IIP – Dumplings! Recipe: pan-fried savoury ‘sticky’ dumplings

pan-fried savoury

The word `dumplings´ brings back the memories of my uni days. It was fun and wild. I was living in a small but bright flat, sharing with two other girls. We hardly cooked at home and relied almost entirely on cheap takeaway food, the kind that I will not touch nowadays. (I didn´t really cook and learn how to bake until dating my husband. The power of love or what?)

Of course, there were days that we decided to put the kitchen into use. Normally, it was to impress someone special. Or sometimes, it was simply because we didn´t bother to go out, preferred to be in our PJs for the whole day. But the best occasion was when friends came over and fed us!

pan-fried savoury

On one of such “best occasions”, I learned how to make these particular pan-fried dumplings from a Beijing girl, whose name I forgot (she was dating a friend of a friend, you know the normal story). The dough consists of only water and flour. Fillings? The usual suspects – meat, vegs and seasoning. The better Chinese cooks, according to that Beijing girl, would know how to pleat the dumplings properly. But hey, we were spoiled young girls who hardly knew any cooking skills. So no pleating for us (and the dumplings looked more like a pie than anything). After all, pretty food was only a bonus feature of a tasty meal.

I still make this kind of dumpling to this day. Lately, however, I have experimented with the dough a little by changing the flour ingredients. With the memory of my grandmother´s fried sticky rice “cake” (banh ran man) in mind, I opt to use a bit of glutinous rice in the dough. And to make the “skin” a bit lighter, a tiny bit of yeast is added.

I like this version no less than the original one. The final product is the cross between pan-fried dumplings and soft mochi bread. It is crispy outside, and soft-chewy at the same time. It´s also relatively easy to make, too. I´m thinking of substitute white flour with whole-wheat flour while keeping the glutinous rice four. Will it be a bit too westernised?

The dumplings (or bread/pies, whichever you choose to call them. They are known as “the dumpling bun thing” in our house) are on the heavy and rustic side. Better served as snack or breakfast with a cup of hot tea.

the-making: pan-fried savoury

pan-fried savoury “sticky” dumplings

The dough recipe has been tested a few times so it´s good to use. As for the filling, I never follow a correct measurement. Lately, we have a vegetarian guest so I always do both meat and vegetarian versions. Use whatever you have!

Dough – for around 8-12 dumplings, depending on size

250g plain four, 50g sticky flour (aka glutinous/mochi/sweet flour), 1 tsp dried yeast, a pinch of salt, around 1 cup of warm water


If you like meat: 150g chicken fillet, 1 small carrot (peeled and grated), a few frozen water chestnut (defrosted), 1 small spring onion, a few drop of toasted sesame oil. Oil to fry. Salt + soy sauce + white pepper to taste.

Veg option: peas, corn, water chestnuts (defrosted). Soy sauce + pepper for seasoning.

Other: Oil to pan-fry

pan-fried savoury


Prepare the dough first: combine the flours, salt together with yeast. Gradually add in the warm water. You have to watch and feel the dough here. Use enough water so the dough just comes together. Knead briefly (the dough is elastic because of glutinous flour). Put in an oiled bowl, cover with damp towel. Let it rest about 40´-60´.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling: coarsely mince the chicken with water chestnut. Add in grated carrot, chopped spring onio, and seasoning. I like to stir-fry my fillings to get the seasoning right before wrapping. You can just marinade the meat mixture with seasoning and use it raw if preferred. Make sure your filling is cooled down before wrapping.

Wrapping: Divide the dough into 8-12 portions. Use a rolling pin, roll out the each piece of dough on a lightly floured surface. Make sure that the middle part is slightly thicker. Add in the filling, twist and put the seam side down. Repeat until you have finished the dough. Cover and set aside for 10 mins.

Frying: Heat up a non-stick frying pan and heat up 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Make sure the oil is hot, put the dumplings into the pan. Immediately lower the heat, cover the pan, and cook gently until the dumpling skin is golden (around 8-10 mins each side) and cooked through. (Be mindful if your filling is not pre-cooked).

Serve hot/warm with a dipping of chilli and soy sauce. Make it for parties or gathering, like poker nights. Enjoy!


This post is prepared for the IPP, hosted by a fellow Melbourne blog friend Penny of Jeroxie.

pan-fried savoury

Very important part of this party is to be able to come together to celebrate the birthday of fellow food bloggers globally. Here is the list of the May babies:

47 Responses to IIP – Dumplings! Recipe: pan-fried savoury ‘sticky’ dumplings

  1. Ellie (Almost Bourdain) says:

    I am loving this dumpling party! I am one that is too lazy to make them at home. Yours look good! Perfect for the cold weather now.

  2. Cherrie Pie says:

    Oh how I love this! I love the look of the texture of your wrapper. I want to make my own wrapper next time and I might actually use your recipe.

  3. penny aka jeroxie says:

    Gosh…I know this dumpling. It is called jian ping. YUM!

  4. cookingpractice says:

    they remind me of Saigon where we can eat real Chinese food. ;( (at least better than here, they make Italian chinese dishes OMG!!)

  5. Mark @ Cafe Campana says:

    Very tasty looking dumplings. I love the crispy base on pan fried dumplings, they are so crunchy and good.

