Pan-Fried Lamb Dumplings

These dumplings are filled with a hearty lamb and mushroom mixture flavored with fragrant 13-spice powder, soy sauce, and mirin.

Pan-Fried Lamb Dumplings

Charissa Fay / Food Styling by Nora Singley / Prop Styling by Maeve Sheridan

Total Time:
1 hr 45 mins
12 servings

Packed with a tender lamb filling, salty soy, earthy mushrooms, and a fragrant 13-spice powder, these pan-fried dumplings are warming and satiating. The peppery spice blend, which chef Zoey Xinyi Gong composed drawing on the principles of traditional Chinese medicine, includes aged tangerine peels, cinnamon, Szechuan pepper, and galangal; it adds an aromatic, peppery flavor to the dumplings. Fresh dumpling wrappers can be found in most Asian grocery stores.


Dumpling Filling

  • 8 ounces ground lamb

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 cup chopped fresh Chinese chives (jiu cai) or scallions (dark green parts only) (from 1 [4-ounce] bunch)

  • 3/4 cup chopped mixed fresh mushrooms (from about 2 1/2 ounces whole or sliced mushrooms)

  • 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion (from 1 small [6-ounce] onion)

  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped unpeeled fresh ginger (from 1 [3-inch] piece)

  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon mirin

  • 1 tablespoon 13-spice powder

  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup lower-sodium soy sauce

  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

  • 1 tablespoon chicken, beef, or vegetable broth

  • 1 tablespoon Asian chile-garlic sauce (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped peeled fresh ginger (from 1 [1-inch]) piece

Additional Ingredients

  • 1 package refrigerated fresh 3-inch round dumpling wrappers

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more if needed

  • 1 cup water, divided

  • 1 tablespoon black or white sesame seeds, divided


Make the dumpling filling:

  1. Combine lamb, egg, chives, mushrooms, onion, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, mirin, 13-spice powder, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl. Using a clean hand, gently mix filling, stirring in one direction to form a tight and cohesive mixture. Set aside.

  2. Fill a small bowl with water to use as the dumpling “glue.” Dip a finger in water, and moisten edge of 1 dumpling wrapper. (Keep remaining dumpling wrappers covered with a damp towel as you work.) Place about 1 tablespoon (about 1/2 ounce) dumpling filling on center of dumpling wrapper, and pleat dough edge, gathering the top like a pouch to enclose filling. Pinch top edges together firmly to seal. Cover sealed dumpling with a damp towel. Repeat process with remaining dumpling wrappers and dumpling filling.

  3. Drizzle about 1 teaspoon olive oil in a thin layer in a large skillet, and spread evenly using a paper towel. Arrange 10 to 12 dumplings, flat side down, in skillet, making sure they don’t touch each other. Cook over medium-high, undisturbed, until flat bottoms start to turn brown and firm, 3 to 5 minutes. If oil starts to smoke, reduce heat to medium. Add 1/4 cup water, and immediately cover skillet; steam until the seals of dumpling wrappers have visibly softened and are no longer dry, 4 to 5 minutes. Uncover skillet. Add more oil if skillet is dry and dumplings start to stick. Continue cooking until dumpling bottoms are golden brown and crispy, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer dumplings to serving plates, and sprinkle evenly with about 3/4 teaspoon sesame seeds. Repeat process in about 3 additional batches with remaining oil, dumplings, water, and sesame seeds, wiping skillet clean in between batches if any filling has seeped out.

While dumplings cook, make the dipping sauce:

  1. Stir together soy sauce, maple syrup, broth, chile-garlic sauce (if using), sesame oil, cilantro, scallions, and ginger in a small bowl. Serve hot dumplings alongside dipping sauce.

To Make Ahead

Dumplings can be prepared through step 2 and frozen, uncovered, on a parchment paper–lined baking sheet until solid, about 1 hour. Transfer to a ziplock plastic bag, and freeze up to 1 month. To cook, proceed with step 3, increasing the covered steaming time to 6 to 7 minutes.

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