mei mei’s dumplings

The tofu prep may seem annoying, but it’s important to get as much water out of it as possible so that it can soak up all the flavor, so don’t skip it!

If you don’t know any dumpling-folding techniques, the easiest is to just fold each wrapper in half over the filling and seal the edges, making a half-moon shape. If you’re feeling more ambitious, take Mei Mei’s class or look at different folding techniques on YouTube!

from Mei Mei Boston.


  • store bought dumpling wrappers or hot water dough (2 cups all purpose flour + 1/4 tsp salt + 3/4 cup boiling hot water)


  • 1/2 pound tofu, pressed for at least 1 hour, frozen, thawed, as much water squeezed out as possible, and crumbled
  • 1 cup finely chopped vegetables (e.g., cabbage, hearty greens, carrots, mushrooms); frozen stir-fry blends work really well- thaw & squeeze out excess water before chopping
  • 1 egg
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
  • optional: 1 Tablespoon minced ginger
  • optional: 1-2 scallions, finely chopped
  • optional: 2 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • optional: 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

DIPPING SAUCE (makes 1 cup)

  • 1⁄2 cup (120 g) soy sauce (substitute tamari if gluten-free)
  • 1⁄3 cup (80 g) black vinegar (substitute rice vinegar if unavailable or if gluten-free)
  • 1⁄4 cup (15 g) chopped scallions
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 tsp (5 g) chili sauce or hot sauce
  • 1 tsp (4 g) toasted sesame oil


  1. If you have store-bought wrappers, skip to step 4. If you are making your own dough, combine flour and salt in a medium sized bowl and add hot water in a steady stream, stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a ball (it should look shaggy and clumpy).
  2. Transfer the dough ball to a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes. 
  3. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with a damp towel and let rest at room temperature for about 1 hour. Alternatively this can be made in advance and refrigerated for later use, just be sure to tightly wrap the dough in lightly oiled plastic wrap. It should keep for a day or two and should be brought up to room temp before use.
  4. To make the filling, mix all filling ingredients and refrigerate. Note that you should not cook your filling, as it will go into the dumping as-is. Add extra soy sauce if you’re missing any of the optional ingredients!
  5. If desired, make the dipping sauce by whisking all the ingredients together in a bowl. If you like it spicy, add in more chili sauce or sriracha or the hot sauce of your choice. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  6. If using store-bought wrappers, skip to step 8. Otherwise, split the dough ball in half. Roll the dough into a log about 1″ thick and 10″ long. Use a sharp knife to cut the log into about 1″ long disks (each disk should weigh about 1 ounce). Repeat with the other half of the dough.
  7. Use a small rolling pin or pint glass to roll each disk into a circle about 1/8″ thick. Move completed wrappers to the side and cover with a damp cloth while you work.
  8. Fill each wrapper with a large spoonful of filling and close as desired, using water to help seal the dough if it is too dry.
  9. Pan sear the dumplings by adding 1 Tablespoon of neutral cooking oil to a nonstick pan over medium heat. You want the oil to coat the bottom of the pan without any pooling. Heat until the oil is shimmering but not smoking. Place your dumplings in the pan so they are not touching, and turn your heat down to medium-low.
  10. Turn the heat to medium-low and grab the lid to your pan and about 1/2 cup of water. Shielding yourself with the lid, pour the water into the hot pan – it will steam and sizzle, so be careful there isn’t too much oil in the pan to spatter all over the place. Place the lid down over the pan so the steam cooks the top of the dumplings and let simmer for 6-8 minutes (10-12 minutes if cooking raw dumplings from frozen), checking periodically to see if there is still water in the pan.
  11. Uncover the dumplings and let the rest of the water evaporate and the bottoms crisp to a light golden brown. Enjoy immediately with dipping sauce of choice!

NOTE: You can store cooked dumplings in your refrigerator for up to 2 days. If you would like to save raw or cooked dumplings for later, we recommend freezing them. They will keep frozen for 2-3 months.

To freeze your raw or cooked dumplings:

  1. Place the dumplings onto a baking tray that’s been oiled or covered with parchment paper.
  2. Make sure the dumplings aren’t touching so they don’t stick together.
  3. Stick the baking sheet in the freezer until the dumplings are frozen solid (2-3 hours minimum).
  4. Pack the frozen dumplings in a storage container.

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