Pan-fried pot-stickers, meaty xiao long bao and sweet sesame balls - we’re bowing down to China’s delicious dumplings.
30 Aug 2018 - 3:05 PM  UPDATED 10 Jan 2019 - 2:49 PM

1. Sticking together

These pork and prawn potstickers were crowned winners by the #TheChefsLine judges and your household will be doing the same.

Chewy, sticky, silky, melty - potstickers tick every possible moreish box.

2. Marrow me!

Xiao long bao (aka those scrumptious soup dumplings that explode in your mouth) are usually filled with pork and aspic, but these beauties up the ante by way of scallops, prawns and beef bone marrow. Serve with chilli- and star anise-spiked Chinkiang (Chinese black vinegar) and let the love affair begin.  


3. Crispy bundles of joy

These morsels of deep-fried deliciousness are filled with pork, Chinese five-spice and a fresh ginger zing. Perfect as a party snack, the wontons go wonderfully with homemade sweet chilli sauce.  

4. Taste of Shanghai

Enjoyed for breakfast or an on-the-go snack, these sticky rice dumplings can be found at street stalls across Shanghai. Here, Leanne Kitchen adds pork (minced and dried lup yook), dried shrimp and bamboo shoots into the mix, along with a swig of your Asian sauces (soy,  oyster and Shaoxing wine).

Sticky rice dumplings

5. Hello wholesome dumplings

Swimming in a fragrant chicken and mushroom broth, these pork dumplings will nurture you through the cooler months. Wood-ear mushrooms (also known as black fungus) add a delightful texture to the dish, but you can substitute shiitake if preferred.


6. Ultimate comfort food

Here, Poh Ling Yeow shares her take on “ultimate comfort food” – pan-fried pork and cabbage dumplings. Seasoned with soy, Shaoxing rice wine and a healthy handful of spring onions, the moist meaty mixture shines amid its crisp, dumpling case. If you need any more convincing, just listen to Poh: “The sensation of chomping into one of these plump parcels and its juices squirting down your chin is unbeatable.” That’s it, we’re sold!

7. Blue with envy

The intense blue colour of the butterfly blue pea flower is so beguiling - when dried flowers are steeped in hot water, they release their beautiful colour. These vibrant dumplings get their intense blue colour from the butterfly blue pea flower. Talk about wow factor!

Blue pea flower dumplings

8. Hold up, pumpkin?

Pumpkin in a dumpling? Yep, it’s a thing. Found in Xinjiang, a largely Muslim region China’s northwest, these dumplings – ‘kawa mantisi’ as they are locally known – feature a filling of ginger, cumin seeds and pumpkin. Steamed and served with black rice vinegar and chilli flakes, they’ll entice vegetarians and carnivores alike.


9. Auspicious and age-defying

Commonly eaten on special occasions, such as Chinese New Year, these fermented glutinous rice dumplings are said to promote blood circulation in women and even slow the ageing process. Containing just four ingredients, the balls are a breeze to make, just don’t expect sweetness levels to match that of Western desserts.


10. Fast and the fabulous

Not only are these prawn, ginger and black vinegar dumplings utterly divine, they can be made in 30 minutes thanks to the sheer handiness of ready-made gow gee wrappers. Whip some up tonight!

11. Cross-cultural dumplings

Melbourne chef and restaurateur David Zhou takes glutinous rice balls to a sweet new level by adding shredded coconut, peanut butter and white chocolate melts. They mightn’t be ‘classically Chinese’ but these dessert dumplings are heavenly, indeed.

Soft-centred white chocolate dumplings with peanut and coconut praline

12. Lookin' for some hot stuff

Elevate your pork parcels with a spoonful of homemade chilli jam – a powerful condiment great for stir-fries, Asian soups and salad dressings. Crisp on the outside, more-ish in the middle, these dumplings make an ideal party snack.


13. Tasty imitators

Inspired by xiao long bao, these pork pot-stickers contain a slightly soupy interior. Speed up the cooking process by purchasing gow gee wrappers instead of making your own dumpling cases. And don’t forget the Chinese black vinegar for delicious dipping. 

Pork pot stickers

14. Tea time

Tea isn’t just for drinking, it's fantastic at cooking, too. Here, Luke Nguyen uses fresh green tea leaves to infuse his sesame dumplings. Sweetened with palm sugar and scattered with black and white sesame seeds, these warm bites go wonderfully with a cup of, well, tea.

15.  Like grandma used to make

Served in a steaming chicken and ginger broth these Suzhou-style wontons are modelled on a family recipe from Le jus d’orange blogger Betty Liu. Traditionally encased in paper-thin dough, these days its easier to use eggless wonton wrappers from the packet. Try this recipe over the weekend because the broth is best cooked for 4-5 hours. 


For our full dumpling recipe collection, head here.

Have we got your attention and your tastebuds? The Chefs’ Line airs every weeknight at 6pm on SBS followed by an encore screening at 9.30pm on SBS Food Network. Episodes will be available after broadcast via SBS On Demand. Join the conversation #TheChefsLine on Instagram @sbsfood, Facebook @SBSFood and Twitter @SBS_Food. Check out for episode guides, cuisine lowdowns, recipes and more!

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