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Gluten Free Chinese Dumpling Recipe

by Jeanette on April 11, 2011 · 71 Comments
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Gluten-Free Chinese Dumplings with Soy Sesame Dipping Sauce

One of my kid’s favorite foods are Chinese dumplings. Growing up, my mom would roll out her own dumpling dough using a hand crank pasta machine; we would form an assembly line of cutting the dough into circles using an empty juice can, and then hand wrap all the dumplings.

We would make a hundred dumplings at a time. My husband’s grandmother also would make homemade dumplings, but she made the dumpling dough the old fashioned way, hand rolling each wrapper. I would sit with her and wrap dumplings just as I did growing up.

Today, Chinese dumplings can easily be found in regular supermarkets and wholesale stores like Costco’s. I haven’t made homemade dumplings in a really long time since they are so readily available in our local Chinese grocery store.

However, now that one of my kids is allergic to wheat, he no longer can enjoy any of the store-bought dumplings, which are all made with wheat flour. As I searched for a gluten-free dumpling dough recipe, I came across one made with tapioca starch and rice flour. I couldn’t wait to try making gluten-free dumplings for my son. The gluten-free dumpling dough is quite fragile as there is no gluten in the dough; however, it cooks up great, with a nice chewy texture. The good news that is gluten-free doesn’t mean taste free. These dumpling are absolutely delicious!

Although a bit time consuming, these dumplings can be frozen so I made a larger batch and froze them individually so that I can pull them out whenever our family has dumplings for dinner, and I need a few gluten-free Chinese dumplings for my gluten-allergic son.

Recently, I did find gluten-free Chinese dumplings in our local health food store, which were actually quite delicious. However, they were super expensive, at almost a dollar a dumpling! This gluten free Chinese dumpling recipe will definitely satisfy any craving for Chinese dumplings, at a fraction of the cost of store-bought gluten free dumplings.

Gluten-Free Fried Chinese Dumplings are a special treat.

Gluten Free Chinese Dumpling Wrappers:

Adapted from Hey That Taste’s Good. This dough is quite fragile when rolled out. Make sure to flour your cutting board and rolling pin before rolling out the wrappers. If you find the wrapper breaking apart when you roll it out, don’t worry – simply gather up the dough and roll it out again. You can also patch up any tears in the dough with a bit of water and a small piece of extra dough or glutinous flour. Don’t worry about the appearance of these dumplings. it takes practice to make them look pretty, but they taste delicious nonetheless.

Printable Recipe
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup fine rice flour
1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 tablespoons light olive oil
12-14 tablespoons cold water
glutinous or sweet rice flour

Whisk together tapioca starch, rice flour and xanthan gum in a bowl. Add oil and 12 tablespoons of water. Mix well, adding a little bit of water at a time if necessary to form a firm, but not dry, dough. Cover bowl with plastic wrap while preparing dumpling filling. The dumpling dough can be left for several hours as long as you cover it with plastic wrap to avoid drying out.

When ready to make the dumpling wrappers, sprinkle a cutting board or pastry sheet with glutinous rice flour. Form dough into a long log. Cut dough into 24 even pieces.

Cut dumpling dough into 24 equal pieces.

Flatten each piece into a small round on floured cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll each round into a 2 1/2″- 3″ circle, flipping the dough over, and turning the circle as you roll it out. 

Flatten out dough pieces, then roll gently into round wrappers, about 2 1/2″ to 3″ in diameter.

The dough is fragile, so roll it out carefully, and be sure to keep both sides floured so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or cutting board. Cover rolled dumpling wrappers with plastic wrap until all the wrappers are made. If you need to leave the wrappers to rest for a while, cover with a very slightly damp paper towel and then a piece of plastic wrap (I did this as I couldn’t make the dumplings in one sitting).

Gluten Free Chinese Dumpling Filling:

Most dumpling fillings use proportionally more meat. In this recipe, I have flipped the proportions so there is twice the amount of vegetables typically used in the dumpling filling. Using frozen chopped spinach saves time chopping; however, you can also use fresh Chinese Napa cabbage. For a soy free dumpling filling, either substitute the soy sauce with Coconut Aminos or 1 teaspoon salt.

