These Chinese chicken dumplings have ground chicken and fresh & dried shiitake mushrooms for a deep, meaty flavor that will become a new favorite!
Finally, A Tasty Chinese Chicken Dumpling
Most (if not all) of the Chinese dumplings I grew up eating have been made with some variation of a pork filling, and it’s true that ground pork is invariably the meat of choice when it comes to the dumpling-making arts.
While living in China, however, I was introduced to a plethora of new dumpling ingredients, including dumplings made with lamb, beef, and even tofu.
I was also introduced to dumplings that were made with chicken, and I immediately wanted to come up with a version of my own, since several of our readers have requested that we post a recipe for Chinese chicken dumplings.
This chicken dumpling recipe includes shiitake mushrooms––both fresh and dried––to give them a really deep, meaty flavor. I also included a decent amount of oil in the filling (about 3 tablespoons), to keep the dumpling filling moist, especially if you’re choosing to use lean ground chicken breast instead of dark meat.
Having Trouble finding ground dark meat chicken?
You can make your own ground chicken using just a cutting board and knife. Buy boneless skinless chicken thighs, and use our hand-chopping method to make ground chicken.
This will not only improve the flavor of your dumplings (dark meat will taste better than white meat here), the texture of your dumplings will also be better!
I have to say, after making these, I’ve decided that chicken dumplings can totally stand up to the taste of traditional pork dumplings. I will be keeping a bag of these in the freezer for the foreseeable future. They’re that good!
We have included instructions on making your own dumpling wrappers, but you can also use store-bought dumpling wrappers. This recipe makes about 4 dozen dumplings, so you’ll need 1-2 packages of wrappers.
Chicken & Mushroom Dumplings: Recipe Instructions
Start by making the dough for the dumpling wrappers. (If using store-bought wrappers, skip this step.)
Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and knead into a dough. This process should take about 10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for an hour.
In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent.
How to REconstitute dried shiitake mushrooms
You have 2 options here. You can either add the mushrooms to a bowl of cold water and soak them overnight, or you can soak them in hot water for about 2 hours. Use a small plate or bowl to hold the mushrooms below the water for faster soaking.
Once re-constituted, squeeze the excess liquid out of the mushrooms, and trim away any tough stems. Then chop!
That mushroom soaking liquid is full of flavor. Use it in place of stock for stir-fries, or add it to soups. Just be sure to avoid any sediment that may have settled to the bottom of the soaking bowl.
Use a pair of chopsticks to stir the filling together in one direction for about 5 minutes. The mixture should have a paste-like consistency.
Divide the dough into 48 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a rough circle about 3 1/2 inches (9cm) in diameter. Add about 1 heaping tablespoon of filling.
Pleat your chicken dumplings and ensure that you have a good seal on them. Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
For detailed step-by-step photos showing you how to do that, check out our full tutorial on how to fold dumplings (4 techniques, from beginner to advanced). Your dumplings don’t need as many pleats as those shown below. We’ll show you easier methods to start with!
Homemade dumpling wrappers are self-sealing, but if using store-bought, you’ll need water to seal the dumplings. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of water, and dab some water around the outer edges of the wrapper before adding the filling and sealing the dumplings.
Continue until all the dumplings are assembled.
At this point, you can place the dumplings on a parchment-lined tray. Space them apart, so they aren’t touching each other, cover, and freeze solid. Then you can transfer to zip-top bags and store in the freezer.
To make pan-fried dumplings (mmm…chicken potstickers!), add a tablespoon of oil to a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the dumplings to the pan, and allow to fry. (Note: if using frozen dumplings, there is no need to thaw before cooking.)
When the dumplings are lightly golden brown on the bottom, add enough water to come 1/4 inch up the pan. Cover tightly with a lid. When the water has steamed off, uncover, and allow the dumplings to continue frying until golden brown.
If you’d rather not fry the dumplings, you can also toss them into a pot of boiling water. Stir gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot, and cook for about 7-8 minutes. They’re great both ways!
For full details on how to cook dumplings three different ways, check out our tutorial on how to cook dumplings. You’ll learn how to steam them in a bamboo steamer, boil, and pan-fry them!
If you want to learn more about dipping sauces, see our post on how to make a traditional dumpling sauce.
Chicken Dumplings with Shiitake Mushrooms
- 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus 3 tablespoons/45ml)
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 4 oz. shiitake mushrooms (chopped)
- 6 dried shiitake mushrooms (soaked to reconstitute and chopped)
- 1 pound ground chicken (preferably dark meat)
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine (or dry cooking sherry)
- Put the flour in a large mixing bowl. Gradually add the water to the flour and knead into a dough. This process should take about 10 minutes. Cover with a damp cloth and let the dough rest for an hour.
- In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Then add the chopped fresh and reconstituted mushrooms. Cook for 8-10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl, along with the ground chicken, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, wine, and 3 tablespoons oil.
- Use a pair of chopsticks to stir the filling together in one direction for about 5 minutes, until the mixture resembles a paste. Divide the dough into 48 equal pieces. Roll out each piece into a rough circle about 3 1/2 inches in diameter, and add about 2 tablespoons of filling. Pleat the dumplings and ensure they are tightly sealed. Continue until all the dumplings are assembled.
- At this point, you can place the dumplings on a parchment-lined tray (spaced apart, so they aren’t touching each other), and freeze solid. Then you can transfer to zip-top bags and store in the freezer.
- To cook the dumplings, whether fresh or frozen, add a tablespoon of oil to a non-stick or cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the dumplings to the pan, and allow to fry. When the bottoms of the dumplings are lightly golden brown, add enough water to come about 1/4 inch up the pan, and cover. When the water has steamed off, uncover, and allow the dumplings to continue frying until golden brown. Serve with chili oil or our favorite dipping sauce!
- If you’d rather not fry the dumplings, you can also toss them into boiling water, stir gently so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot, and cook until they float to the surface.