Thursday, 29 November 2012

Handmade Northern Chinese Dumplings

My grandpa used to say: "No food is more delicious than dumplings; no position is more comfortable than lying down”. It’s a rhyme if translated into mandarin: “好吃不如饺子,舒服不如倒着”. This is how much we northern china people love dumplings, homemade dumplings.

In my family, it’s a tradition to make dumplings on happy occasions like Lunar New Year and family members’ birthdays. We also make dumplings when bid farewell for family members who are travelling away from home. Other than these special moments, dumplings are made whenever we have spare time. Served either as main dish or side dish, dumplings have never failed to satisfy our appetites.
Typical northern chinese dumplings are famous for its bigger size, thinner skin with rich and juicy fillings. There are a variety of fillings in chinese dumplings, which we adjust according to our tastes.

When making dumplings, the most difficult part is to prepare the skin. It takes years of practice to use the rolling pin proficiently. The good news is, ready-made dumpling skins are available in supermarkets.  Though the taste and texture cannot be compared with hand-made ones, at least they are acceptable.
In this post, I share with you one of my home recipe - Green Chilies with pork meat. It has a fresh, “crisp” taste with light chili scent. A bite of this dumpling is a mouthful of happiness.



Dumpling Skin
- 500g all-purpose flour
- 300ml water

- 3 big green chilies about 500g, coarsely chopped
- 500g minced pork meat
- 60g ginger, finely chopped

- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil (boiled and cool)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons 5-spices powder
- 1 tablespoon light soybean source

Prepare Dumpling Fillings
  1. Sprinkle the seasonings one by one on the surface of the minced meat. Mix well with a pair of chopsticks. .
  2. Let seasoned for 30 minutes before use.
  3. Slit green chilies into halves, remove the seeds. Chop coarsely.
  4. Squeeze out the excess water with hands. DO NOT over-squeeze, otherwise the dumplings might taste dry.
  5. Put coarsely chopped green chilies on top of the seasoned minced meat. When ready to make dumplings, mix them together until just combined. If mix them too early, the vegetable juice may come out and make the fillings difficult to wrap in later.

Make Dumplings
  1. Put flour in a medium bowl. Add water gradually and mix well. Knead with hands until a soft and smooth ball is formed. If necessary, add more water or flour.
  2. Let rest for 20 minutes.
  3. Remove the dough from the bowl. In a lightly floured surface, separate the dough into 3 portions. Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until it is soft and elastic.
  4. Roll the dough into a long roll about 2cm in thickness. Cut into small pieces with a knife, about 2cm in length.
  5. Sprinkle flour on the surface of small doughs. Flatten with your palm one by one.
  6. Roll out the small dough with a rolling pin into a round shape with desired thickness (~2mm).  Dumpling skin is ready.
  7. Take one dumpling skin, put on your left palm, add one tablespoon of fillings in the centre of the skin. Fold the skin in half so it resembles a half circle. Then, working from one end, gather a small fold on one side of the skin. Pinch the fold onto the other. Keep folding and pinching until the dumpling is sealed.

  8. Put the freshly made dumpling on a floured surface. Continue to make dumplings until the fillings are used up.
Note: Dumplings can be frozen and stored in a freezer for up to 2 months.



Cook Dumplings
  1. Heat 3 cups of water in a medium wok till water is boiled.
  2. Add fresh or frozen dumplings one by one into the boiling water.
  3. Use a spatula to lightly stir the dumplings to ensure they are not stick to the bottom of the wok. To prevent dumplings stick to each other, do not put too many dumplings at one go.
  4. Cover with a lid and heat until water is boiled. Add ½ cup of cold water.
  5. Repeat Step 4 two times or until dumplings are floating in the wok.
  6. Heat off. Remove the dumplings with a drainer. Serve warm.


  1. how did you fold them like that?

  2. I will try to upload a video to show you how... I will try one of these days.


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