How to Cook Dumplings,
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5 from 2 votes

How to Cook Dumplings (3 Ways)

Our guide on how to cook dumplings using 3 methods: steaming, pan-frying, and boiling.
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: how to cook dumplings
Author: Sarah


  • fresh or frozen dumplings


To Steam Dumplings:

  • Fill a wok (with lid) or metal steamer with water. If using a wok with a bamboo steamer, make sure there’s enough water in the wok to come up the sides of the steamer about 1 cm, to prevent scorching. If using a metal steamer or pan/steam rack set-up, just make sure there’s enough water to simmer for 10 minutes without drying out. Make sure the water isn’t high enough to touch the dumplings during steaming. 
  • Line your steamer with a non-stick liner. You can use large, flat leaves of cabbage or lettuce for this, but we’re loving Kana parchment paper liners.
  • Place the dumplings about 1-inch apart, giving them some room to expand. 
  • Place the dumplings about 1-inch apart, giving them some room to expand. Once boiling, place the dumplings in, cover, and steam on medium to medium high heat for 8-10 minutes.

To Pan-fry Dumplings:

  • Heat cast iron pan over medium high heat until smoking. If using a non-stick pan, heat over medium heat until hot.
  • Add a couple tablespoons vegetable oil, and then add the dumplings. Fry until the bottoms of the dumplings are lightly golden brown.
  • Add about ½ cup water to the pan and immediately cover. Allow to steam in the pan until all the water has cooked off, about 7 minutes.
  • Uncover and continue cooking until the pan is completely dry and the bottoms of the dumplings are crispy.

To Boil Dumplings:

  • Depending on the number of dumplings you’re cooking, bring a medium to large pot of water to a boil.
  • Drop in the dumplings, and stir immediately so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pot. 
  • Bring back to a boil, and boil for 6-8 minutes, depending on their size, until cooked through.


If cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to thaw them first. The instructions above are still accurate, you just may want to cook them on the longer side of the range (8 minutes for boiling, 10 minutes for steaming).