Meatless Monday homemade dumplings

| January 26, 2022
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In anticipation of Meatless Madness 2022 (kicking off on February 7), the Hopkins Test Kitchen revisited last year‘s Chompion: Homemade Dumplings. This great dish will be an excellent addition to your culinary repetoire. Do not be deterred if you are new to making your own dumplings. This recipe is pretty straightforward, and repetitive actions like kneading dough and folding dumplings is good for your brain.

Original recipe: Madeline Lu
Tested by: Chef Hamilton J. Goss, Director of Culinary Innovation, Johns Hopkins Dining Services

All Meatless Madness recipes are courtesy of Meatless Monday.


The recipe as written below is (very lightly) adapted from the original to reduce sodium content and to add some more detailed advice on cooking procedures.


Dumpling Wrap

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup hot water
  • pinch of salt

Dumping Filling

  • 3 cups shredded napa cabbage or white cabbage
  • 2 fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoons freshly grated garlic
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • ¼ of a medium-sized purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • pepper, to taste

In addition

  • ¼ cup sesame seeds, placed in a small bowl, plus more for garnish
  • 3 tablespoons water, in a flat plate
  • 2 teaspoons spring onions, finely chopped, for garnish
  • drizzle of sesame oil, for garnish
  • drizzle of soy sauce, for garnish
  • pinch of red pepper flakes, for garnish
  • Canola oil (or other light oil) for frying

Dipping Sauces (optional)

  • Soy Sauce Dipping Sauce (whisk together 1 teaspoon grated ginger, 1 teaspoon finely chopped spring onions, 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, ½ teaspoons sesame seeds)
  • Chili Garlic Sauce (store bought)
  • Chili Oil (store bought)

Makes 48 dumplings.


  1. To prepare the dough, put the flour in a medium bowl. Add the hot water in a steady stream, stirring with chopsticks until a raggy dough forms.
    A raggy dough sits in a stainless steel bowl. A person's hands hold the edge of the bowl on the left and stick a pair of chopsticks into the bowl on the right.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, 10 minutes. (Pro tip: if the dough picks up too much flour while kneading and starts to feel hard, wet your hands and knead to soften.) Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour.
    A raggy blob of dough on a floured countertop next to a pair of chopsticks. A ball of dough on a plate, covered with saran wrap.
  3. Take the dough out and knead again for 5 minutes and then cover again with plastic wraps for 30 minutes. By then, the dough should be springy and soft.
  4. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and put into a mixing bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and mix well. Set aside.
    Partially shredded napa cabbage on a counter next to a knife A spoonful of salt hovers over a stainless steel bowl of finely sliced cabbage.
  5. Use another mixing bowl, combine the shiitake mushroom, purple onion, ginger, garlic, and spring onion.
    An empty stainless steel bowl next to chopped scallions, chopped red onion, chopped mushrooms, grated garlic and grated ginger. Next to the ingredients is another stainless steel bowl full of cabbage.
  6. Take the cabbage strips out of their bowl and use two hands to squeeze out the excess water.
  7. Add the cabbage to the mixing bowl with the mushroom mix. Add ½ tsp of salt and some fresh pepper, as well as 1 teaspoon sesame oil. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.
    A bowl of dumpling filling next to a bowl of salt.
  8. Sprinkle a large chopping board or baking sheet with flour. (You can also do this directly on your countertop.) Remove the dough from its bowl and cut it into quarters.
    A dough ball cut into quarters next to a knife and a rolling pin.
  9. On your floured work surface, roll each piece into a rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll into balls; sprinkle with flour.
    Dough rolled into a thin cylinder on a butcher block countera narrow cylinder of dough is sliced into 12 small pieces. It is next to a rolling pin and a knife.
  10. Roll out 6 balls at a time to 3 ½-inch rounds and brush off the excess flour. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the filling onto the center of each round wrap.
  11. Bring up the sides of the wrapper and press and pleat the edges to seal in the filling. There are many techniques for folding dumplings. To achieve the fold pictured, start by pinching the two sides together over the filling. Then begin to pleat the open edges together until you reach the pinched part. Turn the dumpling over and repeat the process on the other side. Once the dumpling’s fully closed, give the top a quarter turn to help seal everything. Repeat steps 10 and 11 until all dumplings are formed, filled, and folded.Next to a bowl of filling, five dumpling wrappers are heaped with filling. Above them, a pair of hands holds another dumpling and is starting to fold it.
  12. Dip the bottom of each dumpling in your plate of water and then dip it in the bowl of sesame seeds, so the bottom of the dumpling is evenly covered with sesame seeds. Place the finished dumpling onto a chopping board or baking sheet.Six dumplings sit next to two plates. One plate is full of water. The other is full of sesame seeds.
  13. At this point, you can freeze the dumplings for future use. To IQF (individually quick freeze) place the dumplings on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper and allow them to freeze solid. Once frozen, place them in a freezer-proof container or bag for future use. If you’re working with frozen dumplings, the rest of the recipe is exactly the same.
  14. In a skillet or wok over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the canola oil. (Vegetable, corn, or peanut oil would be fine too. All of these oils have a high smoking point. Olive oil has a very LOW smoking point; do not use it for high temperature frying.) Arrange the dumplings in the skillet, pleated edge up. Cook over high heat until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. *Six dumplings in a pan, frying in oil. Chopsticks hold one upside down, revealing a sesame seed crust.
  15. Add ½ cup of water, cover the pan, and cook until the filling is cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  16. Uncover and cook until the bottoms are well browned, 1 minute.
  17. Transfer dumplings to a plate. Sprinkle with more finely chopping spring onions, chili flakes, sesame seeds, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Serve immediately with optional dipping sauces.A plate of six dumplings next to a cup of dipping sauce Six dumplings on a plate. One is upside down, revealing a sesame seed bottom.

*An alternate way to cook the dumplings would be to steam them in a steamer pan and then sautee them over medium heat until the sesame seeds are browned.