Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings are so amazing, and they are really simple to make.
Craving those crispy, flavorful Panda Express Fried Dumplings but don’t have time for takeout? Look no further! Today, we’re bringing the Panda Express experience right to your kitchen with these easy, air-fried copycat dumplings
While my family truly loves Chinese Food, I have had a lot of fun making Copycat Recipes with my air fryer. We do not eat out much, but we eat some great meals, and my family is always eager to try new Chinese Food Dishes. Here are some of my favorites, Air Fryer Crab Rangoon, Air Fryer Chinese Spareribs, Instant Pot Chinese Fried Rice, and Instant Pot Mongolian Beef.
Today was no different; this is a really easy and absolutely delicious appetizer, or dinner, made in your air fryer!
Panda Express Fried Dumplings
Panda Express Fried Dumplings, also known as Potstickers, are a popular menu item at the renowned fast-food chain known for its American Chinese cuisine. These dumplings are crafted with a savory filling, typically consisting of minced pork, cabbage, and a blend of spices and seasonings, all encased in a thin dough wrapper. The unique cooking method, which involves frying the dumplings to achieve a crispy bottom while steaming them at the same time, results in a delightful contrast of textures. The crispy, golden exterior complements the juicy, flavorful interior, making them irresistible to many.
The appeal of Panda Express Fried Dumplings lies not only in their delicious taste but also in their versatility as a dish. They can be enjoyed as an appetizer, a side dish, or even a main course, often accompanied by a dipping sauce that adds an extra layer of flavor. This sauce is usually a mix of soy sauce, vinegar, and sometimes chili, enhancing the dumplings’ savory notes. Whether you’re a longtime fan of Chinese cuisine or exploring new flavors, these dumplings offer a satisfying culinary experience that showcases the art of Asian cooking techniques and flavor profiles, all within the convenience of a fast-food setting.
Why You Will Love This Recipe!
This Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings recipe is a game-changer for anyone craving the comfort and flavor of their favorite fast-food treat with the added benefits of home cooking. Here’s why this recipe will quickly become a favorite in your culinary repertoire:
- Reduced Oil Usage: The air fryer replicates the crispy texture of fried dumplings with just a fraction of the oil used in traditional frying methods. This means you can enjoy your favorite dish with less guilt and fewer calories.
- Quick and Easy: Air frying significantly cuts down cooking time compared to conventional methods. This recipe offers a speedy route to enjoying delicious dumplings, making it perfect for busy weeknights or impromptu cravings.
- Perfectly Crispy Every Time: The air fryer ensures each dumpling is evenly cooked, achieving that coveted crispy bottom without compromising the juicy, flavorful filling inside.
- Adaptable to Taste: While the recipe provides a filling similar to Panda Express’s classic offering, it’s easily customizable. Whether you prefer chicken, vegetables, or a different meat, you can adjust the filling to suit your dietary preferences and taste.
- Minimal Cleanup Required: Air frying means less splatter and mess compared to traditional frying, making cleanup a breeze and keeping your kitchen tidy.
- Perfect for Any Occasion: These copycat dumplings are versatile enough to serve as an appetizer, a snack, or a main dish, fitting for a wide range of occasions from casual get-togethers to more formal dining.
- Fulfill Your Panda Express Cravings: Recreating Panda Express’s beloved fried dumplings at home means you can satisfy your fast-food cravings anytime, without having to leave the house.
- Delicious and Delightful: Beyond their crispy texture and savory filling, making these dumplings at home adds a layer of personal satisfaction to the dining experience. It’s a fun and rewarding way to enjoy a favorite dish, knowing you’ve created it from scratch.
This Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings recipe offers a healthier, convenient, and customizable way to recreate a fast-food favorite. It promises all the flavor and texture you love, with added benefits that make it well worth the effort.
Ingredients Needed For Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings
Embark on a culinary journey with the Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings recipe, a delightful way to recreate the flavors of your favorite fast-food treat right in your kitchen. This recipe combines the convenience of air frying with the authentic tastes and textures of traditional Chinese potstickers, offering a healthier version without sacrificing the crispy exterior and juicy filling you love. Perfect for a quick snack, appetizer, or a complement to any Asian-inspired meal, these dumplings promise to be a hit with family and friends alike.
Remember the step-by-step directions and detailed ingredient list are below, in the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post, as well as the nutritional information.
- Ground Chicken: The main protein in the filling, ground chicken is seasoned and cooked to create a juicy, flavorful center.
- Bok Choy Cabbage: Finely chopped cabbage adds texture and a slight sweetness to the dumpling filling, balancing the savory pork.
- Garlic: A bit of minced garlic infuses the pork mixture with rich, aromatic depth.
- Scallions or Green Onions: Sliced green onions provide a mild, crunchy bite and a pop of color in the filling.
- Soy Sauce: Soy sauce seasons the filling with its salty, umami flavor, enhancing the overall taste of the dumplings.
- Granulated Sugar
- Ginger: Minced fresh ginger adds a warm, spicy flavor that is key to authentic Chinese dumplings.
