While in the midst of writing my Chinese Potsticker Pork Dumpling 鍋貼 recipe, it occurred to me (and my mom reminded me) that some folks may not know how to fold the chinese dumpling. There are many ways actually, some more complicated and some more simple. I will just show you the way that I usually make my chinese potsticker pork dumplings. It looks hard at first but once you get the hang of it it's quite simple and, importantly, quite beautiful to look at and eat.
Start by getting round chinese dumpling wrappers:
Get them fresh from your Hong Kong wet market or sometimes you can find them at your grocery markets. Keep the wrappers inside the package until needed and cover with a towel or some plastic wrap while wrapping. This keeps them moist and pliable.
Get one wrapper onto the palm of your hand and put 1 tbsp of filling in the middle:
Have a small bowl of water at hand to dip your finger in. Wet the dumpling skin with water all around the edge. You can see the water mark in the photo above.
Stick the top and bottom points of the dumpling skin together like this:
Make pleats towards the center point you have just made like this:
If the dumpling wrapper isn't sticking together it is probably too dry. Wet with finger again.
Do one side at a time. You will have four to five pleats on each side. Make sure that the pleats are pressed together tight all around so no leaks and the dumpling is completely enclosed.
Pleat the other side back towards the center point you made in the first step:
Make sure the dumpling is completely enclosed, no holes, by checking and pinching shut any holes that you see. Try to keep the dumpling wrappers dry on the outside as you wrap. If they get wet on the outside they will stick to the plate that you place them on. To prevent sticking dust the dumpling or the plate with cornstarch. For more on how to keep and cook these beauties please see our post on Potsticker 鍋貼 Pork Dumplings.
And that's it...
"That's it?!" You are probably thinking: Holy Cow! That looks hard! Hey, that's what I thought at first too. But once you start wrapping your own chinese dumplings you will soon realize that the dumpling sort of logically folds itself into this shape once you start pleating. So it actually pretty simple once you've learned the method. Trust me, try it and I'm sure you'll see what I mean. Plus there's not much tastier and happier an event than a potsticker dumpling dinner made together by you and your family and friends. Happy Dumpling adventures to all!
Update: We made a little video on how to fold a chinese jiaozi dumpling!
Here's more on Dumplings at The Hong Kong Cookery:
Potsticker Pork Dumplings 鍋貼
Zong Zi Rice Dumpling 粽子 Google