Printable Recipe
One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1/2 pound ground chicken or turkey
1 scallion, finely minced
2 teaspoons ginger, finely minced
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or sherry
1 tablespoon gluten free soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Squeeze out all excess liquid from thawed spinach.

In a bowl, mix together spinach, chicken, scallion, ginger, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. 

The dumpling filling is easy to make; frozen chopped spinach saves time and adds nutrition.

Stir well until mixture holds together firmly. 

Mix filling ingredients together well until it forms a nice, tight mixture.

Refrigerate while preparing dumpling wrappers.

To Make Chinese Dumplings:

Place a small spoonful (about 2 teaspoons) of dumpling filling in center of dumpling wrapper. 

Put a spoonful of dumpling filling in the middle of the wrapper, being careful not to overstuff.

Bring wrapper end together over center of filling and pinch. 

Pinch center of dumpling wrapper together well.

Pinch ends of wrapper together on one end. 

To form first pleat, pinch one end of dumpling dough.

Carefully pinch wrapper together to enclose filling. 

Continue pinching both sides of dough together to enclose the dumpling filling.

Repeat on other side of wrapper.

Pinch dough gently around filling on both sides to form a flat bottomed dumpling.

To Steam Chinese Dumplings:
Place round piece of parchment paper in Chinese steamer. Lightly oil parchment paper and place dumplings on top of parchment paper, making sure dumplings do not touch each other (otherwise, they will stick together when cooked).

Place dumplings on lightly oiled parchment paper-lined steamer pan; make sure dumplings do not touch each other.

Bring water to a boil in bottom of Chinese steamer. Place steamer pan with dumplings over boiling water, cover, reduce heat to medium-low and steam for 12-15 minutes until cooked through.
Eat immediately, or let cool, and freeze. To freeze, line a plate with plastic wrap. Gently place cooked dumplings on plate. Cover dumplings with plastic wrap and place in freezer. After dumplings are frozen, store them in a container or Ziploc bag, and keep in the freezer.

To reheat, steam until hot.

To Fry Chinese Dumplings:

Place 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan. Place dumplings in pan and fry until bottom of dumplings are lightly browned. Pour in 3/8 cup water and cover pan. Cook on medium, covered, until water is evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. Watch carefully as oil may sputter. After water is evaporated, continue to cook for a few minutes until bottom of dumplings are golden brown and crunchy.

Frozen steamed dumplings can be fried the same way as fresh dumplings.

Gluten-Free Soy Sesame Dumpling Dipping Sauce:

This gluten-free sauce is so versatile. Add some minced scallions or ginger if you wish. For a soy-free dipping sauce, substitute Coconut Aminos for the soy sauce.

Printable Recipe

1 tablespoon gluten-free soy sauce (* for soy free alternative, try Coconut Aminos)
1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar

Mix all ingredients together and serve with dumplings.

More Gluten Free Dumpling Recipes:
Asian Dumpling Tip’s Gluten Free Pot Stickers
The Wannabe Chef’s Gluten-Free Dumplings with Dumpling Sauce
Faking It GF Style’s Chinese Dumplings
Court JLee’s Gluten-Free Chinese Dumplings

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  1. Kim-Cook it Allergy Free says:

    Wow!! These are beautiful!! Growing up in San Francisco, I ate dumplings all of the time from my neighbor's restaurant. They have been what I have missed the most in our gluten free world but just have not attempted to try them yet. Now?? I am totally going to make these! What a wonderful recipe! Thanks for this one, Jeanette!

  2. Jeanette says:

    Thanks Kim – I was really psyched when I found a way to make gluten-free Chinese dumplings that tasted authentic. Hope you enjoy!

  3. Grace @ HapaMama says:

    Oh my goodness, those look delicious! I think the gluten-free version might be even better than the wheat wrappers. They look like har gow, one of my favorite dim sum items.

  4. Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food says:

    I've never attempted Chinese-style dumplings at home, but this sensational recipe is certainly spurring me to give it a whirl! Love love love the filling you've used here.

  5. Grace – these wrappers do remind me of har gow, but they're chewier, more doughy like wheat wrappers.

    Barbara – these dumplings take a bit of time to make but you can do it in stages. I made the dough, rolled out the wrappers and let it rest. Just make sure to cover the wrappers with a slightly damp paper towel and then a piece of plastic wrap to keep them from drying out. The filling can also be made ahead and refrigerated. I was really pleased with the filling – the extra vegetables make it extra moist.

