Okay, I can be an overly obsessive cook. That’s probably why you’re here! After making enough gluten-free pot stickers to satisfy my curiosity, I had a fine amount of dough and filling leftover. The great thing about dumplings is their versatility. With the basic dumpling dough in your back pocket, you can use different fillings, create different shapes, and cook your dumplings in a variety of ways.
Pot stickers are pan-fried so I got that one out of the way. Pan-frying dumplings technically combines frying and steaming. I pondered what else I could do with gluten-free basic dumpling dough. How would the doughs — dough #2 (millet, sorghum, tapioca, and potato) and dough #3 (sweet rice, millet, and tapioca) — perform when poached, steamed, deep-fried, and frozen? Below are my findings:
After you’ve rolled the wrapper into a thin circle, you’re ready to go in a variety of directions with regard to the shape. At first, I tried the half moon and pea pod before progressing to the pleated crescent.
No problems with those. Feeling confident, I tried the big hug, which starts out as a half moon. Because there is a certain amount of pulling on the dough, forming the big hug with gluten-free dough was not easy. One of the dumplings busted a bit so I patched it up with leftover dough. You can’t see the busted one in the above tray but it’s there. Cooked up just fine.
Gluten-free dumpling wrappers have to be moistened at the edge to seal. Trying to do the closed satchel shape was challenging. You cannot pull up on the dough and gather it easily in an accordionlike fashion. I instead made the wrapper extra thin and big, then gathered at the rim. That was no easy task; scroll down to the steamed dumplings to see what they looked like. I quickly came to the conclusion that closed satchels require gluten-filled dough.
That said, forming a rope edge was relatively simple. You pull a little less on the rim before you fold over the edge to twist and fold. Voila!
When freezing Asian dumplings, my approach is to put them on a tray and freeze them solid. Then I transfer the dumplings, which are individually frozen at that point, into a plastic zip-top bag.
The gluten-free dumplings froze like a charm. I expect that they’ll have the same frozen life span as dumplings made with regular all-purpose flour. Before cooking, I partially thawed the dumplings and they performed just great.
Poaching, steaming, and deep-frying gluten-free dumplings
After I got through pan-frying the dumplings, I tried different cooking methods. Both types of dough produced good pan-fried dumplings as you’ve seen in the gluten-free pot stickers posts (trial 2 and trial 3) from last week.
However, don’t overlook poaching the dumplings just because it sounds boring! The wrappers develop their chewiness and tenderness well in the pot of water. The photo at the top is of the poached dumplings tumbled in dipping sauce. We actually enjoyed them as much if not more than the pan-fried pot stickers! Seriously.
When steamed, dough #2 turned out a little gummy and doughy. It lacked the tender chew of dough #3. If I had to steam a dumpling, I’d use the gluten-free dough with sweet (sticky) rice flour. Of all the cooking methods, this was the least liked.
The surprise appeared in the guise of deep-fried gluten-free dumplings. Wrappers made from both kinds of dough were excellent, frying up to a nice crispness. Next time, I would slightly under fry the millet-sorghum dough to avoid getting the edge too hard. Dough #3 fried up a tad softer than the second dough because of the sweet rice flour, which lends a chewy-crispness to fried dumpling. I’d eat practically anything deep-fried, wouldn’t you?
There you have it: two options for making a basic gluten-free dumpling dough. I’ve developed and tested the dough for recipes in Chapter 1 of Asian Dumplings. Whichever gluten-free dumpling dough you select, use it as a substitute for the basic dumpling dough in the book.
However, keep the following in mind:
- The gluten-free dumpling dough will not work well for Shanghai soup dumplings (xiao long bao), which relies on a special dough.
- For Tibetan momos, try a shape other than the closed satchel. See the recipes for suggestions.
Beyond those two points, feel free to fill the wrappers with the various fillings in the chapter. Or make one up on the fly! Then poach, steam, pan-fry, and deep-fry the gluten-free dumplings to your heart’s delight.
- Gluten-Free Pot Stickers: Recipe Trial & Dough 3 (sorghum, sweet rice, and tapioca starch dough)
- Gluten-Free Pot Stickers: Recipe Trial & Dough 2 (millet, sorghum, tapioca, and potato dough; includes tips on working with GF dumpling dough)
- Gluten-free Pot Stickers: Recipe Trial 1 (on Asiandumplingtips.com)
- Guide to Building an Asian Dumpling Pantry
- Tolerance Test: Are Gluten-Free Asian Ingredients for You?
If you have the enhanced e-version of Asian Dumplings, these technique videos are included. Otherwise, see the printed book for details and/or watch my videos below, which are on Asiandumplingtips.com:
- How to roll out Asian dumpling wrappers
- Basic Asian dumpling shapes: Half Moon, Pea Pod and Big Hug
- Advanced dumpling shapes: Pleated Crescent
- Advanced dumpling shapes: Pleated Crescent
- How to shape a rope edge (for empanadas, turnovers, curry puffs)
- How to Fold a Closed Satchel