There are as many types of dumplings as there are countries, and these pillowy morsels of dough are featured in many cuisines all over the world. The dish is so popular that it has even its own proclaimed National Day on the 26th of September!
Of the many varieties available, Jiaozi Chinese dumplings are among the most loved options, with their delicate balance of perfectly silky skin and juicy filling of pork, prawn or vegetables.
Whilst the dish may seem elaborate, it is easy to make at home, and even the little ones can be easily involved in the process. We’ve put together a list of tips & tricks to help you make your own dumplings, plus a few pointers on how to best store them for a tasty meal always at hand.
There are few types of dumplings wrappers. The yellow square wonton wrappers are the easiest to work with, and they’re the ones we’ve used to make our dumpling recipes.
Once you open the dumplings wrappers and begin the folding process, keep them moistened by placing a kitchen towel over them to prevent them from drying out. If the skins dry out too much, they may split during the cooking process.
Folding the dumplings
There are many ways to fold dumplings and they can range from very simple to very advanced. Here we share our tried a true method for folding and sealing your dumplings - it is easy, yet visually catching. The only rule to follow when pleating dumplings is to avoid overstuffing them or they will likely break during cooking.
1. Place the dumpling wrapper on your open palm.
2. Using a teaspoon to measure, place the filling to the centre of the wrapper.
3. Dip you finger in water and trace the edges of the dumpling wrapper.
4. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle shape and press the edges of the wrapper firmly to seal them.
5. Holding the left corner of the dumpling, make a small pleat with the dumpling wrapper, pressing it over and down as shown in the picture. Then proceed to pleat in this manner until no more wrapper is left to fold.
Freezing the dumplings
It is always a comforting thought to know that you have a few portions of dumplings in the freezer, ready to be turned into a gourmet dinner in just a few minutes. Next time you make dumplings, double or triple the batch, as uncooked dumplings can easily be frozen and stored for later use.
To freeze, place the dumplings in a single layer on a baking sheet, leaving space between each dumpling to prevent sticking. Once frozen, place them into an airtight container.
When you’re ready to cook them, simply boil them in water for 8 minutes or until cooked through.
Cooking the dumplings
To cook the dumplings, bring the water to a rolling boil, gently drop them into the water and keep stirring with a slotted spoon to prevent them from sticking together or to the bottom of the pot.
Don’t overcrowd the pan. It’s better to cook the dumpling in batches aiming for a single layer in the pot.
When the dumplings are cooked, they will float and the skins will be glossy.
Use a slotted spoon to transfer the dumplings to serving bowl, making sure to drain them well, so that the dipping sauce won’t be diluted.
Go on and make your own dumplings!
Sichuan Spicy Wontons
Pork & Prawn Steamed Dumpling