These Chinese chicken and zucchini dumplings are super tender, and juicy, and full of flavor. Tender chicken thigh meat, chives, sautéed zucchini (but you can sub cabbage), with a blend of our favorite dumpling seasoning and spices make this one of our absolute favorite dim sum recipes to make. Feel free to substitute pork for the chicken in this dumpling recipe (also really good).
For anyone who may be new to making dumplings or for kiddos helping out in the kitchen, we’ve included step-by-step recipe photos and a How to Make Chicken Dumplings Video!
Potstickers and dumplings of just about any kind are a great MealPrep dish (they take just 10 minutes to cook from frozen). And, If you don’t have time to make this 2-ingredient dumpling dough, just buy a pack from the store (you can even sub homemade wonton wrappers or storebought). I suggest doubling this recipe and freezing half to of the dumplings to cook for dinner during the week.
Dumplings vs Potstickers — What’s the Difference?
Potstickers are part of the Chinese dumpling family. Made with a wrapper that’s somewhere in between the thickness of a typical dumpling wrapper and a thinner wonton wrapper, it’s filled with a mixture of meat or veggies (or both), and a few Chinese staple seasonings and sauces like chives, Shaoxing wine, soy, and sesame oil, to name just a few. Each region of China has its own popular fillings to choose from (and within each region, every home will crank out its own special family recipe). To learn more about traditional potstickers, check out this post over here.
Top 7 Tips & Techniques to Make Dumpling Filling Taste Just Like Takeout
There are a few easy (but critical) techniques for making Chinese dumplings extra juicy just like your favorite restaurant. If you haven’t already seen them, I suggest you hop over here and check them out before you get started making this recipe.
How to Fill Homemade Dumplings (Using Homemade or Store-bought Dumpling Wrappers)
The easiest fold for making dumplings at home is to simply make the half-moon shape without any pleats or other fancy folding. If you don’t care at all about making your dumplings “look pretty”, then use this easy fold. I’m by no means the best dumpling shaper out there (see photos for proof) and that’s ok because they taste just as good.
Plus, it makes me appreciate the art and skill that goes into making dumplings look as beautiful as they taste. If you’ve ever watched a skilled dumpling maker, it’s mesmerizing how quick and agile their folding and pleating movements are. I continually try to practice getting even pleats, but no matter how they look when I’m done they’re always delicious. Just make sure there are no air pockets around the filling before you seal them up.
If using homemade dumpling wrappersyou may need a small bowl of water to dip your finger into and brush part of the wrapper to create a good seal.
If using store-bought dumpling wrappers use a cornstarch slurry or beaten egg (egg wash) to create the best seal.
Place a round dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand and add about 1 tablespoon (15g) of filling to the center.
Pinch one side of the dumpling closed at one of the corners (either right or left corner…it doesn’t matter).
Take the side of the dumpling wrapper furthest away from you and start pleating (in the direction towards the closed corner) and pinching it together with the other side of the wrapper as you go.
Continue pleating until you reach the opposite corner and seal it closed, pressing out any air around the filling and using water or cornstarch slurry to create a good seal.
Overview: Best Ever Chicken Dumplings Recipe Ingredients
For this dumpling recipe, I ground the meat myself using skinless, boneless chicken thighs, but you can buy pre-ground ground chicken to make this recipe even easier. If you don’t make my 2-ingredient dumpling dough, you’ll need roughly 1/2 a package of store-bought dumpling wrappers for this recipe. If you want to use the full package of store-bought wrappers, I recommend doubling the dumpling filling recipe below. You can find the full ingredient measurements in the recipe card below.
Chinese Chinkiang black vinegar (sub rice wine vinegar)
toasted sesame oil
toasted sesame seeds
Overview: How to Make Easy Homemade Chicken Dumplings
Dumplings of any kind are easy to make at home and if you have a kitchen helper, creating an assembly line makes the prep work go even faster. But if it’s just you, a bowl of filling, and a stack of wrappers, don’t worry because once you start assembling, it all goes really quickly. You can find the full instructions in the recipe card below.
Steep the ginger in the soy, Shaoxing, and water.
Grind the chicken (or use pre-ground chicken and skip to step 3).
Sauté the zucchini.
Combine the chicken with soy-Shaoxing mixture in a clockwise motion until bouncy and all liquid is absorbed by the meat and chill.
Add the vegetables to the chicken mixture.
Assemble the dumplings.
Steam the dumplings.
Easy Chinese Chicken Dumplings recipe step-by-step photos
Looking for More Easy Dim Sum or Asian-Inspired Dishes?
If you’re looking for a few other dishes to round out your takeout night in, below are a few of our favorites we think you may also enjoy.
Chicken dumplings are so delicious. Tender thigh meat, chives, sautéed zucchini (yes, zucchini, but you can sub cabbage), and our favorite blend of dumpling seasonings and spices make this one of our absolute favorites to eat. A great MealPrep dinner for any night of the week (they cook in just 10 minutes from frozen) and kiddos love these just as much as adults!
