These crispy skirt dumplings are filled with juicy pork, shrimp, and cabbage with a beautifully crispy lace bottom. This recipe will guide you step-by-step to make homemade dumplings from scratch! Trust me they are 100% worth it.
Potstickers, dumplings, jiaozi, gyoza, or whatever you want to call them are always mouth-wateringly delicious. I consider dumplings to be a staple food group in my diet. I always make sure to keep a bag of frozen dumplings in the freezer for my hangry emergencies. You can eat them as a snack, for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. There are so many ways you can cook a dumpling, steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or deep-fried. They can be served in a wonton soup or on their own with a delicious dipping sauce, some ginger, or in a chili oil bath like these chili oil wontons. If I had to name a favorite dumpling it would be pan-fried crispy skirt dumplings. Taking a bite into a juicy homemade dumpling with a crispy bottom instantaneously makes me so happy.
So let's impress your dumpling-loving friends or hell treat yourself to these delicious homemade pork crispy skirt dumplings. If you're feeling lazy you can always use frozen dumplings and skip to the crispy skirt portion of the recipe!
What is a crispy dumpling skirt?
A dumpling skirt or a dumpling lace is a crispy lace-like layer that attaches to the bottom of the dumplings. This is created with water, all-purpose flour, and a dash of salt. You can alternatively use cornstarch or rice flour for a thinner and more delicate skirt, but I like the skirt to have a little bit of bite to it that only all-purpose flour can provide. The skirt is created when the flour-water mixture mixes with the oil on the pan. Once the water evaporates the oil separates the remaining flour into a tuile-like skirt creating that beautiful crispy bottom layer. These crispy skirt dumplings are incredibly crispy and satisfying.
Ingredients For This Recipe
Most of the ingredients for these crispy skirt dumplings can be found at your local grocery store, Asian grocery store, or online.
- All Purpose Flour: all purpose flour is used to make the dumpling dough and the crispy skirt. For the crispy skirt, you can also use cornstarch or rice flour to create a thinner more delicate skirt.
- Salt: the salt adds subtle seasoning to the dumpling filling and the crispy skirt.
- Garlic: the fragrant minced garlic adds a rich aromatic flavor to the filling.
- Ginger: the minced ginger also adds a slightly peppery and sweet aromatic flavor to the filling.
- Napa cabbage: the napa cabbage balances out the protein in the filling creating a well-balanced and healthy dumpling.
- Green Onion: the green onion brightens up the flavors of the pork and shrimp.
- Ground Pork: make sure to get ground pork for this recipe. This will allow the dumpling filling to turn into a paste making it easier to fill the wrapper and pleat.
- Shrimp: the shrimp is optional. Personally, I love having shrimp in my dumplings to break up the pork flavor.
- Tapioca Starch: the tapioca starch is also optional. This acts as a tenderizing agent to the pork and allows the meat to come out more tender and springy when cooked.
- Sesame Oil: sesame oil brings a nutty aromatic flavor to the dumpling. A little goes a long way. You can buy sesame oil online or at your local Asian grocery store.
- Soy Sauce: Use a light flavored soy sauce to prevent the dumplings from being overly salty. I like to use Lee Kum Kee's Premium Soy Sauce since it has the perfect balance of saltiness.
- Sesame Oil: sesame oil brings a nutty aromatic flavor to the dipping sauce. You can buy sesame oil online or at your local Asian grocery store.
- Sugar: the sugar balances out the saltiness of the soy sauce.
- White Pepper: white pepper is a more subtle pepper than black pepper giving the dumpling a light aromatic. However, you can always substitute white pepper with black pepper.
- Chinkiang Vinegar: is a rice based Chinese vinegar used as a staple in most Chinese dishes. It tastes fruity yet less sweet than balsamic, with a touch of umami richness. You can buy Chinkiang Vinegar online or at your local Asian grocery store.
Kitchen Equipment For This Recipe
- Small Rolling Pin: a small rolling pin allows you to have more control over the thickness of the dumpling dough. You want the rim of the disc to be slightly thinner than the center of the disc.
- Mixing Bowls: nesting glass mixing bowls are a must have kitchen essential for everything. I use it them for baking and cooking almost every single day.
- 12 Inch Skillet + lid: Having a large enough skillet with a matching lid is important. You want to have enough space to fit the dumplings without having them touch each other. And with a proper fitting lid so that you don't lose steam while you are cooking the dumpling.
How To Make This Recipe
For this recipe, there are five main steps to create these crispy skirt dumplings: 1) Make the wrappers, 2) Mix the filling, 3) Make the dipping sauce, 4) assemble the dumplings, 5) cook the dumplings and crispy skirt. This may seem like a daunting task but if you follow the steps one at a time you will find the end result incredibly rewarding. Let's get started!
