Pork Dumplings Recipe

Last updated: June 6th, 2024

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Make our juicy, savory pork dumplings recipe with store-bought wrappers for a delicious and easy appetizer, dinner, or late night snack.

Two serving dishes of steamed dumplings, with chopsticks and a dipping sauce

Making dumplings is more than just prepping food, it’s a family activity. Sitting down with my dad to make dumplings has always been one of my favorite food activities (second only to eating buffalo chicken dip). While dumplings are delicious, they are also super fun and creative. That’s why making our tasty pork dumplings recipe is a great way to gather with the ones you love, get your hands messy, and make fun memories.

My dad and I have always enjoyed working to improve both our dumpling recipe and our folding abilities. Creatively folding dumplings is definitely one of the most fun aspects of the process. And although we have made many different variations, some better than others (and plenty of oddly-shaped dumplings), getting to fry some up and taste your hard work is always satisfying.

Now I also get to share the art of dumpling-making with Nicole, and she has fallen in love with making (and eating) dumplings just as much as I have. While the best part is the laughs we share over failed folds, we’ll always be on our quest to make the perfect dumpling.

But no matter what, dumplings are delicious and the memories will last forever.

Two serving dishes of steamed dumplings, with chopsticks and a dipping sauce.

Pork Dumplings Recipe Ingredients

It’s easy to make authentic Chinese pork dumplings at home with ground pork and some typical Asian ingredients. Here’s everything you’ll need to make our recipe:

  • Ground pork
  • Egg
  • Light brown sugar
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Chili garlic sauce
  • Minced garlic
  • Hoisin sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Onion powder
  • White pepper
  • Powdered ginger
  • Mustard powder
  • Scallions
  • Salt
  • Prepackaged dumpling wrappers
  • Water

Although it looks like a long list of ingredients, this recipe is fairly simple. All you need to do is mix the filling – which is made with all of the ingredients above, except for the dumpling wrappers and water – then wrap the dumplings!

Store-bought dumpling wrappers are easy to find and taste great; you can typically find them in a refrigerated section of the grocery store near vegan products like tofu. If you’re feeling ambitious, you can always try making your own dumpling wrappers at home. Red House Spice has a great recipe here!

Steamed pork dumplings.

How To Make Pork Dumplings At Home

This recipe is pretty straightforward, but it does take some time and advanced planning. One pound of ground pork makes enough filling for about 50 dumplings, so it’ll take anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour to fold them all! This will largely depend on how fast you fold, and how many helping hands you have.

The hard work you put in upfront will be so worth it in the end, though. When you’re craving some late-night dumplings or need to whip up a quick side dish for dinner, just grab a few of these straight from the freezer and pan-fry or steam them!

Here’s how to make our pork dumplings in just 2 easy steps:

  1. First, make the filling. Combine all the pork filling ingredients in a large bowl: ground pork, egg, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, minced garlic, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, onion powder, white pepper, powdered ginger, mustard powder, scallions, and salt. Mix well until the filling is thoroughly combined and has a smooth, almost puree-like texture.
  2. Then, fold the dumplings. Fill a small bowl with room temperature water and grab your dumpling wrappers. Working with 1 or 2 wrappers at a time, wet the edges of the wrappers before placing a spoonful of pork filling in the center. Then, take up opposite sides of the wrapper (like you’re making a taco) and pinch them together in the center. Hold this point with one hand, and with the other hand gently push from one end of the wrapper to fold it over itself, working from the middle outwards. Gently pinch between your fingers as you work to create a good seal, then repeat the pattern on the other side of the dumpling until it’s completely sealed.

You’ll want to set up a good work station before folding the dumplings. Lay out a large piece of parchment paper, line a baking sheet with parchment (if you plan on freezing any of the dumplings), and dampen a few paper towels to lay over the stack of wrappers – and the dumplings as you fold them – to keep them from drying out.

If you’re new to folding dumplings, the next section dives deeper into the technique and some resources to help you out. Note that you may want to start with a smaller pork meatball in each wrapper until you get more comfortable with folding techniques!

Wetting the edges of the dumpling wrapper.
Wetting the edges of the dumpling wrapper to prepare for folding.
A pork meatball on a dumpling wrapper.
A pork meatball in the center of the dumpling wrapper before folding.

