Making dumplings is so much fun that you will want your whole family to get involved! These fresh, earthy and savory dumplings are filled with mushrooms and cabbage, making them vegetarian and delightful on the palate!

Homemade Chinese Dumplings

Making dumplings can look intimidating at first: it’s a dish that hails from China, a country renowned for its good food and complex cuisine, and it involves folding a wrapper made of dough in such a way that it looks like a perfect little pillow.

I certainly doesn’t look like the easiest thing to make!

I felt the same way the first time I made dumplings. I expected them to look like poop, like the ones that don’t make the cut in a dumpling factory or dim sum restaurant and end up in the trash bin.

But as soon as I started folding I realized it wasn’t that hard to make. My first dumpling looked surprisingly good and I got better at it as I kept on folding. Since then I have been making them on a regular basis and truly enjoy the process. There’s something very calming about repeating the same action over and over again, it puts me in an almost meditative state.

Plus, I love looking at the final result – a plate full of yummy dumplings that my family devours with excitement each and every time.

Today I’m going to show you how to make Chinese dumplings step by step with the option of steaming them, pan frying them, or boiling them. Let’s cook!

How to make dumplings

What are Dumplings?

Taken from the adjective dump which means ‘of the consistency of dough’, dumpling is a term used for any type of food consisting of a piece of dough that’s wrapped around a filling or that contains no filling. There are many different varieties of dumplings available from several countries around the world but the most well known are the Chinese dumplings, which isn’t surprising since they are so delicious!

Ingredients for Dumplings

  • Dumpling Wrappers: Use the regular size ones which are about 3 1/2 inches in diameter.
  • Oil: Use a neutral oil such as grapeseed or vegetable oil to pan fry the ingredients for the filling. Only 1 tablespoon is needed.
  • Water: You will need water to steam,  pan fry, or boil the dumplings.
  • Vegetarian filling: The filling is a mixture of mixed mushrooms, cabbage, sesame oil, nutritional yeast, garlic, scallions, whisked egg (or flaxseed egg if you are vegan), and salt and pepper.
  • Dipping sauce: Choose whatever type of sauce you like to eat these dumplings with. You can choose something sweet like plum sauce, hoisin sauce (homemade is 100 times better), or one of my two favorite dumpling dipping sauces.

Filling variations

Here are a few variations you can play with for the filling (or you can come up with your own too, obviously 😀):

  • Add your favorite protein such as shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef, in place of half of the mushrooms. Or try chopped tofu or Beyond Meat’s Hot Italian Sausages to stick to a plant based meal, they are delicious!
  • Use more shredded cabbage and some chopped carrots in place of half of the mushrooms.
  • Add some chopped canned bamboo or chopped water chestnuts to add a little crunch.
  • Add cooked glass noodles in place of half of the mushrooms to load up on carbs.
  • Add chopped Thai chilies or some red pepper flakes to add some heat.
How to make Chinese dumplings

How to Make Dumplings

  1. Place all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and stir well.
  2. Place a frying pan on a burner over medium heat and add the oil and filling. Cook for 7-10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through. Return the filling mixture to the bowl and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Let’s make the first dumpling! Grab a wonton wrapper and hold it near the palm of your hand.
  4. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of the mushroom and cabbage filling and place it in the center of it.
  5. Wet your index finger and run it around the edges of the wrapper. This helps the dough to seal better.
  6. Fold the dumpling in half and start by pinching the center of the wrapper opposite the palm of your hand, and press it against the flat side. The half of the wrapper that is in the palm of your hand stays flat the whole time, it never gets pinched. Now keep on pinching the same side until you get a fan like shape and press it against the flat side of the wrapper after each pinch.
  7. When all the dumplings have been made, it’s time to cook them! You can either steam them, pan fry them, or boil them.

dumpling in bamboo steamer

How to Steam Dumplings

  1. Grab your bamboo steamer, or other steaming device, and line it with napa cabbage leaves or a couple of layers of cheesecloth. My bamboo steamer came with liners so I’m using that to prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bottom. You can also use cooking spray for metal baskets which works pretty well.
  2. Place the dumplings in the steamer basket in a single layer, making sure to leave a little space between each piece. Repeat for the second basket (if you are using a bamboo steamer) and put the lid on.
  3. Fill a skillet with 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Place the bamboo steamer in the skillet and let the dumplings steam for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Take the dumplings out of the baskets as soon as they are ready, otherwise they will start to stick.
  5. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

dumpling in a frying pan

How to Pan Fry Dumplings

  1. Add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil such as grapessed or vegetable oil to a skillet and turn the heat to medium high.
  2. When the oil is hot, place the flat side of the dumplings in the pan in a single layer and leave a little space between each of them.
  3. Add 3 tablespoons of water and cover the skillet with a lid.
  4. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. The dumplings are ready to eat at this point but I recommend leaving them in the pan for a little longer, until the bottom of the wrappers turns golden brown.
  5. Flip the dumplings and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until the skin turns golden brown. Crispy dumplings are so yummy!
  6. Transfer the dumplings to a plate and serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

