What are gluten free dumplings made of?

Gluten free dumplings are a great option for people who need to avoid gluten, whether due to celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or another reason. Dumplings are a popular appetizer, main course or side dish in many cuisines around the world. Traditional dumpling wrappers are often made with wheat flour, which contains gluten. By substituting gluten-free flours and starches, delicious gluten free dumplings can be enjoyed by all. This article will explore the various ingredients that can be used to make gluten free dumpling wrappers and fillings.

Gluten Free Flours for Dumpling Wrappers

The wrapper or skin is perhaps the most important element of gluten free dumplings. This is what holds the filling and gives the dumpling its distinctive shape. Gluten free flours lack the gluten protein found in wheat flour that provides elasticity and structure. Therefore, gluten free dumpling skins need a blend of flours and starches to emulate the doughy texture of wheat flour. Here are some of the most commonly used:

Rice Flour – This grain flour made from ground rice is one of the most popular options for gluten free baking and cooking. Rice flour contains starch but no gluten, so it needs to be combined with other ingredients. It provides a mild flavor and light texture. Brown rice flour has a more grainy, hearty texture than white rice flour.

Tapioca Flour – Also called tapioca starch, this starchy flour comes from the cassava root. Tapioca flour provides chewiness and structure to gluten free doughs and batters. It helps bind ingredients together.

Cornstarch – A finely ground flour made from corn, cornstarch can add crispness to gluten free dumpling skins. It has twice the thickening power of wheat flour so only a small amount is needed.

Potato Starch – This pliable starch aids in giving a stretchy, dough-like texture to gluten free dumplings. It bonds well with other grain flours.

Xanthan Gum – While not a flour, this additive acts as a binder and provides elasticity similar to gluten. A tiny amount can help hold dough together.

Sorghum Flour – Whole grain sorghum flour has a dense texture and earthy, sweet flavor. It can be combined with lighter flours for gluten free dumpling skins.

In addition to flours, other ingredients are often used in gluten free dumpling wrappers to improve texture and moisture:

Eggs – The protein in eggs helps give structure to the dough when gluten is not present. Beaten egg is often used to seal dumpling wrappers.

Oil – A small amount of olive oil, coconut oil or other neutral oil can add moisture and flexibility to the dough.

Non-dairy Milk – Milk alternatives like almond milk, coconut milk or oat milk help bind the dough and provide moisture.

Gelatin – Unflavored gelatin can act as a binder, similar to gluten, to help hold the dumpling wrapper together, especially when frying.

By experimenting with these gluten free flour options, starches and binders, you can create dumpling skins with just the right amount of stretch and thickness for the ideal dumpling texture.

Fillings for Gluten Free Dumplings

In addition to the wrapper, the filling is the delicious heart of any dumpling. There are endless possibilities for gluten free dumpling fillings, either vegetarian or with meat:

Vegetable Fillings

– Finely chopped cabbage, mushrooms and carrots
– Mashed potatoes or sweet potatoes
– Sauerkraut
– Chopped spinach and feta
– Diced tofu and kale
– Mashed chickpeas with spices
– Shredded zucchini and green onions

Meat and Seafood Fillings

– Ground pork, shrimp or turkey
– Diced chicken
– Minced water chestnuts and shrimp
– Tofu and shrimp mixture
– Ground lamb with onions and herbs
– Salmon and dill
– Beef and pickled vegetables

Cheese Fillings

– Crumbled feta, ricotta or goat cheese
– Cottage or ricotta cheese with spinach
– Shredded mozzarella and Parmesan


– Fresh ginger, garlic, green onions
– Soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar
– Thai red curry paste
– Chili garlic sauce or sriracha
– Five spice powder
– Salt and pepper

The filling ingredients can be raw or cooked and then finely chopped or mashed. The moisture level of the filling affects the texture of the cooked dumpling, so drained cottage cheese or pressed tofu work well. Bold seasonings like garlic, ginger and chili add lots of flavor.

Shaping and Cooking Methods for Gluten Free Dumplings

Once you have prepared the wrappers and fillings, it’s time to shape the dumplings. There are a few common shaping techniques:

Pleated Crescent: Place a tablespoon or two of filling in center of round wrapper. Moisten edges with water. Fold in half to form a crescent and pleat and press edges to seal. Stand up pleats.

Classic Round: Place filling in center of round wrapper. Gather up edges around filling and pinch together at top to form a round purse shape.

Wonton Style: Place filling in center of square wrapper. Fold in corners to form a triangle or envelope shape. Seal with water.

Gluten free dumpling dough is more prone to breaking apart, so work carefully when shaping. Use your fingers to firmly press edges to seal in the filling.

Once shaped, gluten free dumplings can be cooked in a few different ways:

Steamed – In a bamboo steamer basket over boiling water. 5-7 minutes.