2 tablespoons chives, finely minced (or sub scallions, green parts only) (7g)
4 dashes of white pepper
a pinch of salt, or more to taste (1g)
FOR ASSEMBLING THE DUMPLINGS
1 tablespoon cornstarch (7.5g) plus 1/2 cup of water (118g) combined *(cornstarch slurry to seal dumplings)
1 recipe 2-Ingredient dumpling dough (link above) or 1/2 package dumpling wrappers (50 to 60ct) (300 to 400g)
EASIEST DUMPLING DIPPING SAUCE
2 tablespoons regular soy sauce (30g)
1 teaspoon Chinese Chinkiang black vinegar (or rice wine vinegar) (5g)
1 teaspoon water (5g)
1 teaspoon sugar (5g)
1/4 teaspoon toasted sesame oil (1g)
fresh ginger, cut into matchsticks (5g)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds (optional) (3g)
fresh chives for garnish
*If using scallions (which often have a more pungent flavor as compared to chives, you may want to reduce the amount by half or according to your taste.
**If you use high-quality unsalted Shaoxing wine, you may need to increase the amount of salt you add. If you can’t find Shaoxing wine, use dry sherry in a 1:1 ratio. If you’re thinking about using mirin, it’s acceptable if that’s all you’ve got (but it really has a totally different flavor than Shaoxing wine and it’s also a bit sweet).
Steep the ginger. Add the Shaoxing wine, light soy sauce, dark soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of water, and ginger to a small bowl and allow the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes or up to an hour while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
(Skip to Step #3 below if using pre-ground chicken) Grind the chicken. Place the chicken thighs into the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes to firm up and make it easier to slice and move through the grinder but do not let it freeze solid. Cut the meat into 2-inch cubes. Attach the KitchenAid food grinder attachment with the small die, and start adding the meat and grinding. Cover and store in the refrigerator while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Sauté the zucchini. Add 1 teaspoon (5g) of oil to a skillet set over medium heat, add the zucchini (or cabbage if using), season with salt to taste, and cook until the vegetables are tender and no moisture remains in the pan (see photos). Remove the mixture to a bowl to cool completely.
Make & chill the dumpling filling. Remove the ginger from the soy seasoning sauce and discard. Add the soy seasoning sauce directly to the bowl with the ground chicken. Add the oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, white pepper, and toasted sesame oil, and stir to combine. Stir the mixture in one direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) with chopsticks, or a fork until it becomes visibly paste-like, shiny, and jiggles a little when tapped. (about 8 to 10 minutes). At this point, the meat should have absorbed all of the liquid. Cover and place the mixture into the fridge to chill to allow the flavors to bloom for at least 15 minutes (or better up to one hour or even overnight).
Test the flavor of the chicken filling. Add the chives, and sautéed zucchini to the marinated chicken mixture, and stir well to combine. Pan-fry a small amount of filling in a lightly oiled skillet to make sure the seasonings are just right. Adjust the salt and any seasonings as needed.
Assemble the dumplings. Cover the wrappers with a slightly damp cloth to keep them from drying out while you’re filling the dumplings. Add about 1 tablespoon of dumpling filling to the center of each wrapper. Pinch one side of the dumpling closed at one of the corners (either right or left corner…it doesn’t matter). Take the side of the dumpling wrapper furthest away from you and start pleating (in the direction towards the closed corner) and pinching it together with the other side of the wrapper as you go. Continue pleating until you reach the opposite corner and seal it closed, pressing out any air bubbles around the filling and using water or cornstarch slurry to create a good seal. Set the filled dumplings on a parchment-lined tray without touching each other.
Steam the dumplings. Add a couple of inches of water to a large sauté pan or wok and bring to a boil. Line a bamboo steamer with whole cabbage leaves or parchment paper and add the dumplings and make sure they don’t touch one another. Once the water is boiling, add the steamer basket on top and cover with the lid to steam the dumplings until cooked through (about 8 minutes for fresh dumplings and 10 minutes for frozen dumplings). Be sure not to add too much water to ensure the dumplings are never in contact with any water as they steam. On the other hand, if you didn’t add enough water, just add a little more hot or boiling water to the pan as needed but be very careful because the steam can burn you. Remove the dumplings to a serving platter and serve with the dipping sauce, Enjoy!
You’ll need roughly 1/2 package of store-bought dumpling wrappers for this recipe, so I recommend doubling the chicken dumpling filling recipe so you can use the entire package of dumpling wrappers. If however, you’re making my homemade 2-Ingredient dumpling wrappers, it’s the perfect amount for this filling without doubling the recipe.
You may substitute shredded or thinly sliced napa cabbage for the zucchini if desired.
Be sure to read the 7 Tips and Techniques for how to make better-than-takeout dumplings and potsticker fillings before you get started (link found in the main post).
If you can’t find pre-ground chicken thigh meat where you live, ask the local grocery store butcher to grind it for you.
MealPrep dumplings by freezing them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer for about 30 minutes, or until firm. Then place them into an airtight container or freezer bag until ready to cook. When ready to cook, steam dumplings for 10 minutes, or until just cooked through.
A great trick I learned from my friends in Chengdu for how to get ginger flavor into dumpling fillings without ever biting into actual pieces of ginger: Infuse dumpling filling sauces (like soy sauce) with ginger matchsticks instead of actually grating or mincing them and adding them to the filling. It adds just enough fragrant ginger flavor without ever being overpowering.
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:8 minutes
Category:Dim Sum + Dumplings
Serving Size:5 Dumplings
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Hi! I’m Kelly.
Helping busy families cook and enjoy tastier, healthier meals at home. Born and raised in Arkansas, I've lived and worked in NYC, Sichuan China, and now Northeast Italy. Each of these places impacts the way I cook, live, and celebrate life. You'll find a bit of everything here whether you're new to cooking, or you've made it all. If you love to eat, you're in the right place!