We all love dumplings but not everybody knows how to wrap them. Today, I will show you 24 ways to fold dumplings, ranging from incredibly easy, classic methods, to complicated but beautiful patterns. Please stick with me until the end. I promise you; this is by far the most comprehensive guide, and you will never fail at folding dumplings again after reading this post.
Homemade VS Store-bought wrappers
First, let’s talk about the difference between homemade and store-bought wrappers because that is going to affect the folding a little bit.
The store-bought wrapper contains a low water ratio due to the need to prevent them from sticking together. They are quite stiff and less stretchy. If you want to practice more complicated patterns, they don’t do a good job. You may have to wet the edge to seal the wrapper because they don’t stick to each other easily. They usually come from the frozen section in your local grocery stores, so be sure to put them out 1 hour ahead to defrost.
With homemade wrappers, you can fold your dumplings however you want as they are moist, soft, and stretchy. But it is time-consuming to knead the dough and roll the wrapper. Just be sure not to dust too much flour on the dough, otherwise, it won’t stick together when closing the dumplings. If you want to know more details, I have a dumpling from scratch tutorial. You can click here to watch that video.
I used the homemade wrapper for making this post because I want to make some sophisticated patterns at the end.
The filling I am using today is the pork sour cabbage version, which I have showed in my jade dumpling videos. You can click here to learn how to make it. Ok, let’s have some fun folding dumplings today.
1. Fold in Half Dumplings
This is the easiest one. If you have never made dumplings before, you can start with this one. Fold the wrapper in half. You don’t need any pleats. Just pinch the edge tightly and make sure to push out the air. If you want to have a weekend dumpling-making project with your kids, this is what you can teach them.
2. Fold in Half With Simple Pleats
If the dumpling doesn’t have pleats, it has a higher chance to break while cooking. Base on the first one, you can make some super simple pleats. Use your forefinger and thumb. Rub it back and forth on the edge of the dumpling. The pleats will grip onto each other so the wrapper won’t split open. Look how pretty that is.
3. Standing Up Dumplings
Based on the second method, you can a variation. Bend two ends toward the middle and lightly press to keep the shape. That way the dumpling can stand up; it’s like a little bag. You can pan-fry them with the pleats pointing up so even if the edge splits during cooking, the juice won’t leak out.
4. Shoe-Shaped Gold IngotDumpling
This is also a variation of the fold in half dumpling. Super easy – what you do is to make a curve right at the middle and bend the dumplings to connect 2 ends. Pinch tightly to make sure they don’t separate. This looks like the Chinese shoe-shaped gold ingot which remains a symbol of wealth and prosperity. If you want to make dumplings for Chinese festivities or special even, this is the shape you should try.
5. Fat Belly Dumpling
Use both of your hands to stretch the wrapper lightly, then fold that in half. Pinch the edge together and squeeze the dumpling with the hollow of your palm. This way, you will get a dumpling that has a fat belly. Looks really cute. This is a rustic method that is often used in special dumpling restaurants because you can fold this dumpling super-fast once you practice. That is the only way to make the dumpling fresh and not to keep the customer waiting. Perfectional trained dumpling maker can wrap 30 of there in one minute.
6. Classic Chive Box
This is also a variation of the fold in half dumpling. The pleats are a little bit exquisite. Just watch how I do it because it does take some practice. This is the classic Chive box shape, which I do have a recipe for. You can click here to learn how to make it.
7. Copper Cash
Based on the chive box shape, you can make a massive dumpling. First, you will make 4 dumplings that are folded in half. Put them together one after another one and connect the end to create a circle. Match the edge to make sure it is perfectly round. Then you just pinch the pleats all the way around the edge like how you make the chive box. This looks like ancient Chinese copper cash. You can pan-fry this dumpling on both sides until golden brown. You will make you guest feel special if you serve them this.
8. Sun Shape
This is similar to the chive box. Instead of folding the wrapper in half, you cover it with another wrapper right on the top. Push out the air. Establish the edge tightly and start making pleats all the way around. This dumpling can hold up a lot of filling and it is especially good for pan-frying because it is so flat that you can easily get both sides golden and crispy.
9. Pot Sticker Shape
This is classic as you have seen it in many potsticker recipes. Fold the wrapper in half. Pinch the middle to make sure they don’t split. Push the end towards the center and you will create 2 corners. Seal those 2 corners and do the same thing to the other side.
10. Pot Sticker Variation
Same as before, fold the wrapper in half and pinch the middle. Push the end towards the center to create 2 corners. Seal those 2 corners. Do the same thing to the other side. Then pinch 2 petals together on both sides.
11. Half-Moon with 2 Pleats
Now, let’s get to the most common look of a Chinese dumpling, which will be the ‘half-moon’ shape. If you are a beginner, you can try the half-moon with only 2 pleats. Fold the wrapper in half. Pinch the middle first to make sure they stick together. Push the end towards the center to create 2 corners. Pinch one corner tightly. Then flip the other corner toward the center to create one pleat. Do the same thing to the other side. This is kind of like the potsticker, but in the last step, we fold the pleats to the center so it becomes a half-moon shape.
12. Half-moon with 4 Pleats
Once you mastered the 2 pleats, you can try 4 pleats. The first few steps are the same. Fold the wrapper in half. Pinch the middle. Push the end towards the center and pinch the first corner. Fold the other corner in a way that creates 2 pleats instead of one. Do the same thing to the other side. There you go.
13. Half-Moon Shape with However Many Pleats You Want
If you want to make more pleats, it will get more difficult. I will show you a few methods that you can practice with.
The first method – use your right hand to lift the edge of the wrapper. Use the other hand to help to fold the pleats. Stop when you finish 2/3 of the circle. Push the un-pleated wrapper towards the pleats and seal it.
