Lunch Box Ideas: Steamed Dumplings recipe

The beauty of a dumpling is that it is so diverse and you can put whatever you want in it! Whether it be veggies alone or veggies plus lean protein, they can easily become a nutritious family favourite AND make the perfect finger food for school lunch boxes or the work lunch.

Although making dumplings can be a laborious process, there are shortcuts that can make it a definite quick & easy meal. If you opt for the longer process, it can be a great opportunity to get the kids involved and make it a wonderful family weekend event with lots of space for learning about food and connecting as a family.

I made these Veg & Pork steamed dumplings with whatever I had in the fridge. You can modify the ingredients to make them gluten free (use rice paper rolls) or Failsafe. 

By Ines Astudillo, paediatric dietitian

Serves: 4-6 people approx.
Serve size: 6 dumplings


Dumpling Filling:

1 large carrot, roughly chopped
3 cups roughly chopped vegetables e.g. Bok Choy or Choy Sum or Chinese broccoli or string green beans or cabbage or cauliflower
1 leek, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped
300g pork mince
2cm cube ginger, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb olive oil
1 Tb sesame oil
1 Tb rice vinegar
2 Tb gluten free soy sauce
Cracked pepper to taste


2 cups plain flour
3/4 cup boiled water


Rice paper

Dipping sauce:

50mls gluten free soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
20mls boiled water

Shallots for garnish


Food processor, large mixing bowl, wooden spoon, baking paper, 3 large bamboo steamer baskets, large pan, rolling pin


Vegetable and pork filling

  • In a food processor, finely chop the carrot, vegetables, leek and shallot
  • In a large bowl, combine pork mince, vegetables, ginger, garlic, olive oil, sesame oil, rice vinegar, gluten free soy sauce and cracked pepper.
  • Set aside


  • Place plain flour in a bowl
  • Add boiling water gradually as you combine with a wooden spoon
  • Bring the dough together and kneed gently
  • Cover with cling wrap and allow to rest for 15mins


  • Line the steamer basket with wet scrunched up baking paper.
  • Place about 500ml or more of water to a large pan, bring to the boil and then set aside
  • Roll out the dough thinly into small circles approx. 6 cm diameter using extra dusting flour sparingly to your working surface
  • Place about 1 Tb of the filling into the centre rolled out dough
  • Fold the dough to bring the edges together and press gently closed
  • Place dumplings into steamer basket.
  • Once the basket is filled, bring the pan with water back to simmering and place the steamer basket into the water. Ensure the water is not touching the dumplings.
  • Steam for 12 to 18 minutes depending on the size of your dumplings

Dipping sauce
Combine gluten free soy sauce, rice vinegar, maple syrup and water

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