Introduction: DIY Authentic Chinese Dumplings

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Whenever an out-of-town friend comes over, I make it my life's mission to create delicious and authentic dumplings. This is also a tutorial on how to properly fold Chinese dumplings 2 different ways!

Ingredients for 50 dumplings:

  • Dumpling wrappers (1 package) - You can find these in the frozen/refrigerated section at the asian grocery store. Circle ones make dumplings, square ones make wontons. There is no real difference between the two besides folding styles. Here I'll teach how to fold circle ones.
    • There are usually around 60 wrappers per stack, and most people are satisfied at 15-20 dumplings. The amounts discussed here make 50 dumplings.
  • Ground pork - 1 lb or 1 package! I've tried beef but to my palate, it's not as good. You can try though!
  • Chinese chives (half a large bunch) - It may look like a lot but they're not like Italian chives - so use liberally!
  • Green Onions (3 medium sized stalks)
  • Thumb-size of ginger (no need to peel the outside off)
  • Sesame oil (~2 tbsp) - I usually don't measure, I put just enough for the mix to be fragrant but not overpowered.
  • Salt


  • Spoon
  • Small bowl with water

Step 1: Get Your Ingredients and Dice!

  • Put the pork into a decently sized bowl. I like to salt by layers, to account for what I've just placed in - so salt for what the pork would need.
  • Finely dice up the chinese chives! A goal would be to dice them finely with the first cuts, because you don't want to go back and re-cut them. The idea is not to bruise the plant! Place these into the bowl and salt appropriately as well.
  • Dice up the green onions and place those in. No salt will be needed from here on out.
  • Finely mince the ginger up. You can go crazy on this and mince over and over. There is also no need to peel the ginger, though you may want to wash it at least! If you leave these pieces too large, people will end up with surprising bites of ginger! Add this to the bowl
  • Finally, add your sesame oil. I usually just make a small circle with the bottle with a pencil-thin trickle, and that's usually enough.

Step 2: Mix Away and Set Up Your Station!

Mix away! If your hands are clean, it may even be easier to do this by hand as well. You will also smell the fragrance of the chives and the sesame oil. You may be tempted to eat at this time, please do not!

Now for your station - you will need:

  • Your mix
  • A small bowl with warm water (warm because you don't want to have to keep dipping your finger in freezing water)
  • A large plate to place the dumplings on!

Step 3: Wrapping Style 1!

  • Take your circular wrap and place it in your hand, more flour-y side down
  • Place a small amount of the mix into the center.
  • Dip your finger in the bowl of water and circle around the outside of the wrapper.
  • Fold up and pinch in the middle
  • On the left side, gently push the center of the unpinched wrapper in, as if to make a heart.
  • Pinch the side of the heart farthest from you together.
  • For the remaining unpinched wrapper on the left side, gently push the center towards the back, and pinch back.
  • Repeat the last two steps for the right side.
  • Repinch as needed and place on the plate. 1 down!

And that's authentic wrapping style 1!

Make sure you pinch well - this helps keep the flavor in, and the water out! It also keeps the dough from separating from the meat. Sadness and regret.

Step 4: Wrapping Style 2!

This one involves putting pleats into the wrapper.

  • Take your circular wrap and place it in your hand, more flour-y side down
  • Place a small amount of the mix into the center.
  • Dip your finger in the bowl of water and circle around the outside of the wrapper.
  • Fold up and pinch in the middle.
  • Take the left front fold of the unpinched wrapper, and fold a pleat towards the center.
  • Pinch that pleat.
  • Take another bit of the left front fold of unpinched wrapper, and fold another pleat towards the center.
  • Pinch everything on the left together, front to back.
  • Repeat the pleating for the right hand side, remembering to make the pleat go towards the center
  • Repinch as needed and place on the plate. 2 down!

And that's authentic wrapping style 2! Make sure again to pinch well!

Step 5: Make Your Dumplings!

This is why having a dumpling making party is a good idea :) Many hands make light work! When you've become comfortable making them, you can estimate about 45 seconds to 1 minutes per dumpling.

Step 6: Now to Cook Them!

  • Get a pan, put some oil in! You don't really need to wait for it to be hot, as you can just put in the dumplings one at a time without worrying about being hit by hot oil.
  • Place the dumplings in and occasionally check the bottom of the dumplings. You want to look for a golden brown before the next step.
  • Once they are browned enough, you want to pour in just enough water for there to be about 1 cm of water at the bottom. Cover immediately! This step is relatively fast too since hot oil + water usually means mini explosions!

Note: These dumplings can also be boiled. If you choose to do that:

  • Get a pot of water boiling and place the dumplings in
  • Once it boils again, put in a cup of cold water.
  • Let it boil again, put in another cup of cold water.
  • Once more! Let it boil and put in another cup of cold water.
  • At the fourth boil, you can take them out and serve them!

Step 7: Watch and Wait!

  • Now we watch and wait! The dumpling wrappers will become slightly translucent, and you'll see the pork lose its pink color. Once this has happened, the dumplings may need only a minute or more.
  • Once that minute has passed, you can uncover the dumplings momentarily and check to see how much water is left.
  • If there is still water left, you can keep the cover off and watch for it to cook off, or you can just serve them up! If you let the water cook off, the bottoms will get crispy again!
  • The dumplings may also stick to the bottom. I find using a spatula to get them off works well.

Step 8: Serve and Enjoy!

And voila! Remember, most people are okay with around 15-20 for a satisfying meal.

There are 2 different but very simple dipping sauces we customarily do:

Dipping sauce 1 (my favorite):

  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame Oil

Dipping sauce 2 (Whisker's favorite and spicier):

  • Rice wine vinegar
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Lao gan ma chili sauce