Humble Dumplings

Many cuisines have some form of a dumpling. In Chinese cuisine, dumplings are made with different fillings, wrappers, and prep methods. There are even restaurants that specialize in dumplings. If you get a chance to dine at Din Tai Fung, I highly recommend doing so. Your tastebuds will thank you!

One of the simplest dumplings to make is Shuijiao (dumplings boiled in water). It’s true homestyle cooking made with simple ingredients and with a little help, you can assemble a large quantity quickly. Then all you do is boil them up and serve them with a dipping sauce for a delicious meal.


Store-Bought vs. Homemade Wrappers

We usually buy ready-made wrappers to make it super quick and prefer those brands found in Asian markets rather than the thicker kinds found in stores like Whole Foods or HyVee. If you’re game for trying to make your own wrappers, I’ve included instructions for that in the recipe (along with a video).  Otherwise, it’s worth a trip to the Asian Market to buy these wrappers.


Dumpling Assembly

When we use store-bought wrappers, one person scoops the filling onto the wrappers and the rest of us fold. We have contests with the kids to see who can fold their dumpling the neatest and fastest (everything can be made into a game in my husband’s mind)!  It certainly makes the time fly as we work through a batch of filling. If you’re making your own wrappers, I find it best to have one or two people roll out the wrappers while the rest fill and fold. The pleats shown in the video are not critical. You can make it simpler by wetting the edges with water and folding the wrapper over the filling to make a triangle.


Entertainment plus Nourishment

I like making this dinner on an evening when we have a little more time so we can enjoy it as entertainment as well as nourishment.  It also means I’m not stuck in the kitchen alone. My partner and kids are happy to help fold dumplings because everyone knows what to do and it becomes a friendly competition. As crazy as it sounds, we have fun making these together.  I hope you’ll give it a try. And if you do, let me know how it went! 



After you fold the dumplings, you can freeze them on a tray uncooked.  When you want to cook them, put them into boiling water frozen and proceed with the instructions.  If you have leftover boiled dumplings,  you can pan-fry them and have them as an appetizer or as part of an Asian meal.  Either way, it’s a great way to have a meal ready to go!

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Pork Dumplings

  • Author: Dani Lin
  • Prep Time: 45 min
  • Cook Time: 10 min
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 64 1x


Humble pork, green onion, and cabbage dumplings that taste great boiled served alongside a dipping sauce. A great dish to make and enjoy with others.




  • 3 C. All-purpose flour
  • 3/4 C. cold water
  • Extra flour as needed during kneading


  • 1 pound cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 Tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspon pepper
  • 4 bunches green onions, finely chopped

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (or substitute sriracha to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped green onions


Make Wrapper:

  • Add water to flour in a large bowl.  Knead into a smooth dough by hand or using a dough hook (about 5 minutes). 
  • Roll kneaded dough into a ball and cover with plastic wrap.  Let sit about 1 hour (it helps make dough more pliable). 
  • Roll dough into a rope and cut into 48 pieces. 
  • Use a rolling pin to roll each piece into a thin circle.

Make filling:

  • Finely chop cabbage by hand or in a food processor.  Place in a medium bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt.  Let sit for 10 minutes while you assemble the filling.
  • In a large bowl, combine pork, sesame oil, salt, pepper, and green onions.  After the salted cabbage has had a chance to release water, use your hands or a clean dish towel to squeeze out any remaining water.  Add cabbage to the pork mixture and mix well (your hands work awesome for this!).

Assemble dumplings: 

  • Fill a small bowl with water. You can fold a lot of dumplings quickly when one person rolls out the wrapper, one scoops the filling into the wrappers and one or more people do the folding.
  • Put 1/2 tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Lay them out on a clean work surface.
  • For folding the dumpling- wet your finger and run it along the edge of the wrapper. Fold over the wrapper to make a triangle, pressing the edges to seal.  You can leave it like that or take the extra step to make pleats (see video).  Put wrapped dumplings on a cookie sheet.
  • Fill a large pot (6 or 8 qt) 2/3 with water and bring to a boil.  Add about 20 dumplings and stir the pot to prevent sticking.  Bring it back to a boil, then add 1 cup cold water to stop the boiling process.  When it comes to a boil again, repeat the process by adding another cup of water and bringing it to boil again. Scoop out the dumplings and drain in a colander, then put on a platter.  When a few batches are done, we start eating and continue boiling more batches until it’s all cooked.
  • Return water to a boil, put in another batch, and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the dumplings.  Serve with dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce: In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, honey, and vinegar.  Stir until honey dissolves.  Add remaining ingredients and mix well.


To make it even faster, substitute 2 packages of ready made wrappers for homemade ones, found in the frozen aisle of Asian markets.

The process of bringing it to a boil and then adding cold water helps keep the wrappers from breaking.  The filling is fully cooked by the second boil.

Leftover wrappers can be sliced and fried in oil (I like avocado oil) to make won ton strips for salad. Leftover boiled dumplings can be fried in oil on medium-high heat.

You can freeze uncooked dumplings for 3 months.  Boil directly from freezer, following directions above.

  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Boil
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Serving Size: 10 dumplings

Keywords: chinese