Shaping dumplings doesn’t have to be complicated. These are three of the easiest ways I’ve found to fold beautiful dumplings – from super simple, to slightly more complicated – all three are genuinely simple and anyone should be able to do them.
Making a big batch of dumplings is one of my favourite ways to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon in the kitchen. It’s incredibly therapeutic, SO satisfying and once you’re on a bit of a roll, it’s actually a lot easier than you’d think. Over many years of making dumplings, I’ve gone through stages of dumpling shaping – from a very rough, ‘just fold it over’ style, to the prettier pleated version I tend to favour now.
These three ways to fold dumplings are my favourites, and go from super simple to slightly more complicated in terms of technique, but I promise they’re all incredibly achievable, especially with a little practice. I trying out all three and seeing which you prefer!
No matter what shape you choose, there are a couple of non-negotiables you’ll want to remember to make sure they turn out beautifully.
- Don’t overfill your dumpling. If you’re new to dumpling making, I recommend starting with a little less filling. This will make it a lot easier to practice folding and shaping them and once you get more confident, you can increase the amount of filling.
- Use water if needed to help seal the dumplings. This is especially needed if you’re using store-bought wrappers which will be coated in starch so they don’t stick together. Use your finger to run a little water around the edge of your wrapper before filling and sealing. Homemade wrappers are a lot easier to work with, so I encourage you to give them a go.
The siu mai one
This is hands-down the easiest way to fold a dumpling. Spoon a heaped teaspoon of filling into the middle of your dumpling wrapper, then literally pick the dumpling up, and squeeze the sides up around the filling, pressing to seal the wrapper against itself. This is how siu mai dumplings are folded, which you may have come across at Chinese restaurants or at dim sum sessions.
The gyoza one
This is the easiest way I’ve found to make a gyoza-style dumpling. Spoon your filling into the middle of your wrapper, then bring each side together at the top, pressing down against your surface to create a flat bottom for the dumpling.
Squeeze and press the edges together, to create a cheat’s pleating pattern, ensuring you squeeze any excess air out.
The pretty pleated one
This is the way I fold dumplings the majority of the time. It’s easy once you get the hang of it, and it looks so gorgeous with the little pleats. Spoon your filling into the middle of your wrapper. Then, working with one side of the wrapper, make a little fold back on itself. Repeat this about five times, until you’ve folded roughly half the wrapper.
At this point, pull the other half up and press to seal the two edges together. Use your hands to gently curve the dumpling into a half-moon shape.
Watch how to fold the dumplings
Got a question?
Use a little water around the edges of your wrapper to help it stick to itself – store-bought wrappers are caked in starch to stop them from sticking together in their packet, so you’ll need to wet the edges in order to get them to stick.
I recommend freezing the dumplings – they don’t keep well in the fridge especially if you have a wet filling (it will start to seep into the wrapper, make it soggy and you may end up with tears in the dumpling). Lay your folded dumplings out onto a lined tray or plate, on one layer, then freeze until solid. Once solid, transfer to ziplock bags to store.
I tend to cook my dumplings in two ways – steamed and pan-fried. All three shapes work perfectly for these two methods. You can also boil dumplings but shape one isn’t ideal for this (as it’s open and not sealed). Steaming is easiest because you just throw them into a lined steamer (regular metal or bamboo) and then steam for about 10 minutes until the filling is cooked through.
Everything you need for dumpling night
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If you make your own dumplings, I’d love to hear from you! Which shape did you try? You can leave me a comment below.Print