Steamed Beef Dumplings Recipe

Recipe developer Stephanie Rapone has been taking a long and meandering metaphorical tour of dumplings from all over the world of late, and guess what? Dear reader, you have been invited to tag along as Rapone makes a warm, delicious, and surprisingly easy stop for a bit of dim sum. Specifically, Rapone has crafted this recipe for steamed beef dumplings that you're going to love not just because it's authentic but also because it's streamlined so that the filling doesn't have to be pre-cooked before going into the wrappers. "That really helps cut down on prep time and steps," Rapone points out, as if she didn't already have you at "streamlined." 

"My family loves dumplings, and we love Asian flavors," Rapone tells us, and "these dumplings are great because these are all ingredients we keep in our house on a regular basis so I can make these whenever we want." But even if the ingredients aren't ones you normally keep around the kitchen, Rapone promises that they are all "really easy to find" — with the exception of one, which you can easily swap out, as Rapone explains below. Another thing about this recipe is that it can be prepped ahead and cooked later. Just freeze the fully-assembled dumplings in a single layer on a baking sheet, and once they are solid, move them to an airtight container or bag. When you're ready to cook them, you can do so directly from the freezer.

Gather your ingredients

As we mentioned above, Rapone's recipe for beef steamed dumplings is made from ingredients that Rapone tends to have around the house anyway. These include ground beef (a pantry staple for Rapone), chicken stock, flour, soy sauce (ideally a low-sodium kind), vegetable oil, kosher salt, green onions, a carrot, and frozen peas. Because Rapone and her family are really into pan-Asian cooking, other ingredients also include a 2-inch length of fresh ginger root, a spoonful of Szechuan peppercorns, rice wine, sesame oil, and Chinese black vinegar. 

Most of these are easy to find at most grocery stores, the one possible exception being Chinese black vinegar. The good news, however, is that it's only used in the dipping sauce for the steamed beef dumplings. So, if you can't find it easily, you can skip it and make your dipping sauce out of just the soy sauce and sesame oil. Or you could buy any commercially prepared Asian-style dipping sauce that looks good to you, Rapone advises.

Season the ground beef with Asian flavors

Rapone's recipe for steamed beef dumplings calls for 2 inches of fresh ginger root (grated) and ¼ teaspoon of Szechuan peppercorns, crushed. For the ginger, peel the 2-inch length of root, and grate using a fine rasp or microplane. For the peppercorns, measure out 1 teaspoon of the peppercorns, and use a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle to crush them finely. Measure out ¼ teaspoon, and place it in a mixing bowl (you can save any remainder for another recipe or for sprinkling on your finished dumplings). Then, to the mixing bowl, add the ginger, ground beef, chicken stock, soy sauce, rice wine, and kosher salt, and stir together lightly but thoroughly. 

Cover the bowl with plastic and refrigerate it to let it marinate, and then move directly onto making the optional dipping sauce — if you're planning on making it — by combining 2 more tablespoons of soy sauce, 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, and the Chinese black vinegar. Alternately, if you're skipping the dipping sauce, as discussed above, you can move onto the next step.

Here's how to mix your dumping wrapper dough

To make your dumpling wrapper dough, start by boiling water — you'll need at least 1 cup. While you're waiting for the water to boil, you can use the time to measure out 2 ½ cups of flour into your food processor. When the water boils, add 1 cup of it to the flour while the processor is running. Process until a dough ball starts to form. This should take about 30 to 45 seconds. Lightly dust your work surface with flour, dump the dough out onto the floured surface, and knead for three minutes. Then form the dough into another ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and set it aside to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Add veggies to the meat mixture

For this step, you're going to need your food processor again, but first, you're going to want to rinse out any flour and dough. Now, prep your carrot by trimming off the ends and then chopping the carrot into 1-inch lengths. Prep your green onions by trimming off the bulb ends and chopping the rest into 2-inch lengths. Put the carrots in the food processor and pulse 10 times. Add the green onions and the frozen peas to the food processor, and pulse until finely chopped. Add the veggies that you just processed to the bowl containing the ground beef mixture you made earlier. Then add 1 teaspoon of sesame oil, and use a spatula to combine the filling thoroughly.

Time to make the dumpling wrappers

Assuming your dough has rested for the full 30 minutes, it's time to start forming your dumpling wrappers. Start by lining two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Dust lightly with flour, and set aside. Begin by unwrapping the dough and cutting it into quarters. Working with one quarter at a time (and covering the remaining quarters with plastic wrap and setting aside at room temperature), take the first piece of dough and roll it into a log about 8-inches long. Cut that log in half, and then cut each half in half again, and so on, until you have 8 evenly sized pieces of dough. 

