If you love eating dumplings as much as we do, this is a really easy and reliable dumpling wrapper recipe to have on hand. It’s chewy, tender, and works for all kinds of fillings including those delicious little soup dumplings we can’t get enough of. And this dough couldn’t be easier to make. All you need is flour and water plus a bit of kneading (which can be done in a stand mixer or by hand) and you’ll be eating your very own steaming bowl of piping hot dumplings in no time. Stuff them with your favorite dumpling fillings like fatty pork, crab, shrimp, scallops, or even vegetables, and start dipping.
What are Chinese Dumplings?
I’m sure most of you have ordered dumplings from your favorite Chinese restaurant and know they’re one of the tastiest things you’ll ever eat. For any of you who haven’t had the pleasure, Chinese dumplings are delicious little parcels of pure heaven. Typically, a meat and/or veggie-filling mixture is surrounded by a tender, chewy dumpling wrapper (made simply of flour and water) and steamed, boiled, or fried. The combinations of dumpling fillings are endless, but often contain ingredients like ground pork, shrimp, crab, ginger, scallions, white pepper, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce etc. Once cooked, dumplings are usually dipped into a sauce and enjoyed piping hot. And if you’re wondering what the difference is between a Chinese wonton and a dumpling. As you can see from the below photos, the shape is different, but there’s a little more to it than that.
Dumplings vs. Wontons — What’s the Difference?
How are Dumplings Different from Wontons?
There are several key important differences between typical Chinese dumplings and wontons and it’s not just their shape as you can see in the above photos. Ok, yes the obvious difference is the shape. Dumplings are typically formed using round wrappers and wontons using square wrappers. But there’s more to it than that. So, we’ve rounded up a few important factors that set dumplings and wontons apart.
- Ingredients. Standard dumpling dough is typically made using just 2 ingredients: flour and water (sometimes a little salt is added). While wonton dough is often made with the addition of eggs.
- Thickness + Texture. Dumpling wrappers are usually thicker than wontons and have a little more “chew” to them. Whereas a good wonton (according to my Sichuan family and friends) must be paper-thin. No matter what, a good dumpling or wonton should have a pleasant chew to them.
- Shape. Dumplings typically use round wrappers and wontons usually square, rectangular, or triangular wrappers. Both types of wrappers can be shaped into a multitude of different designs depending on the region, type, or style of the dumpling recipe being used.
- Uses. Dumplings and wontons can be used interchangeably in some recipes, like potstickers for instance, but for other recipes like Shanghai Soup Dumplings, dumpling dough is the standard and much easier to use in my opinion
Can You Let Dumpling Dough Rest Overnight?
Homemade dumpling dough needs to rest for at least 15 minutes and up to 3 hours covered at room temperature before rolling and filling. But you can also wrap the dumpling dough in sustainable cling film and place it in the refrigerator overnight, or up to 2 days before rolling and filling. For standard dumplings and potstickers, I like to make the filling and the dough on day 1, let them rest overnight, and then roll and fill the dumplings on day 2. Breaking up the tasks like this makes it really easy to make homemade dumplings especially if you don’t have a helper.
Can You Freeze Chinese Dumplings & Potstickers?
Yes, you can definitely freeze homemade dumplings which make for delicious and super quick mid-week meals. And you can even steam or boil dumplings from frozen. You’ll know when boiled dumplings or wontons are cooked through when they float to the top of the boiling water. And for steamed dumplings just pop them into a lined bamboo steamer and steam for about 10 minutes from frozen.
Can Xiao Long Bao (Xiaolongbao) Soup Dumplings Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze Chinese soup dumplings. Xiao long bao (unlike regular dumplings, wontons, and potstickers) can be sensitive to tearing open if they’re not cooked or frozen very soon after being filled. This is because of the addition of the gelatinous meat stock that gives them their soup-like filling.
If you plan to freeze xiao long bao (小笼包): working in batches, line a sheet tray with parchment and dust it with a little flour or cornstarch, and add filled xiao long bao making sure they are not touching one another and place them in the freezer overnight, or until frozen. Once the xiaolongbao are completely frozen, you may add them to a parchment-lined airtight container and freeze them for up to 3 months. To cook frozen xiaolongbao, place frozen soup dumplings about 1 inch apart into a lined bamboo steamer set over boiling water (do not let the dumplings have contact with any water) and steam for 10 to 13 minutes.
