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Speedy Smash Dumpling Tacos

Mar 25, 2024 | 27 comments

All the flavor of juicy dumplings, without the faff and in a fraction of the time. Switch up your taco night with these super speedy, super easy smash dumpling tacos. Just press your dumpling filling onto mini tortillas, pan-fry, load up your toppings then drizzle with chilli oil and dumpling dipping sauce.

Dumpling taco on a wooden board, with more tacos in the background.

The viral Big Mac smash burger tacos are such a clever idea, and I figured the same technique would 100% work for a different flavor profile. As a SERIOUS dumpling lover, they sprung to mind first.

Most of the time I tend to have a batch of dumplings stashed away in my freezer for emergencies, but these LOVELY tacos are perfect for those times when I don’t and a dumpling craving hits. Dumplings are delicious, but they tend to be fiddly and time-consuming to make, so they’re just not feasible on a busy weeknight. But these smash dumpling tacos? They’re the perfect quick and easy weeknight meal.

The method is the same as those viral burger tacos. Just mix your dumpling filling, press it into mini tortillas and pan-fry until crispy. I like to spoon over some quick-pickled cucumber, cilantro, lots of chilli oil and dumpling dipping sauce to serve.

Ingredients

Ingredients for dumpling tacos laid out and labelled.
  • Ground pork. For the best, juiciest result, you want to go for pork that isn’t TOO lean. If it is, it can end up being a little dry and you’ll want to add more of the chilli oil and dipping sauce to keep things nice and juicy. If you don’t want to use pork, you could use ground chicken, turkey or a plant-based ground meat alternative.
  • Black vinegar. This lovely, deep and super umami vinegar is almost a little like Worcestershire sauce. It brings a lovely savory element to the tacos, but you could use rice wine vinegar if you can’t find it.
  • Cilantro (coriander). I know this is a divisive herb so if you’re in the camp of those who don’t like it, swap it out for mint, Thai basil, garlic chives or flat-leaf parsley.
  • Ginger. If you don’t want to use or don’t have fresh ginger, you can use 2 teaspoons of ginger paste instead.
  • Mini tortillas. I’m using regular flour tortillas, but you could use wholemeal or corn tortillas instead.

How to make them

Add all the ingredients for your dumpling filling to a large bowl, and mix well to combine. You want to make sure everything is spread evenly throughout the pork.

Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the mixture onto one of your mini tortillas. Use the back of your spoon to spread it out on a very thin layer, covering the entire tortilla. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Heat a little oil in a large frying pan or skillet, then place the tortillas, filling side down, onto the pan. Use a fish slice or spatula to press down on the tortilla to help the pork topping cook evenly and get lovely and crispy. Cook for 4 minutes, then flip the tacos and cook for another minute, to crisp up the tortilla.

Remove from the pan, cover with aluminium foil to keep warm and repeat with the rest of the tacos. Top each taco with a little quick pickled cucumber, cilantro, scallions and sesame seeds, and drizzle with chilli oil or dumpling dipping sauce.

Got a question?

Can I make the tacos ahead of time?

You can assemble the tacos ahead of time (spread the dumpling mixture onto the tortillas), then refrigerate for up to 24 hours before cooking. They’re best right after they’re cooked, but you can reheat them. Heat them in the microwave at 30-second intervals until piping hot, or you can crisp them back up on the stovetop for a couple of minutes.

Can I use something instead of pork?

Yes! Swap the ground pork for ground chicken or turkey, or use a plant-based alternative.

Are the tacos spicy?

There’s nothing spicy in the mixture itself – any spice comes from the chilli oil or dipping sauce you spoon on top. If you’re making them for kids, skip the chilli oil and just use soy sauce, or you could use sweet chilli jam.

Watch how to make them

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Dumpling taco on a wooden board, with more tacos in the background.

Speedy Smash Dumpling Tacos


Description

All the flavor of juicy dumplings, without the faff and in a fraction of the time. Switch up your taco night with these super speedy, super easy smash dumpling tacos. Just press your dumpling filling onto mini tortillas, pan-fry, load up your toppings then drizzle with chilli oil and dumpling dipping sauce.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the dumpling tacos –

  • 3 scallions (spring onions)
  • A handful of cilantro leaves (coriander)
  • 1lb/500g ground pork mince
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-inch piece of ginger, grated (or 2 teaspoons ginger paste)
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon black vinegar (or rice vinegar)
  • Black pepper
  • 12 mini tortillas
  • Olive oil

For the pickled cucumber –

  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

To serve –


Instructions

  1. Make the dumpling mixture. Finely slice the scallions and cilantro, then add most of it (keep aside a little to top your tacos with at the end) to a mixing bowl along with the ground pork, crushed garlic, grated ginger, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, 2 teaspoons of fish sauce, 1 tablespoon of black vinegar and a good grind of black pepper. Mix to combine, making sure all the seasoning is evenly spread throughout the pork.
  2. Prepare your toppings. Mix the diced cucumber with 1 tablespoon of rice vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt, then set aside.
  3. Assemble the tacos. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the pork filling onto each mini tortilla, and use a spoon to press the mixture into a thin layer, ideally filling up one side of the tortilla.
  4. Cook the tacos. Set a large frying pan or skillet over medium-high heat, and add a drizzle of olive oil. Place the topped tortillas, dumpling mixture down, onto the pan and use a fish slice to press the tortilla into the pan. Cook for four minutes, then flip the tacos and cook for another minute, just to crisp up the tortilla. Remove from the pan, then repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
  5. Garnish and serve. Spoon the pickled cucumber onto each taco, then scatter over the set-aside cilantro and scallions. Finish with the sesame seeds. Drizzle a little dumpling dipping sauce or chilli oil (or both!) on top of each taco, and serve with more sauce on the side.

