A Guide to Making Homemade Dumplings

Growing up, my mom would make the most amazing homemade dumplings. It was a whole day affair: shopping for the ingredients at the local Asian market, prepping these ingredients for the filling, sitting down together around the kitchen table to fold the dumplings, waiting for them to steam, and finally eating them all together. As the youngest child, my mom would always put me on garlic peeling duty—which by the way, I absolutely hated—as I had to peel over 100 individual cloves, leaving my fingers smelling like garlic all day.

Through the diligence and time my mom and I spent together in the kitchen, I didn’t just learn a great recipe for homemade dumplings. I learned about the communal aspect of Korean food, and how my mom communicated her love through each and every meal she made for me.

Now that I don’t live at home anymore, I obviously don’t get to enjoy her home-cooking as much as I used to. So for a fun and cheap double-date night, I proposed leading a workshop on making homemade dumplings. I was nervous at first, as I had never done this on my own, but they turned out to be really delicious. Making dumplings at home can be time-consuming, but with multiple people helping you out and dividing tasks, it takes no time at all.

Best of all, I found all of the ingredients at my local grocery store to make 200 dumplings for just $25. We had a ton leftover, so if you wanted to make fewer dumplings, simply half the recipe.


Homemade Steamed Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 2 Packs of Nasoya Won Ton Wrappers
  • 2 lbs of ground pork
  • ½ head of red cabbage, grated
  • 2 cups of green onion, sliced
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • ½ cup ginger, minced
  • 2 cups mushroom, chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, chopped
  • 2 cups bean sprouts
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 egg
  • 1 ½ tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • Vegetable oil

Important Notes

You should be able to find every single ingredient in your typical grocery store. The only trouble you may run into is finding dumpling wrapping papers. I found the Nasoya brand of won ton wrappers near the prepared vegetables/herb section of the grocery store. These are square-shaped and small because they are technically for won tons, but they work perfectly fine for wrapping dumplings.

A great thing about making dumplings is that you have the complete freedom to add or remove any of the ingredients listed above! For example, if you’re vegetarian, tofu is a great substitute for the pork. However, I would say the most important ingredients of this recipe are sesame oil, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger. These really illuminate the flavor of the meat and vegetables, so these are non-negotiable ingredients for me.

Instructions

Prep the vegetables according to how they’re listed in the ingredients. You want to make sure that each is sliced, chopped, or grated into the smallest pieces as possible. Mix your red cabbage, green onion, ginger, garlic, mushroom, carrots, and bean sprouts, soy sauce, and sesame oil in a medium bowl. You might have to use your hands in order to incorporate everything together well.

In a separate large bowl, mix the ground pork, salt, and pepper together.

Combine the vegetable mixture into the pork. Again, using your hands is the best way to ensure that everything is well-mixed.

Beat the egg into a small bowl. You will use this to act as the glue of your dumplings.

Once your filling is complete, coat two of the adjacent sides of the dumpling wrapper with a thin line of the egg. Take a small spoonful of the mixture and place it on your dumpling paper. Be careful not to overfill the wrappers, as this is how your dumpling will explode or break while steaming. Fold in half, and meet the opposite corners together. Repeat until all dumplings are filled.

In a large skillet, fill the bottom about a quarter of the way with water. Pour about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in the water—this is important so the dumplings don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. While on medium heat, place the dumplings into the skillet. Put a lid on the skillet for 5-10 minutes, until much of the water has evaporated and the dumplings look softened and cooked.

Enjoy with a side of soy sauce!


Dumplings are relatively easy to make, but if this is your first time, reading these instructions may seem daunting. I recommend watching Tasty’s video on making dumplings, as they walk you through the similar process in a visual manner.

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