Pork & prawn jiaozi (spiced steamed dumplings)

Sticky, spicy and packed with flavour, these steamed dumplings are fairly easy to make and always go down a storm. They can be made ahead and frozen, to be steamed straight from the freezer.

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The filling is wonderfully changeable: while I have gone for pork and prawns here (fatty pork for flavour and to ensure a moist filling), I sometimes go for finely chopped vegetables. I have often been known to use left-over roast pork, shredding it with a good, gutsy sauce as the filling.

The dough is very easy to make and the use of a pasta machine makes the rolling out a very straightforward affair, allowing you to get the dough almost wafer-thin without much effort.

I sometimes scatter over spring onions, chopped chilli and toasted nuts but the freshly steamed dumplings with a simple dipping sauce are enough to send me into raptures of joy!

Recipe: pork and prawn jiaozi – makes about 50


  • 250g strong plain flour or pasta flour
  • 130ml warm but water
  • a pinch of salt


  • 300g pork mince (not extra-lean, as you want the fat content to give a moist filling)
  • 150g raw prawns, peeled and finely chopped
  • spring onion, whites and greens, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 fat clove garlic, crushed
  • 2″ piece ginger, peeled and grated or finely chopped
  • 1 small chilli, chopped finely (discard or keep the seeds)
  • a small handful of fresh coriander, leaves and stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • juice of half a lime

Simple dipping sauce to finish:

  • 3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 small chilli, chopped

(1) Mix the ingredients together, adding a little more water if needed to form a soft but not sticky dough. Knead on a lightly floured surface for about 5-10 minutes.

(2) Wrap in clingfilm and rest for about 30 minutes: you can chill it or leave it at room temperature.

(3) Take a piece of the dough and roll it out as thinly as possible, so it becomes almost transparent. I find it easier putting it through the pasta machine, going to the penultimate setting. Leave the rolled out dough to rest for a few minutes before cutting (otherwise it will shrink)

(4) Cut out circles of dough using a cutter of choice and brush a little water around half of the edge.

(5) For the filling, mix all the ingredients together and set aside until needed.

(6) Pop a little filling in the centre (below) and bring up the edge to seal, pressing firmly. You can crimp and fold, but I tend to keep this simple! You can freeze them at this stage – in which case, pop them onto baking trays lined with greaseproof, ensuring they are not touching (otherwise they will stick together)

To cook:

(7) I vary between two ways of cooking. I either steam them or I fry them first to get them nicely golden brown before finishing in the steamer. You get different flavour and texture – both are wonderful!

To steam them, pop these parcels into a steamer with a lightly oiled base (or pop them on greaseproof) and steam for about 6 minutes. If frying first for a few minutes, you only need to steam for about 4 minutes.

(8) Serve with a dip of choice. I like to mix the ingredients given for the dipping sauce above until the sugar has dissolved.


Author: Philip

Finalist on Britain’s Best Home Cook (BBC Television 2018). Published recipe writer with a love of growing fruit & veg, cooking, teaching and eating good food.

2 thoughts on “Pork & prawn jiaozi (spiced steamed dumplings)”

    1. oh yes do – they are wonderful things to make. Granted, it can be a bit of a production line sealing them all up, but they are such therapeutic little things to make


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