Best Homemade Chinese Dumplings for Chinese New Year

Chinese dumplings are a tasty little treat. Who doesn’t enjoy nibbling these hot, chewy morsels of dough-encased meat and vegetables? I could eat a ton of these in one sitting if I’m not careful!

With Chinese New Year coming up soon, wouldn’t it be fun to try making them yourself? Make as many as you want, and store the extras in the freezer for later. Save yourself a trip to the restaurant—and some money as well!

Chinese dumplings look difficult to make, but they really aren’t! The filling is super easy and quick, but admittedly the wrappers are a bit time-consuming. Therefore, it’s best to make them when you have a lot of time on your hands.

Finally, don’t worry about what your Chinese dumplings will look like! Your first attempts may not look like the restaurant versions, but they’ll still taste amazing!

Recipe:

Wrapper

  • 4 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 9 ounces room temperature water

Chinese dumplings dough ingredients flour and water

Steps:

  • Pour the flour in a large bowl then slowly add the water to it. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  • Once the dough has a “scraggly” texture, knead it with your hands.
  • When the dough is no longer sticking to the bowl, transfer it to a clean work space and knead for 10 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour on your work space to keep the dough from sticking.
  • Add some flour in the bowl and return the dough in it. Cover with a damp cloth or paper towel to prevent from drying. Let the dough rest on the counter for 2 hours while you work on the filling.
  • Uncover the dough, reapply flour on your work space, and knead again for about 3-5 minutes. Cover again with the damp towel and let it rest for an additional 30 minutes. In the meantime, you can start dividing up the filling.
  • When the dough is smooth and springy, sprinkle some flour on top then cut a piece. Put the rest back in the bowl and cover with the damp towel.

Homemade Chinese Dumplings Rolled Out Dough

  • Roll the piece into a log shape then cut into equal pieces (about 0.5 ounces).
  • Roll each little piece into a ball then flatten with your fingers into a circle. Don’t forget to dust more flour on your work surface.
  • Roll it to a disc shape, about 3” (boiled) or 4” (steamed/pan fried) in diameter.

Homemade Chinese Dumplings Filling

  • Place ½ tablespoon of filling in the middle of the disc and fold in the middle.
  • Pleat and pinch the edges until sealed. If the dough is too dry, dab a little water to the edges.

Filling (makes about 4 cups)

Homemade Chinese Dumplings filling ingredients

  • 8 ounces Napa cabbage (about 1/4 head), plus extra leaves for lining if you’re steaming
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • ½ bunch scallions
  • ½ cup chives
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated and peeled ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon toasted (Asian) sesame oil
  • ¼ cup cornstarch

Homemade Chinese Dumplings Filling Final Product

Steps:

  • Chop the cabbage. Add some salt; toss and set aside.
  • Finely chop the garlic, scallions, and chives. Put them in a bowl with the ground pork.
  • Add the grated ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil to the mixture.
  • Now squeeze the water out from the cabbage, add to the rest of the ingredients, and mix.
  • Add ¼ cup of cornstarch to help mixture stick together.
  • Divide the filling into 1/3 tablespoon-sized balls.

Note: Check out our video for help with the dumpling filling!

Cooking Methods:

Boiled:

Homemade Chinese boiled dumplings

  • When the water starts boiling, toss all the dumplings in at once (frozen), or one at a time (fresh).
  • When the water starts boiling again, add more water.
  • Cook until the dumplings float.

Pan-Fried:

Homemade Chinese pan fried dumplings

Fresh Dumplings:

  • Add oil to a pan then place the dumplings. Don’t put too many and overcrowd the pan.
  • Leave for few minutes on medium-high heat until the bottom of the dumplings become golden brown and crispy.
  • Lower the heat to medium, add some water, cover the pan and let them steam for 2-3 minutes.
  • Uncover the pan and cook until most of the water evaporates.

Frozen Dumplings:

Note: You can freeze excess dumplings and save them for another time. Just simply separate them so they don’t stick and freeze them. After they are frozen you can transfer them into a bag and hold till you’re ready to eat them!

Homemade Chinese Dumplings ready to freeze

When you are ready to eat them:

  • Steam or boil the dumplings a bit to thaw.
  • Add oil to a pan then place the dumplings. Don’t put too many and overcrowd the pan.
  • Leave for about 5 minutes on low-medium heat until the bottom of the dumplings become crispy and golden brown.

Don’t be intimidated with this recipe, its actually fairly simple. Trust us it will be worth it in the end when you’re eating those delicious dumplings!

Happy Chinese New Year!

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