Dim Sum Toolbox: Dumpling Essentials

Making dumplings at home can seem like a daunting task. From deciding what kind of dumplings to make to purchasing specialty gadgets, it is easy to throw in the towel and order take-out.  So we've compiled an essential tool guide to show you exactly what you need to make dumplings that are easy on the wallet and the waistline.  With the right tools and a few helpful tips, preparing homemade dumplings can be fun and stress-free.

Click here to view the Dim Sum Toolbox: Dumpling Essentials Slideshow.

Dumpling Glossary: The variety of traditional Chinese dumplings is vast. This glossary will help you to decide which kind of dumplings to try first. Keep in mind that the tools you need will depend on the type of dumpling you choose to prepare.

Jiaozi: These crescent-shaped dumplings are often filled with a combination of meat and vegetables. The edges of Jiaozi dumplings are folded in a crimped fashion and traditionally steamed. Jiaozi dough is thicker than that of wonton wrappers and does not contain egg.

Chinese Egg and Scallion Jiaozi

From: Fine Cooking

Guotie: A variety of Jiaozi that is usually pan fried before being steamed. These dumplings are often referred to as potstickers in the US.

Pork and Cabbage Potstickers

From Appetite for China

Wonton: These dumplings are wrapped in an egg dough and sealed at the top to resemble a basket. Wontons are traditionally deep fried or steamed.

Fried Wontons

From Rasa Malaysia

Siu Mai: These small, basket-shaped dumplings consist of a filling surrounded by a wonton-like wrapper. Shu Mai have open tops that expose the filling, therefore they do not need to be sealed.

Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai

From Appetite for China

Soup Dumplings: A variety of Chinese steamed buns, soup dumplings have a thicker, more glutinous dough than other dumpling varieties. Soup Dumplings are filled with gelatinized broth before they are steamed, which causes the broth to liquify while cooking.

Shanghai Soup Dumplings

From Epicurious