Dumplings 2 Ways

cooked dumplings with bite taken and other dumplings in background

This recipe is from Good and Cheap.

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

My friend Raffaella comes from a huge family and fondly recalls making dumplings with her sisters growing up. (Her brothers just ate them.) Dumplings are a great way to use up veggies that don’t look fresh anymore. Minced inside a dumpling, they come back to life! I’ve provided a couple of ideas here, but as with so many recipes, the filling is up to you. If you mess up and it comes out bland, just dip the dumpling in soy sauce or chile sauce and you’ll still be happy. Or if you’ve made peanut sauce or spice oil lately dip in those.

If budget allows and you want to save time, see whether your grocery store has pre-made dumpling wrappers, usually in the freezer section or Asian aisle. They come round or square and might be called gyoza or wonton wrappers, but any will work.


cooked dumplings with bite taken and other dumplings in background
Dumplings 2 Ways
Print Recipe
Homemade dumplings made with either vegetables and tofu or pork and greens. You decide; steamed, boiled or pan-fried!
Servings
60 dumplings
Servings
60 dumplings
cooked dumplings with bite taken and other dumplings in background
Dumplings 2 Ways
Print Recipe
Homemade dumplings made with either vegetables and tofu or pork and greens. You decide; steamed, boiled or pan-fried!
Servings
60 dumplings
Servings
60 dumplings
Ingredients
Dough
  • 4 cups all purpose flour
  • salt to taste
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup warm water
Veggie Filling
  • 3 cups broccoli finely chopped
  • 2 cups carrot grated
  • 8 oz firm tofu crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 large eggs
Pork Filling
  • 1 lb ground pork or sausage cooked or raw
  • 3 cups collards, chard, spinach or scallions finely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 scallions chopped
  • 2 large eggs
Additions
  • ginger root grated
  • garlic
Instructions
  1. If you’re making your own dumpling dough, add the flour and salt to a large bowl. Make a crater in the middle and crack in the eggs along with the water. Use one hand like a shovel to mix the dough into a shaggy mass. If it seems too dry, add water a few drops at a time. Knead the dough for a minute, then cover it with plastic wrap or a damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  2. Choose one filling or the other. Mix all the filling ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Once the dough has rested, split it into four chunks. Dust your countertop with flour, then roll the first piece of dough into a log. Leave the other pieces covered so that they don’t dry out.
  4. Cut the log into 15 equal slices, then use your hands to form one of the slices into a flat disc. With a rolling pin, flatten the disc into an almost paper-thin circle about the size of a drink coaster.
    dumpling wrappers being cut from log
  5. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of the dough. Lift all the edges to meet in the middle, then pinch it closed like a little parcel. If the dough won’t stick to itself, wet your fingertips and dab the edges.
    dumpling filling being enclosed in dumpling skin
  6. Repeat until you run out of either filling or dough. This is a great time to ask for help from family or friends—one person rolling while others fill and cook.
  7. Now, a tough decision: do you want to steam, fry, or boil your dumplings?
    dumpling on a floured counter before being cooked
  8. To steam them, spread a small amount of oil around a large pan. Fill the pan with dumplings—as many as you can fit without them sticking to each other. Turn the heat to medium and let them sizzle for about a minute. Once the dough has absorbed most of the oil, add about ½ cup of water to the pan, then quickly cover with a lid. The water will splatter and sizzle loudly. Leave the lid on for about a minute to steam the dumplings, then turn the heat down to low and remove the lid. Let it keep cooking until the water evaporates, then turn off the heat. Your dumplings should be steamed on top with crispy, brown bottoms.
  9. To pan-fry them instead, start following the technique above, but use more oil. Skip the water and the lid entirely. Just keep frying! Once the dumplings are golden on one side, flip them to fry the other side. This method is awkward with parcel-style dumplings but works well for other shapes, so plan accordingly.
  10. Alternatively, boil the dumplings by dropping them into a pot of boiling water. When they rise to the top, they’re ready to eat, usually in 1 or 2 minutes.

Tell me what you think!

(Don't worry, your email address won't be published.)

Leanne Brown

Hi! I'm Leanne Brown, a home cook in Brooklyn by way of Canada. I write cookbooks, like the one below!

Sign up for my newsletter!

Good and Cheap cover 2nd edition

Good and Cheap is a gorgeous cookbook for people with limited income, particularly on a $4/day food stamps budget. The PDF is free and has been downloaded more than 1,000,000 times. I have more cookbooks, too!

Sign up for my newsletter!