Gearing up for Chinese New Year, which falls on February 8, I’ve been fielding emails about dumpling making. If you need insights or refresher on how to roll out dumpling wrappers from scratch or fold dumplings, I have video tutorials to assist you. They were made several years ago to go with my book, Asian Dumplings, published in 2009. When I set out to write that cookbook, I didn’t know if people would be into taking a from-scratch approach to filling, shaping and cooking pot stickers. They are and they’re happier eaters for it! Nothing has changed since 2009 since the techniques have been around for centuries.
Dumplings are easy to make from scratch. As I recently wrote to a recipe tester, “Aim to get the darn thing closed!” But if you’re looking to neaten things up as you practice your dumpling skills, you’ll benefit from watching these videos. Unlike my hands-on dumpling classes, I can’t help you troubleshoot and refine your techniques (plus, we can’t eat a ton of dumplings after we make them). But you’ll go far with these dumpling how-to videos.
How to Roll Out Dumpling Wrappers
If you’re into making dumpling wrappers from scratch, this video goes along with the Basic Dumpling Dough recipe on page 22 of Asian Dumplings. If you don’t have a tortilla press like I do, substitute some kind of heavy flat bottomed object, such as a 4-cup glass measuring cup, saucepan, or skillet.
How to Fold Basic Asian Dumpling Shapes: Half Moon, Pea Pod and Big Hug
Whether you’ve make wrappers from scratch or purchased dumpling skins, you can use the tips in this and the following video. Be sure to moisten the wrapper first to create a decent seal.
When starting out with folding dumplings, start out easy. Your dumplings will taste just as good when made into a half moon as it does into a cutie big hug. I made this video with Chow.com:
Advanced Asian Dumpling Shape: The Pleated Crescent
Everyone wants to make a the pleated crescent, a commonly seen Asian dumpling shape for pot stickers and har gow, but it’s a bit more advanced than the half moon, pea pod or big hug. I watched a lot of dumpling masters perform this shape and then figured out how to do it myself.
Work with both hands holding the wrapper in the air as that allows you to manipulate the dough better.
If you practice between now and February 8, you’ll be able to usher in the Year of the Monkey with extra good food.