Working with one piece of this divided-up dough at a time, roll it into a 3- to 3½-inch disc. Repeat with all of the dough, moving each disc to the lined baking sheet, and covering the sheet with plastic wrap to keep the assembled dumplings from drying out while you roll the rest. Use a light dusting of flour and another layer of wrap between layers of discs.

Fill your dumplings

To fill your dumplings, working with one layer of dumpling wrappers at a time, place about 1 tablespoon of filling onto each disc, slightly off center. Fold the disc into a half-moon, and press the edges to close. To seal, you can either twist the edges, or use the tines of a fork. "Just make sure they are sealed well," Rapone advises. Rapone also makes a point of telling us that one of the most common pitfalls she sees with dumpling-making is using too much filling. So definitely consider using a measuring spoon for the filling.

Let's get cooking

Although these beef dumplings are indeed steamed, before we get to that, Rapone advises giving your dumplings a hint of crispiness by panfrying them on one side only over medium heat. Start by heating 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet. When the oil is shimmering, add some dumplings, being careful not to crowd them. After two minutes, use a spatula to gently try to lift one of the dumplings. If the dumpling does not easily release from the pan, allow the dumplings to panfry for another minute. Once the dumplings can easily release from the pan, add 3 tablespoons of water, and cover the skillet with a lid. This is where the steaming comes in.

 Set a timer for three minutes, at which time the dumplings should be cooked through and ready to serve — with your homemade dipping sauce if you choose! Feel free to also top with additional sliced green onions.

Steamed Beef Dumplings Recipe
5 from 39 ratings
This recipe for steamed beef dumplings is authentic and streamlined so that the filling doesn't have to be pre-cooked before going into the wrappers.
Prep Time
Cook Time
beef steamed dumplings with chopsticks
Total time: 26 minutes
  • 2-inch knob fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • ¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce (preferably low-sodium)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 2½ cups flour, plus more for dusting work surface
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 4 green onions
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or slightly more, depending on how many batches you divide your dumplings into)
Optional Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar, for dipping sauce
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, for dipping sauce
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil, for dipping sauce
  1. Peel the ginger and grate it on a fine rasp or microplane.
  2. Grind the Szechuan peppercorns to a fine powder in a spice grinder.
  3. In a mixing bowl, combine ¼ teaspoon of Szechuan peppercorns with the ginger, ground beef, chicken stock, 1 tablespoon of soy sauce, rice wine, and salt. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  4. If making the optional dipping sauce, do so now by stirring together the 2 tablespoons of Chinese black vinegar, 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
  5. Add the flour to the food processor.
  6. Measure 1 cup of boiling water, and with the processor running, add the boiling water. Process until a dough ball forms (about 30 to 45 seconds).
  7. Lightly dust a work surface with flour and dump the dough onto it, kneading it for 3 minutes.
  8. Form a dough ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and set it aside to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature.
  9. Trim the ends off the carrot and chop it into 1-inch lengths. Add them to a clean food processor and pulse 10 times.
  10. Trim the stems off the green onions and chop them into 2-inch lengths. Add the green onion and the peas to the food processor and pulse until everything is finely chopped.
  11. Add the processed veggies and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the ground beef mixture and mix it well with a spatula.
  12. To make the dumpling wrappers, line 2 rimmed baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper. Dust lightly with flour and set aside.
  13. Unwrap the rested dough, and cut it into quarters. Cover 3 of the pieces with plastic wrap and set aside.
  14. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a log about 8 inches long. Cut the log in half, then cut each piece in half, and then in half again to get 8 even pieces.
  15. Roll each piece out into a 3- to 3½-inch disc.
  16. Move each disc to the lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap to keep them from drying out while you roll the rest of the wrappers. Use a light dusting of flour and a layer of plastic wrap between layers.
  17. Add about 1 tablespoon of the meat filling to each disc, just off-center. Fold the disc into a half-moon, press edges to close, and seal with any method you like.
  18. Move each completed dumpling back to the tray, and cover as you make all the dumplings.
  19. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil to a non-stick skillet, heating over medium heat until hot.
  20. Add the first batch of dumplings, avoiding crowding, and cook on one side until they easily release from the skillet surface (2 to 3 minutes).
  21. Add 3 tablespoons of water and cover the skillet with a lid. Steam for 3 minutes, at which point dumplings should be cooked through. Repeat for each batch of dumplings.
  22. Serve with optional dipping sauce or another dipping sauce of your choice.
Calories per Serving 68
Total Fat 2.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.6 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 5.1 mg
Total Carbohydrates 8.3 g
Dietary Fiber 0.5 g
Total Sugars 0.3 g
Sodium 68.7 mg
Protein 2.5 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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