    • Hi Jeanette,
      Can these dumplings be cooked the traditional way by boiling the jiaozi using these gluten free wraps?
      Thank you!

      • Hi Susie, I don’t think these would boil well – they might fall apart. I would suggest steaming them or pan frying them.

  6. I clicked over here from Kim's (Cook IT Allergy Free) Facebook link and oh my word, these look fantastic! Do you think it would work for pot stickers, too?

  7. Hi Zoe – yes, these would work for pot stickers as well. I pan fried a few and they turned out great. The trick is to use a little of oil in a non-stick pan. Lightly brown the bottoms, then add some water (I used about 1/3 cup of water) and cover the pan to steam fry (medium low or medium heat) the dumplings. After all the water is evaporated, uncover the pan and continue cooking for a few minutes until the bottoms are nice and crisp. You can also steam the dumplings and then pan fry them to get the crunchy bottoms.

  8. Diane-The WHOLE Gang says:

    These look so good. I really miss these dumplings. Can you tell me if this would work with another flour besides rice? I can't eat gluten, dairy or rice. Thank you.

    • I’ve seen recipes using Bob’s Red Mill Flour, but I haven’t tried it.

      • Bob’s Red Mill is a wheat flour, although he has many Gluten Free flours. The best blend of flours I have found so far is “Pamela’ Bread and Baking Flour” This is totally Gluten free and works really well even in some standard recipes – adding the xantham gum of course.

        • Yes, I was referring to Bob’s Red Mill’s All-Purpose Gluten-Free Baking Mix. I do like Pamela’s Baking and Pancake Mix too, but it contains dairy (which may not be problem for you). I haven’t tried her Bread Mix, but it has yeast in it so would not work for the dumpling skin.

  9. Janet @Gourmet Traveller 88 says:

    Hi Jeanette, you have got me, I love dumplings, sorry it took me so long to visit your site. and btw, you have just won a copy of my cookbook. Pls send me your mailing address : ) Congrats Janet

  10. Thanks Diane – some recipes use Bob Red Mill's All Purpose Baking Mix which I suspect would make a heavier heartier dough. If you want to lighten it up a bit, maybe try mixing some of Bob's mix with tapioca starch. Let me know if you try it, I'm curious how it would turn out

  11. Hi Janet, thanks, and I look forward to reading through you cookbook!

  12. Cookin' Canuck says:

    How wonderful that you have made Chinese dumplings accessible for those following a gf diet. These look fantastic!

  13. Jeanette, very cool that you made GF dumplings…..excellent prep tips too. Can I come over for dinner?? :)

  14. Thanks Dara, I'm so glad I figured out how to make gluten free Chinese dumplings, as the store bought ones are hard to find and very expensive.

  15. Thanks Marla, these dumplings aren't hard to make, but the gluten free dough doesn't stretch like regular dumpling dough, and requires a gentler hand when forming the dumplings. Wish you lived closer by, then I could sample all of your yummy treats!

  16. Well YUM!!

    xo Lexie

  17. Mew Maurer says:

    These are awesome! Came out very moist and the scent was heavenly! My kids BEGGED me for more. This recipe has sold me on your next cookbook (I already have and use frequently the almond flour cookbook). Thank you for making such a delicious alternative for my gluten-free, dairy-free family!

  18. Kim-Cook it Allergy Free says:

    So it took me until Monday to find time to make these, but these are best described in one word. UNBELIEVABLE!! My husband asked me 2 times if I was sure that they were gluten free. LOL And my kids have never even had dumplings since they have both been gluten free most of their lives and they both kept telling me that these were such an "easy" dinner (Easy dinners in our house are the ones that my kids devour without me having to tell them to "take one more bite"). THey ate all of them. Next time I am doubling the batch!
    This is a wonderful recipe, Jeanette!! Next time I am going to make them with Shrimp!!! Thanks, my friend!

  19. Kim – I'm so glad you and your family enjoyed this recipe! I just made more tonight using Chinese garlic chives instead of spinach and my little guy was thrilled!

  20. These look absolutely amazing!

  21. Thanks Winnie, I'm so glad you like these!

  22. laurelvb says:

    Those look fantabulous. I'm going to have to try them very soon. Maybe I can line my tortilla press with saran wrap and smush them instead of rolling?