How To Fold Dumplings

Dumpling folding technique comes with practice – and you’ll get A LOT of practice while making this recipe! So don’t worry if your first few dumplings aren’t perfect. You’ll get the hang of it in no time.

In the steps above, we described how to fold a dumpling the classic way that you’ve probably seen in restaurants. But there are so many creative ways to fold dumplings! Here are a few of our favorites:

  1. The burrito fold: This one is our own creation, named aptly because it looks like a mini burrito to us. Make the taco shape as you would for the classic fold, pinch together in the middle, but then let the edges flare out and pinch them in a direction perpendicular to the center.
  2. The bao bun fold: This one is a bit more complicated, but it’s fun to try! Pick up the dumpling with a claw-shaped hand so that the filling is cradled in the wrapper, sort of like you’re going to form a pouch. Then, use the same technique as the classic fold, using one hand to fold the edges over themselves, but in a circular pattern instead of a straight line.
  3. The wonton fold: This is one of the easier folds to master. All you have to do is hold out both hands with your pointer finger and thumb positioned like pinchers, slip them under opposite sides of the dumpling wrapper, and pinch the wrapper into a four-pointed shape. Seal the edges together in the center first, then work your way outwards in opposite directions to pinch together each of the four seams.

There are a ton of video resources online that will show you how to properly fold a dumpling if you’re more of a visual learner. Since we’re not truly folding experts (yet), here’s a video we find particularly helpful. Don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own unique folds, and remember to have fun!

Tip: No matter how you fold your dumplings, make sure to squeeze all the air out of the wrapper and seal the filling in tightly. Air trapped inside the dumplings can cause them to rupture when cooking, and then you’ll lose all the juices that make these dumplings so moist and flavorful.

A traditional folded dumpling.
The classic dumpling fold
Two bao bun style folded dumplings.
The bao bun fold
A burrito-fold dumpling.
The burrito fold
A wonton-fold dumpling.
The wonton fold

How To Cook Pork Dumplings

Once you’ve had fun folding all your pork dumplings, reward yourself with a freshly cooked batch! There are two ways we recommend preparing these delicious dumplings at home:

  1. Steaming. Fill a large wok with about 2 inches of water and place a bamboo steamer basket over it, so that the bottom of the basket is just above the water (but not touching it). Bring the water to a boil so it starts steaming, then add the dumplings to the basket and steam for about 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Pan-frying. Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium-high heat, then add the dumplings and fry until the bottoms are golden, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to low, add a quarter cup of water to the pan, and cover; let steam for about 4 more minutes, or until the tops of the dumplings are soft.

Note that cook times will be longer if cooking dumplings from frozen; see the section below for more details.

Storing and Reheating Pork Dumplings

Unless you’re planning on having a dumpling party and eating all 50 of these pork dumplings right away, you’ll want to freeze them. We recommend freezing them in single-layer batches on a baking sheet for at least 10-15 minutes, then transferring them to a resealable freezer bag for long-term storage. This way, the dumplings won’t get stuck together once they’re in the bag.

Frozen properly, pork dumplings will stay good for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to cook them, you can simply steam or pan-fry them straight from the freezer – no defrosting required! This is why pork dumplings are one of our favorite easy side dishes and appetizers.

Follow the steaming or pan-frying instructions above, but note that cook times will be longer since the dumplings are frozen. Steaming will take anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes, and pan-frying may take about 12 to 15 minutes total.

A serving dish full of steamed dumplings.

Pork Dumplings: Serving Suggestions

Homemade pork dumplings make a great appetizer, side dish, or snack for just about any occasion. Here are some of our favorite ways to serve them:

Try our easy homemade pork dumplings recipe and see for yourself why they’re so delicious! If you love this recipe, please rate, comment, and share below.


