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Now reading Our Top 9 Wrap Videos

Our Top 9 Wrap Videos

Breaking down what goes into the dumpling wrappers of the world.

Most dumpling wrappers are based around the same theme: combine some kind of flour with water, knead and rest, fill, fold and crimp, cook. Each slight variation—the type of flour, the temperature of the water, the amount of time spent kneading or resting—is vital to the outcome of each dumpling wrapper.

In areas of the north, where warming, carb-heavy foods are mealtime staples, dumpling wrappers are glutinous and leavened—like that of fluffy baozi. Or the wrapper will be sturdy enough from flour with moderate protein content (such as all-purpose) to be filled with steaming soup.

Elsewhere, forming a strong gluten matrix is less of a concern, or even something to be avoided; wrappers are made with low-protein flours or starches, like tapioca starch, or boiling water is incorporated into flour to further break down the proteins. This technique yields the soft, translucent doughs of har gow and fun guo.

Despite their differences, these dumplings are all remarkably similar; they’re clear evidence of the centuries-old diffusion of recipes and traditions. Each region has made a simple flour-and-water wrapper, filled it with local foodstuffs, and given it a new name.

We’ve gathered our favorite wrap videos from around the Internet to show you how they’re all made.

JIAOZI

LOCATION: All over China, but most popular in the Henan and Shanxi provinces.
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Flour (ideally Hong Kong or Korean flour), salt, boiling water, room-temperature water
TOOLS: Mini rolling pin, chopsticks
REST PERIOD: 5 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Crimp one side against the other, and finish by pressing them together
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Pan-fry
FILLED WITH: Minced pork, prawns, jelly stock, assorted vegetables and spices
SERVED WITH: Dipping sauce of Chinkiang vinegar, sugar, sesame oil, chili (optional), and garlic (which can be swapped for ginger)
NOTABLE TIP: Mama Cheong steams her dumplings prior to frying them. In order to keep them from getting soggy, she covers them in a mixture of flour, white vinegar, and water to get the skins crisp before adding the water for steaming.

GYOZA

LOCATION: Japan, most popular in the Tochigi and Shizuoka Prefectures
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: All-purpose flour, salt, warm water
TOOLS: Spatula, pastry cutter, 3-inch cookie cutter, small rolling pin
REST PERIOD: 30 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Working from the center of the dumpling, fold one edge of the wrapper against the other and pinch. Continue folding until you get to the end of the dumpling, and then repeat in the other direction so that the dumpling looks like a small clam
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Pan-fry
FILLED WITH: Pork, cabbage, green onion, garlic, ginger, sake, sesame oil, and soy sauce
SERVED WITH: Dipping sauce that is equal parts soy sauce and vinegar; rayu (chili oil) is sometimes added
NOTABLE TIP: Sift the flour so that it’s light and aerated, which will make a softer wrapper.

MANDU

LOCATION: Variations throughout Korea
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: All-purpose flour, salt, room-temperature water
TOOLS: Dough scraper, rolling pin, knife
REST PERIOD: 10 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Start by pinching the two wrapper edges together at one side of the dumpling, then push the edge slightly into the dumpling, pinch the wrapper from the left and push in, then pinch the wrapper from the right and push in, pinching and pulling until you get to the end
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Steam, pan-fry, or poach in soup
FILLED WITH: Pork or beef with kimchi, tofu, noodles and vegetables
SERVED WITH: Soy sauce, white vinegar, onion, and spicy green chili pepper

MOMO

LOCATION: Nepal and Tibet
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: All-purpose flour, room-temperature water
TOOLS: Fingers, rolling pin
REST PERIOD: 30 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Press the edges together from one side, then pull one edge back into the other, pushing it closed; repeat along the same side, and then push both sides together
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Steam
FILLED WITH: Beef or pork, with assorted vegetables and spices
SERVED WITH: Tomato chutney
NOTABLE TIP: Use one finger to stir the ingredients together (rather than messing up all your fingers), and then you can use all your fingers when the dough starts coming together.

XIAO LONG BAO

LOCATION: Shanghai, China
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Flour, salt, warm water
TOOLS: Chopsticks, small rolling pin
REST PERIOD: 20-30 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Fold, pinch, and pull around the entire dumpling until you can pinch together all of the edges in a neat little circle
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Steam
FILLED WITH: Pork, shrimp, stock jelly, assorted vegetables and spices
SERVED WITH: Dipping sauce of julienned ginger and Chinkiang vinegar
NOTABLE TIP: The tighter you fold, pinch, pull, the more pleats you get. The more pleats, the prettier the dumpling.

HAR GOW

LOCATION: Guangzhou, China
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Wheat starch, tapioca starch, hot water, lard or vegetable oil
TOOLS: Chopsticks, cleaver
REST PERIOD: Enough time to make the filling
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Fold one edge of the wrapper from the inside of the dumpling, pulling and pinching inward across one side, and then press the edges together. You should aim for eleven or twelve pleats
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Steam
FILLED WITH: Shrimp, pork fat, green onion, bamboo shoots, ginger, white pepper, sesame oil, cornstarch
SERVED WITH: Hot chili oil or soy sauce
NOTABLE TIP: After cutting the dough into individual pieces, use the flat edge of the cleaver to flatten the dough into wrappers. Thin the edges of the wrapper with the dull side of the blade.
RECIPE: Koi Palace’s Har Gow

FUN GUO

LOCATION: Daliang, China
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Wheat starch, tapioca or sweet potato starch, boiling water, lard or vegetable oil
TOOLS: Chopsticks, knife, small rolling pin
REST PERIOD: 5 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Start with a wide fold from the right to the left along one side, then press together the flat edge so half of the dumpling is crimped
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Steam
FILLED WITH: Pork, Chinese chives, peanuts, water chestnuts, shiitake mushrooms, oyster sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, cornstarch
SERVED WITH: Spicy chili oil or soy sauce
NOTABLE TIP: Adding boiling water to the starches partially cooks the proteins that are typically involved in binding gluten. The result is a translucent, chewy wrapper, the distinctive quality of many dim sum dumplings.

BAOZI

LOCATION: Variations exist all over China, but mostly popular in Tianjin, Beijing, and throughout the north
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Active dry yeast, all-purpose flour, warm water
TOOLS: Cleaver, small rolling pin
REST PERIOD: 1 hour and 40 minutes
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Pinch together the edges of the wrapper above the filling
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Steam
FILLED WITH: Barbecue pork or pork, cabbage, and soy sauce
SERVED WITH: More dim sum!
NOTABLE TIP: It’s important to warm the water, so that the yeast is more likely to dissolve.
RECIPE: Chicken Buns

JIN DEUI

LOCATION: All over China
DOUGH INGREDIENTS: Wheat starch, hot water, sugar, salt, rice flour, baking powder, vegetable oil, sesame seeds
TOOLS: Pestle, chopsticks, pastry cutter
REST PERIOD: 1 hour
WRAPPER TECHNIQUE: Roll the dough into a ball around the filling; coat with sesame seeds
COOKING TECHNIQUE: Deep-fry
FILLED WITH: Red bean paste
SERVED WITH: Tea, and more dim sum!
NOTABLE TIP: If the dough is hard to roll, wet your hands to make it easier to work with. You’ll also want to lightly spray the dumplings with water prior to rolling on the sesame seeds, which will help the seeds adhere to the dough.