  23. Jeanette says:

    The dumpling dough is quite fragile, so if you use the tortilla press, I would just make sure you press down very gently. Let me know if you try it.

  24. Megan @ MAID in Alaska says:

    OH my goodness!! These look fabulous!

  25. Dear Jeanette

    Thank you thank you thank you! As a long time pierogi maker I was very sad when I developed gluten ataxia (where the gluten affects your brain not just your stomach). I just tried your dough mix and didn’t find it all that fragile (maybe it was the extra kneading). I just made my dough and filled it with rutabaga, feta and spinach. I boiled them –they didn’t fall apart! I fried them crisp and they were chewy and crispy like pierogi! except the tapicoa flour gives it that extra bit ot sweetness! Next I am going to play around with the flour and see if I can get it lower carb –yes I have diabetes too. sigh. What do think about using cocnut flour?

    • Christine – so glad you tried these and they came out well. I don’t think coconut flour will work unfortunately.

  26. I just made these and they look great however the meat is still pink and did not cook properly. :( I’m very sad!

    • Amber, so sorry, not sure why they did not cook through. Maybe your dumplings were larger than the ones I made. You can still eat them, just pan fry them as the recipe says. The filling will finish cooking. Or, you can just put them back in the steamer.

  27. Hi my friend makes dumplings. She is from China and she cooks her dumplings for 20 min steaming with her Chinese steamer. I am stoked to try gluten free dumpling dough recipe posted. Will do as soon as I go buy my steamer. Can’t wait.

  28. They were amazing. My family ate them and couldn’t tell the difference. I even gave one to a co-worker and she said they were best she ever had. Now wants me to make for Christmas party.
    Inside was made with the following:
    Ground Pork, Ground Turkey, Minced Shrimp, Garlic, Ginger, Onion. Sesame Oil, Little corn Oil, salt, pepper, Chicken Broth, Chinese spice, Soya Sauce
    Delish is what my 3 yr old says.
    Will be making more this weekend.

    • Shelly – I am so glad they were a hit with your family. You are ambitious making them for a Christmas party – they are a lot of work, but I know your guests will so appreciative! Your filling sounds delicious! Wouldn’t it be nice if you could get some in the restaurant so you could eat out?

  29. We are getting some variety here. Now can go and order Gluten Free Pizza. There is pasta but no dumplings. Thats ok, I like to bake cook. Right now I have Pina Colada Cupcakes in the oven. Gluten free of course. Made some 2 weeks ago and they are gone. I make my own curry sauce etc.
    Maybe someday too I will make a cook book, with my recipes.

    • We have gluten-free pizza around now, but still no restaurants with gluten-free pasta. I’m trying to convince some local restaurants to carry a few boxes of gluten-free pasta. Your family is lucky you like to cook – your Pina Colada Cupcakes sound really good 😉

  30. Where do U live that U can’t get Gluten free pasta in Restaurant? I live in Canada and we have had it in my city at least 5 yrs.

    • I’m on the East Coast in the U.S. Restaurants have been slow to accommodate gluten-free allergies. All they really need to do is carry a few boxes of gluten-free pasta in their pantry and they would be set. For people with celiac, it would more difficult to accommodate due to cross contamination issues; however for gluten-intolerance, it would be nice.

  31. Hiya, this looks like a great recipe that I’m gonna try for sure! I was wondering if it ‘s ok to leave out the glutinous or sweet rice flour over the dumplings? Also, do you have a vegetarian filling available? cheers!

    • I don’t know how the skin would hold together without the glutinous flour. If you try it, let me know how it turns out. I’ve seen recipes using Bob’ Red Mill All Purpose Flour too. As for a vegetarian filling, perhaps try, minced pressed tofu, or firm tofu (with the liquid pressed out over night), instead of the ground meat.

  32. Oh ok, thanks. I just thought the fine rice flour would hold it all together anyway..? and I thought it would be ok to leave out the glutinous flour/ sweet rice flour for the sprinkling part because I dont have any at home and not sure where to buy either of the two from. thanks.

    • It should work…I happened to have the glutinous rice flour, so I used it, but Shelly (see her comment) has made the dumpling dough without it and it worked.

