You can find dumpling skins at most grocery stores. Just look for eggless ones. Better yet, make dumpling skins at home. It’s a simple dough of flour, cornstarch and water. Just like sheets of fresh pasta, fresh dumpling skins beat the store-bought stuff hands-down. Be sure not to overwork the dough. It should be kneaded just until the dough ball starts to look a bit smoother on the surface. To keep the dough from drying out as you roll out the skins, cover the dough with a kitchen towel.
As for fillings, the firmer the better. That way you can just pinch some up filling with your hand. If your filling is soft, it helps to use a scoop to keep the filling from getting all over everything. When it comes to folding, please know that dumplings don’t need to be perfect. Handmade dumplings are a show of love and what matters is that you share them with others. Check out one of our dumpling videos to see the folding process in real time. We go through various shapes of shumai and gyoza, some with all sides folded toward the center and others folded over then pleated for that decorative edge. You’ll get the hang of it once you make a few.
This sort of cooking can be like yoga or meditation. Get lost in the recurring motions of making dumplings by hand, let your mind wander, and by the end, you’ll feel refreshed. Doing it yourself is what matters. This is the essence of homemade food. It is an act of love. Don’t rush it. Get into it.