Jamaican Spinners (Dumplings)

Jamaican Spinners (Dumplings)

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 18 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yields: 24 dumplings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
114 Calories
0g Fat
24g Carbs
3g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 114
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 267mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 24g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 7mg 1%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 33mg 1%
*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.)

Jamaican spinners are a type of dumpling, but they're different than what you might expect. While the goal for other types of dumplings is to make them light and fluffy so that they float on top of the broth, Jamaican spinners are dense and hearty. These dumplings also are known as "spinners and sinkers" because their long, tapered shape causes them to sink and spin while they cook, whereas traditional dumplings bob and float.

Best of all, these Jamaican dumplings only require three ingredients to make. The dumplings are typically made of all-purpose flour, though sometimes cornmeal is added. They can be boiled and eaten as a side dish, perhaps with a little melted butter on the top, or cooked in soups and stews.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Water, as needed

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jamaican Spinners (Dumplings) ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a small bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add just enough water, a little at a time, to make a stiff dough. Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

    dough ball in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Pinch off about 1/2 ounce of dough and roll it between the palms of your hands to form a softly tapered cylindrical shape. Repeat until all of the dough has been transformed into spinners.

    rolling dough to form a softly tapered cylindrical shape

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. The spinners can be cooked in a pot of boiling salted water for about 5 to 7 minutes or added to a soup or stew 5 minutes before the dish is due to finish cooking.

    spinners cooking in a pot, spinner in a small strainer

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Serve and enjoy!

    Jamaican Spinners (Dumplings)

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Recipe Variations

  • Cornmeal dumplings: Add 1/4 cup of cornmeal to the flour mixture.
  • Jamaican spiced spinners: Work the spices of Jamaican jerk seasoning into the dough by adding 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a dash of cayenne pepper (or more, depending on your heat tolerance).
  • Potato dumplings: Add to the dough 1 cup of mashed potatoes, 1 beaten egg, and 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder. These dumplings are more likely to sink than spin.

Tips

  • Add the spinners to Jamaican chicken soup, which is made with chicken thighs, kabocha squash, Scotch bonnet or habanero peppers, and allspice for a distinct flavor.
  • Play around with the size of the spinners. Larger dumplings will take longer to cook when you add them to soup or boiling water.
  • The spinners can be made in advance and kept, uncooked, in the fridge for up to three days.
  • Freeze the uncooked spinners by placing them on a cookie sheet and putting them in the freezer until they're hard. Once they're solid, remove the spinners from the cookie sheet and put them in a freezer-grade plastic bag and store for up to three months.
  • Frozen spinners don't need to be thawed before cooking. Put them in boiling water or soup and check after 10 minutes to make sure they're cooked through.