Steamed Chinese Dumplings

Steamed Dumplings…a food from my childhood.  Not just any type of food though – the kind I would get super excited about whenever they were in my future.  It was an event – not just a meal.  We had a long counter where all the dumpling wrappers would be laid out – we would scoop some filling into the center of each, then take some water – and with our fingers dab water on the edge of half the circle.  We would seal them up – then store them on a cookie sheet.  We would make tons of them – and then they would go into the steamer, batch after batch, and we would eat as much as we possibly could.

I could have lived on dumplings as a kid.  I remember when I moved away from home to a new city – I was on a quest to find dumpling wrappers – at that time you couldn’t get them in the regular grocery store – so I took a field trip down to the Chinese section of town, and found a grocery store that sold only Asian products.  I searched and searched until I found them – and then bought tons of the frozen wrappers to keep in my freezer.  My friends were so impressed that I knew how to make these delicious morsels.

I can’t believe it has been so long, but I finally decided to make them for my kids.  Fortunately I didn’t have to travel far to find the wrappers – they were in the refrigerated section at Whole Foods.  This time the wrappers were square instead of circular, but they tasted just as good.  I prefer the thin wrappers, and that’s what they had.  My kids LOVED them – we ate the entire batch – and cooked them 3 different ways – we steamed them, boiled them, and fried them.  I liked the steamed the best – the girls liked the fried.  Any way you serve them though, they are delicious – and so much fun to make!



  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 can water chestnuts
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons minced scallions
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2-4 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 package dumpling wrappers

Dipping Sauce

  • soy sauce
  • rice vinegar
  • scallions
  • ginger


Place the garlic in the food processor while it is running.  Add the rest of the ingredients and process until well blended.  Place about 1/2 tablespoon of filling onto the center of each dumpling wrapper.  Dip your finger into a small bowl of water, and trace half of the outer edge of the wrapper.  Fold the wrapper over and seal.

Place the sealed dumplings on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.  At this point you can either place them into a freezer until frozen then store them in a plastic bag until you are ready to cook – or you can cook them immediately.

For steamed dumplings, line the steamer with cabbage leaves or parchment paper, and place a single layer of dumplings once the water is boiling.  Steam fresh dumplings for approximately 12 minutes – frozen dumplings will take about 20 minutes.

Serve the dumplings with a dipping sauce made of one part soy sauce, one part rice vinegar, and one part water.  Add some sliced scallions and minced ginger into the sauce.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Steamed Chinese Dumplings

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26 thoughts on “Steamed Chinese Dumplings

  1. These look delicious! I wish I would have seen this recipe last week when we were cooking up Chinese. I’m going to have to give this one a shot as my kids are on a Chinese food kick.

  2. These look scrumptious. I don’t have a steamer yet though. For the ones you fried, I was wondering if you deep fried them or just kind of sautéed them in a frying pan with a bit of oil. Thanks!

  3. I remember as a kid, making these with my parents. All that stuffing and folding sure paid off when these came to the table piping hot. I could eat dozens. ;)

  4. These look amazing and I will have to try them for the very first time. Are these dumplings made as a main course meal? Thanks so much for this recipe, I am really looking to make this and share it with my family.

  5. I’m going to use a truncated version of this recipe for one of my summer cooking classes at my public library. Though we’ll be sending most of the dumplings home to freeze, I like the kids to taste what they’ve made before they leave. Any thoughts on how I could have the kids (about 15 of them) mark their dumplings, so (after steaming) everyone gets to eat the one they made?

    1. You might want to try and use some food coloring to paint the person’s initials on the outside of the wrapper?

    1. Yes, you can use a steaming basket – same length of time. You will need to lay down lettuce or cabbage leaves though to prevent them from sticking to the basket.

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