How to Boil Dumplings

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 6 to 8 dumplings.
  2. Boil for 3-4 minutes, until they are cooked through and transfer the dumplings to a plate.
  3. Repeat the same step for the second and third batch.
  4. Serve with dipping sauce.
Mushroom Cabbage Dumplings

What to Serve with Dumplings 🥟

Are the dumplings the star of your meal or are they more of a side dish?

If they are the star of your meal, serve them with other small dishes such as:

If they are a side to an Asian style dinner, serve them with:

Homemade Chinese Dumplings with soy sauce

Did you like this Mushroom Cabbage Dumplings Recipe? Are there changes you made that you would like to share? Share your tips and recommendations in the comments section below!

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Mushroom Cabbage Dumplings

These fresh, earthy and savory dumplings are filled with mushrooms and cabbage, making them vegetarian and delightful on the palate!

  • Author: Caroline Phelps
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minutes
  • Yield: 20 dumplings 1x
  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Steaming
  • Cuisine: Chinese
  • Diet: Vegetarian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 20 dumpling or gyoza wrappers (small, about 3.5 inches in diameters)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or grapeseed oil

Filling:

  • 9 ounces button mushrooms or mixed mushrooms (I like to do half button mushrooms and half fresh shiitake mushrooms), finely chopped
  • 4 ounces green cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 large whisked egg or 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 2 1/2 tablespoons water for vegan recipe
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients for the filling in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Transfer the filling to a skillet, along with the oil, and cook on medium high for 7-10 minutes, until the mushrooms and cabbage are cooked. Return the filling to the bowl and let it cool until it reaches room temperature. 
  3. Take one wonton wrapper and place it near the palm of your hand. Scoop about 1 full tablespoon of the filling and place it in the center of the wrapper.
  4. Seal the dumpling by wetting the edges with a little water (dip your index finger in water and run it across the edges of the wrapper).
  5. Fold the dumpling in half and pinch the center of the wrapper opposite the palm of your hand, and press it against the flat side. The half of the wrapper that is in the palm of your hand stays flat the whole time, it never gets pinched. Now keep on pinching the same side until you get a fan like shape and press it against the flat side of the wrapper after each pinch (please refer to the photos in the post for a step-by-step tutorial on how to fold dumplings).
  6. Place the dumpling on a plate and repeat until all the dumpling wrappers have been used.

Steamed Dumplings

  1. Cover the bamboo steamer baskets with the liner they comes with, or with napa cabbage or a couple of layers of cheesecloth. If you are using a steaming device made of metal, you can use cooking spray to spray the bottom of the basket.
  2. Place the dumplings in the basket in a single layer, making sure to leave a little space between each of them so they don’t stick together during the steaming process.
  3. Pour 2 inches of water in a skillet and bring it to a boil. Cover the top basket with a lid and place the bamboo steamer in the skillet. Steam for 7-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer the dumplings to a plate as soon as they are cooked and serve with dipping sauce.

Pan Fried Dumplings

  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and when the oil is hot, carefully place a few dumplings in a single layer making sure not to overcrowd the pan. Overcrowding the pan lowers the temperature of the skillet and makes the dumplings mushy. Make sure there’s enough space between each dumpling so they can move a little. I usually don’t put more than 8-10 at a time.
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of water to the skillet and cover with a lid. Cook for 6-7 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. The dumplings are ready to eat at this point but I recommend leaving them in the pan for a little longer, until the bottom of the wrappers turns golden brown. Flip them and let the other side get a little color too.
  3. Transfer the dumpling to a plate and serve with dipping sauce.

Boiled Dumplings

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 6 to 8 dumplings.
  2. Boil for 3-4 minutes, until they are cooked through and transfer the dumplings to a plate.
  3. Repeat the same step for the second and third batch.
  4. Serve with dipping sauce.

Notes

Freshly cooked dumplings will keep in the fridge, in an airtight storage container, for up to 3-4 days.

TO FREEZE DUMPLINGS:

  1. Place the dumplings on a plate in a single layer, cover with plastic wrap, and place in the freezer until the dumplings are frozen.
  2. Transfer them to an airtight storage container or airtight plastic bag and put them back in the freezer.
  3. They will last for up to 3 months.

Keywords: Side, dim sum, gyoza, snack

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