust with flour if it sticks. Repeat to finished the rest of the dough.

Assemble the dumplings

  • Place a spoonful of filling on the wrapper. Seal the wrapper using the techniqe you're most comfortable with. Please refer to the tutorial video below or the methods demonstrated in "Ten Ways to Fold Dumplings".

Cooking option 1: Boiling

  • Bring a pot of water to a full boil over a high heat. Gently slide in the dumplings (cook in two batches if using a small pot). Push them around with the back of a spoon to avoid sticking. Cover with a lid.
  • When the water comes back to a full boil, add about 120 ml/0.5 cup of cold water then cover.
  • Repeat the procedure another two times. When fully cooked, the dumplings should be plump and floating on the surface.
  • Transfer the dumplings to a colander. Briefly rinse under tap water (make sure it’s drinkable water). Drain and serve immediately.

Cooking option 2: Pan-frying

  • Heat up a little oil over high heat. Place in dumplings (Gently move the pan back and forth to make sure each dumpling is in touch with the oil).
  • When the bottom part of the dumplings becomes golden brown, pour in cold water (enough to cover ⅓ of the dumplings). Cover with a lid (remain high heat).
  • Uncover when the water evaporates completely. Cook another 30 seconds or so to crisp up.

Cooking option 3: Steaming

  • Scatter carrot slices in the steamer baskets, then place dumplings on top (This is to avoid sticking. You may use parchment paper or coat the steamer with a little oil).
  • Bring the water to a full boil in a pot/wok, then place the baskets in (you may stack up 2-3 baskets and cook all at once). Cover with a lid then steam over medium heat for 10 minutes.

Serve the dumplings

Freeze uncooked dumplings

  • Place assembled, uncooked dumplings on a tray lined with parchment paper (or dusted with flour). Put into the freezer.
  • Once completely frozen, transfer them into an airtight plastic bag/container. Use within three months.

Cook frozen dumplings

  • No need to defrost before cooking. If boiling or pan frying, follow the same methods explained above. If steaming, prolong the cooking time by 2 minutes.

Video

Notes

1. If using a cup to measure, you'll need to sift the flour first then level it properly. Please be aware that measuring flour by cups is less accurate than measuring by weight so use a scale if possible.
2. The flour water ratio may vary depending on the brand of your flour, the humidity of your kitchen, etc. Adjust a little if necessary. The initial dough should be medium firm and it will become softer after resting.