Last updated on January 31st, 2021
Making gluten-free dumpling wrappers is easy with this tutorial on rolling, filling, and pleating gluten-free dumplings! With just gluten-free flours and water, these pliable gluten-free dumpling wrappers can be used to make gluten-free potstickers or gyoza. This post has all our tips on working with gluten-free dumpling dough to pleat, store, and cook potstickers! This versatile gluten-free dumpling wrapper recipe is vegan and can optionally be made without xanthan gum!
I’ve been craving dumplings since our honeymoon to Taipei almost 6 years ago. My hunger has only intensified thanks to my friend Lisa from Healthy Nibbles. Lisa knows a thing or two about dumplings. You can’t follow her Instagram feed and NOT want to make dumplings. Sadly for me, dumplings aren’t very gluten-free friendly. Until now, that is! For those of you similarly longing for gluten-free dumplings, I’ve got your back with pliable, easy to make, gluten-free dumpling wrappers.
Gluten-Free Dumpling Skins
Lisa and I have been plotting a gluten-free dumpling-making adventure for awhile and it only took about a year to finally happen. She’d show me how to pleat and cook dumplings just like Mama Lin and, in exchange, I’d bake her some chewy gooey gluten-free oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.
Oh, I also had to develop a gluten-free dumpling wrapper recipe. Minor details. I’ve never made any kind of dumpling but I’ve made lots gluten-free pasta, so I figured if all else failed, I could throw an egg in the recipe and charge ahead (which Lisa assured me would have been a totally legit thing to do).
I worked on a few iterations of gluten-free dumpling skins before her first dumpling tasting visit. I started with an egg-free version of my chickpea pasta recipe as a base, using Lisa’s post on how to make gluten-filled dumpling wrappers as a guide. And now, with Lisa’s help, we’ve made over 150 gluten-free potstickers using her pork and cabbage filling recipe and this gluten-free dumpling wrapper recipe. I can say with certainty this is the perfect the gluten-free dumpling wrapper recipe!
(Actual live review from the dumpling expert herself upon taking her first bite, “ooo, the skin is really nice! It’s nice and soft.”)
This post has all our tips on working with gluten-free dumpling dough to pleat, store, and cook potstickers! This versatile gluten-free dumpling wrapper recipe is vegan and can optionally be made without xanthan gum!
Can I Make Gluten-Free Dumpling Wrappers without Xanthan Gum?
If you need to avoid xanthan gum, rest assured, you can still make gluten-free dumpling wrappers! Instead use ground up chia seeds.
To do so, grind up chia seeds into a powder using a coffee grinder and sub in 6 tablespoons ground chia seeds in place of the xanthan gum. Since chia absorbs more water, add 2-3 tablespoons more warm water to the dough. Either white chia seeds or black chia seeds will work, but ground black chia seeds will produce a light greyish dumpling, while white chia seeds will only minimally change the appearance of the dumpling to look a little more whole grain.
While the chia seed wrappers are easier to roll out into rounds, they’re a bit more delicate when it comes to pleating, so handle them more gently. Work quickly because once you wet the edge, the dough gets softer much quicker. After they’re pleated into potstickers, they cook up and taste exactly the same as the xanthan gum version!
How to Make Gluten-Free Dumpling Wrappers
I highly recommend using the weight measurements for dumpling wrappers as a little bit of flour can make a big difference in texture, especially when working with gluten-free flours. If your dough is too firm, it’ll dry out quicker and be more difficult to roll. That being said, humidity can make a difference and you may find you need another tablespoon of water to make your dough more pliable or a tablespoon for tapioca starch if it feels too sticky. Your dough should be firm but pliable, almost like playdough.
Lisa’s tutorial on making dumpling wrappers recommended working with warm water (110-115°F), and I kept her same method here, which worked great!
Keep all your dough under damp kitchen or paper towels every step of the way to keep it from drying out. Dried out dough is difficult to roll, and dried out wrappers or potstickers can crack more easily.
