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Making Dumpling Dough from Scratch

This dumpling dough is soft and silky smooth – perfect for boiled dumplings and potstickers! Dumplings come in all shapes and forms. They can be steamed, pan-fried, deep-fried or boiled. But one thing for sure is that there’s nothing more comforting than a bowl of soft, steaming hot and juicy dumplings. They are certainly one of my favorite asian foods to eat.

Making dumplings from scratch can sound very daunting. While it does require a lot of work to make – the filling and the wrappers – if you are patient and follow the steps carefully, it is totally worth the extra efforts. So, let’s dive right into the nitty-gritty details of that recipe!

Tips & Tricks for the Perfect Dumpling

  • Let the dough rest! The longer you let your dough rest, the smoother and silkier it will become. If you do not have much time under your sleeves, you can use your dough once it has rested for at least an hour, but, the longer the better. Ideally, around 3-4 hours is perfect.
  • You want to move fast! Dumpling wrappers dry out quite fast as they are really thin. So, you want to work fast and in batches. If you are working solo, roll and fill the dumplings in batches of 10 or even better; work as a team. One person rolls and the other fills.
  • Use a damp cloth. Make sure to keep your dough and dumplings covered with a damp tea towel every time you are not handling them. This way, they won’t dry out! Hydration is key!
  • Seal them properly. Ensure to seal your dumplings properly or else they will fall apart when boiling.
  • Cook and freeze straight away. Do not let your filled dumplings sit on the countertop for too long or else the dough will absorb all the moisture from the filling and you will end up with soggy dumplings. Either cook them straight away or freeze them.
  • Do not overcrowd the pot. Use a big pot to boil the dumplings and ensure to boil them in batches. The dumplings need space to move around when boiling or else they will stick to each other and to the pot.

How to Freeze your dumplings?

Freezing Filled dumplings: Line a tray with parchment paper. Dust some flour onto the parchment and lay your filled dumplings. Place the tray in the freezer for about 1hour 30mins. Once the dumplings are solid to the touch you can now put them in a ziplock bag. I usually bag them in batches of 10. Boil them when they are still frozen when ready to eat.

Freezing the wrappers: Once you’ve rolled out the wrappers, stack them up with a piece of parchment paper in between each wrapper. Then put your wrapper stack in a ziplock bag and freeze it. Simply thaw them in the fridge before use.

Craving for some soup dumplings (Xiao long bao)? Click here for the recipe!

Dumpling Dough from Scratch

Course: From The Kitchen, HangryCuisine: ChineseDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time


Resting time




  • 500g (4 cups) dumpling flour or all-purpose flour

  • 265ml (1 cup plus 2 tbsp) hot water (just boiled)


  • To prepare the dough
  • Sift the flour in a large bowl
  • Make a well in the centre and slowly add in the warm water
  • Using a pair of chopsticks or a fork mix together the flour and water until it starts to form a dough
  • Then transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead it until it forms a smooth ball (about 10mins). The dough will be quite tough and should NOT be sticky
  • Dust a large bowl with flour and transfer the dough into it. Cover the bowl with a damp kitchen tea towel and let the dough rest for at least 2 hours. I usually leave it to rest for about 4 hours.
  • Once rested, transfer the dough onto a floured surface and knead it again for 5-10mins. The dough will become tough again.
  • Transfer the dough back into the floured bowl, cover it with a damp tea towel and let it rest for another hour or so
  • To shape and fill the dough
  • Once you are ready to roll and fill your dumplings, transfer the dough onto a floured work surface
  • Divide the dough into 6 equal parts. Keep 1 batch on your work surface and place the other batches back into the bowl; covered with a damp towel. You want to work batch per batch while the other batches are kept covered under a damp tea towel.
  • Take your dough and roll it into a long stick/log of about 3cm diameter.
  • Then divide your log into 12 equal parts and dust them with flour on all sides.
  • Using the palm of your hands, slightly press each dough into a small disc and cover them with a damp tea towel.
  • Working with 1 disc at a time; roll each disc into a round circle (about 1mm thick and 7cm diameter), then place it back under the damp towel while you continue to roll out the remaining dough. Try to roll them out so that the edges are thinner than the centre and TA-DA your wrappers are ready to be filled.
  • ** Or instead of steps 6 and 7 – you can use a rolling pin to flatten the dough to about 1mm and use a cookie cutter to cut out circles.
  • Scoop 1 tbsp of your filling in the centre of your wrapper and fold your dumpling, ensuring to seal the edges tightly. I usually use some water to make sure they are perfectly sealed. Place the filled dumpling onto a floured tray, covered with a damp tea towel while you work on filling the remaining wrappers. Here’s an article from The Woks of Life on different folding techniques.
  • To boil the dumplings
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil on medium-high heat
  • Carefully add in the dumplings one at a time, stirring them occasionally so that they don’t stick to the pot.
  • Once the dumplings start to float, allow them to boil for another minute or so or until they are swollen and translucent. Transfer them into a bowl. Drizzle with some chilli oil and Voilà!
  • To cook potstickers
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan over medium heat. Once oil is hot, place the dumplings in the pan, pleat side up.
  • Let the dumplings cook and crisp up for about 2mins.
  • Add 4-6 tbsp of water into the pan, cover it and let the dumplings cook until they absorbed all the water and are cooked through, about 3-4mins
  • Uncover the pan and flip one potsticker to check if the bottom is brown and crispy. If not, allow the potstickers to brown on medium high heat.
  • Transfer to a plate and TA-DA


    Recipe inspired by Omnivore's Cookbook
    Alison Signature

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