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5 from 2 votes

Pork Dumplings Recipe

Make our juicy, savory pork dumplings recipe with store-bought wrappers for a delicious and easy appetizer, dinner, or late night snack.
Servings 50 dumplings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 8 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

Pork Filling

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon powdered ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard powder
  • 2 medium scallions minced
  • 1 pinch salt

Folding

  • ½ cup water
  • 50 prepackaged dumpling wrappers

For steaming dumplings:

  • Water

For pan-frying dumplings:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  • Combine all pork filling ingredients in a large bowl: ground pork, egg, brown sugar, soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, minced garlic, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, onion powder, white pepper, powdered ginger, mustard powder, scallions, and salt.
    Mix well until the filling is thoroughly and evenly combined and has a smooth, almost puree-like texture.
  • Set pork filling aside and prepare your workstation. Lay out a large sheet of parchment paper to work on, leaving enough room to set wrapped dumplings aside. Additionally, line a baking sheet with parchment paper if you plan to freeze some (or all) of the dumplings. Then, fill a small bowl with room temperature water and set within reach.
    Set the pork filling within reach, along with a small spoon or meatball scoop.
  • Open the package of dumpling wrappers and set the stack on your work surface. Dampen a paper towel and wring it out, then lay it over the stack of dumpling wrappers. This will keep them from drying out as you work.
  • To fold the dumplings:
    Start by placing a single dumpling wrapper flat in front of you on the parchment paper. Dip a finger in the bowl of water and wet around the edge of the wrapper.
    Scoop about a tablespoon of the pork filling into the center of the wrapper.
    To fold the dumpling the "classic" way: take up opposite sides of the wrapper, like you're making a taco. Then pinch together in the middle to begin the seal. Hold this point with one hand, and with the other hand gently push from one end of the wrapper to fold it over itself, working from the middle outwards. Gently pinch between your fingers as you work to create a tight seal, then repeat the pattern on the other side of the dumpling until complete.*
  • Continue working on folding one or two dumplings at a time, setting them aside after they are wrapped. Every once in a while, dampen and wring out a paper towel to lay over a batch of wrapped dumplings to keep them from drying out.
  • Once all the dumplings have been wrapped, leave out as many as you wish to cook at this point. For the remaining dumplings, lay them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 10 to 15 minutes, then transfer to a freezer-safe resealable bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Steaming Dumplings

  • To steam the fresh dumplings, fill a wok with about 2 inches of water so that the water level is just below the steamer basket when placed over the wok.
  • Place the steamer basket over the wok and heat over medium-high until the water is lightly boiling.
  • Place dumplings in the steamer basket with a little space between them, cover, and steam for about 4 to 6 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately.

Pan-Frying Dumplings

  • To pan-fry the fresh dumplings, heat about 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Place dumplings in the pan and fry until the bottoms turn golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Turn the heat to low, then add ¼ cup water to the pan and cover. Steam for about 4 more minutes, or until the tops are soft and dumplings are cooked through. Serve immediately.

Notes

Scooping pork filling into dumplings: The larger the scoop, the harder it will be to fold the dumpling! It might feel silly, but start super small if you are new to dumpling-making, and then work your way up. Check out the images in our post above to see approximately what a “normal” size scoop looks like.
Folding dumplings: Folding dumplings can be challenging, and it’s especially difficult if you’ve never seen it done before. Watch this video to see how it’s done, and learn about different types of folds.
Cooking the dumplings: We recommend either steaming or pan-frying these homemade dumplings. Choose whichever method you prefer, or have the equipment for. Both are delicious!
Serving suggestions: These dumplings taste even better with a side of the sauce from our Spicy Udon Noodle Vegetable Stir-Fry recipe! We recommend making a half batch of sauce for about 5 or 6 dumplings.
You can also make these to use in our spicy Szechuan dumpling soup recipe, or to serve with other Asian dishes like General Tso’s chicken and garlic noodles.
Cooking from frozen: You can heat up these dumplings straight from the freezer – no defrosting required! Just increase the cooking time by about 3 to 4 minutes for each step, whether steaming or pan-frying.
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Author: Alex
Calories: 54kcal
Course: Appetizer, Appetizers, Side Dish, Sides, Snack, Snacks
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: brown sugar, chili garlic sauce, dumpling wrappers, dumplings, egg, hoisin, pork, scallions, sesame oil, soy sauce, steamer

Nutrition

Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.002g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 81mg | Potassium: 38mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 11IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.4mg

If you have any questions regarding the information presented in this post, please refer to our Nutrition Disclaimer here.

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5 from 2 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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