I. Make the Dough
The key to a delicious dumpling is always the dough. You want the dough to be pillowy soft yet also chewy and pliable. For a perfect dumpling wrapper, all you need is flour and water. Alternatively, you can skip this step by buying round store-bought wrappers as well.
- Mix the flour and water together. Add flour and salt into the bowl of your stand mixer with a dough hook attachment or a large mixing bowl and mix until combined. While the mixer is on low, slowly pour in the boiling water. Mix until water is absorbed and the dough is combined and formed.
- Knead the dough. Transfer to a well floured cooking surface and hand knead for another 5-8 minutes until dough is round and smooth. The dough should be springy, and not sticking to the bowl and not too tender. Add flour if the dough is too soft and doesn't hold its shape. Add water if the dough doesn't come together and is too dry.
- Rest the dough. Place dough in a covered greased bowl or a medium ziplock bag, seal, and allow to rest and hydrate for at least 30 minutes. Dough can rest for up to 2 hours before being used.
II. Make the Pork and Shrimp Filling
- Lightly sauté the vegetables. Heat vegetable oil on a large pan over medium high heat. Add the minced garlic, minced ginger, diced cabbage and minced scallions. While stirring constantly, cook for about 2 minutes until softened. Set aside to cool.
- Prepare the shrimp. Wash, peel and devein the shrimp. Then cut into small 1 cm pieces.
- Make the pork into a paste. Place the ground pork in a large bowl. Add the tapioca starch and water. Using chopsticks or a wooden spoon, stir the ingredients together for several minutes. After about a minute, the meat should become more paste-like.
- Mix together. In a large mixing bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, salt, white pepper until combined. Add the cooled vegetables, pork and shrimp. Using a spatula or your hand, mix until combined.
III. Make the Dumpling Sauce
- In a medium mixing bowl, stir the soy sauce, Chinkiang vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, minced ginger, and scallions in a bowl. Let the sauce infuse the flavors in the bowl for 15 minutes before serving.
- Divide the dough. Lightly flour your work surface. Remove dough and cut the dough in half and keep one half in the bag/bowl. Roll out one half of your dough into a 1” thick rope. Cut into 16 equal pieces about 2 cm long.
- Roll dough into a disc. Place all the pieces of dough in the ziplock bag to prevent drying out. On a floured work surface, roll 1 piece of dough into a circle and then flatten it out with a small rolling pin into a 3.5”-4” disc. Try to roll the dough out so the edges are slightly thinner than the center.
- Fill and pleat. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of your round dumpling wrapper, avoid over filling. Fold the dumpling in half like a taco and pinch together in the center leaving the sides not pinched. Start pleating to the left of the center pinch and seal it to the right. Continue gathering dough and sealing pleats until you reach the end about 4 pleats. Repeat on the right side sealing the pleats to the left with another 4 pleats to form a "V" shape. Repeat with remaining dumplings and place dumplings on a lightly floured baking tray covered with a towel until ready to be cooked.
V. Cook the Pork Dumplings with Crispy Skirt
- Make flour slurry. In a small bowl, mix together the water, salt and all purpose flour until combined. Set aside.
- Cook the dumplings. Add 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil to a 12 inch nonstick pan and heat over medium high heat. Add a single layer of dumplings to fill your pan. Make sure there is room between the dumplings so they don’t stick. Sear on the flat side for 2-3 minutes until the side is toasted and golden brown.
- Add the flour slurry. Whisk the flour slurry and slowly pour into the pan distributing the slurry evenly, and cover the pan with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium to medium low heat and steam the dumplings for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid to cook off and for the bottoms to crisp up again. Invert a plate over the pan and quickly flip the dumplings onto the plate. Repeat steps with remaining dumplings.
Tips For This Recipe
- Homemade dough always > store bought. Homemade dough creates a fresher dumpling that holds in the flavors of the filling better than a thin store bought wrapper. This dough recipe contains only 3 pantry essential ingredients making it incredibly simple to make at home. Alternatively, you can use a thicker store bought dumpling wrapper.
- Make sure the lid properly fits the pan. This will ensure the tops of the dumplings steam and cook properly.
- Don't be afraid to add enough oil. The oil is what separates the crispy dumpling skirt into that beautiful crispy lace. The less oil you add the more the skirt will look like a thin sheet of paper. The oil helps the dumplings release from the pan with ease as well.
- If you burn the skirt, simply turn down the heat and use a shorter cook time. This takes practice as you learn how quickly your stove heats up the dumplings.
You can store the uncooked pork dumplings in the freezer for up to 1 month in a sealed container. To freeze, cover the baking sheet with plastic wrap and freeze the dumplings completely. When the dumplings are frozen, carefully transfer the frozen dumplings into a large container or freezer bag. This will allow the dumplings to freeze without sticking together.
To re-heat, simply steam from the freezer without thawing for about 15-20 minutes.