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Fun Guo (or Chiu Chow Fun Gwor / Teochew dumplings) are steamed pork dumplings which use the same translucent dough as Har Gow. The dumplings are easy to form and taste magnificent. Make a large batch and freeze them for speedy suppers.
I was taught how to make Fun Guo dumplings along with Sui Mai and Har Gow at London Cookery School back in 2017. I had never eaten or even heard of Fun Guo before the course but they quickly became one of my favourite dumplings.
The best thing about them is that there is zero skill required to make them the exact right shape. They’re a half moon, pasty type shape with no crimping involved.
I’m not stuffy enough to insist that any dumpling must be folded in a particular way but I do generally like to try making the original version. My crimping skills are not all that so a nice easy fold is handy for the repertoire.
Actually I have lied. The easy folding is my second favourite thing about Fun Gwor. My favourite thing is that they are packed full of flavour. Perhaps more than any other dumpling I’ve tasted.
How to Serve Fun Guo
Some kind of dipping sauce is essential to serve with any dumpling. My Dumpling Dipping Sauce is the most classic option. A sweet chilli sauce also works as does my Satay Sauce. Little dipping dishes are very handy for this.
I also love to raid the Asian grocers or world food aisle for all manner or random ready made dipping sauces. My favourite is handily called “Dipping Sauce”!
Crockery wise I tend to use my set of Chinese melamine crockery to serve my Asian inspired dishes. I love this set as it is easy to clean, easy to store and brings a smile to my face whenever I bring it out! I’ve bought it in stages to make a full set.
I mostly serve the dumplings in the steamer baskets they were cooked in. I just place the basket on a plate to avoid mess. This keeps them nice and hot, just as they should be. Take one to your plate, replace the lid and repeat.
Chopsticks can be tricky to use with the slippery skins but I find that trying is half the fun!
There is no shame in grabbing a fork, or even mucking in and using your fingers. Getting the dumplings in the vicinity of your mouth is the important thing, not how they get there!
Make Fun Guo into a Feast
I truly believe that you can make any dish into a proper feast! Whether thats a feast for one after work on a Tuesday, a casual feast for four on a Friday evening or a feast for 12 for a special occasion!
I often serve Fun Guo as part of a wider selection of boiled/fried/steamed dumplings. My favorites are Sui Mai, Har Gow and Tofu Crystal Dumplings. Sometimes this is accompanied by a simple bowl of Miso Soup.
Alternatively, I might serve a smaller selection as a starter course before another Asian inspired main course like in my Big Asian Feast. Any of the dumplings in that Feast could be swapped for Fun Guo. Or add it as well!
Ingredients for Fun Guo
Salted Radish/Chinese Dried Mushroom
Chinese dried mushrooms can be bought in vac packed bags. They are not dry and crispy but soft and pliable. They can be easily cut and cooked with without being re-hydrated.
Salted radish is often packed the same or can sometimes be found in jars. It can also be called preserved radish or even preserved turnip.
If you are struggling to find the dried mushrooms or radish, or simply can’t be bothered to look, simply omit the ingredient. I would not recommend substituting the dried mushrooms with fresh as the moisture content will affect the filling consistency. The radish could however be substituted with fresh.
I have stated 20% fat is ideal to provide just the right amount of moisture for the recipe. You can use leaner mince but you will end up with a drier filling. These dumplings are only little morsels – I wouldn’t skimp on the fat.
This is important. Wheat starch is not flour. You cannot substitute flour for the wheat starch. This is an ingredient that you can buy in small bags from Asian grocers. It has the texture of cornflour so do be careful that it doesn’t fly everywhere when you open the packet.
This is another ingredient that you will most likely want to buy from an Asian grocers. Saying that, I have seen this in supermarkets labelled as tapioca starch or even cassava flour. It is all the same thing. Tapioca flour also has a very fine consistency.
The Har Gow dough is quite specific and this is an occasion when I would suggest that you do not mess with it. The filling can be changed as you wish providing that the consistency is similar to the original but it must keep its shape.
Other filling options could include scallops (or even lobster if you are feeling decadent). Another white fish would work as would minced meat such as chicken.
You can also use this filling but pleat the dumplings like Har Gow or use the Har Gow filling in this shape.
It is possible to deep fry these dumplings. But do make sure that the edges are extremely well sealed or they are liable to explode!
Make it Vegetarian or Vegan
The dumpling skin is suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
The pork is the only non-vegan ingredient in the recipe. (very non-vegan I admit but I mean that it makes a vegan version very easy to make!).
I have created my Tofu Crystal Dumplings which are a vegan alternative to Har Gow and Fun Guo dumplings. The filling is based around tofu and is super tasty.
Make it Allergy Friendly
This Fun Guo recipe is suitable for those who are free from nuts, dairy and egg.
Nut Free: Saying this, sesame can trigger nut allergies in some people so it is best to check if you are planning on serving this to someone who is allergic or intolerant.
Gluten Free: The only potential gluten containing ingredient in this recipe is the Wheat Starch. Having done some research, it seems that as wheat starch is a processed element of wheat, it contains so little gluten that it is often considered gluten free, even for a coeliac diet.
But the advice does vary so please please do your own research and ask anyone that you are cooking for whether they can tolerate wheat starch.
I believe that cornflour is the nearest 100% gluten free substitute and so I would use cornflour with a little xantham gum if the wheat starch cannot be used.
Please note that this recipe may contain other allergens not referred to above. For more information regarding any dietary information provided on this website, please refer to my Nutritional Disclaimer.
