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How to make homemade Chinese dumplings

Updated on August 2, 2012
5 stars from 2 ratings of Chinese Dumplings

What are Jiao zi?

Chinese dumplings are also known as jiao zi (pronounced jowdzer). They consist of a ground meat or vegetable filling wrapped in a thin layer of pastry that is folded in pleats on the one side. Jiao zi can be steamed, boiled or fried and is best served with a dipping sauce of soy, vinegar, garlic and ginger. It is believed that jiao zi were first invented by a famous Chinese Medicine Man called Zhang Zhongjing. Although the preparation takes some time, jiao zi are very easy to make and can be frozen.

Dough for making Chinese dumplings
Dough for making Chinese dumplings
You'll need a rolling pin and board
You'll need a rolling pin and board
Use a drinking glass to cut out your circle shapes
Use a drinking glass to cut out your circle shapes
Pork mince filling
Pork mince filling
Half-moon shaped jiao zi
Half-moon shaped jiao zi
A tray of jiao zi or Chinese dumplings ready for cooking or to be packed for freezing
A tray of jiao zi or Chinese dumplings ready for cooking or to be packed for freezing
Delicious homemade Chinese dumplings
Delicious homemade Chinese dumplings
Boiled jiao zi
Boiled jiao zi
Steamed dumplings and dipping sauce
Steamed dumplings and dipping sauce

Cook Time

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 10 min
Ready in: 2 hours 10 min
Yields: Makes about 60 individual pieces


  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 cups warm water
  • 500g pork mince
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 large cabbage leaves, finely diced
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • pinch salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh garlic, finely chopped
  1. Put the flour into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre.
  2. Pour the water in a little at a time, and knead the dough until smooth and it no longer sticks to your hands.
  3. Let the dough rest while you prepare the filling.
  4. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a separate bowl to make the filling.
  5. Knead the dough on a floured surface. Break off pieces the size of a handful and roll out thinly on the floured surface.
  6. Use the open edge of a drinking glass to cut circle shapes out of your thinly rolled dough. Place these on a plate ready to be filled.
  7. Repeat this step until you have used up all the dough. You should get roughly 60 dough circles.
  8. Place a small spoonful of the filling in the centre of the dough circle.
  9. Fold the two sides of the circle over the centre to creat a half-moon shape. Press down the edge and then pleat the edge to seal the filling in.
  10. For steaming, line a steamer with cabbage leaves to prevent sticking, and place jiao zi on the cabbage leaves. Steam for about 6 minutes until cooked.
  11. For boiling, add jiao zi to a pot of boiling water and let them boil for about 5 minutes or until they float to the surface. I like to add two stock cubes to the boiling water for extra flavour.
  12. For frying fry the jiao zi in medium hot oil for 2-3 minutes until golden brown on the bottom. The add half a cup of water and cover the frying pan, letting the jiao zi steam for another 3 minutes. This creates a delicious blend of textures, with the bottom half crispy and the top half soft.
  13. The pork mince can be replaced by any kind of minced meat, shrimp or finely diced vegetables like spinach.
  14. To make a dipping sauce, mix together some soy sauce, vinegar and add in a half a teaspoon of finely chopped ginger and a half a teaspoon of finely chopped garlic. Add in a small pinch of chilli powder if you like it to have a bite.


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    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 5 years ago from Cape Town

      Susan, I plan on making some this weekend!

    • susansisk profile image

      susansisk 5 years ago from Georgia, USA

      Another recipe I will have to save. We have the best recipes here on the hub!

    • profile image

      cattleboyz 5 years ago

      Thanks Rebecca, so glad that you found the instructions and photos useful!

    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 5 years ago from Cape Town

      TOF, drbj, HandControls and Shamelabboush - thanks for sampling my dumplings!

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 5 years ago

      I absolutely love and adore dumblings. This is what attracted me to this hub. It's always my first choice. Good one cindyvine. Now you made me hungry.

    • HandControls profile image

      HandControls 5 years ago from Shenzhen, China

      I'm in china, and had the real deal today, what a win, I prefer em fried but they love em steamed over here.

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 5 years ago from south Florida

      Thanks, Cindy, for this yummy recipe. I love dumplings, Chinese, Italian, Jewish - every ethnicity.

    • The Old Firm profile image

      The Old Firm 5 years ago from Waikato/Bay Of Plenty, New Zealand

      Hi Cindy, definitely my kind of recipe. And the sauce with chilli. I'll save this and try it out later.



    • cindyvine profile image

      Cindy Vine 5 years ago from Cape Town

      Thanks Patty! Some recipes add in bamboo shoots, but my daughter doesn't like them so I don't include them. The recipe works without them anyway.

      Creativelycc, we took the photos each step of the way. Making these dumplings was a great bonding session for my teenage daughter and myself. They freeze well so you can make a big batch and freeze them for your hubby!

    • creativelycc profile image

      Carrie L. Cronkite 5 years ago from Maine

      My husband loves these dumplings, he always orders them with his meal when we eat out. Now I can make them for him. Excellent illustrations!

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Excellent recipe - I adore these dumplings and now I can use your recipe to make them. Rate up across the board, except funny - although these dumplings do make me smile.