Learn to make beef dumplings 3 different ways: steamed, pan fried, and boiled. I also show you how to wrap beautiful dumplings in 3 easy methods.
Beef dumplings are one of traditional Mongolian foods. And surprisingly, it’s not just a popular dish in Mongolia.
As it turns out, a lot of countries have a variation of beef dumplings.
Different dumplings from around the world:
- Mongolia has buuz and bansh (mini version), steamed dumplings often filled with mutton.
- Russia has pelmeni, boiled dumplings filled with chicken or beef.
- China has potstickers, pan fried dumplings with mixture of meat and vegetables.
- Japan has gyoza, pan fried dumplings with mixture of meat and vegetables.
- Korea has mandu, also pan fried dumplings with mixture of meat and vegetables.
- Nepal has momo, and so on…
Today, I’m showing you Mongolian steamed dumplings, Russian boiled dumplings, and Chinese pan fried dumplings, all from my personal experience.
I also included a video tutorial on how to wrap dumplings 3 different ways, so you too can recreate these beauties at home!
Make Ahead Dumplings:
Dumplings are a perfect make-ahead freezer meal!
Every few months, I make a big batch of dumplings and freeze them for later. Whenever I’m in rush, or busy, I can just grab a few of the dumplings and cook without any effort. It’s one of my freezer staples for sure! And my kids absolutely love these!
It may seem tedious and time-consuming process, but I assure you it’s fun to make and you’ll have delicious on-demand dumplings stashed in the freezer!
Call your friends and make a dumpling party! Not only will you have a great time, but you’ll also end up with lots of dumplings for the future!
How to Make Beef Dumplings:
We’re making everything from scratch here.
- The dough is so soft and easy to work with. I usually use my stand mixer, but it’s totally not required. You can do it in a bowl and with your hand!
- Beef filling is also quite customizable. I keep it pretty simple, but you can totally add vegetables, like napa cabbage, carrots, spinach…
Dough: Don’t add all the water at once. You may not need it all. Instead add little at a time, until the dough is soft and not too sticky.
Or you can use store-bought potsticker wraps. It makes the process much faster. (But my kids prefer homemade wrap over store-bought wraps.)
Adding water makes the filling soft and juicy!
Feel free to add any vegetables in the meat mixture. My favorites: napa cabbage, carrots, spinach.
How to Cook Beef Dumplings:
There’re 3 different ways to cook dumplings: steam, pan-fry and boil. And here’s how…
To steam dumplings, you’ll need a big steamer pot. Mine has 2 tiers, which is super convenient to cook lots of dumplings at one.
- Bring pot of water to a boil
- Arrange the dumplings on lightly sprayed steamer baskets.
- Place over boiling water, cover and steam for about 15 minutes for small dumplings, and 25 minutes for big frozen dumplings.
- Off heat, carefully remove the lid and fan with plate.
Pan Fried Dumplings
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat.
- Add oil and then arrange fresh or frozen dumplings in one layer.
- Fry until the bottom of the dumplings are golden, about 2 minutes.
- Then carefully add water into the skillet, cover and cook for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through.
You can boil dumplings in a seasoned water, or in a broth.
- Bring a pot of water/broth to a boil.
- Add fresh or frozen dumplings in.
- Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Once the dumplings float to the top, they’re cooked. Serve with butter and/or sour cream.
For dough wrap:
- 5 cups (625g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 cup milk (Note 1)
- ½ cup water (Note 2)
For beef filling:
- 2 lbs (1kg) ground beef (Note 3)
- 1/4 cup minced yellow onion
- 4 garlic cloves grated
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed optional
- 1 handful fresh cilantro finely chopped, optional
- 1-2 tablespoons butter
- Sour cream
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce low sodium is the best
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- ½ tablespoon sesame oil
- To make the dough wrap, in a mixing bowl with dough hook attachment, mix together flour, salt, egg, and milk on low speed. Once the mixture is mostly combined, add half of the water.
- Knead the dough until elastic ball forms for about 5-7 minutes, add remaining water as needed. (TIP: You want the dough to be nice and soft.)
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest while you prepare the filling, or for up to 1 hour.
- To make the beef filling, in a medium mixing bowl, add beef, garlic and onion.
- Stir in salt, garlic powder and coriander seed, if using, in water. And add it to the meat mixture. Mix everything well.
- To shape the dumplings, knead the dough and cut a piece of of it. Roll it into a thin circle on a floured surface. Using a 2.5-inch round cookie cutter, cut out round dough wraps. If the dough is sticky, don't hesitate to use flour. (But the dough should be excessively sticky.)
- Place about 1/2 tablespoon of beef filling on each round. (TIP: I use a medium cookie scoop to portion out the beef. About 1/2 scoop per 2.5-inch wrap.)
- Pinch the edges together to create the desired shape. (Watch the video above for demonstration.)
- Place the dumplings on a baking sheet lined with floured wax/parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Continue making dumplings until you run out of beef filling and dough. When the baking sheet is filled, place it in a freezer for at least 3 hours, or until dumplings are frozen completely. Once the dumplings are frozen, transfer them into freezer bags and immediately put it back into freezer.
1. Boiled Russian pelmeni:
- In a large pot, add a quart of water, couple of bay leaves, a few black peppercorns, and salt. Bring water to a rolling boil. (Alternatively, you can use beef or chicken stock.)
- Add dumplings and cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until dumpling float to the top and cooked through. Serve with butter and sour cream.
2. Steamed Mongolian buuz:
- In a large steamer pot, bring about 3-inch deep water to a boil.
- Lightly spray non-stick spray on steamer baskets and arrange dumplings in one layer. Place the filled steamers over boiling water.
- Cover and cook for 15 minutes. Once cooked, transfer the steamer to a counter, uncover and fan the dumplings with a plate. Serve steamed dumplings with a side of vegetables or salad of your choice.
3. Pan-Fried Chinese Potstickers
- Heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat and add olive oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add dumplings in one layer. Sear the dumplings for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden brown.
- Add ¼ cup of water into the skillet and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover the skillet and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked through.
- To make the dipping sauce, mix together soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. And serve with pan-fried beef dumplings.