While I’m on maternity leave, please welcome my good friend Dixya Bhattarai! She’s a fellow registered dietitian and food blogger here in Fort Worth, Texas. You can find her over at Food, Pleasure & Health
Hi Zen and Spice readers! Since Emily is little busy taking care of her little nugget, I thought I’d take over her blog and share one of my favorite food, aka dumplings with you guys. Dumplings – a bite-size dish that consists of pieces of dough (made from a variety of starch sources) wrapped around a filling made with meat, seafood, or vegetables. Methods like steaming (which is typical), boiling, frying, or simmering is used to prepare dumplings all over the world.
The version I’m sharing today is “Pan Fried Chicken Dumplings”, a variation of chicken mo:mo – Nepali dumplings. Typically, they are steamed but pan-frying is another method of preparing them especially if you do not have a steamer. Pan-fried method is great for both frozen dumplings (taken straight out of the bag) or leftovers that have already been steamed. 
A lot of people find making dumplings from scratch to be intimidating but I think it’s one of those things that comes with practice and using the right ingredients and technique. A good dumpling has three key components the dough/wrapper, filling and the cooking method. 


If you have sometime on hand, homemade wrapper is definitely worth a try. I have a short video here if you are interested: 

For convenience, you can opt for pre-made wrappers, which are easily available in Asian grocery stores (in the frozen section) or select grocery stores in the produce section along with tofu and spring roll wrappers. There are different types of wrappers with various thickness and sizes, so you need to pick the one fit your needs. For example, a dumpling wrapper is slightly thicker and are great for holding and steaming meat-based fillings while sui mai wrappers are thin and used for seafood/pork filling. Always allow the frozen wrapper to come to room temperature before using as it becomes pliable and easy to work with. 


There are endless possibilities when it comes to fillings – meat, poultry, seafood, veggies, tofu, or a combination of any of these can be used as fillings. Always use complimentary seasonings and flavors based on the protein choice. I usually opt for Nepali mo:mo seasonings for chicken dumplings and stick with Asian flavors for seafood or veggie ones. Ideally, you want to use fattier ground meat as it results in juicy dumplings and if using veggies, finely chop them into even pieces. 


Dumplings can be cooked via steaming, pan-frying, deep-frying, or boiling. I personally like steaming but you can’t go wrong with pan-fried ones. Regardless of what method you pick to cook dumplings, make sure the dumpling wrappers are sealed all the way to prevent any fillings from oozing out. 


I hope these tips are resourceful in making dumplings next time. Now on to the recipe for Pan Fried Chicken Dumplings! 

Pan Fried Chicken Dumplings

Servings 50 dumplings
Author Emily Weeks, RDN, LD


  • 1 lb ground chicken use thigh if possible
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red radish or cabbage
  • 1 bunch green onions finely chopped
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 3 Tbsp finely minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp finely minced ginger
  • 3 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 2 tsp red chili powder you can use as little or more per taste
  • 1 heaping Tbsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp ghee may use oil or butter
  • 1/2 cup warm water start with 1/2 cup and add more as needed
  • 45-55 dumpling wrappers

for pan frying:

  • 4 Tbsp oil such as canola or grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup water per 10 dumplings


  1. In a medium bowl, combine ground chicken with finely chopped radish or cabbage, green onions, onions, garlic, ginger, ghee, spices, salt.
  2. Slowly mix in and add water to help mix the ingredients. You don't want mo:mo mix to be too watery.
  3. Let it rest for few minutes or longer.
  4. Take about 1 teaspoon of mo:mo filling and place it on a dumpling wrapper and fold them to your desired shape.

  5. Heat a medium frying pan with about 2 tablespoon oil. Arrange dumplings 8-10 at a time and pan fry it until the bottom is golden brown.
  6. Add 1/4 cup water and cover the pan with a lid.
  7. Allow it to cook for 6-8 minutes, until all the water evaporates.
  8. Enjoy it hot with chili oil or other sauce of your choice.

Dixya Bhattarai, MS, RD, LD, is a Fort Worth-based Registered Dietitian & Food and Nutrition Expert. Dixya graduated with a major in dietetics and a minor in Biology from Idaho State University in 2010 before she received a Master of Science in Nutrition in 2016. She created Food, Pleasure, and Health in 2011 to share easy, wholesome recipes, and provide a creative health and wellness space to help others enjoy healthy lives in an approachable way. Be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram