Instructions

  1. To make the dough: In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Place a wet towel under the bowl to keep it from sliding, then trickle the water into the flour while stirring with chopsticks or a spatula.
  2. After all the water is added, continue to stir until the mixture becomes shaggy and the water is evenly incorporated.
  3. Once the dough is cool enough to comfortably touch, knead it by hand until it's smooth and taut, about 5 to 10 minutes. It should be fairly firm, not tacky, and shouldn't stick to your hands or the bowl. If it's sticky, add a few more tablespoons of flour as you knead.
  4. Place the dough in an airtight container or zip-top bag and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes; or refrigerate up to 1 day.
  5. To make the filling; In a medium bowl, mix together the shrimp, chives, egg white (if using), rice wine (or sake or sherry), ginger, sesame oil, pepper, and salt. Sprinkle the cornstarch evenly over the mixture and mix until well combined.
  6. Cover and refrigerate while you roll out the dumpling wrappers, not longer than 1 to 2 hours.
  7. To shape: Divide the dough into six pieces. Work with one piece at a time, with the remaining pieces kept covered or in a sealed container.
  8. Roll one piece of dough into a short cylinder about 1" in diameter. Cut the dough into six to eight pieces (fewer for thicker skins, more for thinner ones).
  9. Use a small rolling pin, dowel, or pastry pin to roll each slice of dough into a circle about 3 1/2" to 4" in diameter. Try to make the edges a little thinner than the center. Flour generously and set aside, covered. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
  10. Place 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling in the center of a wrapper. Lightly fold the wrapper in half to make a half-moon shape, like you're making a taco, but keep the edges from touching.
  11. Dampen the inside of one edge to help seal, if needed, then gently make pleats along one half, pressing them to the other half as you go. Once the dumpling is fully pleated, pinch all along the pleats to make sure the dumpling is tightly sealed. Place the dumpling on a plate, seam side up, and press down slightly to create a flat bottom. Set aside and cover with a damp towel while you pleat the rest.
  12. To pan-fry the dumplings: In a large skillet or wok that can be covered, heat about 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add as many dumplings as will fit in a ring around the edge of the pan, flat side down. Leave a little room in between so they don't stick to each other.
  13. Let the dumplings cook in the pan until the bottoms are crisp and nicely browned, about 2 minutes. Drizzle 3 to 4 tablespoons of water into the pan (just enough to cover the bottom) and cover. Let the dumplings steam for about 4 to 6 minutes, or until the filling is cooked through and the wrappers aren't at all doughy. If the water cooks off during that time (you'll hear sizzling), add a tablespoon more water and reduce the heat to medium.
  14. When the dumplings are cooked through, remove the cover and let any leftover liquid cook off. This helps finish off the nice crisp crust on the bottoms of the dumplings. Remove to a plate, wipe out the skillet or wok, and repeat as necessary with the remaining dumplings. Serve immediately, with dipping sauce on the side.
  15. Serve immediately, with dipping sauce on the side. Store any leftovers, well wrapped, for several days in the refrigerator; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Shaping dumplings is a task best shared with friends and family; consider making a double or triple batch, to have extra for the freezer.
  • Dumplings can be steamed (find directions in our Tofu and Mushroom Dumplings recipe) or boiled (find directions in our Pork and Cabbage Dumplings recipe).
  • Try our Dipping Sauce for Scallion Pancakes with dumplings; it's a match made in heaven.
  • You can freeze the shaped dumplings on a generously floured or parchment-lined baking sheet after shaping them. Once they're firm, transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag and store, frozen, for up to 3 months. You can cook frozen dumplings directly from the freezer; they may need an extra minute or two of steaming time to cook all the way through.