  6. Myriam @ Detours says:

    OMG, these dumplings look amazing…. Wish I could cook them as well as you did!! Now I just feel like going to Sydney's Red Lantern restaurant for a Vietnamese banquet. Have you ever been there, by the way?

  7. Rosa's Yummy Yums says:

    Those dumplings look wonderful! I really like your choice of filling.

  8. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    Cross between pan-fried dumplings and soft mochi bread? Awesome. They look fantastic.

  9. veron says:

    I heart dumplings, specially when they are homemade. These look utterly delectable!

  10. Emma @CakeMistress says:

    Loving all the unique directions people have gone on the Dumpling theme. Good on you for experimenting with the dough. It's so satifying to tweak something and it turns out awesome :)

  11. Manggy says:

    Ooh, yum. I love pan-fried dumplings. I've never had any PFDs with glutinous rice flour in the dough – I can only imagine how lovely they'd be :)

  12. Amy @ cookbookmaniac says:

    Fried dumplings are my fave. These look fantastic!

  13. Asha says:

    Thanks Anh, I took a long break but good to be back. Dumpling look yummy, must make at home one day!:)

  14. Jo says:

    Looks perfect and absolutely delicious. Would love a few thrown my way please! 😛

  15. 5 Star Foodie says:

    These pan-fried dumplings look totally awesome! Can't wait to try!

  16. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite says:

    Wonderful dumplings and lovely post!!!! YUM!

  17. Erica says:

    I am loving these dumplings recipes!!! These is a great idea.

  18. Evelyne@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Just great job on your pot stickers, congrats

  19. Catherine says:

    Mmmm these look amazing! I could eat them up right now!

  20. Trix says:

    I really love the dough in this – that brown crispy bit is SO calling my name.

  21. Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul says:

    I never say no to a dumpling. I love the way you used the sticky rice flour and their size makes them even more attractive! A great recipe Anh!

  22. Juliana says:

    Wow, I never this kind of buns…love the idea of the glutinous rice in it…love it :-)

  23. john@heneedsfood says:

    As soon as I read the word dumplings, you had me captivated. I've beed going through a bit of a dumpling infatuation of late so it looks like I'll be trying these ones out as well!

  24. Faith says:

    I pretty much learned how to cook when I married my hubby! Definitely the power of love. ;)

  25. shaz says:

    They look delicious! We often rename food in our house too :) Dumpling bun things are perfect I think. He he, and I only took "proper" cooking seriously when I started dating hubby too (although I'd been baking long before that).

  26. Maria says:

    I love dumplings! I think you've just inspired me to make them again 😀

  27. El says:

    These look amazing. Would it work if I made a vegetarian version?

  28. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says:

    A cross between a regular dumplings and a mochi? Oh yes please! 😀 and it's perfect dumpling weather now :)

  29. Tangled Noodle says:

    I must try these! Sticky rice cakes are my absolute favorite sweet snack and the idea of combining it with a pan-fried dumpling is awesome!!

  30. Ms Baklover says:

    "The dumpling bun thing" – I love it! These look like they could almost be a healthy version of my fave deep-fried yum cha item, ham sui gok. Yummy!

  31. Trissa says:

    Hi Anh! These dumplings look great – I rarely see these one – they aren't as common… but definitely just as delicious! I remember how fun it was to have no cares and stay in PJs the whole day!

  32. Ana Powell says:

    Very tasty looking dumplings. Awesome photos x

  33. tigerfish says:

    This is the famous chinese pan-fried savory dumplings! I like them but never tried making them at home before.

  34. FFichiban says:

    Ooh yummy dumplings! Hee hee staying in pjs all day is da bomb

  35. Agnes says:

    Hehee, love the dumpling bun thing name and also the story behind them. They must taste great if they've stayed with you all this time!

  36. Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) says:

    i have tried this few times, especially my daughter, she just love it, simply yummy.

  37. Cookie baker Lynn says:

    When I first looked I thought those were English Muffins. Then I thought stuffed English Muffins. I would never have guessed dumplings. They look delicious!

  38. dining room tables says:

    This is a nice version of dumplings! I like this one. So simple too.

  39. Casey Angelova says:

    It so wonderful to have people in our lives that share their experience with us. The food then has so much more meaning. These look great! Thanks for sharing!

  40. Margot says:

    I love this recipe Anh :)

  41. Xiao Yen Recipes says:

    I saw something like this in the freezer section of my grocery store. I was reading it and not quite understanding how possible it is to fry something frozen with meat stuffing. Your pics make the dumplings look so yummy!

  42. foodwink says:

    Love dumplings. It's the Chinese in me :) Yours look yummy.

  43. Food For Tots says:

    I prefer this kind of dough for dumpling. Looks like those fried buns I had in Malaysia. So yummilicious! 😉

  44. Jo - SecondHelping says:

    As I read your post on this chilly Melbourne morning, I want one of your dumplings, NOW!!!

  45. Sarah says:

    oh yum, in Beijing I ate lots of dumplings but have never tried making them at home, this looks yummy and very doable.

  46. bake in paris says:

    Beautiful pictures and scruptious dumplings. Love the warm and dreamy look of your pics, great job!

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