- Water and All-Purpose Flour: Helps to seal the dumplings.
- Dumpling Wrappers or Wonton Wrappers: These thin dough sheets are used to encase the filling, crisping up beautifully in the air fryer.
- Olive Oil Spray or Parchment Paper: Helps prevent the dumplings from sticking to the air fryer basket or air fryer tray.
- Dipping Sauce (optional for serving): A simple mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and a touch of chili oil can be used to create a dipping sauce that complements the rich flavors of the dumplings.
How To Make Homemade Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings
Making homemade Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings allows you to enjoy your favorite fast-food appetizer with a healthier twist. Here’s how to create these delicious dumplings in your air fryer:
Prepare the Filling:
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ground chicken, Bok choy, garlic, scallion, light soy sauce, sugar, and ginger until fully combined, and set aside.
Prepare The Paste:
- In a small bowl, stir together the water and flour to make a paste, and set aside.
Fill the Dumplings:
- Working with the wrappers, just a few at a time, keep the others fully covered, so they don’t dry out.
- Place one tablespoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper.
- Dip your fingertip into the paste and run it along the edges of the wrapper.
- Pick up the wrapper and start to pinch the edges closed around the filling, making little folds here and there when you can.
- Make sure that there is no air trapped inside.
- Place the folded dumplings onto a sheet tray lined with plastic wrap.
- Place another piece of plastic wrap on top to keep them covered while you make the rest.
- Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.
Preheat the Air Fryer:
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F, air fryer setting, for 3-5 minutes.
Air Fry the Dumplings:
- Spray the basket with olive oil spray and place the dumplings in the basket, not touching.
- Spray the tops with more olive oil. You may need to do this in two batches.
- Air Fry for 3 minutes, flip them over, spray again, and air fry for an additional 2 minutes or until they are the crispness you prefer.
- Serve the hot, crispy dumplings immediately with the dipping sauce on the side.
Experimenting with Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings can add exciting twists to this beloved dish, catering to a wide range of tastes and dietary preferences. Here are some delicious variations to try:
- Vegetarian Dumplings: Swap the ground chicken for a mixture of finely chopped mushrooms, tofu, and shredded carrots. These ingredients mimic the texture of meat while offering a hearty, vegetarian-friendly option.
- Turkey Dumplings: Use ground turkey Turkey pairs wonderfully with the traditional seasonings and offers a different but equally delicious flavor profile.
- Shrimp Dumplings: Incorporate finely chopped shrimp into the filling for a seafood twist. Shrimp dumplings bring a fresh and slightly sweet flavor that’s perfect for those looking for an alternative to pork or chicken.
- Spicy Dumplings: Add a teaspoon of finely minced chili or a dash of chili flakes to the filling for dumplings with a kick. This variation is great for spice lovers looking to turn up the heat.
- Kimchi Dumplings: Mix chopped kimchi into the filling for dumplings with a tangy, spicy, and umami-rich flavor. Kimchi adds both moisture and a burst of Korean-inspired taste to the dumplings.
- Gluten-Free Dumplings: Use gluten-free dumpling wrappers and ensure all other ingredients, including soy sauce, are gluten-free. This variation allows those with gluten sensitivities to enjoy the dish without worry.
- Herbed Dumplings: Incorporate finely chopped cilantro, chives, or parsley into the filling for an aromatic twist. Fresh herbs brighten the flavor and add a pop of color.
- Cheesy Dumplings: Add a small cube of cheese inside each dumpling along with the pork filling for a gooey, melty center. Choose a cheese that melts well, such as mozzarella or cheddar, for a delightful surprise.
- Sweet and Sour Dumplings: Serve the dumplings with a homemade sweet and sour sauce for dipping. Combine pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, and a bit of sugar for a tangy and sweet condiment that complements the savory dumplings.
- Curry Dumplings: Mix a teaspoon of curry powder into the filling for an Indian-inspired flavor. Curry dumplings offer a unique taste experience, with the spices adding depth and warmth to the filling.
Each variation on the Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings recipe provides a new way to enjoy this versatile dish. Whether you’re catering to different dietary needs or simply exploring new flavors, these twists ensure there’s a dumpling for every palate.
Crafting Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings with ground chicken is a delightful way to enjoy a lighter version of this beloved dish. Here are some pro tips to ensure your chicken dumplings turn out perfectly crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside:
- Opt for Ground Chicken Thigh: While you can use ground chicken breast, ground chicken thigh will give you juicier and more flavorful dumplings due to its higher fat content.
- Generously Season the Filling: Ground chicken can be somewhat bland, so ensure your filling is well-seasoned with soy sauce, ginger, garlic, and green onions. Don’t shy away from adjusting the seasonings to suit your taste.
- Don’t Overmix the Filling: Mix the filling just until the ingredients are combined. Overmixing can make the meat tough, resulting in less tender dumplings.
- Use Parchment Paper: If your air fryer basket is prone to sticking, consider placing a piece of parchment paper with holes punched in it at the bottom. This can prevent sticking without hindering air circulation.
