Pan fry dumplings, or pot stickers, are really easy to make on your stovetop. The pan fry dumpling may be filled with pork, chicken, veggies, or beef, and it’s a great side dish for a larger Asian spread, usually accompanying noodles and rice dishes, as well as perhaps a meat dish, wontons, and spring rolls.
You can make pan fry dumpling from scratch, using dumpling wrappers, which takes some time and little cooking skill, but it’s very rewarding. That way, you can choose your own fillings and make these just the way you want them.
Or, you could buy frozen or refrigerated dumplings from the grocery and just cook them up in a frying pan. The frying method will be the same, but of course, if you make them yourself, there will be a few extra steps.
How to Cook Dumplings in a Pan
Let me share with you my method for pan frying dumplings, and you can use this whether you bought them premade or made them yourself. If that’s all you came to this article to find out, I’ll walk you through the relatively simple method that works great for me.
If you want a fully detailed dumpling recipe from scratch, I have you covered there as well with a recipe further on down in the article.
Pan Frying Directions:
- Heat a wok or skillet on medium high heat and add in two to three tablespoons of oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add in about 10 dumplings at once and cook them for two to three minutes until they start to brown.
- Then, add 1/3 cup of water and cover the skillet. Allow the dumplings to steam until they’ve been cooked completely and all the liquid has been absorbed. That should take around 5 minutes.
- You can use the same method to cook any additional dumplings you have. You’ll need to add more water for each batch you cook.
How to Pan Fry Dumplings from Scratch
If you want to make dumplings at home on your own, it will take some work, but they turn out so great. Feel free to change up these fillings to your liking, particularly the meat if you’d rather something other than pork. Most ingredients will cook the same way.
I suggest ground pork for this recipe, but you can use ground beef or ground chicken, all of which should cook using the same method for the same amount of time.
For the filling:
- 1/2 cup of Napa cabbage, chopped
- 1/2 cup of bok choy leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup of water chestnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup of green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon of light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon of ducts or sauce
- 1 pound of ground pork
- 2 teaspoons of Chinese rice wine
- 1 dash of white pepper
- 1 teaspoon of sesame oil
For the Dumplings:
- 1 package of dumpling wrappers
- 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil, or some other oil
- 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
- 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons of cold water
- Combine all of your filling components in a bowl, mixing all of them together. They can be mixed ahead of time and stored in the fridge until you’re ready to prepare the dumplings.
- Mix together cornstarch with two tablespoons of cold water until you get a slurry.
- Put a single dumpling wrapper onto a cutting board and keep the other wrappers covered with a damp cloth. This ensures that they don’t dry out.
- Add a teaspoon of the filling to the center of the dumpling wrapper, and then spread the ingredients outward from the center. Don’t allow any filling to get too close to the edges, since they will be folded in.
- You will fold the dumpling by making the edges of the dumpling wrapper moist using your cornstarch slurry. This allows you to seal the dumpling wrappers easily and effectively.
- Pull the edges of the wrapper above the filling and bring them together in the middle. With your fingers, pinch and crimp the edges of the wrapper a few times, sealing it tightly.
- Once a dumpling is sealed, you can set it aside and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp kitchen towel.
- Repeat with the remaining dumplings and then cook them according to the pan frying method above.
How to Seal Dumplings for Pan Frying
One of the biggest problems people run into when they try to make pan fried dumplings at home is that the dumplings come unsealed and the fillings pour out. If this is your problem, you can correct it by checking your sealing process.
Use the method I’ve given you above, using a cornstarch and water slurry to moisten the edges of the dumpling wrapper. Make sure the entire wrapper edge is moistened. If it’s not sticking together, you probably need to use a little bit more of the slurry and moisten the wrapper a bit more.
You should also make sure that your cornstarch slurry is mixed well and that the cornstarch powder has dissolved entirely.
If you still find that your dumplings are coming apart when you cook them, you can use a little egg white to help with the sealing process. You could actually use egg whites alone to seal the dumplings and leave out the cornstarch entirely.
Some people have trouble getting the right consistency with their cornstarch slurry and prefer not to work with it, so egg white works well as a replacement, sealing the dumpling together as it cooks.
Another problem that causes the dumpling to come apart as it’s frying in the pan is that it gets moved around too much. You can leave it alone while it’s cooking. There’s no need to disturb it until it has completely cooked.
As it cooks, it should stay sealed, if you followed the directions above. If you keep prodding it with a spatula or other implement as it cooks, you could unseal it and cause the filling to come out.