Simple Pan Seared Dumplings

Over 30 years ago, my mother-in-law took a Chinese cooking class. While she wasn't a passionate cook, she did it because she loves Chinese cuisine and wanted to learn how to make it for her family. She always tells me how much she enjoyed that class and that she regrets not following through over the years recreating the meals she learned. Whenever it comes up, my hubby never fails to remind her how he's still waiting for the big Chinese banquet she promised him decades ago (as if she's forgotten or stopped feeling guilty about it). Believe me, I'm patiently waiting for the guilt my kids will dump on me years down the road for something I will promise them and no doubt never quite get around to. But I digress.

Without fail, whenever we go out for Chinese food, my kids (following hubby's lead) order dumplings. If you happened to walk past our table on any given occasion, all you would see is a blur of hands big and small grabbing for and dipping a variety of different dumplings, each kind filled with an array of delicious ingredients. This dumpling craving of my husband's dates back to his childhood and his family's Sunday night tradition of eating in and ordering takeout from New York City Chinese restaurants.

As delicious as dumplings are, whenever we're in a restaurant and I look at the heavenly little stuffed pillow-like gems in front of us, I'm daunted by the work that must go into preparing them. But recently, Kenya pointed won ton wrappers out to me at the grocery and I decided to take a leap of faith, set aside a good amount of time, and try making homemade dumplings.

It wound up being seriously easy and not taking me much time at all. Why I made such a big deal about all the effort it would require to make these is beyond me. And when it was time to serve them for dinner, the hands started flying and it was just like when we go out -- not a darn one remained on the plate.

Now I just have to get my MIL to prepare that long overdue chinese meal she's been promising so we can both be absolved of that horrible mommy guilt that we all hold onto way too often!

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Simple Pan Seared Dumplings (serves 4)

Prep Time: 20 mins Cook Time: 3 mins

nut free

dairy free

gluten free

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup grated zucchini
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 large egg
  • 4 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, divided
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Rice Vinegar
  • wonton wrappers
  • canola oil

Preparation

1. In a bowl, mix together the chicken, carrot, zucchini, 1/4 cup scallions, garlic powder, onion powder, egg, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and sesame oil until combined well (this part is easiest to do with your hands).
2. Place 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the center of a wonton wrapper.
Moisten the edges of the wrapper with a fingertip moistened in water, fold over into a semicircle or triangle (depending on the shape of the wrapper you buy) and pinch the seams together to seal.
3. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, rice vinegar and the 1 tablespoon of scallions. This will be the dipping sauce.
4. Use enough oil to just coat the bottom of a large sauté pan over medium heat. Pan-sear dumplings for 1 1/2 minutes on each side, until the chicken is cooked through and the dumpling is crisp.
5. Serve with dipping sauce.
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Hi, I’m Catherine. Mama of three. A Kentucky girl living in California. Here’s what I know: all kids can be great eaters and mealtime must be easy. My passion is creating simple, healthy recipes that can be enjoyed by the whole family.

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31 comments

  • Hilary

    Hi, this sounds delicious! I'm concerned the chicken won't be cooked thoroughly. How can you tell it's ready if it's inside the dumpling? Would it ruin the recipe if I cooked the chicken first before stuffing? Thanks!

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    • Catherine

      There is such a small amount of chicken in each dumpling that it cooks super quick. I tested these at many different heats and time intervals to find out exactly when the chicken would be cooked through! If you're nervous, you could always open one up to check it! If that one is cooked through then you know the others will be, too! Cooking the chicken beforehand will cause it to become overcooked once you cook it the second time, and it won't mix in with the rest of the ingredients easily, so I would advise against that.

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    • Jennifer Kiddie Blanket

      After you place the dumplings in the oiled pan, you can add about a 1/4 inch of water to the pan and cover it. That way the dumplings get a little steamed. After the water boils off, remove the lid and wait for the sizzling sound so you know the dumplings are ready and crisp.

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  • Cristina

    do you have an easy veggie wrap, maybe with coleslaw? These look wonderful!!

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    • Diane

      I think it would be easy enough to sub the cabbage and maybe a vegetarian \"lunch meat\" for the meat. You could also use soy crumbles. Check out the freezer section. There are so any meat substitutes that are good. These sound amazing!...I'm still looking for an egg free wrapper if anyone has a suggestion.

      leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I make this Daikon Radish Slaw into spring rolls sometimes! http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2010/04/12/daikon-radish-slaw/

      leave a comment

  • Kathryn

    These look great, thank you, and will appeal to my children. Have you tried steaming them instead of pan frying? I am wondering if they would hold together or just fall open?

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I haven't steamed them, but I did try boiling them and they held together so I think steaming would work as well!

      leave a comment

  • Mattie

    Do you have a recipe for a dipping sauce?

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    • Catherine

      The dipping sauce is in Step 3!

