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boiled, pan-fried & steamed dumplings.
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5 from 9 votes

Cook dumplings in three ways

A complete guide on how to cook dumplings. Informative tips on three popular methods: boiling, pan-frying and steaming.
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: Dumplings
Author: Wei Guo


  • Fresh homemade dumplings
  • Oil for pan-frying method only
  • Sliced carrot for steaming method only


How to boil dumplings

  • Bring a pot of water to a full boil over a high heat. Gently slide in dumplings.
  • 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 twice. When fully cooked, the dumplings should be plump and floating on the surface.
  • Transfer the dumplings to a colander. Briefly run tap water (make sure it’s drinkable water) over. Drain and serve immediately.

How to pan-fry dumplings

  • Heat up a little oil (just enough to cover the surface of your pan) over a high heat. Place in dumplings.
  • 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.
  • Uncover when the water evaporates completely. Cook another 30 seconds or so to crisp up.

How to steam dumplings

  • Scatter carrot slices in the steamer basket, 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, then place the basket in.
  • Cook with lid on over a medium heat for around 10 minutes (The time may vary depending on the type of the wrappers, please see note 3).



1. How to cook frozen dumplings: You don’t need to defrost them. Boil or pan fry them the usual way. If steaming, prolong the cooking time by 2 minutes.
2. Recook leftover dumplings: Fry them with a little oil in a pan. Turn over several times to ensure that they are evenly heated.
3. The suggested steaming time is for dumplings with wheat flour based wrappers. If you are steaming dumplings with starch based wrappers, eg. Har gow (crystal prawn dumplings) , reduce the cooking time to 6 minutes or so.