Chinese Chicken Dumplings (Dim Sum) (video)


     Many countries around the globe have their own style of dumplings (dough wrapped around a filling) and I have liked them all. 

     Chinese “Dim Sum” is the Cantonese word to describe small dishes of various dumplings, buns, shao mai and countless more… They are served in small quantities and are normally shared by the family as a snack.

     Generally, dumplings can be either steamed or fried and the fillings can vary from prawn, crab, chicken, mushrooms, vegetables and pork. Traditionally, various types of flours are used depending on the type of dumpling, such as a high gluten flour, low gluten flour, tapioca flour, rice flour, potato starch flour, sweet potato starch flour and regular all-purpose flour. This recipe uses regular all-purpose flour as everyone has access to it in the Middle East. 

      Dumplings can also come in different shapes and forming them is an art that requires practice and patience. I have made hundreds of them and within a short amount time I became fast and efficient at forming the various styles. The method used for this recipe is fairly easy, but if you find it difficult to form, simply fold the wrapper in half and seal. The taste and the experience will be the same. 

Be warned - they are highly addictive. 




Servings: 4

The Jelly: 

  • 150 ml chicken stock 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce 
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin powder or agar agar 


The dough: 

  • 1 cup all purpose- flour 
  • 2 teaspoons corn flour 
  • 1/3 cup boiling water 
  • 1/2 teaspoon lard, crisco or vegetable ghee 


The filling: 

  • 300 grams chicken breast, minced 
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour 
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce 
  • ½ teaspoon white pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon sugar 
  • 2 tablespoon ginger root, minced 
  • 2 green onion, finely chopped 
  • ¼ cup coriander leaf, finely chopped 
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil 
  • 1 egg white. 




* Bring the chicken stock to a boil then add the soy sauce and the gelatin whisking vigorously until mixed well and no lumps are visible. 

* Pour on a shallow tray and place in the fridge for at least one hour to set. 

* Remove from the fridge and break it up with a fork and set aside. 

* To make the wrappers mix the flour and corn starch with a fork until blended. 

* Pour the boiling water and work it with a fork until it is cool enough to knead with the hand. 

* Knead the dough for 5 minutes then add the either the lard or Crisco or ghee whichever is handy and knead until the dough is soft. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave aside 20 minutes. 

* In a bowl place the minced chicken then add the corn flour, salt, soy sauce, white pepper, sugar, ginger root, chopped green onion, chopped coriander and mix. Finally add the sesame oil and egg white, mix, cover and set aside in the fridge for 1 hour to hold. 

* Split the dough into 3 balls and roll each ball to a thickness of 2 mm and cut with an 8 or 10 cm round cookie cutter and keep the excess dough covered. Repeat the process with the other balls and finally roll out all the excess dough and repeat the cutting. This should give you around 18 dumplings. 

* Place 1 small spoon of the chicken filling and 1 small teaspoon of the stock jelly in the center on the wrapper 

* Fold the wrapper in half and pinch one side and at the same time pulling and pleating the edge to form a smooth fold and pressing it against the other half. Continue until you reach the other end of the dumpling and seal it. Make sure you press firmly to seal the dumpling. 

* Cut out a circle of baking or wax paper to the same diameter of the steamer. Fold it and with a chop stick poke several holes to allow the steam to penetrate. 

* Place it on the steamer and top with the dumplings, cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. 

* Serve hot with soy sauce. 




* I opted to use all-purpose flour as it is difficult to find the Chinese dumpling flour in the Middle East. 

* You can follow the same method and ingredients for the filling using any other protein you fancy such as raw shrimp, fish or any red meat. 

* For a vegan dumpling use mashed soft tofu as the protein and vegetable stock with agar agar. 

* To freeze simply lay the dumplings on a tray maintaining a small gap between them and place in the freezer. Once frozen transfer to a zip lock bag and keep frozen for up to 5 months. When steaming, do so from frozen and add 2 minutes to the steaming time. 


Per serving : 260 Calories; 5g Fat (16.5% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 32g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 115mg Cholesterol; 1353mg Sodium.