I start by weighing a few 15-16g balls of dough, which I’ve found is the perfect weight for a 3¼-3½-inch wrapper. If you find dough balls a little dry a little as you work, don’t worry! You can freshen them up with a dab of water on your finger and some gentle kneading. Make sure your surface is dusted well with tapioca flour and rotate your wrapper as you roll to keep it from sticking.
Unlike traditional gluten dumpling wrappers, gluten-free dumpling wrappers don’t easily roll into perfect circles with neat and tidy edges. Without the stretchiness of gluten, the dough rolls out with slightly shaggy rough edges, which is normal and okay! Just prep yourself with a 3¼-3-inch round cutter – a biscuit cutter or an upside down coffee mug work great to press and cut perfect rounds.
How to Pleat Gluten-Free Potstickers
The main difference for gluten-free potstickers comes in handling the dough. Treat the gluten-free dough very carefully and refrain from attempting to stretch the dough for each pleat. Instead, simply fold and press the dough for each pleat.
Before filling, you can wet the edge of the wrapper in one of two ways. You can dip the 1/4-inch edge of the wrapper in the water about 2/3 of the way around. Alternatively, wet your index finger in the water and run it along the edge of the upper half. If using the dipping method, your pleats and dumplings will seal easier, but you’ll need to work faster as the dough will soften and get more difficult to work with. If using the finger method, your dumplings may not seal as easily, but they’re easier to work with.
I found it was easiest to learn to pleat with the finger method first before doing the dip method. Once I got the process of pleating down, I exclusively switched to the dip method. Experiment and see what works best for you!
If you develop any very small cracks in your dumpling while pleating or freezing, don’t fret! Once you cook the dumplings , the steam will seal the cracks up. For larger tears while pleating, you may want to remove the filling and start over with a new wrapper.
In the photo below, the lefthand row is made with ground white chia seeds, while the rest are made with xanthan gum.
How to Freeze or Refrigerate Gluten-Free Dumpling Wrappers
You can store your gluten-free dumpling wrappers in the fridge or freezer to pleat into potstickers or gyoza later. To store them for later, lightly dust each wrapper with tapioca starch before stacking them up.
Wrap the stack tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Lisa warns that you must wrap the stack in plastic wrap before putting in a bag or container or condensation will form and your wrappers will stick. Trust her.
Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to a month. When you’re ready to use the dumpling wrappers, you must defrost and bring them to room temperature before folding or pleating them or they’ll crack. To speed up this process, I placed 4 to 6 wrappers on the surface to warm up for a couple minutes, replacing one each time I used one.
How to Freeze Homemade Gluten-Free Potstickers
You can also freeze the finished potstickers too cook them later – here are all of Lisa’s tips on freezing potstickers. If you don’t plan on cooking your gluten-free potstickers immediately, freeze them, even if just for a couple of hours!
When I go through the effort of making homemade dumplings, I always double the recipe and store more than half in the freezer. To freeze the pleated uncooked potstickers, make sure none of the dumplings are touching one another on a baking sheet and place the baking sheet uncovered in the freezer for at least an hour. Once the dumplings feel firm, you can transfer the dumplings to a freezer-safe storage bag, using a metal spatula to lift them from the pan if needed.
Cook frozen dumplings straight out of the freezer without defrosting, adding 1-2 minutes to the fry and cook time.
I mentioned this above, but if they crack a tiny bit while freezing, don’t worry! The steam from cooking will seal the cracks back up.
Gluten-Free Potstickers Recipe
Once the potstickers are made, they cook up just as you would normal potstickers. You could fill these gluten-free potstickers with any filling of your choice, but here we’ve used Lisa’s recipe for pork and cabbage filling, subbing in tamari sauce for the soy sauce. I also served them up with Lisa’s sweet chili sauce for dipping.
If you’re new to making and pleating potstickers, Lisa recommends starting with a ground meat filling. The meat holds all the ingredients together into a neat ball, making it easier to practice pleating.
