Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Homemade Water Dumplings (水餃)! Author: jaimeteo

It’s important to clarify what sort of water dumplings you mean when you make a casual reference to them. There are the slippery and soft skin variety, usually sold as shrimp dumplings in foodcourts with the skin usually bought off the shelf. Then there are the chewy skin variety which is more like a gyoza in texture (except that it’s boiled), and the skin is usually handmade.

I tried this recipe a coupla times and am proud to have one that I can (finally!) share. So for dumpling lovers, here goes :

Dumpling skin :
300gm plain flour
150ml cold water
Dash of vegetable oil (to coat doughball)

1. Sieve flour.
2. Pour a quarter of the water into the flour and mix ((I put my hand in a plastic bag to mix the flour so I don’t get flour under my nails any dirt from under my nails into the flour)
3. Repeat until water and dough forms a firm and elasticky feeling ball (when you press it gently, it shd ‘rebound’)
3. Put the doughball into a plastic bag coated with vegetable oil. Leave for 20mins.


Dumpling Filling :
300gm minced pork
2 diced water chestnut
100gm diced cabbage
2 stalks of chinese parsley (optional)
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp cornflour
Dash of pepper

1. Mix the above well (Don’t worry about it being too salty – the flour based skin negates it)
2. Fridge for 15mins if the meat feels too soft to handle (optional)
3. Roll into equal sized balls so the dumplings all turn out the same sized (optional).


4. Dust work area with flour.
5. Pull out a small ball of dough from the big ball and flatten with a roller.


6. Put filling in center of dumpling and press down the sides.
7. Use scissors to cut off excess flour and to make a nice semi circle. (optional)


8. Sprinke flour on the plate and between each dumpling. Be generous with the flour or they will stick and break when you try to get them off the plate into the pot.
9. Bring half a pot of water to boil and dump dumplings inside (Sorry -couldn’t resist that)
10. They are ready when they float. Remove and place on a plate.


Ta da!! If you aren’t eating it immediately, sprinkle some sesame oil on them so they don’t stick together. I used a cube of chicken stock to a litre of water to boil some vegetables to accompany the dumplings – made a very filling meal :)

The wonder about homemade anything, is that you can put whatever you want inside it. I don’t recommend shrimps tho, cos they make the dumpling a tad hard to chew - but that’s totally your call. You can also opt to use vegetables like leek, chives, spring onion, celery to go with your meat and even use chicken as your main meat. Feel free to go crazy!

Have fun!

Another recipe

Recipe: Chinese Jiaozi / Leeks and Pork Dumplings (韭菜饺子)


1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 cup of chopped chinese chives (韭菜)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoon rice wine
A few dashes of white pepper powder
5 drops of sesame oil

For the skin:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup water

For dipping:

Black vinegar


Mix the flour with water and knead it for about 20-25 minutes or until the dough gets soft. Separate the dough into two equal portions and roll them into cylinders (about 1 inch in diameter). Cover them with wet towel and set aside.

Prepare the chives by chopping off the root (white part) of the chives. Use only the green part. Mix the chives with ground pork and add all the seasonings. Chill in fridge for 30 minutes.

To prepare the skin, cut the dough into 1/4 in. length and use a rolling pin to flatten it until it becomes a round skin about 3 inch in diameter. Put a small spoonful of filling into the center of the skin and seal it up tightly with your fingers. (No pleating is needed for this recipe).

Heat up a pot of hot water until it boils. Drop the dumplings into the boiling water and cover the pot. As soon as the dumplings start to float (meaning they are cooked), dish them out on a serving plate. Serve hot with black vinegar.

Chinese Jiaozi (Pork and Leeks Dumplings)

Chinese Jiaozi / Leeks and Pork Dumplings (韭菜饺子)

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