Pork Dumplings

Our juicy, savory pork dumpling recipe uses store-bought wrappers so that making delicious dumplings right at home is easier than you think. These tasty dumplings store for up to 4 months in the freezer, making them the perfect easy side dish – or late-night snack!
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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 dumpling 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 the 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

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.

And unless you’re planning on having a dumpling party and eating all 50 of them right away, you’ll want to freeze these dumplings strategically. We usually freeze them in single-layer batches on paper plates for at least 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a resealable freezer bag for long-term storage. This way, the dumplings won’t get stuck together once they’re in the bag.

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!

A serving dish full of steamed dumplings

Since making dumplings can be tricky, we’ve included some tips and best practices to show you how to make delicious dumplings at home:

  1. It’s important to never let your dumpling wrappers dry out. Keep them under a damp paper towel while you’re working so they stay soft and flexible.
  2. Always start by wetting the edges of the dumpling wrapper with room-temperature water. This will help you seal it shut later on.
  3. Make sure your pork meatball isn’t too big – otherwise, folding the dumpling could become difficult.
  4. There are a ton of video resources online that will show you how to properly fold a dumpling. Since we’re not folding experts (yet), here’s a video we find helpful.
  5. There are so many creative ways to fold dumplings! Don’t be afraid to experiment and come up with your own unique folds. Keep scrolling to see some examples of our favorite folds for inspiration.
  6. Have fun!
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
A GIF showing how to fold a dumpling
Note: This GIF is not meant to be instructional – if you’re new to dumpling folding, watch this video!
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

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.

Once you’ve had your fun folding all 50 dumplings, reward yourself with a fresh batch! We like to use our bamboo steamer basket to prepare the dumplings, but you can also pan-fry them in a little bit of vegetable oil. (We’ve included directions for both methods in the recipe below.)

Either way, they are incredibly delicious!

Dumplings in a steamer basket on the stove
A fresh batch of dumplings in our bamboo steamer basket.
Tip: a half batch of the sauce from our Spicy Udon Noodle Vegetable Stir-Fry recipe makes a delicious dumpling dipping sauce!
5 from 1 vote

Pork Dumplings

Our juicy, savory pork dumpling recipe uses store-bought wrappers so that making delicious dumplings right at home is easier than you think. These tasty dumplings store for up to 4 months in the freezer, making them the perfect easy side dish or late-night snack!
Servings 50 dumplings
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 8 minutes

Equipment

Ingredients

For the pork filling:

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

For wrapping dumplings:

  • ½ cup water
  • 50 prepackaged dumpling wrappers

For steaming dumplings:

  • Water

For pan-frying dumplings:

  • 1 tbsp 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.
  • Using two forks (or your hands), mix well until thoroughly and evenly combined. The pork filling should have 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. 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 a small plate. 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.
  • 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 a small amount of 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 good seal, then repeat the pattern on the other side of the dumpling until complete.*
  • Continue working on 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.
  • 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 freezer-safe dish or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for at least 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a freezer-safe resealable bag and store in the freezer for up to 4 months.

Steaming Dumplings

  • Fill a wok with enough water so that the water level is just below the steamer basket.*
  • 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.

Pan-Frying Dumplings

  • Heat about 1 tbsp vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Place dumplings in the pan and fry until bottoms turn golden, about 4 minutes.
  • Turn heat to low. Add 1/4 cup water to the pan and cover.
  • Steam for about 4 more minutes, or until the tops are soft and dumplings are cooked through.

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.
Steaming dumplings: To steam dumplings, you’ll need a steamer basket and a wok that the steamer basket can sit over (see the image in our post above for reference). Fill the wok or pan with enough water so that the water level is just below – not touching – the steamer basket.
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 for about 5-6 dumplings.
Cooking from frozen: You can heat up these dumplings straight from the freezer – no defrosting required! Just increase the cooking time by about 2 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
Keyword: brown sugar, chili garlic sauce, 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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