Dumplings for dummies

If you think dumplings from the store are addictive, then just wait until you try some homemade ones.

They’re easy enough to eat but have you ever wondered what goes into making the perfect dumpling? If you think dumplings from the store are addictive, just wait until you try homemade ones.

Dumplings are the perfect way to impress at your next dinner party, and handy to store in the freezer for busy months ahead. Here are five tips to get you from dummy to yummy! 

Choose the right wrapper

You’ll easily find pre-made dumpling wrappers at any one of your local Asian stores.  If it’s your first time making dumplings, store-bought wrappers are the way to go. Making the dough from scratch is a skill that can be mastered after you’ve figured out the basics of dumpling making. The wrapper will dictate how you cook your dumpling. If you have a thin wrapper, it’s meant to be steamed or boiled. If you have a thicker wrapper, it’s meant for a double cook, pan-fry, or deep fry. The most common variety are gyoza wrappers which can be pan-fried or steamed. 

Filling of perfect pairs   

What’s a dumpling without the filling? Get the mix right for your filling will make or break your dumplings. As Brendan Pang shows us, pork and garlic chives are ingredients that pair particularly well. Make sure to get the seasoning right. If you’re not sure, just cook a little bit up as a taster before filling your dumplings.  

Don’t overfill

We get it, you want to maximise each bite, but the easiest mistake you can make is to over-fill your dumplings. You  risk of tearing the skin and messing up the balance between meat and wrapper. Depending on the size of your wrapper, a  1 ½ teaspoon of filling in the centre should be about right. 

Make sure to seal properly

Take extra care when sealing the your dumplings. After going to all the effort of making the filling and wrapping it up, the last thing you want is for everything to come apart at the cooking stage. Wet your finger and run it around half of the wrapper. Fold over and make your way around the dumpling, pinching to make sure the filling is sealed in tight. 

Make a party out of it

Get your friends over and get a production line going. It’ll make the job quick and easy and make the eating part more fun! Work as a team with one person being delegated to filling, one wrapping and another cooking. 

Cook dumplings in small batches in a large pot. Too many at once and they’ll start to stick to the pot. If you’re boiling the dumplings, make sure not to take your eyes off the pot. The whole boiling process will be less than 5 minutes and the dumplings might fall apart if you cook them longer than they need.

If your mouth’s watering and imagination is running wild – head along to the Kleenheat Kitchen at the 2019 Perth Garden Festival for more flavour combinations from our guest chefs plus tips for growing top-notch produce at home.

Kleenheat exclusive – 50% off Perth Garden Festival tickets

We’ve dug up a great deal! Kleenheat customers can enjoy 50% off PGF tickets by simply selecting the Kleenheat member special when placing an order online. Order your tickets.