Chinese Beef Dumplings

Learn how to create the most juicy and flavorful beef dumplings, with one special trick.

Beef dumplings are an easy dim sum option for a weekday appetizer. You can make them ahead and freeze them for later too.

One of the perks of living in Beijing was having the various options of delicious frozen dumplings from grocery stores. Dumplings were a must-have in my fridge when I was living there. Whenever I felt too lazy to cook, I simply boiled a dozen dumplings and then had dinner ready in 10 minutes. Unlike the frozen dumplings (or potstickers) you can find in the US, Chinese frozen dumplings use a nicer dough that resembles homemade dumplings with a juicy filling. The filling is usually quite large, almost like a small meatball.

One of my favorite frozen dumpling brands is Wanchai Ferry (湾仔码头), a local brand owned by General Mills that sells dozens of flavors that are only available in China. Those frozen dumplings were so good that sometimes I needed to suppress the urge of writing to General Mill and demanding them to sell this line of product in the US!

Beef dumplings are an easy dim sum option for a weekday appetizer. You can make them ahead and freeze them for later too.

Although the most popular type is pork dumplings in northern China, my favorite flavor from Wanchai Ferry is beef and corn dumplings. Today I’m sharing this beef dumpling recipe with you, so you can also get to know how good they are!

Making beef dumplings is a bit more challenging than pork dumplings. Ground beef is leaner than pork, and the filling tends to end up dry and tough. In this recipe I introduced a great trick – blend liquid into the ground beef to create a juicy and flavorful dumpling filling.

Beef dumplings are an easy dim sum option for a weekday appetizer. You can make them ahead and freeze them for later too.

Just like injecting marinade into ribs before grilling, beating flavorful broth into ground meat will keep it juicy during cooking and create a better taste. I used chicken stock in this recipe. Alternatively, you can also use ginger and/or green onion infused water.

Beef dumplings are an easy dim sum option for a weekday appetizer. You can make them ahead and freeze them for later too.

To create herb infused water, finely chop a thumb of ginger (and/or 2 to 3 of green onions), place in a bowl, and cover with 1/4 cup hot water. Let steep for a hour or so to make an aromatic tea. Filter and discard the herbs before using the mixture in the recipe. This method is perfect to create more delicate dumpling fillings (such as shrimp dumplings) when you want the nice aromatic flavor without having small bits of ginger in it.

Beef dumplings are an easy dim sum option for a weekday appetizer. You can make them ahead and freeze them for later too.

This recipe is less intimidating than my other dumpling recipes because you can prep most of the ingredients by using a food processor. It is one of those dumpling recipes that I feel comfortable to make even during the week.

I used Japanese gyoza wrappers in this recipe. They are thinner than dumplings wrappers and work great, especially when you want to create pot stickers instead of steamed dumplings. If you want to use homemade dumpling wrappers, you can refer to my steamed / potsticker dumpling dough recipe, or the water boiled dumpling dough recipe.

Japanese dumplings (gyoza) wrapper pacakgeI recorded a short video to show you how easy it is to cook this dish. Find more videos to learn Chinese cooking on my YouTube channel!

Chinese Beef Dumplings Cooking Process

Need more recipes for delicious dumpling fillings? Check out these pork and cabbage dumplings, my mom’s best lamb dumplings, and vegetarian dumplings.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Chinese Beef Dumplings
 
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Cook time
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Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer, Main
Cuisine: Chinese
Serves: 36 to 40 dumplings
Ingredients
  • 230 grams (1/2 pound) ground beef (at least 20% fat)
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock (or beef stock, or water)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce (or soy sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or dry sherry)
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground toasted Sichuan peppercorn (or black pepper)
  • 4 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 20 homemade dumpling wrappers or packaged dumpling wrappers
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. To make the dumpling filling, add ground beef into a big bowl. Add chicken stock, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, ginger, salt, and toasted Sichuan peppercorns. Mix by using a pair of chopsticks until the liquid is fully absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap, and let marinate in the fridge while you prepare other ingredients.
  2. (Optional) You can start making dumpling dough now if you’re planning to use homemade dumpling wrappers.
  3. Add carrot into the food processor. Mix until finely chopped. Add green onions. Mix until the onions are finely cut. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. When you’re ready to make the dumplings, add minced green onion, carrot, corn, green peas and sesame oil into the ground beef mixture. Stir to mix well.
  5. Scoop about 1 to 1.5 tablespoons dumpling filling and place it in the center of the wrapper. Hold the dumpling with one hand and start sealing the edges with the other hand. After folding, press the edges again to seal well. You can use any way to fold the dumplings as long as you’re comfortable with it.
  6. Now you can freeze these dumplings if you don’t cook them immediately. Place them onto a baking tray and seal with a plastic wrapper. You can store the dumplings in the freezer for up to 1 month. Once the dumplings are completely frozen, after about a day, you can transport them to a gallon bag to save freezer space.
  7. Cook the dumplings in batches. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add dumplings. Cook until the bottom side turns golden. Add 2 tablespoons water, and cover. Cook until the other side also turns golden and the dumplings are cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes.
  8. You can serve the dumplings immediately with dumpling dipping sauce (the spicy dumpling sauce works extremely well with these beef dumplings).

