Wrapping up a dumpling at home is easy if you buy commercially prepared dumpling or wonton skins. Look for them, made from wheat flour, in the produce section’s refrigerated case or, possibly, frozen section.
While Asian markets have all sorts of prepared wrappers to choose from (make sure you look for those made with wheat, not rice), general supermarkets may have a more limited selection. Indeed, I visited the outposts of three major chains in my neighborhood and found just one brand in each and only one shape: square 3- 1/2 -inch wonton wrappers. (Two of the stores also had fresh egg roll wrappers; more on them in a moment.)
Circular wrappers are used to make the classic pleated pot sticker dumpling. My dumpling story offers the how-to of shaping that sort of dumpling. You can also make pot stickers with square wonton skins – just use a 3- 1/2 -inch biscuit cutter to create rounds. You can also use the fresh egg roll or spring roll wrappers; cut in half or quarters. You could, then, cut those halves or quarters with the biscuit cutter, but I’d just leave them in their rectangular or square shapes – enough cutting, right?
Honestly, if I’m in my kitchen with a mound of delicious filling, I don’t care if my stack of wrappers is round, square or even rectangular. I just go at it. Remember, all you really have to do to make a dumpling is fold the wrapper, whatever the shape, in half to enclose the filling. You can even take the ravioli route and place the filling on one wrapper and top with another.
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Two of the wonton packages I found in the supermarket noted on their labels that the skins could be used for ravioli too. That got me thinking that wrappers specifically packaged for ravioli could be used for dumplings. So, check the fresh pasta section of your market for unflavored ravioli wrappers.
The big challenge for me in using commercially prepared wrappers has been ensuring proper closure. Pre-made wrappers tend to be drier and firmer than those you make from scratch, so pleating and closing can be a difficult. (You may want to scrap the pleats altogether.) Make sure you really pinch the wrapper together firmly when closing. Keep a bowl of water and a pastry brush handy so you can wet the edges of the wrapper to help seal it securely.
As you work, place wrapped dumplings on a baking sheet or large tray. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, so they stay moist while you wrap the rest.