The Quest for Gluten Free Dumplings

Ever since going gluten free/severely gluten reduced (I let things like soysauce slide when going out to eat) 4ish years ago, the things I miss most are gluten filled asian noodles and dumplings. This is probably because these are harder to replicate and I find that there are many excellent GF breads and pastas out there/our homemade GF pasta comes very close. But it’s a lot harder to replicate gluten free chewy asian noodles, dumpling skins - and no, rice noodles do not count ;)

When I saw NomNom Paleo’s recipe for paleo GF dumplings, I was really excited - so this weekend before I started intensive inpatient time for residency, I decided to give it a whirl:

It was pretty labor intensive! A two day process for assembling the filling and then making the dough and wrapping the dumplings. The filling was very satisfying to make - and salting the cabbage and squeezing all of the water out was pretty magical. Kyle and I jointly worked on the dumpling rolling - but I did all the folding ;)

The wrapper is made from Cassava flour and arrowroot powder - and Cassava flour is easily the most expensive gluten free flour I have ever purchased! Arrowroot reminds me of xantham gum and it gives the dough its chewy/springy quality in absence of the gluten. It was easy to work with albeit a little bit tacky, but nothing that parchment paper couldn’t help with.

And the final product:


Verdict: Close….but not quite. The filling was excellent - but that’s not the gluten free concern ;) The wrapper itself while it seemed promising in the pre-cooked phase, came out much more chewy/thick than anticipated. It felt like too much wrapper for the filling when eating it - but when rolling it out, I don’t think I could have made it any thinner without ripping issues.

For someone that has had the pleasure of eating real dumplings, this pales in comparison, but if it’s all you’ve got - then I’d say it gets an A-OK (in the Yelp world that’s 3/5 stars, right?). I wonder if I could incorporate some of my favorite Cup4Cup gluten free all purpose flour into this recipe for the next batch to see if I could get it less gelly like in texture and more dough like in the final product.

Overall, I’m happy I tried it and now have some frozen dumplings to make for dinner on these long inpatient days the next two weeks!