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Gluten-free AND authentic? Chinese dumplings, please.

WhatThePho Mar 15, 2010 10:24 AM

I'm planning to have my mother over for a multi-course Chinese dinner. She can't eat wheat, , barley or oats.

I have ideas for several GF courses, but if possible, I'd like to add a Chinese dumpling to the menu. Are there any authentic recipes that use rice or tapioca/rice paper? Or any other ideas for authentic rolls, pot-stickers, wontons?

I'm new to Chinese cooking, not new to GF cooking. Any help greatly appreciated.

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  1. todao RE: WhatThePho Mar 15, 2010 11:25 AM

    The Japanese have a rice flour dumpling (I believe they call it Mitarashi dango - you can Google that and see what you find) but I'm not at all familiar with a Chinese dumpling the uses rice flour exclusively. Some Chinese dumplings include rice flour along with wheat flour but, as far as my experience takes me, nothing that's entirely wheat flour free.
    That said, although it doesn't help with the "authentic" element of what you're looking for, I'm suspect some of the Celiac sites will have something that will work.

    2 Replies
    1. re: todao
      WhatThePho RE: todao Mar 15, 2010 01:46 PM

      Much appreciated, I will use this idea, if not for this meal, then in the near future. Thank you!

      1. re: todao
        paulj RE: todao Mar 15, 2010 01:52 PM

        Aren't there SE Asian recipes that use a rice paper, for example Vietnamese spring rolls?

      2. soypower RE: WhatThePho Mar 15, 2010 02:20 PM

        You could use bean curd sheets to make a fried or simmered roll...


        Also might want to try playing with aburage - maybe inari sushi or stuffing them with typical dumpling stuffing?

        2 Replies
        1. re: soypower
          WhatThePho RE: soypower Mar 16, 2010 09:21 AM

          What a great idea, it never occurred to me to use bean curd sheets for egg rolls. :) Have never fried the stuff before, presumably it fries up like tofu? Thank you, soypower.

          1. re: WhatThePho
            soypower RE: WhatThePho Mar 16, 2010 10:10 AM

            It does fry to a nice crisp, though not exactly like a springroll...

            Another authentic dumpling sort of thing is stuffed tofu or stuffed peppers...


        2. l
          lyntc10 RE: WhatThePho Mar 15, 2010 02:38 PM

          There are lots of GF chinese dishes, but no dumplings that I can think of. How about a nice "pasta" dish? Or rice-ovalettes? It's really good! If you want it, let me know.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lyntc10
            WhatThePho RE: lyntc10 Mar 16, 2010 09:22 AM

            I want it!

          2. Jennalynn RE: WhatThePho Mar 15, 2010 02:49 PM

            Rice Paper wrappers are gluten free.


            1. z
              zennenn RE: WhatThePho Mar 16, 2010 07:13 AM

              It is possible to make gluten free potsticker/dumpling dough. There is a great recipe here: http://www.heythattastesgood.com/2009...

              This is a great blog in general, and the post I linked to refers to several recipes for dumpling dough. I hope this helps!


              5 Replies
              1. re: zennenn
                WhatThePho RE: zennenn Mar 16, 2010 09:28 AM

                Those look delightful! So it can be done...pot-stickers would totally make her day. Thank you for this!

                1. re: WhatThePho
                  Jennalynn RE: WhatThePho Mar 16, 2010 04:15 PM

                  But remember... no soy sauce! They almost all have wheat.

                  You'll need to find "Wheat Free Tamari"

                  1. re: Jennalynn
                    goodhealthgourmet RE: Jennalynn Mar 16, 2010 04:38 PM

                    that's the easy part :) any decent supermarket will have San-J Wheat-Free Tamari. i don't know what i;d do without it!

                    1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      WhatThePho RE: goodhealthgourmet Mar 16, 2010 07:43 PM

                      oddly enough the major Americanized brand of soy sauce here (La Choy) is wheat-free. There are better brands but we're happy with this one.

                      1. re: WhatThePho
                        Jennalynn RE: WhatThePho Mar 17, 2010 08:51 AM

                        La Choy might be gluten free... but it's not a great soy sauce. Soy sauce should be made from soy beans, not hydrolyzed soy protein, corn syrup, and caramel color. I go with the Wheat-Free Tamari. In Los Angeles, which has "decent" supermarkets, it's not everywhere. But it is in every health food place and Whole Foods as well.

              2. j
                jsaimd RE: WhatThePho Mar 16, 2010 09:54 AM

                If your mother is Celiac then you can use tapioca starch and rice flour blend to make wrappings. I have used a riff on the recipe link to below and it does work, but the dough is pretty fragile. You have to keep working it and you add more flour in as you go. i used a pasta machine and was able to get rather thin rounds that worked best for shu mai. I didn't try frying them, but you could.

                You can also use rice paper or yuba skins.

                If she is just wheat sensitive, then some use wheat starch. Technically it is GF (used in GF products in Europe). You can get it at Asian groceries, but I don't trust that it is entirely GF for my Celiac son and I. If you can get your hands on Codex approved wheat starch, then that would be useful:


                1. s
                  smtucker RE: WhatThePho Mar 16, 2010 06:22 PM

                  I saw a wonderful Ruth Reich show on create the other day. She was in a small area of China with its own culinary culture. Not being a wheat producing area, they made dumplings that i am dying to try. They made a standard pork/veggie/seasoning mixture, and spooned it into the hot wok with oil. While that cooked, they quickly whisked some eggs, moved the pork up the side, put about a tablespoon of the egg into the oil, flattening it with the spatula and as it just set, put a pork ball in the middle and folded. Then this went up the side of the wok to finish cooking while they started the next egg wrapper.

                  Wow, lots of words, but gosh did it look wonderful and was certainly gluten free.

                  Found the recipe.. it was actually chicken: http://www.gourmet.com/recipes/advent...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: smtucker
                    HLing RE: smtucker Mar 16, 2010 10:53 PM

                    I get a craving for dumplings with egg wrappings from time to time, especially back when dumpling wrappings didn't taste too good in general.

                    There's also a Cantonese deep fried dumplings with the wrapper made from sticky rice flour and a little bit of starch. Here's a link to a Chinese website with step by step pictures. It's called 咸水角 (xian2 shui3 jiao3) and can be found in most Cantonese bakeries and dim sum places.

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