The gluten-free dumpling wrapper is completely vegan though, so feel free to try your favorite vegan filling (maybe mushroom, or try Lisa’s tofu & kimchi filling). Get more inspiration for filling on Lisa’s dumpling archive page.
If you make these wrappers, please let me know what you used them for! I’d love to get inspiration from you for filling, shape, and pleating variations.
- 150g (about 1¼ cups) chickpea flour (See note)
- 125g (about ¾ cup + 3.5 tablespoons) tapioca starch
- 125g (about ½ cup + 3.5 tablespoons) sweet rice flour (different from "white rice flour" or "brown rice flour")
- 1¼ teaspoon xanthan gum (or sub 6 tablespoons ground white or black chia seeds, and add 2-3 tablespoons more water)
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon warm water (110-115°F)
- Prepare your dumpling filling: If you're planning to fill and pleat your dumplings immediately, begin by preparing your dumpling filling and set it aside while you make your wrappers. I recommend this pork and cabbage potsticker filling from Healthy Nibbles. Lisa recommends cooking the veggies in the filling to soften any sharp edges that may tear the wrappers.
- Make Gluten-Free Dumpling Wrappers: When your water temperature is 120°F, whisk together all the dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour in the warm water and mix together with a fork until it forms a shaggy dough.
- Using your hands, gather the dough together and knead until it forms a ball. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it for 2-3 minutes until it forms a smooth ball. If you find the dough too sticky, dust the surface with a bit of tapioca starch while kneading. Humidity can make a difference and you may find you need another tablespoon of water to make your dough more pliable or a tablespoon for tapioca starch if it feels too sticky. Your dough should be firm but pliable, almost like playdough.
- Place the dough in the mixing bowl and cover with a damp kitchen or paper towel while you prepare your dumpling station. The towel keeps the dough from drying out.
- Fill a small bowl with water and another with tapioca starch. Have a damp paper towel ready to cover the wrappers so they don’t dry out. Keep a rolling pin and bench scraper nearby for making the wrappers. Have a spoon or small cookie scoop ready for putting the filling into the wrappers. Place a baking sheet nearby for the finished dumplings, with another damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. Have a kitchen scale ready for diving the dough.
- Pull off 15-16g balls of dough (about 1.25 tablespoons of dough), keeping the rest of the dough covered in the bowl with the damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. I pull weigh out six balls of dough at a time, keeping them covered in the bowl while I work with one.
- Lightly dust your work surface with tapioca starch (a marble slab or your countertop work great for this). Take out a ball of dough and using the palm of your hand, flatten the dough into a disc, about 2 inches in diameter. If you notice the outside of your ball of dough feels a bit dry (maybe the phone rang and you got distracted for a few minutes?), begin by massaging it with your fingers to mix and soften a bit, adding a dot of water if needed. It should be smooth and pliable and not at all crumbly. If you find it crumbly, dot it with water and massage again.
- Dust the dough disc lightly with tapioca starch on both sides and place it onto the dusted surface.
- Use your rolling pin to roll the disc into a very thin circle about 3.75-4 inches in diameter, turning and flipping as you go to keep it from sticking to the surface, dusting with more tapioca starch, if needed. The edges of your circle will be a bit rough and shaggy. Use a round cutter, mug, or glass to cut the thin dough into perfect 3¼-3½ -inch rounds (I use an upside down mug as a cutter!). Save the scraps, set the wrapper aside under another damp towel, and repeat with 2 more balls of dough. After rolling out three wrappers, I gather up the scraps and dab them with a drop of water to roll them into another ball. I then repeat the process above to roll it into another dumpling wrapper round, discarding the scraps from this cut. Note: If you plan to store your dumpling wrappers in the fridge or freezer for later use, even just for a few hours, very lightly dust the wrappers with tapioca starch before stacking to keep them from sticking. See note about storing wrappers for later use below!