Notes

STORAGE INSTRUCTIONS: The tacos are best enjoyed right away, but you can prep them ahead of time. Once mixed, the filling itself will keep well for 3 days in the fridge, ready to be spooned onto your tortillas. You can also spread the filling onto your tortillas 24 hours ahead of time if you like, then just pan-fry to serve. Reheat any leftovers in the microwave at 30-second intervals until piping hot, or you can crisp up the tacos in a frying pan on the stovetop over medium heat.

INGREDIENT NOTES: Swap pork for chicken, turkey or a plant-based alternative if you prefer. If you don’t like cilantro (coriander), use mint, Thai basil, flat-leaf parsley or garlic chives. 

  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Category: fakeaways
  • Method: stove top
  • Cuisine: american

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 3 tacos
  • Calories: 593
  • Sugar: 1.2g
  • Sodium: 1482.9mg
  • Fat: 35.6g
  • Saturated Fat: 10.5g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 21.4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 40.9g
  • Fiber: 0.5g
  • Protein: 26.9g
  • Cholesterol: 81.8mg

Keywords: gyoza tacos, dumpling tacos

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I’m Kate, the creator behind Dished. I love creating flavour packed, simple (ish) recipes for you, designed for every day and special occasions.

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27 Comments

  1. Laurie Pieken

    Loved this! I used ground turkey and added some diced shitake mushrooms! Thanks for the inspiration!! It was a hit with the whole family!

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      Sounds amazing Laurie!! Love those swaps and so happy your whole family loved x

      Reply
  2. Arabella

    Tried this last night, so easy and even the kids loved it! Used chicken instead of pork and it worked really well

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      It’s always a win when the whole family can enjoy something right! So pleased you all loved x Kate

      Reply
  3. Melissa Holmes

    Great recipe. Easy to follow the steps. I will definitely be making this again.

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      So happy you enjoyed it Melissa, and great that it was easy to follow too x Kate

      Reply
      • Michelle

        Do you think this would work with rice paper, for those of us who are gluten free? Or just need to stick to corn tortillas or other gf tortillas?

        Reply
        • Kate Phillips

          Hi Michelle! I don’t think rice paper would work, but regular GF tortilla or corn tortillas will be fine! You might find it a little harder for the meat to stick to a corn tortilla, but it doesn’t MASSIVELY matter – you’ll still have all the flavor and can still enjoy them the same way x Kate

          Reply
      • Jennifer

        This was a huge hit with the whole family. So easy to make!

        Reply
        • Kate Phillips

          This makes me so happy to hear Jennifer! So pleased you all loved them x Kate

          Reply
  4. Charlotte

    New family fave!! It worked so well

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      Yayyyyy!! I’m so happy you all enjoyed it x Kate

      Reply
      • Yamilet Andreu

        This was delicious!! The only issue is that we couldn’t get the ground beef to stick to the tortillas. The flavors were amazing though. Any advice on getting it to stick? We’re using low carb tortillas so I’m not sure if that would have an effect on it. Thank you again!

        Reply
        • Kate Phillips

          I’m so happy you loved them Yamilet!! You want to really press down quite firmly on the tortilla in the pan so it presses into the meat while it’s cooking and make sure you pan is nice and hot so the meat cooks quickly and it forms a crispy crust and kind of cooks into the tortilla on top of it x

          Reply
  5. Ella McDowell

    Just came across this recipe and it was a success. I had everything already to make my version. Not a fan of cilantro (I have the soap gene) so I only used a tiny amount. My picky teen almost ate them from the skillet, I could barely plate them. Next time I’ll try cutting the cucumber in strips and add julienne carrots.

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      I’m so pleased you loved it Ella! Cilantro is definitely a love or hate thing so I totally get it, haha. Amazing that your teen was a fan too xx

      Reply
  6. Anna

    So happy I found this recipe, the whole family loved them and they were very easy.

    Reply
  7. DC Bryant

    Would it work with dumpling/egg roll wrappers instead of tortillas?

    Reply
  8. Nicole

    I’m not normally a huge dumpling girl but these were incredible! Love all the crisp to these. The flavors were balanced, filling and fresh. Can’t wait to make them again!

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      I’m so so happy you loved them Nicole, especially if you’re not normally a dumpling girl!! Thanks so much for the lovely comment x Kate

      Reply
  9. Kaitlyn Powell

    These look great! Do you have any other suggestions for filling? Not a fan of cucumber.

    Thanks 😊

    Reply
    • Kate Alexandra

      Hey Kaitlyn 🙂 You could use red/white cabbage (you can pickle them quickly like the cucumber too) or julienned carrots – something crunchy like that is ideal x Kate

      Reply
  10. Lisa Golden

    Fun way to mix up meals in our house. Everyone enjoyed this take on dumpling tacos. Do make this with the dipping sauce for a nice bit of spice

    Reply
    • Kate Phillips

      This is so lovely to hear!! So happy you all enjoyed them – and yessss, agree re: the sauce! It really makes them x Kate

      Reply
  11. Pamela Nisbet

    Okay these are off the charts good. I added a little Siracha sauce and pickled red onions, cucumber and daikon. It was so freakin good

    Reply
    • Kate Phillips

      LOVEEEE those additions!! So so happy you loved x Kate

      Reply

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