Traditional Chinese Dumpling Skin 餃子皮

When it comes to making 麵食 or Chinese dough-based foods, there are generally 3 different types of doughs: 1) hot water dough (think scallion pancakes, potstickers and steamed dumplings), 2) cold water dough (dumplings, noodles) and 3) yeast dough (bao zi, man tou, etc).

For Chinese dumpling dough, you want to use cold water dough because you want strong dough that has good gluten development. This will make for chewy dumplings and great elasticity when you are trying to stuff your dumpling with lots of filling! It will also help your dumplings survive the boiling water that you will cook them in. I also have reason to believe that dumpling skin should have substance and some chew to it, whereas potsticker skin, made with hot water dough, should be thin and crispy.

Continue reading to learn how to make homemade dumpling dough.
Dumpling Skin
makes 80-90 dumplings; feel free to divide or multiply as you wish

6 1/2 cups (780 g) flour
1 1/2 cups to 2 cups (414 to 473 g) water

To make the dough:
1) Add flour to a bowl. Use one hand to hold a pair of chopsticks or stirring utensil, and use the other to mix in 1 1/2 cups water. You should start to see clumps of flour/water forming.

2) Add water 1-2 tsp at a time and stir after each addition. I never learned how to make this dough by measuring, so these amounts listed are back calculated from the method you will see in the video and scaled up. If you want to learn the way I did, start out with flour in a bowl and add water slowly, by running a small trickle from your faucet.

3) The goal is to have ~90% of the flour bunched up into clumps of flour and water, and the rest of the flour as grains of flour. Make sure you mix well before each addition of water! If you add too much water, you can balance it out with some flour.

4) When you have reached 90% flour/water clumps, use your fingers to get the dough off the chopsticks, then start to pinch the clumps together into a ball. You should also be able to use this ball of clumps to pick up the stray grains of flour.

5) When you have obtained a ball of dough, knead away! You want dough that is firm but pliable. Knead about 5-10 minutes, or until the dough is quite homogeneous. Cover with a slightly damp paper towel, or a plate, and rest for at least 30 minutes.

To roll into skins:

6) Knead rested dough until it is completely homogenous and smooth. Use a few sprinkles of flour if it is sticking. Take about 2 fistfuls of dough at a time to work with, keeping the rest of the dough covered.

7) Poke a hole in the middle of the dough and start making a donut shape. Cut the donut to break it into a circular rope; roll into a log about 1 1/4 inch in diameter.

8) Use a bench scraper to cut the dough into roughly 1 inch wide chunks of dough, making sure to rotate the dough a quarter turn each time a cut is made. Coat the chunks generously in flour.

9) Turn the chunks onto one side and rotate to make a Rolo-shaped piece of dough. Do the same to the other side, then flatten into a puck slightly larger than a quarter.

10) Use a rolling pin to roll into skins, making sure to keep your thumb on the center to prevent the rolling pin from rolling out the center.

11) Put some flour on the skin so that it won’t stick to the other skins, or wrap dumplings immediately after skins are rolled out.

To wrap:
Refer to the video, or use the style your parents or Chinese friends taught you. 

Please Watch my videos for a better showing and explanation! Please excuse the editing; it’s my first time (obviously)!


  1. Peggy

    Great job! Your instruction is very clear and the video certainly helps! Seeing is believing! 🙂

  2. meggers616

    Thanks ma! If you approve, then I am happy, because I tried to replicate exactly what I remember seeing you do. =)

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