Can You Put Uncooked Dumplings in the Fridge?
DO NOT PUT UNCOOKED DUMPLINGS IN THE REFRIGERATOR. If you refrigerate uncooked dumplings the filling (which has moisture in it) will start to break down the wrapper making it soggy and creating tears thus ruining your precious dumplings.
Chinese Dumpling Dough Ingredients
No need to order takeout because everything you need to make your own dumplings at home is probably already in your kitchen. I’ve eaten dumplings all over the world and while the filling is very important it all starts with the dumpling wrapper. If it’s too thick and bulky, you feel cheated when there’s not enough filling-to-wrapper ratio. Too thin, and it may not hold up to the plumpness of all that delicious filling (and make it seem more like you’re eating a meatball than an actual dumpling). Make your own and is simple and delicious.
- 1 cup bread flour or all-purpose flour (121 to 130g)
- 6 tablespoons warm water (90g)
How to Make Homemade Chinese Dumpling Wrappers
If you’re googling “Chinese dumplings near me” and just realized you live in a place where they don’t deliver or just don’t have good Chinese restaurant options, you can still get your dumpling fix using this recipe. Authentic 2-ingredient dumpling wrappers are incredibly easy to make and you get to fill them with anything you want. Vegetables, fatty pork, crab, scallops, shrimp, and even soup.
- Make the dumpling dough. Add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment (or to a large mixing bowl), add the warm water 1 tablespoon at a time until the mixture comes together and you can form a ball out of it.
- Knead the dough. Knead the stiff dough for 12 minutes in the mixer (speed 2), or by hand for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the dough is much softer and becomes smooth. If you feel the dough is just too hard to knead, cover it with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes before continuing to knead it. Once the dough is fully kneaded, cover it with plastic wrap and allow it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes or up to 3 hours or overnight.
- Roll out the dumpling wrappers. After the dough has rested, roll the dough into a log about 6-8 inches long. Cut the dough into equal pieces (about 12 grams each) which will give you just about 20 total wrappers. Cover the dough pieces with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. Lightly dust a work surface or non-stick dough mat with a little flour and roll each dough piece out to about 3 inches in diameter. Dust the wrappers and stack them on top of one another and cover them with a damp towel to keep them from drying out. Fill the dumplings with your choice of delicious fillings and cook or freeze, Enjoy!
Looking for a Few More Delicious Dim Sum or Asian-Inspired Dishes?
If you’re looking to round out a takeout-style diner at home or looking for delicious ways to fill your dumpling wrappers here are a few of our favorite dim sum and takeout favorites we think you may enjoy.
- Chinese Takeout Chicken & Vegetable Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles
- Easy Egg Drop Soup with Crispy Fried Wonton Strips (Danhuatang 蛋花湯)
- Homemade Chinese Soup Dumplings Xiaolongbao (小笼包) (From Scratch)
- Hoisin Garlic-Ginger Oven-Braised Pork Ribs
- Easy Pork and Chive Potstickers w/Sautéed Napa Cabbage & Carrots (Jiaozi)
- Steamed Pork & Chive Money Bag Dumplings (Beggar’s Purse Dumplings)
- Easy Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry (w/Cantonese Style White Sauce)
- Takeout Style Pork and Green Bean Stir-Fry w/Glass Noodles
- Easy and Delicious Pork Potsticker Recipe (Cantonese Style Jiaozi)
- Crispy Pork and Chive Spring Rolls w/Glass Noodles & Vegetables
Homemade Chinese Dumpling Wrappers tips + tricks + FAQ’s
Where were dumplings invented? You may be wondering, “are dumplings Chinese” and although every culture has its own unique version of dumplings, the meat and/or vegetable-filled dumplings from our favorite takeout spots we all know and love are in fact from China. It’s said that dumplings in China actually date as far back as 1800 years ago when Zhang Zhongjing, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner made them to help nourish the poor. As the story goes, Zhang returned to his hometown in the middle of winter to find that many people had frostbitten ears. He decided to nourish them with food and wrapped meat, chili spices, and herbs in leftover scraps of dough and shaped them into little “ears”, boiled them, and handed them out to the hungry poor. In China, the philosophy of diet and eating well to live a long, healthy life(specifically in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), food is medicine and medicine is food — they are one and the same. People loved the dumplings so much that they continued to make and eat them well after winter was over and the entire world is eating them now. Eating dumplings makes people happy.