The second method – bend your thumb and forefinger like that. Put the rest of your fingers at the middle to support the bottom of the dumpling. Put the wrapper with the filling right on your hand. As you can see, it is already like a half-moon shape. Pinch the corner to create the first pleat. Then fold and pinch again. Repeat that all the way until the end. This is one direction – pleating method.
The third method is bi-direction pleating method. Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the middle together. This time, we will start making the pleats from the middle. Then do it on the opposite direction.
These 3 techniques are very similar because they all get you the half-shape dumpling with many pleats. You just pick whichever one that you feel most comfortable with and start practicing.
14. Leaf Shape Dumpling
This is a bit similar to the many pleats half-moon shape dumpling. Instead of folding pleats on one side, you have to do it on both sides. Watch my hand movements carefully because this one is quite complicated.
Put your forefinger and thumb parallel with each other. Put the wrapper with the filling on the top. Pinch the right corner and lift it up. Use your left forefinger to fold pleats on the top-half of the wrapper. Use your left thumb to create pleats on the bottom half of the wrapper. Repeat that all the way until the end…..
Rub the little tip to close the dumpling.
This is a classic leaf shape. I normally don’t use it in my video because it is difficult for most people to learn, and it is time-consuming to fold. It does look pretty though, and I do love to wrap a whole shrimp in it. This way, you can leave out the tail perfectly at the end. Imagine you deep fry this – um… delicious.
15. S-Shape Dumpling
This is similar to the half-moon 4-pleat methods. The first few steps are the same. Fold the wrapper in half. Pinch the middle. Push the end towards the center and you will create 2 corners. Pinch one and fold the other one in a way that creates 2 pleats. Do the same thing to the other side but switch to the opposite direction. This way, you will have a 4-pleat dumpling but it is an S shape instead of a moon shape.
16. Soup Dumpling Shape, also known as Steam Bun Shape
The right-hand lifts the edge of the wrapper. The left hand helps to push to fold a pleat and pinch that. Lightly stretch the wrapper a little bit then push to create the next pleat. You just continue to do that until you finish the whole way around. This is similar to the first method of the half-moon shape but you don’t stop until you finish the whole way around. When you get to the end, you will create a natural hole in the middle. Your first thought might be to close it because dumplings are supposed to be sealed completely, right? No no no, that is not true. Soup dumplings contain a lot of liquid, which will create lots of steam while cooking. If the dumpling is completely sealed, it will explode. Instead, you need to leave that tiny hole open to allow the steam to escape, and because the hole is lactated at the top middle so the soup will not leak out. Of course, if you are not making soup dumplings, you can just pinch and close it.
17. Triangle Shape
This one is easy. Place the wrapper with the filling on the working surface. Mark 3 points with equal distance on the wrapper and push them towards the center. This way, you create 3 corners. Pinch these 3 lines together and close the dumpling. You may not see this shape that often online but there is a classic sweet steamed bun call sugar triangle that uses this method. I will make that recipe in the future and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss it.
18. Triangle Dumpling with Pleats
This is based on the triangle shape. The first few steps are the same. Mark 3 points with equal distance on the wrapper and push them towards the center to create 3 corners. Pinch to seal it. Then make some simple pleats on these 3 lines so the dumplings won’t break easily while cooking.
19. Three-Treasure Dumpling
This is also based on the triangle shape. The first few steps are the same. Mark 3 points with equal distance on the wrapper and push them towards the center to create 3 corners. Don’t seal these 3 lines. Instead, you pinch to stabilize the center. Open up these 3 corners and connect them with each other. This way, you will have 3 spots that you can fill with different toppings. I used diced cilantro stem, carrot, and wood ear mushroom. This dumpling is usually steamed or pan-fried at the bottom. You cannot boil it because the filling will fall out.
20. Triangle with Complicated Petals
Place the wrapper on the working surface. Mark 3 points with equal distance. Fold the edge to create a triangle wrapper. Flip to the other side. Put some filling in the middle. Fold the corners to the center. Seal the edge to create a Tetrahedron. Keep pinching the lines to make some room for the pleats later. Do you still remember the simple pleats? That is what we are going to do. Just rub your thumb and forefinger back and forth. Do this to all 3 of them. Flip the dumpling and unfold all the edges carefully and you will have some beautiful petals. Use this method, you can create 4 petals, 5 petals…..but 3 is the easy one.
21. Square Dumpling
For this shape, you mark 4 points on the edge instead 3. Push the points towards the center. Pinch the lines and you get a square dumpling. You will see this method used often on fried crab Rangoon. I will link that recipe right here; you can check it out later. I will make that recipe in the future and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel so you don’t miss it.
22. Square Dumpling Variation
Same as before; mark 4 points on the edge and push to the center. Pinch the lines to get a square dumpling. Curve one petal to the left. Curve the opposite petal to the right. You can decorate these 2 spots with peas or corns.
23. Four Joy Dumplings
The first few steps are the same. Mark 4 points with equal distance and push them towards the center to create 4 corners. Pinch to stabilize the middle. Open up these 4 corners and connect them with each other. This way, you will have 4 spots that you can fill with different toppings. I am putting cilantro, carrot, wood ear mushroom, and corns.
24. Cherry Blossom Dumpling
Mark 5 points on the wrapper with equal distance. Pinch the corners to create a pentagon. Then we will make some pleats on the petals. Remember the simple pleats that we always use? This time, we don’t rub it back and forth. We only rub with one direction. Don’t reverse. Finish all five of them. Twist each piece to make it into the cherry petals. There you go. Look how pretty it is.
Ok, 24 ways of folding dumplings. I am sure there are a lot of methods. You can leave a comment below and tell your favorite ways. I hope you learned something today. Thank you for watching and I will see you next time!