The nutrition facts are calculated based on 1 of the 40 servings generated by this recipe.

Chinese Beef Dumplings Nutrition Facts

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Meet Maggie

Hi I'm Maggie Zhu! Welcome to my site about modern Chinese cooking - including street food, family recipes, and restaurant dishes. I take a less labor-intensive approach while maintaining the taste and look of the dish. I am originally from Beijing, and now cook from my Austin, Texas kitchen.

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14 thoughts on “Chinese Beef Dumplings

  1. Helen @ Scrummy Lane

    Hi Maggie. I know how it feels to miss food from home, having lived abroad for years!

    But I think you’re doing a pretty good job of finding your own alternatives.

    Another fabulous recipe, with even more fabulous photos!

    Reply
  2. Lynn | THe Road to Honey

    I absolutely love dumplings Maggie. My hubby has been on assignment in Shanghai since March and when I go to visit him, I try to eat as many dumplings as my tummy can handle.

    Your dumplings look absolutely divine. I ‘m definitely going to whip up a batch or two so that I can brag to my hubby that I’m eating dumplings way better than he is while he is in China. 😉

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Lynn, thanks for stopping by! I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed dumplings while staying in China. They are different than the ones you get oversea, aren’t they? Yes you can totally brag about good dumplings once you try this recipe out 😉
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dish turns out!

      Reply
  3. islam essam sadek

    hi Maggie, it was really nice to see how i can make a dumpling as i had tried it when i was in china at 2009 and i cannot forget that test until today.
    i will try to make it here in Egypt as i like it too much but i have one question about the filling of the dumpling specially about the beef .
    is it essential to cook the beef first before i used it for filling the dumpling or it will be fine without precooking, cause we used to cook the meat first before we fill any food with it but i need your opinion please.
    last question give me an advice about how to make a good dough for dumpling and pizza.
    thank you very much i appreciate your help.
    yours pop

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Islam, I’m glad to hear you’re planning to make dumplings at home.
      TO answer your question, you don’t need to cook the beef before mixing the filling. I know some dumplings in other cuisine cooks the meat first (a few types of Chinese dumplings require that too). But for this recipe, you can use raw ground beef. It will be cooked through at the end.
      For making dumpling dough, you can check out
      Steamed (fried) dumpling dough: http://omnivorescookbook.com/steamed-dumplings/
      Boiled dumpling dough: http://omnivorescookbook.com/recipes/how-to-make-chinese-dumplings
      For pizza dough, Heidi has a great one: http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/001199.html
      I also have a quick pizza dough, but it cannot generate texture like the one in restaurant: http://omnivorescookbook.com/quick-pizza-dough-and-easy-seafood-pizza/
      I hope this is helpful! Happy cooking and let me know how the dumplings turn out 🙂

      Reply
  4. Sarah Hossain

    Hi Maggie,

    I absolutely love potsticker. So I tried at home. My potsticker turned out okay. The filling was perfect. But the edge were dry and rubbery. Do you have any tips to avoid this.

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      Hi Sarah, I’m happy to hear your tried this recipe! Re dry dumpling edge, it might be caused by the quality of the wrappers. It will be dry if the wrappers are not very fresh themselves. The other possible cause is, you let the dumplings exposed in the air for too long time before cooking. What I usually do is to use a few layers of wet paper towels or wet cheesecloth to cover the wrappers and the uncooked dumplings, so the dough won’t dry out. The other solution is, flip the dumplings while cooking, so you fry the edge into a crispy texture.
      I hope this is helpful and hope your next batch of dumplings will turn out perfect 🙂

      Reply
  5. ZC Middleton

    Do I have to put in the corn, peas and carrots as I want it to be more beef with no veggies? The onions are fine but no more…

    Reply
    1. Maggie Post author

      It totally OK to skip the veggies and make the dumpling more meaty. In this case I’d recommend you to add a bit more green onion, like 5 or 6.
      Happy cooking and let me know how the dumplings turn out 🙂

      Reply