When I order Chinese take out, I always get gyoza/dumplings! They are crispy, chewy, and so freaking good! When I couldn’t get take out I would scour the frozen isles of my grocery store looking for affordable options of dumplings. However, I could never find a brand I truly loved and that didn’t cost over $4 for 15 dumplings.

Today I am here to tell you I have recently acquired the skill of making dumplings! It is a mostly from scratch recipe and beats paying outrageous prices for frozen dumplings.  The best part of all is that you can make them whatever flavor you want! So far I have made pork, chicken, and shrimp dumplings, using all different types of flavoring to make everything meld together, but you could do all veggies, steak, beef, fish, and so much more!  Here is my way of making these pockets of perfection:

The Basics

  • Gyoza wrappers – be careful when buying these at the grocery store that you aren’t getting spring roll wrappers, they are much too thin for the dumpling filling you will use.
  • Your meat (or meats) of choice – I use 1 lb of raw ground pork and  10 jumbo raw shrimp for my pork and shrimp recipe.  For my pork and chicken recipe I use 1 lb of raw ground pork and half of a rotisserie chicken.  You could use raw ground chicken too but I find it easier to have already shredded chicken available.  Also if using any other meats just make sure they are in small pieces since you only have so much room on each dumpling wrapper.
  •   Veggie and more – I have used green onions, cabbage, garlic and ginger in my dumplings so far but you can also use carrot, scallions, peanuts, mushrooms, celery, and so much more!
  • Seasonings – I use salt, black pepper, sesame oil, shaoxing wine, and soy sauce.  You can also use fish sauce, sugar to round out your flavorings, crushed red pepper flakes, and any other spices and flavors you enjoy.
  • Liquids – Water for sealing and steaming your dumplings, cooking oil for your pan, and alcohol for drinking!

What You’ll Need

½ a head of cabbage

1 pound of ground pork

10 large shrimp, deveined, tailless, and diced (This is how I do mine ↓)

1 bunch of scallions or green onions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 clove of garlic, finely minced

About a 2 inch piece of ginger, grated on a microplane

3 tablespoons of soy sauce

2 tablespoons of sesame oil

3 table spoons of Shaoxing wine

1 package of Gyoza wrappers (kept thawed in the fridge until use)

1 large fry pan, skillet, or wok with lid

mixing bowls of various sizes

mixing utensils

What you’ll do

  1. Slice up your cabbage. You’ll want finely sliced same sized pieces. Once sliced put in large mixing bowl. Some recipes tell you to add salt to your cabbage and set it aside for 5 minutes to release excess liquids then ring it out after the 5 minutes is up.  I haven’t done this personally but if you are worried about soggy dumplings this would be a way to help prevent sogginess.
  2. Combine the shit out of everything! Add your pork, shrimp, scallions, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and Shaoxing wine to the bowl of cabbage. Mix with your hands or a rubber scraper until everything in combined.
  3. Get ready to work. Clear space on your counter to prepare the dumplings. you’ll need a small bowl of water, your bowl of dumpling filling, the dumpling wrappers, a damp wash cloth,  and your alcoholic beverage of choice to keep you calm in this long process.20170224_185928
  4. Assembly – take one dumpling wrapper, either place it in the palm of your less dominant hand or work on a flat surface, and put about 1 spoonful of filling in the center. this may seem like not enough filling but using anymore makes the dumpling burst, not seal properly , or just go wonky.20170224_191803
  5. Sealing it up. Next dip your finger or fingers in the bowl of water and line the edges of the wrapper.  This is going to help seal everything in.20170224_191818
  6. The Crimpening! Now the crimping process is hard to do at first but once you understand the fold you have the technique down and are making dumplings like a pro! Once the edges of the wrapper are lined with water fold the dumpling in half. Now this is the hard part – Use your thumbs and fingers to fold pleats on either side of the dumpling, then press firmly to seal the dumpling closed. You may need to add  a little water under the pleat to make it stick closed. Here is a video example if my words are confusing and are turning your dumpling into piles of weird food blobs.20170224_19180920170224_191744
  7. Lets get cooking, heat 1 t 2 TBSP of  cooking oil (preferable something with a high smoke point) in a large skillet or wok. Place 8 to 10 dumplings in your pan and brown on both sides. Once they are browned I like to remove my dumplings a set aside making sure I brown all the dumplings I make before I steam them.
  8. To Steam, I put the dumplings back in my pan of choice and add about a half cup or more of water then cover for about 2 minutes. This will steam your dumplings if you notice the water is evaporating faster than you’d like just add more. Repeat until every dumpling is steamed.

  9. Serve! I like to make fried rice and serve these on top or I serve these by themselves with sweet chili sauce or soy sauce! Or you could serve them with a meal or for appetizers! Really anything works 🙂


I hope you enjoy making these and see that they are actually super easy and even better than frozen or sub par takeout!!