Skip the takeout and make these scrumptious Chinese Dumplings at home! They’re soft and tender filled with perfectly seasoned pork, shrimp, and water chestnuts, then served with an easy yet delicious dipping sauce.
Irresistible Pork Dumplings Recipe
Who can possibly resist those pork dumplings whenever ordering Chinese takeout? Not me. It’s always a struggle deciding between the dumplings, crab rangoon, and egg rolls, so we usually just get all three. But that can get pricey, so I like to satisfy my Chinese cravings by making them at home.
These wontons are filled with a mixture of pork and shrimp that are seasoned with traditional Asian flavors, while water chestnuts add a nice textural crunch. The dumplings not only taste fantastic, but they’re easy to make and actually quite fun to form if you enlist some family members to help you!
Making delicious pork and shrimp dumplings only requires a handful of simple ingredients which can be found at your local grocery store.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Ground pork – Make sure this is unseasoned ground pork, not Italian sausage.
- Shrimp – The shrimp should be fully thawed if frozen, deveined, and finely diced.
- Water chestnuts – These are lightly sweet, a bit nutty, and provide a nice textural crunch!
- Garlic & Ginger – Fresh minced garlic and ginger adds wonderful aromatics and flavor.
- Scallions – Adds a subtle onion, peppery flavor.
- Soy sauce – A must for salty, savory flavor.
- Rice vinegar – Adds some lovely tanginess. Dry sherry can also be used.
- White pepper – We prefer this over black pepper for these pork dumplings. It’s a bit spicier and more aromatic, but black pepper is fine if that’s all you have.
- Sugar – Just a little bit of granulated sugar helps balance out the tart vinegar and salty soy sauce.
- Oils – Both vegetable oil and sesame oil are included for moisture and flavor.
- Cornstarch – Acts as a binder to hold the filling together.
- Wonton Wrappers – Purchase small, square wrappers to keep these dumplings bite-sized.
- Dipping sauce – A mixture of soy sauce, mirin, rice vinegar, ginger, and scallions make up a simple but flavorful dipping sauce to serve the dumplings with.
How to Make Chinese Dumplings
Not only are homemade dumplings super delicious, but they’re actually fun to make too. Folding up each wonton feels sort of like making origami. Grab your kids and spouse and have them help you and it’ll go by pretty quickly! Here’s a summary.
(Scroll below to the printable recipe card for details and measurements.)
- Making the filling. Gently mix together all the filling ingredients for the dumplings.
- Form the dumplings. Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edges of the wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the meat mixture to form a triangle. Seal the wet edges together. Then fold the two bottom corners in and seal them with water pressing firmly. Cover with a damp paper towel and repeat the steps to form all 40 wontons.
- Cook the dumplings. Place 6-8 dumplings at a time into simmering water and cook for a few minutes or until they float to the top – you can open one up and check the inside to make sure the meat is fully cooked.
- Drain. Gently remove them from the water using a strainer and transfer them to a shallow bowl coated with nonstick spray or oil. Drizzle with a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil to prevent sticking.
- Make the dipping sauce. Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce and serve with the dumplings.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips to make sure your next batch of homemade Chinese dumplings come out perfectly.
- Add more flavor. You can add a tablespoon of hoisin sauce or oyster sauce for more sweet-salty flavor. If you want the dumplings to have some heat, drizzle in a bit of sriracha or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Omit the shrimp. If preferred, you can replace the shrimp with more ground pork for a 100% pork dumpling.
- Keep the wontons from drying out. Since this recipe makes 40 dumplings, you’ll want to cover the ones you’ve already formed with a damp paper towel as you work on the rest to prevent the wontons from drying out.
- Don’t overcrowd the pot. I don’t recommend boiling more than 6 to 8 at a time (even less if your pot is very small), to prevent them from sticking together as they cook.
- Make sure the pork is cooked. The dumplings will typically float to the top once they’re done, but feel free to open one up and check the inside to make certain the meat is fulled cooked.
Making a batch of homemade dumplings is the perfect way to complete any Chinese-inspired meal. If enjoying them as an appetizer, they wouldn’t be complete without a dipping sauce! You can’t go wrong with savory soy sauce or sweet chili sauce. These stuffed wontons also make perfect Chinese soup dumplings to include in our homemade wonton soup.
- Storing leftovers. Store pork wontons in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Reheat. Easily rewarm the dumplings in the microwave for a minute or two with a sprinkle of water over top so they don’t dry out.
- Freezing Chinese Dumplings. Place uncooked pork dumplings on a baking sheet in a single layer, then into the freezer until firm. Once solid, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or airtight freezer container for up to 2 months. If you’re freezing a lot of dumplings, add a piece of parchment paper between the layers to prevent sticking. Pull out as many or as few when you’re ready to use them. Thaw in the fridge and cook as directed.
More Chinese-Inspired Appetizers
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 1/4 pound shrimp , thawed if frozen, deveined, finely diced
- 3 scallions , finely diced
- 3 tablespoons finely diced water chestnuts
- 1 clove finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or dry sherry)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 & 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 40 round wonton wrappers
- dipping sauce , for serving (below)
- In a medium bowl, using your hands, gently mix together all the filling ingredients for the dumplings.
- Place about 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of each wonton wrapper.
- Dip your finger in a bowl of water and run it along the edges of the wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the meat mixture to form a triangle. Seal the wet edges together. Then fold the two bottom corners in and seal them with water pressing firmly. (See photos above for visual help.) Cover with a damp paper towel and repeat the steps to form all 40 wontons.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then reduce to a gentle bubble. Place 6-8 dumplings at a time into the simmering water and cook for a few minutes or until they float to the top (you can open one up and check the inside to make sure the meat is fully cooked.)
- Gently remove them using a plastic or metal strainer and transfer them to a shallow bowl coated with nonstick spray or oil. Drizzle with a touch of soy sauce and sesame oil to prevent sticking.
- Repeat the cooking process with the rest of the stuffed wontons until they're all cooked.
- Combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce and serve with the dumplings.