Boiled – Dropped directly into simmering broth, water or sauce. Boil 2-3 minutes once water returns to simmer.

Pan-fried – In oil over medium high heat until crispy on the bottom, then add 1/4 cup water to steam the tops. Cover until water evaporates. Continue frying uncovered until crisp on top side.

Baked – On a parchment lined baking sheet at 400F for 20 minutes, until hot throughout.

Air Fried – In an air fryer at 370F for 8-10 minutes, shaking halfway.

The cooking method depends on the style of dumpling and texture desired. Steam or boil for a soft, silky texture. Pan fry or air fry for crispy dumplings. Test a dumpling first to ensure filling is hot and dough is fully cooked through.

Gluten Free Dipping Sauces and Condiments for Dumplings

Every delicious dumpling deserves a dipping sauce! Having a sauce on hand allows you to tailor the flavor profile and complements the texture of the dumpling. Here are tasty condiment ideas:

Soy Sauce – Classic simple dipping sauce. Mix with rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil and chili flakes.

Rice Vinegar – Fruity vinegar adds tangy brightness. Mix with soy sauce and ginger.

Sesame Oil – A little goes a long way to lend nutty flavor. Whisk with rice vinegar and tamari.

Sweet Chili Sauce – Store bought or homemade with garlic, chili and touch of sugar.

Peanut Sauce – Puree peanut butter, garlic, soy sauce, lime and chili pepper.

Ponzu – Japanese citrus soy sauce with dash of mirin rice wine.

Hot Mustard – Mix prepared mustard and hot water to desired consistency and spiciness.

Sriracha – For fiery dumplings, use straight up or add mayo and lime.

Scallions and Ginger – Fresh chopped green onions and grated ginger pressed against dumplings.

Experiment with gluten free tamari, vinegars, oils and global flavors to find your perfect dipping sauce for enjoying gluten free dumplings.

Recipe for Vegetarian Gluten Free Dumplings

To tie everything together, here is a recipe for making vegetarian dumplings with gluten free wrappers and fillings. Adjust and customize to your taste!

Gluten Free Dumpling Wrappers:

1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
2 tbsp potato starch
1 tsp xanthan gum
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup non-dairy milk

In a bowl, whisk together the rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, xanthan gum and salt.

Make a well in the center and add the egg, olive oil and non-dairy milk.

Stir wet ingredients into dry and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead briefly until smooth.

Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Roll out dough 1/8 inch thick and cut 3-inch rounds with a cup or cookie cutter.

Vegetable Filling:

1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup shredded carrots
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green onions, sliced
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Heat olive oil in pan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and carrots. Cook 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and let cool.

Mix in sweet potato, green onions, soy sauce and ginger until combined.

To Assemble:

Place 1-2 tbsp filling into center of each wrapper. Wet edges with water and fold over to form a half moon shape.

Pleat and press edges together to seal.

Steam dumplings over boiling water for 5-7 minutes until dough is cooked through and filling is hot.

Serve immediately with desired dipping sauce!

Tips for Making Gluten Free Dumplings

Follow these tips for best results when making your own gluten free dumplings at home:

– Use a blend of flours like rice, tapioca and potato starch for the wrappers. Xanthan gum helps mimic gluten.

– Keep the dough moist by adding egg, oil and non-dairy milk. Resting allows dough to hydrate.

– Roll wrapper dough thin, about 1/8 inch, so it cooks through. Thicker dough may not fully cook.

– Add plenty of flavor to fillings with fresh herbs, spices, soy sauce, hoisin or chili paste.

– Seal dumpling wrappers well by pressing edges together firmly to prevent filling leaking.

– Ensure fillings are cooled before assembling so dough does not become soggy.

– Use parchment paper or silicone mats when steaming or pan frying to prevent sticking.

– Test doneness by cutting open a dumpling. Filling should be hot and dough fully cooked.

– Serve immediately with dipping sauces while hot and fresh. Store uneaten dumplings in refrigerator.

– Reheat steamed dumplings by steaming again for 2-3 minutes or pan frying until crispy.

With some trial and error, you can learn to make tender gluten free dumpling wrappers and flavorful fillings in your own kitchen. Get creative with the infinite possibilities of global dumpling styles that are now gluten free!


Gluten free dumplings open up this popular appetizer to those avoiding gluten. With the right combination of alternative flours and binders, the dumpling wrappers can be steamed, pan fried or boiled just like traditional versions. A rainbow of vegetables, lean proteins and global seasonings can be used for bold dumpling fillings. Dipping sauces add even more flavor options. Follow proper shaping and cooking techniques for light and tender dumplings the whole family can enjoy together. With some practice, you can craft gluten free dumplings from scratch to suit any dietary needs or cravings.

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