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  • Mattie

    I apologize for my short comment-I also meant to say thank you for sharing this recipe! I look forward to trying it my 2 1/2 year old who seems to think bunnies are the only animals who eat carrots!

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  • Sandy

    Ok I will try this recipe

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  • Robin

    Made these tonight - AMAZING! I just love your recipes!

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  • Jill

    Made these for dinner last night and my fiance was totally impressed! I made a big batch, baked them in the oven, and then froze them for easy weeknight dinners. The flavors are fantastic together and the apartment smelled so good when they were done!

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    • Stephanie

      How long did you bake them? At what temperature?

      leave a comment

    • Hanson

      I really love your made up words. I have a set of my own that I use from time to time too, hehe. Frillion, that's a real gem right there! I lugahed out loud at your example of your blair witch quilt diaries.. too funny. I'm imaging tears and snot and you saying.. I've now lost my rotary cutter.. sniff sniff.. I have no idea where it is LOLAnd, I am so thrilled I've found a fellow zompocalypse lover! Well, I don't know if you are as obsessed with zombie stuff as I am, but most quilters I encounter are completely opposed to the horror genre in general. You seem pretty cool. I'm going to check out the books you talked about. I love post-apocalyptic stories, whether they be zombie or otherwise induced. I'm just a ray of sunshine eh!? LOL, ok enough rambling.. I'll save it for the podcast.

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  • Christine

    looks great! don't have zucchini right now but lots of brussel sprouts. Anyone ever grate brussel sprouts? hmmm ....

    leave a comment

    • Catherine

      I chop them up small using my food processor for this recipe: http://b12.ba4.myftpupload.com/2008/11/18/shredded-brussel-sprouts-with-lemon-and-poppy-seeds/ I bet that would work in these dumplings! It won't be the same consistency as zucchini, but it'll be just like adding cabbage to the dumplings!

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  • Kelly

    I made these last night and the whole family enjoyed them! I had quite a bit of extra, so I made them up and froze them without cooking. Will this work for cooking at a later date? If so, should I thaw in refrigerator before pan searing?

    leave a comment

  • Lauracpyle

    We loved these dumplings!!! I'm allergic to zucchini, so I added a little red pepper to mine. I also added a touch of honey to the dipping sauce. We LOVE Weelicious!!!

    leave a comment

  • Kellie

    I only have regular vinegar or white whine vinegar!! Could I sub either of these for the rice vinegar??

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    • Catherine

      Rice vinegar is quite a different flavor, but you could try the white wine vinegar instead!

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  • Jill B

    This recipe sounds delicious! I'm a celiac and was excited to find this in the gluten free section. I'll obviously substitute tamari for soy sauce but what type of wonton wrappers did you use for this recipe to be gluten free?

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    • Karen

      you could try the round ones used for fresh rolls. they are made of either rice or tapioca. they come dried but you may have to go to an asian market or a specialty store to find them.

      leave a comment

  • Seriously Yummy Chicken & Veggie Potstickers

    [...] close by. But I love it, and I want my kids to love it, too. So I decided to try mak­ing a chicken and veg­gie pot­sticker recipe that I found on wee­l­i­cious (one of my favorite sources of kid friendly food [...]

    leave a comment

  • Tabitha

    I made these today along with the sushi recipe on this site. Everything was delicious. The dumplings in particular are a new family favorite!! Instead of using only oil, I added a little bit of chicken broth to the pan and cooked them this way. They were wonderful! Thanks for the great recipe.

    leave a comment

  • Tee

    Wonton wrappers are not gluten free! Maybe rice wrappers can be substituted, but the filling will need to be cooked before-hand, then wrapped up in the moistened rice wrappers. The filling sounds delicious, though :)

    leave a comment

  • nyca5124

    Yum!! My 15 month old son and I had these the other day for lunch. They were easy to make, made lots, and were very good! He didn't have the dipping sauce, but loved the dumplings. Looking forward to having them again. : ) Thank you!

    leave a comment

  • Christine

    Hello! I wanted to make a big batch of these and freeze some. Would you recommend freezing before or after cooking (after step 2 or after step 4)? And then would I just saute from frozen and add a few minutes onto cooking time? Or would I need to defrost in the fridge before cooking? Thanks so much for your fantastic website. It is a lifesaver!!

    leave a comment

  • Carrot Dumplings Recipe

    First of all many thanks for sharing us with this wonderful recipe \"Pan Seared Dumplings\"

    last day i made an attempt with Carrot Dumplings...Guys believe me it was one of the awesome recipe I ever tried....


    Just try this at home...I'm sure you all will njoy!

    leave a comment

  • MamaTree

    This looks so yummy. Thank you for posting. Approximately how many dumplings might the recipe yield? I have a partially-consumed pack of wonton wrappers in the freezer...

    leave a comment