Equipment Notes for Fun Guo
If you don’t have kettle you should buy one immediately. In the meantime, boil the water in a small saucepan. Boil more than you need then measure it once heated. You don’t want to lose water to evaporation and mess up the quantities. Seriously though, buy a kettle.
Whether you choose to roll out your dough on a wooden board, plastic chopping board or your counter top, DO NOT flour the surface. The dough will not stick but flour will change the texture of the dough.
I own a small nylon rolling pin purely for the purpose of making dumplings. It was only a few quid and it is way easier to use than my super heavy marble rolling pin. I would highly recommend tracking one down.
After some experimenting with the various sizes of cookie cutters which are included in my little set, I determined that the 3″ cutter (or red/2nd smallest) was the perfect size for these dumplings. Use the straight side rather than the fluted unless you are very talented at matching up the fluted edges.
There are various options for steaming the dumplings. I prefer to use bamboo steamers lined with parchment circles. They are easy, quick to clean and balance perfectly on my medium sized saucepan. Using the steamer part of my saucepan set is another option as would be using an electric steamer.
A comprehensive list of the equipment used to make this recipe is included in the main recipe card below. Click on any item to see an example. There are no hard and fast rules so many items can be sensibly substituted to achieve the same results.
The filling can be prepared up to a day before making the dumplings providing it is properly refrigerated. The filling mix can also be frozen and turned into dumplings at a later time.
The best thing about all of my Chinese Dumpling Recipes is that they can all be made in large batches, frozen and then simply steamed to order straight from frozen.
To freeze the dumplings, lay them out on a baking tray and pop them in the freezer. Try to make sure the dumplings are not touching as much as possible.
Once the dumplings are fully frozen, they can be much more tightly packed into trays or bags and popped back in the freezer in a much smaller space than before.
Leftover Fun Guo
To the extent possible I would recommend only cooking as many dumplings as you are likely to eat. Once steamed and cooled, they can be reheated in the microwave or re steamed but they do have a tendency of going a little soggy.
The best way to cook leftover Fun Guo is actually deep fry them. You can reheat the filling whilst making the outer skin much more crisp that you will otherwise achieve. (Actually I love a deep fried dumpling!)
Fun Guo Tips
The ingredient quantities look quite small and they are but the dough is very thin when used so a little really does go a long way.
Equally if you have another preferred dumpling fold, try that. There are no hard and fast rules.
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you try making this recipe – I want to know what you think and if you made any substitutions, how did it turn out?
Still Have Questions?
Simple! Just contact me and I will do my best to help as quickly as I am able. Head over to my Contact Me page, any of my social media channels or post a comment at the bottom of this page and I’ll see what I can do.
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Fun Guo (Steamed Chinese Pork Dumplings)
For the Filling
- 15 g Salted Radish
- 10 g Chinese Dried Mushroom
- 180 g Minced Pork – 20% Fat
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce
- 1 tbsp Sesame Oil
- 0.25 tsp White Pepper
- 3 tbsp Water
- 1 tbsp Cornflour (Cornstarch)
For the Dough
- 90 g Wheat Starch
- 60 g Tapioca Flour
- 60 g Cornflour (Cornstarch)
- 1.5 tsp Sugar
- 1 tsp Fine Salt
- 180 g Water
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
Prepare the Filling
- Finely chop 15g Salted Radish and 10g Chinese Dried Mushroom. Add to a small mixing bowl with 180g Minced Pork.
- Add 1 tsp Baking Powder, 1 tbsp Sugar, 1 tbsp Light Soy, 1 tbsp Sesame Oil, 0.25 tsp White Pepper, 3 tbsp Cold Water and 1 tbsp Cornflour to the pork and veg bowl.
- Stir until everything is thoroughly combined. Set aside in the fridge whilst making the dough.
Prepare the Dough
- Combine 90g Wheat Starch, 60g Tapioca Flour, 60g Cornflour, 1.5 tsp Sugar and 1 tsp Fine Salt in a medium bowl.
- Add 180g Boiling Water. Mix quickly for only 20 seconds then cover the bowl and leave for 3 minutes. This 'cooks' the flour.
- Add 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil to the dough and knead until very smooth. This doesn't take long at all. And it goes VERY smooth.
- Divide the dough into thirds. Roll each chunk into a thick sausage and then divide each sausage into 8 equal pieces. (you will need to adjust this is you have adjusted the number of servings in this recipe from 30). You should end up with 24 pieces in total. You will use offcuts to make the remaining dumplings.
- Keep the dough balls in a plastic bag with the top kept tightly wound to stop them from drying out.
Assemble the Dumplings
- Assemble the pork mix, dough pieces, rolling pin, board and cookie cutter in one place.
- Roll out one of the dough balls to about 0.5mm thick. Keep turning and flipping the dough to prevent it sticking. Do not use flour or oil on the board,
- Cut out a round with a smooth edged 3 inch cookie cutter.
- Squeeze the cuttings together and place back in the plastic bag with the rest of the dough.
- Pick up the dough round and add about a teaspoon of filling.
- Fold the dough in half to form a half moon.
- Press the edges together all the way around the seam until it is fully sealed.
- Place the folded dumpling onto a tray and continue to repeat with the other balls of dough.
- There should be some filling left so squeeze together all the off cuts and roll them out to form as many extra dumplings as you can get. You should make roughly a further 6.
To Steam the Dumplings:
- To cook the dumplings, place them in a steamer basket and cook for 8 minutes over boiling hot water. To cook from frozen, allow 12 minutes.