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Mama Chang's Pork and Chive Dumplings

Lunar Food
Courtesy Kristen Teig
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
1 hr
40 to 50 dumplings

Chef notes

There’s something about the process of filling and forming individual dumplings that is almost meditative. Even if you don’t get perfect crimps and pleats the first time around, you still have homemade dumplings to eat and enjoy. And you can take our word for it — no matter what they look like, they will taste amazing. 

The filling for these dumplings is super quick and simple. The first thing you’ll need to do is slice and salt the cabbage to draw out some of its moisture. Cabbage is a water-dense vegetable, so if you don’t extract some of that moisture before adding it to the filling, the water will seep from the cabbage and make the dumpling filling too soggy. Once the cabbage is ready, squeeze out as much liquid as you can and mix it with the rest of the filling ingredients — meaty ground pork , fresh ginger, soy sauce and garlic chives (these can often be found in Asian markets, but if you can’t get your hands on a bunch, substitute with regular chives or minced scallions). 

From there, put your friends and family to work forming the dumplings. Spoon some of the filling into packaged dumpling wrappers, fold the dough over the filling, then seal and crimp. These dumplings will be delicious even if you leave them in their half moon shapes, but try your hand at creating those picture-perfect pleats. Sear the dumplings  and serve with a splash of soy sauce or pile them over big bowls of rice or noodles and drizzle with chili oil. This recipe makes a lot of dumplings, so if you don’t finish them all right away, don’t worry. Future you will say thank you when you find some perfect homemade dumplings in the freezer. 

Get Ingredients: If you don’t have everything you need on hand, you can easily purchase all of the ingredients (just click the orange button below that says ‘Get Ingredients’). You can pick and choose exactly what ingredients you need based on what’s in your pantry and they’ll be on your doorstep before you know it.


  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup minced garlic chives
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon (about a 1-inch knob) peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 package round wheat dumpling wrappers
Fulfilled by



Thinly slice the Napa cabbage and place in a large bowl with the salt. Toss well and set aside for at
least 10 minutes.


In a large bowl, combine the ground pork, garlic chives, soy sauce, ginger and sesame oil and use
your hands to mix all the ingredients thoroughly together. Set aside.


Take the cabbage in your hands and squeeze as hard as you can. Squeeze as much water as you
can out and add the cabbage to the pork mixture. Again, mix well with your hands until filling is
well combined.


Fill a small bowl with warm water.


Lay a dumpling wrapper on a work surface and scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of
the wrapper.


Dip your finger in the water and paint all around the edge of the wrapper to moisten.


Fold the wrapper over in half to look like a half moon. (This always reminds me of making a taco


Pinch just the top of the wrapper together, leaving the sides exposed and open.


Start pleating the left side of the dumpling: Hold the dumpling on the top, fold a pleat on one side
of the wrapper (about halfway down the arc towards the center of the dumpling) and press it into the other
facing side of the wrapper.


Repeat the pleating almost to the bottom of the arc so that you have two pleats on the left side of
the dumpling. Repeat the pleating process on the right side of the dumpling, again pleating towards
the center.


When the dumpling is completely pleated you should be able to sit the dumpling on its bottom and
it will look like a little loveseat. The smooth side of the dumpling will be the seat and the pleated
side will be the back of the couch.


Continue with the rest of the dumpling wrappers and filling until the filling is used up.


Heat a large heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil.


When the oil heats and starts to shimmer, carefully add as many dumplings as will comfortably fit
in the skillet and turn the heat down to medium.


Cook without moving the pan until the dumpling bottoms brown, about 3 minutes. Check by
gently lifting them up and peeking underneath.


When the bottoms of the dumplings are a deep golden brown, add about 2 tablespoons of water to
the bottom of the pan and immediately cover with the lid. The pan will sizzle and steam up
immediately so don’t be startled. Shake the pan from time to time to keep the dumplings from


Let the dumplings steam for 2 minutes, at which point most of the water will have evaporated.


Add another 2 tablespoons of water to the pan, cover again, and steam again.


Wait until the water has mostly evaporated again and repeat one last time with a final 2 tablespoons
of water.


Turn off the heat, keep the lid covered, and rest for 1 minute.


Uncover and turn the heat back to medium-high and crisp up the bottoms. Remove from the pan.


Continue cooking all of the dumplings in the same manner, adding 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan at
a time as needed. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.