Potstickers, dumplings, gyoza, shu-mei, wontons…call them what you will.  

They come in many varied shapes, sizes and fillings and they are all scrumptious.  Giving these up when we cut gluten from our diet was probably the hardest of all.  We could live without bread, manage without cereal and cope with not being able to have our favourite supermarket bottle of sauce, but giving up dumplings was absolute torture!  

After much searching and experimenting for the ultimate recipe, I think I have finally done it!

This dough is not only easy to make, but also easy to work with.  Many of the recipes I found online made really delicate doughs that would tear and rip and disintegrate in your hand when you tried to shape the dumpling.  The addition of the glutinous rice flour is what gives this dough its elasticity.

Now before you panic and say “but doesn’t glutinous rice flour have gluten in it??”  

Let me allay your fears.  No it doesn’t.  It is a special type of rice flour commonly used in asian cooking.  It is called glutinous because of its sticky nature.

The only other problem I had making these was that I don’t have a proper steamer.  Mind you, there was no way I was going to let that get in my way!  If you live in the city, a quick trip to your Chinatown should sort you out with a lovely set of bamboo steamers.  You could also use the electric multi-tiered steamers that many people use to steam their veggies in, or if you have a thermomix, you could use the varoma.  Whatever you choose, just make sure you line it first with baking paper so the dumplings don’t stick.

I usually try to keep photos out of my recipe posts so they don’t get in the way while you are reading, but I’ve included a few today to show you how a bit of ingenuity can help if you need it.

If you don’t have a steamer, don’t stress.  

As they used to tell us all the time in the Navy, Adapt and Overcome.  I guess that’s their version of Necessity is the Mother of All Invention.

I have a single bamboo steamer, but lost the lid at some stage.  If you knew how many of these delicious dumplings my family can put away in a single sitting, you would understand why I need to be able to cook more than 9 of these bad boys at a time.  

So, with the help of some egg rings and a drum sieve, I’ve managed to make a 2 layer steamer.

I use the drum sieve in the same way as the bamboo steamer – make sure you line it with some baking paper though so the dumplings don’t stick to the mesh.

Start with a large fry pan and put in a couple of egg rings (the ones you use to fry eggs and help them keep their shape).  Then add as much water as you can without any going into the sieve when it sits on the egg rings.

egg rings in frypan to steam dumplings

then I can sit the drum sieve and the steamer on top of each other and set them on the egg rings.  Luckily the lid of my stock pot fits nicely over both the steamer and the sieve.

diy steamer

Then, you stack the steamer and the sieve one on top of the other with the pot lid on the very top to keep the steam in.  Half way through the cooking I swap the steamer and the sieve around as the bottom layer cook faster than the top layer.

To shape the dumplings, I just pinch together the opposite sides.  Here’s how they look before they are cooked:

gluten free dumplings

And after:

gluten free dumplings

These make a beautiful accompaniment to my Hearty Asian noodle soup which you can check out here.  Sometimes though, I’ll just serve them with julienned vegetables and homemade chicken stock (get the recipe here).

Chinese Dumplings – Gluten Free, Dairy Free AND Soy Free!
Author: Cindy Kennedy @ www.NutritionNavigator.biz
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1/2 tsp fresh turmeric, grated
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1/4 Wombok (chinese cabbage / napa cabbage), thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced
  • DOUGH:
  • 1 cup glutinous rice flour
  • 3/4 cup tapioca flour
  • 3/4 cup rice flour (plus extra for rolling out dough)
  • 40ml olive oil
  • 375ml boiliing water
  • 6 cups hot chicken stock / bone broth
  • Assorted vegetables julienned / thinly sliced eg carrot, snow peas, mushrooms, red capscium, green beans, sugarsnap peas etc
  • thinly sliced green onions
  • thinly sliced fresh chilli (optional)
  2. Combine all ingredients and set aside.
  3. DOUGH:
  4. Mix together all ingredients for about 5 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
  5. Roll dough into a long sausage, of about 7cm diameter.
  6. Cut into slices about 1cm thick.
  7. Wrap in plastic wrap to prevent it drying out while you assemble the dumplings.
  9. Take one slice of dough and roll it out to a circle about 10-15cm diameter, using the extra rice flour to prevent it sticking to your bench and rolling pin.
  10. Place 2sp filling in the centre.
  11. Pinch together opposite sides of the circle to form a parcel.
  12. Place in steamer.
  13. When steamer is full, steam dumplings for about 7-9 minutes (until cooked through), depending on their size.
  14. TO SERVE:
  15. Place sliced vegetables in bowls.
  16. Top with dumplings.
  17. Ladle hot stock / broth over the top.
  18. Garnish with sliced green onions and chilli.