How to Make Basic Dumplings
Just about every Chinese family will have a freezer stocked with homemade dumplings. Jiaozi are the classic homestyle dumpling found all over China. You can customise the filling to be whatever you like, and make different batches depending on your own personal preference.
The first time you try your hand at homemade dumplings, it may seem like a chore to do, but they taste so much better (and cheaper) than ones that you would buy in the supermarket. Don’t worry, the second time you’ll make them better and faster, and if you persevere making your own dumplings will soon become a breeze (and actually a great way to relax too).
Makes about 100 dumplings
¼ Chinese cabbage
1kg fatty pork mince
2cm ginger, peeled and grated
2 cloves garlic, finely minced (optional)
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
½ tsp sugar
¼ tsp white pepper
½ cup garlic chives, cut into 1cm pieces
Hot water dumpling skins
3 cups plain flour, plus plenty of extra for dusting
1-1½ cups boiling water
For the dumpling skins, place the flour in a the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook. Add the hot water and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth. Remove from the stand mixer and wrap in floured cling film and rest for at least 30 minutes.
For the filling, first bring a large saucepan of water to the boil, add the cabbage and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Drain well, refresh in cold water and then drain again. With your hands, squeeze out as much liquid from the cabbage as possible and finely chop it, squeezing out the liquid again after it’s chopped.
Combine the pork, ginger, garlic, salt, Shaoxing wine, sugar and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater attachment and beat for about 10 minutes until the mixture is springy. Fold through the chopped cabbage and garlic chives at low speed. Refrigerate the filling for 30 minutes. If you don’t want to use a stand mixer both the dough and the filling are easily made by hand. Just knead the dough by hand, and mix the filling in a large bowl.
Refer to the video for the process of rolling and folding. Cut about a quarter of the dough from the piece of dough and roll it into a cylinder around 2cm in diameter. Cut the cylinder into 1cm lengths and roll into a circle around 1mm thick and 7cm in diameter. Add about 2 tsp of filling to the centre of the skin and fold the dumpling as you like.
You can freeze the dumplings in batches on a tray lined with baking paper, or cook them by boiling, steaming or fry-steaming them. For boiled dumplings, place the dumplings in boiling water, and then each time the water returns to the boil add about ½ a cup of cold water to reduce the temperature. When the dumplings float to the surface, cook for a further 1 minute and then remove.
Top Tips for Basic Dumplings
- Don’t worry too much about folding. The technique shown in the video is very simple for homemade skins, but if you’re using commercial skins I’d suggest just folding them in a half-moon just to get started. You can go onto fancier folding techniques later as you get more confident.
- Tasting the filling is all-important. You don’t want to fold 100 dumplings and find out that they don’t taste any good. Taste the filling and adjust the seasoning if necessary BEFORE you start folding.
- Y0u can customise the filling however you like. Try adding herbs like dill or coriander, additional vegetables and egg, prawns, spices like Sichuan peppercorn. You can really add just about anything here.
Really enjoyed this recipe, thanks for posting it! There are a couple of ingredients that I’d find hard to source, namely shaoxing wine and garlic chives. Are there any alterlatives I could use? Like dry sherry and chives or spring onions?
ANY Asian grocery will stock shaoxing wine. If I’m not mistaken, I’ve even seen it in some Coles.
I don’t think it’s necessary to include shaoxing wine on it, it’s great without it! I love this recipe so much <3
My mom would use pale dry sherry in place of shaoxing wine since we used to live where there were no Asian groceries. We would also use scallions.
You should be able to find them at most Asian grocery stores. They are common ingredients.
I regularly make dumplings but I usually buy my skins. On occasion I have tried to make the skins. Now that I’ve watched your dumpling lesson, I will try again. I really want to test out the way you cut, pressed and rolled the skins. Thank you so much for your clear and detailed instructions. My skins are too thick. And I prefer thin, silky skins like you get at Shandong Mama in Melbourne. Am hoping if I follow your method I might make some truly delicious skins as well as fillings.
You could possibly use a pasta roller to make the skins much thinner though you wont have the slightly thicker center that you want.
Worth a try anyhow.
Great! I love dumplings and have watched many how to videos and you are the first to actually use a stand mixer.♀️ now to master the simple fold. I would also love to get your aged dipping sauce recipe.
Thank you soooo much
Thank you. I look forward to trying your recipe and the techniques for folding on YouTube. Seems easier than what I’ve been doing.
amazing video…love dumplings…will surely make it.
Please post a video to how to make the sauce that goes with itThanks
Looked for recipe for your grandmother’s black vinegar. You mentioned @ the end of video #1. It doesn’t seem to b here. Could it b somewhere else? Did I miss it somehow or was it accidentally omitted?
Would like to have that recipe too.
Enjoying this series. Hope you do many more. You have nice teaching style & technique. I enjoy your videos and find both relaxation and pleasure ad I learn more from you. I love making dumplings
Wondering if I could make some sort of rice noodle sheet as an alternative to wheat containing wonton wrappers? Perhaps if you work REALLY fast, you could get them to stick to itself with the filling within.
Great recipe as always Adam,
I’ve made jiaozi a handful of times using store bought wrappers, but you gave me the courage to make my own wrappers. I tried your dough with 50% water and I found it really difficult to roll out because the wet dough kept sticking to my dowel no matter how much flour I used, and I made a big mess with all the flour. I tried it again the next day with a less moist dough ~33% water (more like pasta dough) and I was able to roll out wrappers with less mess, but it was hard to get them super thin. I’m sure there is a sweet spot somewhere between my two attempts.
I appreciate your simple folding technique, it’s always felt unnecessary making fancy pleats just to through it in boiling water.
I wanted to ask if you should also put white vinegar, sesame oil or cornstarch into the pork mixture, and if so, how much? You used these ingredients in the recipe on this link: https://adamliaw.com/recipe/dumpling-day/. Thanks!
How do you taste the filling as it is uncooked meat??
honestly just make a little meatball out of it and fry it to taste what the filling will be like, its probably the easiest way 🙂
I use my pasta machine, stamp out the larger rounds and from the scraps stamp out small ones to place in the middle. It works a treat.
Great recipe and video. Would love to see your dipping sauce recipe you mentioned in the video. It was not in the comments under the video
Sometimes when I make these dumpling skins, they taste quite doughy once I’ve cooked them. Does anyone know why this might be? Am I adding too much hot water to the flour? I am hand kneading them. Any advice would be helpful! Thanks
Any suggestions to making the skins gluten free?
Hi after they are frozen to save for later do you thaw them before you boil or just boil them frozen
Adorando cada receita! Sou apaixonada pela comida asiática. Muito obrigada por dividir tanto carinho
Thank you so much for the recipe!
I would like to make it with chicken fiiling, and to use the steam method. For how long do I need to steam them so thay will be cooked propoley?
I really enjoyed making these with my roommates! They taste brilliant too!
Please may I have your recipe for Black vinegar soy sauce.
Probably a stupid question but how do you recommend tasting the filling before folding? Should I make a dumpling and steam it or is there a better way to do it?
Katie, he tells you in the video. If you’re comfortable, just take a pinch and taste it. If you prefer it’s cooked, then take some boiling water and drop a tiny piece in, then taste it. Some people even put a tiny piece in the microwave first.
Adam, you’ve made this so easy and straight forward. I’ve made mine three times now. So good and, you’re absolutely correct, easier each time. Thank you for sharing the recipe, your video, and all the information.