- Don’t Overcrowd the Basket: Cook the dumplings in batches if necessary. Overcrowding can prevent the dumplings from cooking evenly and might steam them instead of frying.
- Lightly Brush with Oil: Before cooking, lightly brush the dumplings with vegetable oil or spray them with cooking spray. This helps achieve a golden brown and crispy exterior.
- Flip Halfway Through: For even browning and crispness, flip the dumplings halfway through the cooking time. Use tongs to gently turn them to avoid breaking the wrappers.
- Best Served Hot: These dumplings are best enjoyed fresh out of the air fryer when they’re at their crispiest. Serve them with a dipping sauce on the side for an added flavor boost.
- Experiment with Dipping Sauces: While soy sauce is a classic choice, feel free to experiment with other dipping sauces like sweet chili sauce, hoisin sauce, or a mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar for extra flavor.
- Reheat Properly: If you have leftovers, reheat them in the air fryer for a few minutes to restore their crispiness. Microwaving can make them soggy.
Following these tips will help you master the art of making Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings with ground chicken, allowing you to enjoy a delicious, healthier version of this classic appetizer at home.
Can I use store-bought dumpling wrappers? Yes, you can use store-bought dumpling or wonton wrappers for convenience. They work well and save time, allowing you to focus on making a flavorful filling. Just make sure they’re fresh for the best texture.
How do I prevent the dumplings from opening during cooking? To prevent dumplings from opening during cooking, ensure you seal them tightly. Wet the edges of the wrappers with a little water before folding, and press firmly to create a good seal. Avoid overfilling the dumplings, as this can also cause them to open.
Can I make these dumplings vegetarian? Absolutely! For a vegetarian version, substitute the ground chicken with a mix of finely chopped vegetables like mushrooms, cabbage, carrots, and tofu. Season well to ensure the filling is flavorful.
How long do cooked dumplings last in the fridge? Cooked dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them in the air fryer or on a pan to bring back their crispiness before serving.
Can I freeze these dumplings? Yes, you can freeze the dumplings before cooking them. Place them on a baking sheet not touching each other, freeze until solid, and then transfer them to a freezer bag. They can be cooked directly from frozen, adding a few extra minutes to the cooking time.
What’s the best dipping sauce for these dumplings? A simple soy sauce and vinegar mix is a classic choice. For more complexity, add a bit of sesame oil, minced garlic, or chili oil to taste. Experiment to find your favorite combination.
How do I make the dumplings crispy in the air fryer without deep frying? Brushing the dumplings lightly with oil or using an oil spray before air frying will help achieve a crispy texture. The hot circulating air in the fryer does the rest, giving you a similar texture to deep frying without all the oil.
Is it better to use ground chicken breast or thigh for the filling? While ground chicken breast is leaner, ground chicken thigh offers more flavor and moisture, making it a better choice for juicy dumplings. However, either can be used based on personal preference or dietary considerations.
How can I ensure my dumplings are cooked evenly in the air fryer? To ensure even cooking, don’t overcrowd the air fryer basket. Cook in batches if necessary. Flipping the dumplings halfway through cooking also promotes an even, crispy texture on all sides.
Best Dipping Sauces
You can either serve these as appetizers or meals; I sometimes serve them with a bowl of my Instant Pot Chinse Chicken Fried Rice. Some other great options for a Chinese Feast.
- AIR FRYER CHINESE SPARE RIBS
- INSTANT POT VEGETARIAN CHINESE FRIED RICE
- AIR FRYER CHINESE DONUTS
- AIR FRYER, CHINESE SESAME CHICKEN
- Philips Kitchen Appliances Digital Twin TurboStar Airfryer XXL, with Fat Removal Technology, 3 Lbs, Black, HD9650/96
Don’t Forget To Pin!
Air Fryer Copycat Panda Express Fried Dumplings
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 2 ounces bok choy, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 stalk scallion, diced
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce, light
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 16 dumpling wrappers
- In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ground chicken, bok choy, garlic, scallion, light soy sauce, sugar, and ginger until fully combined, and set aside.
- In a small bowl, stir together the water and flour to make a paste, set aside
- Working with the wrappers, just a few at a time, keep the others fully covered, so they don’t dry out.
- Place one tablespoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip your fingertip into the paste and run it along the edges of the wrapper. Pick up the wrapper and start to pinch the edges closed around the filling, make little folds here and there when you can. Make sure that there is no air trapped inside.
- Place the folded dumplings onto a sheet tray lined with plastic wrap. Place another piece of plastic wrap on top to keep them covered while you make the rest. Continue with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Preheat the air fryer to 380 degrees F, air fryer setting. Spray the basket with olive oil spray and place the dumplings in the basket, not touching. Spray the tops with more olive oil. You may need to do this in two bathes. Air Fyr for 3 minutes, flip them over, spray again, and air fry for an additional 2 minutes or until they are the crispness you prefer.
- Serve with a dipping sauce of your choice.
- Air Fryer, Air Fryer Basket or Air Fryer Oven
- Parchment Paper, or Cooking Spray