How to Make Pan-Fried Dumplings

Traditional Chinese fried dumplings are as fun to make as they are to eat. We'll walk you through the recipe.

Fried dumplings, commonly nicknamed pot stickers (or jiaozi in Mandarin Chinese), are a traditional Chinese cuisine that can be served as an appetizer, main course or side dish. Traditionally, they’re a Chinese New Year specialty, but now you can find them year round. We’re so glad.

During the New Year feast, dumplings are eaten to symbolize good fortune; just another reason to love them. According to ancient Chinese legend, the amount of money you will pocket in the coming year can be foreseen by how many dumplings you devour—the more the better! (To taste what all the fuss is about, try our chicken pot stickers or sesame-beef ones.)

This recipe for pork fried dumplings is quick, easy and delicious, so you can be feasting on them in minutes.

What are fried dumplings made of?

Fried dumplings are typically made with a filling of ground meat and vegetables wrapped into a thin piece of dough. They can be eaten alone but taste even better when dunked in a soy or sesame sauce. If you actually have leftovers, you can use them in a pot sticker soup.

How to Pan-Fry Dumplings

This recipe from Marisa Raponi of Vaughan, Ontario, yields 5 dozen tasty dumplings.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup fresh chives, minced
  • 1 large egg white, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 60 pot sticker, wonton or gyoza wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided
  • 1 cup chicken broth, divided
  • additional reduced-sodium soy sauce, for dipping (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Make the filling

In a large bowl, combine the carrots, onion, water chestnuts, chives, egg white, soy sauce and pepper. Add the ground pork and mix it well into the veggie and egg white mix.

Step 2: Fill the wrappers

Place a tablespoon of your filling in the center of each wrapper.

Editor’s tip: Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp paper towel until you’re ready to use them. They’ll be hard to work, and might even crack, with if they dry out.

Step 3: Shape the dumplings

Lightly moisten the wrapper edges with water. Gently fold the wrapper over the filling. Seal the edges by pleating the front side several times to form a pouch. Stand the dumplings on a work surface to flatten the bottoms. To create a crescent moon shape, curve them slightly.

Step 4: Pan-fry the pot stickers

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Arrange one-third of the dumplings flat side down in concentric circles in the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Add 1/3 cup of broth carefully, so it doesn’t splatter.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Continue to cook, covered, for 2 to 3 minutes or until the broth is almost fully absorbed and the pork filling is cooked. Remove the cover from the pan and cook the dumplings for about 1 minute until the bottoms are crisp and the broth is completely evaporated. Repeat with remaining oil, dumplings and broth.

Step 5: Enjoy!

Let the dumplings cool slightly, and serve with additional soy sauce. Eat with your fingers or chopsticks at your next Chinese New Year party, or any time.

Can you freeze the dumplings?

Yep, you can freeze dumplings to enjoy a delicious meal or snack at a later time! Just arrange any of the uncooked dumplings on waxed paper-lined baking sheets and freeze. This will keep them from getting stuck together. Once they’re frozen, transfer them to plastic freezer bags and pop them back in the freezer.

When you’re ready to whip up a batch, cook the frozen dumplings according to the instructions above, increasing the broth amount to 1/2 cup and the simmering time to 4 to 6 minutes.

Want to try more Asian dumpling recipes?

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Ceara Milligan
Ceara “Kiwi” Milligan is a professional marketing strategist and copywriter who is proud to call Milwaukee home. She loves baking, cooking, writing, listening to music, dancing, playing and hosting trivia, watching college basketball (Go Marquette!), telling lame jokes, and petting every dog that crosses her path.