- Repeat until you've made all your dumpling wrappers, ensure you keep the rolled wrappers under a damp paper towel while you work. You can also opt to roll 6-8 wrappers at a time, fill and fold them, then roll out more wrappers. Lisa gives this tip to help keep your wrappers from drying out while they wait. For these gluten-free dumpling wrappers, I've found that as long as you ensure the towel covering the finished wrappers stays damp, they shouldn't dry out if you make them all at once.
- Fill the Dumpling Wrappers to Make Potstickers: Dip the 1/4-inch edge of the wrapper in the water about 2/3 of the way around the wrapper. Alternatively, dip your right index finger in the water and run it along the edge of the upper half. If using the dipping method, your pleats and dumplings will seal easier, but you'll need to work faster. If using the finger method, your dumplings may not seal as easily, but they're easier to work with. I found it was easiest to learn to pleat with the finger method first before doing the dip method.
- Lay the wrapper in the palm of your left hand. Scoop about 1 tablespoon of filling to the center of the dumpling wrapper (I use a small cookie scoop to make it easier! For your first try, err on too little filling). Use the “V” shape pleating method from Healthy Nibbles (how to pleat potstickers blog post and Instagram video here), pinching the dough together tightly as you go. See pictures above. Note: Follow this method above on pleating the dumplings, but treat the gluten-free dough very carefully. Refrain from attempting to stretch the dough for each pleat, instead, simply fold and press the dough for each pleat.
- Place the finished dumpling upright on the baking sheet and cover with the damp towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers/filling. See note below about small cracks.
- At this point you can cook the dumplings immediately or else freeze them for later (even if you’ll be cooking them later that day, freeze them to keep the moisture from the filling from soaking through the wrapper). See notes below on freezing dumplings.
- To cook the dumplings: Heat a large well-seasoned cast iron skillet or nonstick pan with 1½ tablespoons high heat oil, such as peanut oil, over medium-high heat. Working in batches, place the dumplings into the oil, making sure they don’t touch, until you’ve filled the pan. Pan-fry the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, rotating the pan as needed, until the bottoms are golden brown.
- With a lid in one hand to protect from splatter, pour about ¼ cup of water over the dumplings (or just enough to cover the bottom of the pan) and quickly cover the pan with the lid. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 5-6 minutes more (or 7-8 minutes for frozen dumplings). I like to use a meat thermometer to check for doneness; The filling should be at least 165°F inside.
- Remove the lid and cook the dumplings for another 30 seconds to a minute to absorb some of the water. Transfer dumplings to a plate. Cook off any remaining water and repeat.
- Serve warm with soy sauce, ponzu sauce, or Healthy Nibbles and Bits’ soy & vinegar dumpling sauce or sweet chili sauce.
Measuring: I highly recommend using the weight measurements for dumpling wrappers as a little bit of flour can make a big difference in texture
Ground chia seed option: Grind up chia seeds into a powder using a coffee grinder and sub in 6 tablespoons ground chia seeds in place of the xanthan gum. Since chia absorbs more water, add 2-3 tablespoons more warm water to the dough. Either white chia seeds or black chia seeds will work, but ground black chia seeds will produce a light greyish dumpling. White chia seeds will only minimally change the appearance of the dumpling to look a little more whole grain. While the chia seed wrappers are easier to roll out, they're a bit more delicate when it comes to pleating, so handle them more gently!
To store wrappers for later use: Lightly brush each wrapper with tapioca starch before stacking them up. Wrap the stack tightly in plastic wrap and store in a freezer-safe bag or airtight container. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freezer for up to a month and defrost before use.
To freeze dumplings for later use: Remove the damp paper towel, make sure none of the dumplings are touching one another, and place the baking sheet in the freezer for at least an hour. Once the dumpling wrappers feel firm, you can transfer the dumplings to a freezer-safe storage bag. Cook frozen dumplings straight out of the freezer without defrosting.
Dealing with cracks: If you develop any very small cracks in your dumpling while pleating or freezing, don’t fret! Once you cook the dumplings as above, the steam will seal the cracks up. For larger tears while pleating, you may want to remove the filling and start over with a new wrapper.