How to Make Filling for Chinese Dumplings : Asian Cuisine

How to Make Filled Dumplings

Four Parts:

Filled dumplings are cooked balls of dough that have a rich filling in their centers. You can make dumplings from flour, potatoes, or bread, and their fillings can be made of meat such as ground beef, veggies such as peas and mushrooms, and fruits such as peaches or cherries. To make the dumplings, you have to make the filling, scoop it into a circular or square-shaped wrapper, and then seal it. After that, it's up to you to decide whether you'd like to steam, boil, fry, or bake the dumplings. If you want to know how to make your own dumplings, just follow these steps. They are a close cousin of the humble drop dumpling or rolled dumpling that are unfilled.



  • 3-4 cups filling
  • 60 circular or square-shaped (4.5-inch) dumpling, wonton, or gyoza wrappers

Tofu Kimchi Filling

  • 12 oz. soybean sprouts
  • 4 carrots, peeled and grated
  • 2 tsp. toasted sesame oil, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 (14 oz.) block firm tofu
  • 2 cups cabbage kimchi
  • 2 thinly sliced scallions
  • 1 thinly sliced leek
  • 1/2 minced white onion
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. minced ginger
  • 1 tsp. brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 beaten eggs

Cabbage and Meat Filling

  • 1/2 head Napa cabbage
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1 lb. fresh ground turkey
  • 1 bunch chopped scallion
  • 1 bunch chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • 2 beaten eggs


Make Filling

Tofu Kimchi Filling

  1. Prepare the soybean sprouts.Boil 12 oz. of soybean sprouts with 1 cup of water until they're tender. This should take about 15 minutes. Then, rinse them under cold water and squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Coarsely chop the sprouts when you're done.
  2. Prepare the carrots, tofu, and kimchi.To prepare the 4 peeled and grated carrots, just sauté them with 1 tsp. of sesame oil and a pinch of salt for about 2 minutes or until they're tender. Prepare 1 (14 oz.) block of firm tofu by putting it in cheesecloth and squeezing out the excess liquid. Coarsely chop 2 cups of kimchi and squeeze out the extra liquid.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients except the eggs in a mixing bowl.Combine the bean sprouts, carrots, tofu, kimchi, 2 sliced scallions, 1 sliced leek, 1/2 minced white onion, 2 tablespoon (29.6 ml). of minced garlic, 1 tsp. of minced ginger, 1 tsp. of brown sugar, and 1/8 tsp. of black pepper. Mix and mash the ingredients together until they're combined.
  4. Add 2 beaten eggs to the mixture and mix it well.

Meat and Cabbage Filling

  1. Cut 1/2 head of a washed Napa cabbage crosswise into thin strips.
  2. Toss the cabbage in a large bowl with salt to taste.Set it aside for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to combine. Then, grab handfuls of the cabbage and wring out the moisture. Dump out any remaining water in the bowl.
  3. Combine the cabbage with the remaining ingredients.Combine the cabbage with 1 lb. of fresh ground turkey, 1 bunch of chopped scallion, 1 bunch of chopped cilantro leaves, 1/4 cup of soy sauce, 3 tablespoon (44.4 ml). of minced ginger, 2 tbsp. of sesame oil, 2 tsp. of ground pepper, and 2 beaten eggs. Mix the ingredients well with a large wooden spoon until the flavors are combined.

Make the Dumplings

  1. Place three dumpling wrappers on your work surface.You should have prepared 60 circular or square-shaped (4.5-inch) dumpling, wonton, or gyoza wrappers. You can scale the recipe down or up, as long as you use one tablespoon of filling for each wrapper.
  2. Place one tablespoon of filling in the middle of each wrapper.Use the filling of your choice -- either the tofu filling, the meat and cabbage filling, or another filling of your choice. As you get more experienced, you can add a bit more filling to the dumplings.
  3. Moisten the edge of the dumpling wrapper.To do this, just dip your finger in a small bowl of cool water and run it around the edge of each dumpling wrapper before you seal it closed.
  4. Seal the dumplings.There are a variety of ways to seal the dumplings, depending on your level of expertise. For the basic seal, just fold the dumpling into a half-moon shape and press it closed. Here are some other ways to seal the dumplings:
    • The double pleat: fold the dumpling in half and press the top closed. Then, use your thumb and index finger to fold a pleat into one side of the dumpling, and then fold an inverse pleat on the other side, pressing it firmly to seal it.
    • The multiple pleat: to do this, fold the dumpling in half, but don't press it closed. Instead, use your thumb and index finger to fold pleats into the side of the wrapper that's facing you. After each pleat, pinch it closed against the back half of the wrapper. This way, you'll be "zipping" the dumpling closed.
    • The gathered pouch: just gather the sides of the dumpling around the filling and then pleat the top closed like a pouch. Then, pinch the opening to the seal.
  5. Freeze the dumplings if you're not cooking them right away.If you want to freeze the dumplings, then you should place them on a baking sheet without letting them touch and then place them in sealed freezer containers once they're frozen solid. They'll last in the freezer for at least three months. Read on to find out how to cook the dumplings.

Cook the Dumplings

  1. Steam the dumplings.To steam the dumplings, just line a steamer basket with parchment and steam the dumplings for 6-7 minutes if they're fresh. If they're frozen, steam them for 7-8 minutes.
  2. Pan-sear the dumplings.To pan-sear dumplings, you'll be essentially making pot stickers. To do this, just film a skillet with a tablespoon of oil and warm it over high heat. Once the oil is simmering, after a minute or so, place the dumplings on the pan so they fill the pan without touching. Cook the bottoms of the dumplings until they've turned golden and brown. Place 3 tablespoon (44.4 ml). of water in the pan, cover it, and reduce it to low.
    • Cook the dumplings for 3-5 minutes if they're fresh.
    • Cook the dumplings for 6-8 minutes if they're frozen.
  3. Boil the dumplings.To boil the dumplings, bring a pot of water to a boil and place the dumplings in the pot. Stir them so that they don't stick together. Then, add 1 1/2 cups of cold water and wait for the water to return to a boil. Repeat this process one more time. After the third time, check one dumpling to see if it's cooked through, and boil the dumplings for another few minutes if they aren't ready.

Make a Variety of Other Dumplings

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  • You can add shredded cheese to the dumpling dough.
  • A standard biscuit (baking powder/buttermilk style) dough recipe can be used for this, instead of baking mix. Not only will your dumplings taste better and have a better texture, but you'll cut out the trans fats and preservatives found in premade baking mixes.
  • When making dumplings from scratch, follow the recipe directions, then shape the dumplings by dipping the spoons into the hot broth and then form the dumpling. The dumpling dough will not stick to the spoons, if you remember to first dip the spoons into the hot broth.
  • Use a light hand when mixing the dough.
  • You can add parsley or favorite herb to the dumpling dough.


  • Be sure to cook your dumplingsbeforeyou thicken your stew, as you risk burning your stew if you thicken it first. It is also not a good idea to make fresh dumplings with leftover stew, for this same reason.

Things You'll Need

  • Dutch oven or deep saucepan for the stew.
  • Pan lid.
  • Measuring cups.
  • Mixing bowl.
  • Two flatware spoons, the type you would use at the dining table. Not measuring spoons.

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