Homemade Chinese Dumplings

A simple flour and water dough makes up the delicate pouch enveloping your filling of choice. Whether served pan fried or boiled, these dumplings don’t disappoint.
By Dianna Muscari
Dumplings
These may not be the famous Soup Dumplings from Joe’s Shanghai, but they are definitely worth making. Though these dumplings can be labor-intensive — with the dough and the filling and the rolling and the stuffing — I found a way to streamline the process and have scrumptious dumplings from dough to dish in less than two hours. Plus, these cuties can be frozen and saved for an easy meal on a lazy day.

Homemade Chinese Dumplings
 
A simple flour and water dough makes up the delicate pouch enveloping your filling of choice. Whether served pan fried or boiled, these dumplings don't disappoint. Make extra and freeze for a simple meal. Other fillings: Assorted veggies, seafood, etc. The sky's the limit! I have also made these using leftovers from a hibachi dinner, cutting the prep time down ever further.
Author:
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Ingredients
Dough
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • A healthy pinch of salt
  • ½ cup water
Filling
  • Approximately 1 cup diced or shredded zucchini
  • ½ an onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked, shredded chicken {or pork or beef or whatever you'd like}
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • A splash of rice vinegar to deglaze the pan
Instructions
  1. In a stand mixer, combine flour and salt. Pour a little water in slowly {you may not need all of it} while mixing on low speed until a ball forms. If the mixture is too wet, add a bit more flour; if it's too dry, a little more water. It shouldn't be too sticky.
  2. Change paddle to a dough hook if you have one and knead the dough until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. You can also do this by hand, of course, but if you're looking at a "shortcut" recipe, I imagine it's because you don't have time for this nonsense.
  3. With floured hands, form the dough into a neat ball and place on a floured surface. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, make your filling.
  1. Add about a tablespoon of oil to a medium pan over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and onion and cook until the vegetables are softened and translucent. Mix in shredded chicken.
  2. To the mixture, add garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and rice vinegar, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Mix until well combined.
  3. Place the mixture in a food processor. Pulse a few times until slightly broken down, but not too mushy. Set aside.
Assembly
  1. Divide your ball of dough into 4 equal pieces. Make sure your surface is well-dusted with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out as thin as possible. The shape won't matter, so don't stress if you have an amoeba-shaped piece of dough when you're done. Getting it nice and thin is the goal here.
  2. Now we're getting real technical: Bust out a wine glass or drinking glass with an approximate diameter of 3 inches. Flip it over and use it as a cookie cutter to crank out perfectly shaped little circles. Set those aside and cover them as you go so they don't dry out. You may want to line them up on a baking sheet and get them ready for filling to make life easier.
  3. Repeat the process with the rest of your dough, re-rolling scraps as necessary. I wound up getting about 30 circles out of it and still had some dough left over.
  4. Put about a teaspoon of filling, or more if you can stuff it in there without ripping your dumplings. Now, fold the filled circle in half and pinch to seal all the way. If you want to experiment with creating traditional "pleats", this is the time to do it.
  5. To fry, simply put about a teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add your dumplings, making sure they each have enough room. Cook until lightly golden on both sides, about 2-3 minutes. Then, add about 3 tablespoons or so of water to the pan and cover it with a tight-fitting lid. {But be super careful because hot oil and water can be very dangerous.} Let them steam until the water is just about gone, then uncover and cook them until they're nice and crispy.
  6. To boil, place them in a pot of boiling water. Let them simmer away until they float to the top and the dough becomes sort of translucent & kinda wrinkly. It doesn't sound or look gorgeous but they're so, so good.
  7. Serve with soy sauce or an Asian dipping sauce.
  8. Note: You can also freeze these individually {make sure they're not touching} on a baking sheet and then pop them into a freezer bag for dumplings at the drop of a hat.

 

Dianna Muscari

Dianna Muscari blogs about her cooking and antics on The Kitchen Prep. A self-taught cook and baker, Dianna shares with her readers the messes and successes she encounters in the kitchen. Along with her recipes - which range from healthy to hearty to downright decadent - Dianna shares anecdotes about life, marriage, travel, and living in Florida. Her conversational writing style draws you into her kitchen for a meal and a laugh as she navigates through life one recipe at a time.

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