Making Chinese Dumplings from Scratch Plus Fun Facts About Dumplings

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

By definition, a dumpling is a type of dish comprised of seasoned savory or sweet filling enveloped by dough. Dumplings come in all shapes and sizes. Variations of dumplings exist in most cultures. In Italy, dumplings are known as ravioli or tortellini. In Japan, it is known as gyoza and kubbeh in Iraq. Simply put, dumplings are one of the oldest, most loved dishes of all time. The most popular dumpling variations are from China and Italy.

Fun Facts About Dumplings

Used as Meat Extender

Dumplings make a popular snack today but back in the day, this is a peasant dish used to extend minuscule rations of meat. Dumplings are often added to soups and stews to enhance the dish with what little meat it has.

Dough Base will Vary

The base of the dumpling is the dough. And the ingredients of the dough will depend on the region where the dumpling is made. For example, in regions where oats and maize are staple crops, the dumplings are often made with cereal or maize flour. In China where the staple crop is wheat, the base of the dough is often made with wheat flour. Chinese dumplings may be fried or steamed.

How to Make the Perfect Batch of Chinese Dumplings

You will need:


4 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups water
1/3 teaspoon salt


1.5 cups ground pork
½ cup chopped shrimp
2 cups Napa cabbage
1 teaspoon ginger
1 tablespoon green onion
1.5 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons cooking wine
1/3 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Making the Dumpling Wrapper

In a bowl, mix the water, flour, salt to make the dough. Knead the dough until you achieved a smooth consistency. Cover the bowl with cling wrap and let it stand for at least 10 minutes. After resting the dough, place it on a cutting board and cut the dough into 20 circular pieces ( about7.5 cm in diameter).

Making the Filling

In a stainless pot, shred the cabbage and season with salt. Let stand for 10 minutes until the salt soaks up all the extra moisture.

Mix the cabbage with minced meat by hand until both ingredients are incorporated nicely. Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and continue mixing. Add a little vegetable oil in case the mixture is a little dry. Continue mixing the ingredients by hand for at least 10 minutes.

Get the dumpling wrappers and place them on a floured surface to prevent sticking. With your hand or a spoon, scoop out a small amount of the meat mixture and place it on the center of each dumpling wrapper. Fold the sides of the wrapper and wet the edges with a damp finger to seal the filling. Continue filling and sealing the fillings into the dumpling wrappers.

Once all dumplings are done, you can either fry them up or steam the dumplings! Serve the dumplings as a snack, a side dish or even as a meal.

Facebook Fan Page

Be first to get an exclusive and helpful articles every day! Like us on Facebook