Chinese Pan-Fried Dumplings

Chinese pan fried dumplings

The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

  • Total: 28 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Servings: 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
203 Calories
14g Fat
3g Carbs
15g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 203
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 18%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 53mg 18%
Sodium 137mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 15g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 30mg 2%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 286mg 6%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Delicious crispy pan-fried dumplings are a satisfying favorite. Often they are filled with pork, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and garlic chives, dumplings can take on any filling by replacing some ingredients for others, or skipping some altogether. There are no specific rules regarding the ingredients, only how you cook them. Whether you call them wor tip (roughly translated from Cantonese as “pot stick”), guotie (the Mandarin word), or dumplings, they're great as part of a dim sum spread, or on their own.

Although referred to as "pan-fried," the dumplings actually go through a two-stage cooking process: first, they're fried in oil on one side in a very hot wok and then steamed by adding water to the same wok and covering it. The dumplings are left to steam for a few minutes, resulting in a crispy bottom, soft top, and tender filling.

This filling is made with pork and veggies, like nutritious bok choy and napa cabbage (also called Chinese cabbage), that add color, texture, and flavor. These pan-fried dumplings, also called pot stickers, can be served as is, but are surely tastier when served with a dipping saucehot chile oil, or soy sauce mixed with freshly chopped ginger or a few drops of sesame oil.

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Ingredients

For the Filling:

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy leaves

  • 1/2 cup napa cabbage

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion

  • 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts

  • 1 pound ground pork

  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce

  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

  • Dash of white pepper

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 (48-count) package wonton wrappers (or gyoza wrappers)

  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1/3 cup water (more if needed)

  • Optional:

    1 lightly beaten egg white

  • Optional:

    dipping sauce

Steps to Make It

Note: While there are multiple steps to this recipe, the dumplings are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Chinese pan-fried dumpling filling

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients. Use your fingers to mix everything together. If preparing the filling ahead of time, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Dumpling filling ingredients combined by hand

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Make the Dumplings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for making dumplings

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  2. Place a wonton wrapper on a cutting board. Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out while filling and folding the dumplings. Add a heaping teaspoon of the filling to the middle of the pot sticker wrapper and use your finger to spread it out toward the sides. Be sure not to overfill or spread the filling too close to the edge of the wrapper.

    Wonton wrapper with filling on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  3. To fold the dumpling, moisten the edges of the wrapper with the mixture of water and cornstarch to make it easier to seal. Use the optional egg white instead if you'd prefer.

    Moistening the edges of the wonton wrapper

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  4. Gently lift the edges of the moistened wrapper over the filling and bring it together at the top center. Crimp the edges of the wrapper several times along the edge and pinch together to seal. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling.

    Dumpling is folded and sealed and edges are crimped

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  5. Heat a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add 10 to 12 pot stickers at a time and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bottoms are browned.

    Cooking dumplings in a wok until browned

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  6. Add 1/3 cup water, cover, and steam the dumplings until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

    Adding water to the wok with the dumplings

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  7. Remove and cook the remaining dumplings. Usually, 1/3 cup of water is enough to steam 10 to 12 dumplings, but use more if needed.

    Steaming the dumplings in a wok

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska 

  8. Serve alone or with a homemade dipping sauce.

    Dumplings served with dipping sauce

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

  9. Enjoy.

    Fried dumplings ready to eat

    The Spruce / Ulyana Verbytska

Are Dumplings and Pot Stickers the Same?

  • In essence, you can say they are the same, as the dough and fillings are alike. What makes a pot sticker distinct from other dumplings is that they are both pan-fried and steamed, thus the characteristic crunchy bottom.

Get Creative With Your Fillings

Here are a few suggestions for other proteins you can try putting in your pot stickers. Although not entirely traditional, they make tasty dumplings and allow you to experiment and find what you like best. Simply replace the pork with:

  • Shrimp: clean and thinly minced shrimp
  • Tofu: crumbled extra-firm tofu
  • Rotisserie Chicken: finely chopped leftover chicken
  • Mushroom: a combination of shiitake, portobello, porcini, and king trumpet. Cook the mushrooms separately in olive oil and get rid of most of the cooking liquid. Add the rest of the vegetables to the pan and quickly sauté.

Mix and match your favorite ingredients: mushrooms and tofu, chicken and vegetables, shrimp and pork, or make a few of each.