  33. I have never done with glutenous flour and my turn out great!

  34. wow you have your own GF dumpling wrappers!!! i’m so bookmarking this jeanette! i’ve been looking for a workable recipe…

  35. yummers says:

    YUM YUM YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  36. yummers says:

    good food, tasty

  37. Thank you for the recipe. Both my sons are type 1 diabetic and the eldest was diagnosed last year with Celiac. Meals in our home can be challenging. Given that one of my hobbies is pastries, making the switch to GF has not been easy. Both my wife and I have gone GF to support our son and finding good recipes can be difficult. So far, I have attempted dumplings with Jule’s GF flour mix and a few ingredients to make filo dough (originally for GF baklava). I found this dough to be decent for dumplings but am experimenting with your recipe this weekend. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate you posting the recipe. I may even attempt it with spring rolls. Best of luck to you and your family in dealing with your son’s GF issues.

    • Thanks Ben – so sorry to hear about your sons. I know how challenging it can be to feed kids who are used to eating baked goods with gluten and are now gluten-free. I hope you have a chance to try these dumplings. For spring rolls, you might try rice paper wrappers (you can find these in the Asian market or at Whole Foods). Rice paper wrappers can be dipped in water to soften and used to wrap fillings. Also, there are some gluten-free tortillas on the market.

  38. glutenfree mom says:

    what is the fine rice flour you used, is it regular rice or sticky rice? can you be a bit more specific?

    • Fine rice flour is regular rice flour, not glutinous or stick rice flour. You can find it in the Asian grocery store – it’s much cheaper, or you can buy it at the supermarket (Bob’s Red Mill makes one I believe).

  39. Hello jeanette;
    Once again I find myself making these awesome dumplings. this time I am making them in Costa Rica and have many new friends wanting to try them. including those who have never heard of them or tried them. i think they will be a hit!

  40. This recipe look amazing!! I can’t wait to try it. I’m a big fan of dumplings and especially gluten free dumplings. Thank you so much for sharing Jeanette :)

  41. THANK YOU!!! I recently found out that I am allergic to gluten and have been craving dumplings for some time now. I cannot wait to try this recipe :)

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      So glad you found this recipe to try C – I know how hard it can be when you have a craving but can’t figure out how to make it gluten-free.

  42. Rebecca says:


    I was wondering if there is anything you would recommend substituting tapioca for? I’m about to embark on an elimination diet and these would certainly light up dinner time :)

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Rebecca – you can try arrowroot or cornstarch – the idea is to use a lighter flour. Potato starch might also work.

  43. Hi jeanette
    Just wanted to share a pic on my gluten free chinese dumpling with you


    • Shelly, these look amazing! Thanks so much for sharing your picture. I just posted it on Facebook.

      • Thanks Jeanette
        Seeing that you made gluten free dumplings gave me my inspiration. Next week I am gonna make them again and or won ton soup. They are def a family favorite. And my friends eat them all up too, yet I am the only one gluten free.

  44. Shelly – so glad you were inspired to try making your own dumplings. Let me know how your won tons turn out.

  45. Really nice recipe! I will try it for sure during the holidays! Thanks!

  46. Thank you so much! My three-year-old daughter, adopted from China, has a severe form of gluten-intolerance. Our whole house has to be GF as a result. Can’t wait to try these on Friday!

  47. Hi Jeanette,
    I’ve never made these with your method before, but I have tried making the wrapper with Wheat Starch. Will using Wheat Starch still work with this recipe? I don’t mind that it won’t be gluten free,
    Thanks! :)

    • Jeanette Jeanette says:

      Hi Ellie, traditional Chinese dumpling wrappers are actually made with regular wheat flour (vs. wheat starch or rice flour).

  48. Gretchen Tseng says:

    I just used your gf dumpling skin recipe and they came out great.

    I made them using a different method…my pasta machine. My Chinese in-laws are in town and we were making dumplings, so I wanted to make some for myself and my daughter (we are both gf).

    The pasta machine made all the difference. The dumpling skins are thin and uniform. They boil and fry well. My mom-in-law said they were easier to fold than the regular skins. Amazing!

    Thanks for the recipe.

    • Gretchen, so glad these worked for you. Thanks so much for your feedback – great idea using the pasta machine. My mom used to use that – it makes dumpling making so much easier.

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