Gluten-Free Dumplings (No Wrapper)
These gluten-free dumplings don’t need dumpling wrappers. Cornstarch will hold the filling in shape and make them look like nude dumplings. Make sure to use gluten-free soy sauce to dip with.
These adorable meatballs are called Nude Dumplings or Gulim mandu (굴림만두) in Korea. Since there are no dumpling wrappers involved, they are suitable as gluten-free dumplings.
They are nude because they are not wearing the dumpling wrappers like the traditional dumplings would. For being a very modest cook, I thought of covering them with fig leaves. Ha-ha!
How do you make dumplings without the dumpling wrappers?
There is a thin shear layer of cornstarch holding the dumpling balls. It makes these guys have almost see-through looks.
Anyhow, they are very simple to make. They take far less time than the traditional Korean dumplings (Mandu) and they taste awesome!
You can use any dumpling filling you like. I used ground pork, cabbage, and Asian chives — my favorite combination. Use green onion if you can’t find chives.
Since they don’t wear any wonton wrappers or dumpling wrappers, they can be a great gluten-free dish as long as you use naturally brewed gluten-free soy sauce for dipping.
Now, shall we start today’s “nude” episode?
Gluten-free dumpling filling
First, chop the cabbage into small pieces.
Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and toss well. Let it sit 10-15 minutes. This will extract the moisture and your cabbage will pretend dead.
Squeeze them out as hard as you can to show your love.
When you love someone, don’t you feel like squeezing them? Or is it just me being weird…?
Now combine ground pork, the nearly-squeezed-to-death cabbage, Asian chives (or green onion), garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper, and an egg yolk.
Wait! I think I am forgetting someone again.
Ahhh! Ginger. Grate her in an elegant manner.
Mix well together.
Roll the mixture into 1″ balls or whatever size you desire.
Cornstarch coating for dumpling balls
Coat dumpling balls with cornstarch evenly all over. You want to coat them twice, so that they can hold their shape during the cooking.
Here, the ready to go dumpling balls! Make sure you boil a pot of water on the side while you are rolling them.
How to cook gluten-free dumplings
Cooking dumplings in a gently simmering water will be the best cooking method for these skinless dumplings.
Bring a pot of water to boil over medium heat. When the water comes up to a gentle boil, drop these guys.
Simmer them for about 3 minutes stirring occasionally so they don’t stick to the bottom of pot. They will float to the top when they are fully cooked. Make sure your water is simmering hot, not boiling rigorously.
Take them out and serve with the dipping sauce.
I like my dumplings served in a broth to keep them moist. I used a simple anchovy sea kelp stock, but any broth will be fine. Or you can simply serve as is, as soon as they come out of water.
You will love these dumpling balls, especially if you can’t have gluten. They are simple to make, quick to cook, low in calorie, and gluten-free. Most importantly? They are delicious!!!
More Gluten-Free Recipes
- The Simplest Beef Pot Roast
- Korean Honey Garlic Chicken Wings
- Easy Tteok-galbi (Korean short ribs patties)
- Mini Seaweed Rice Rolls (Mayak Gimbap or Kimbap)
- Soy Balsamic Chicken Thighs with Asparagus
Gluten-Free Dumplings (No Wrapper)
- 3/4 lb ground pork
- 3 cup napa cabbage, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup Asian chives or green onion, finely chopped
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 tbsp soy sauce, use gluten-free
- 1 tbsp sweet rice wine (mirim)
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- cornstarch , to coat
For dipping sauce
- 3 tbsp soy sauce , use gluten-free
- 1 1/2 tbsp vinegar
- Toss chopped cabbage with 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl and let it sit for 15 minutes to wilt. Squeeze out the cabbage with your hands to remove as much moist as you can.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine pork, cabbage, chives, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, egg yolk, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Mix all together and make into 1" balls.
- Bring a pot of water to boil.
- Put cornstarch in a shallow bowl. Roll the balls to coat with cornstarch evenly. You want to coat them twice to hold their shape.
- When the water comes to a gentle boil, drop the balls, a few pieces at a time. Cook them about 3 minutes, stirring with a spoon occasionally so that they don't stick to the bottom of the pot. They will float to the surface when they are fully cooked.
- Take them out and serve hot with the dipping sauce
- To make the dipping sauce, combine soy sauce and vinegar and mix well.
Hello, I love your recipes and can’t wait to try these! Is there a substitution for the egg or can I leave it out?
Egg is needed to bind the dumplings, so it has be included (otherwise your dumpling will fall apart). If you are allergic to eggs, try egg substitute for binding.
Me again! These are still a main recipe we have used for the past 6 years, even since going keto, we still make these with a couple adjustments. We eat them like a potsticker/dumpling with homemade chili miso oil and baked bok choy with a garlic ginger sauce. Delicious!!
You comment makes me so happy! I love the chili miso oil dipping sauce idea. It sounds so delicious with my dumplings.
Hi Holly- these looks amazing! I am wondering – is corn starch the same thing as corn flour here?? I’m not sure what corn flour is otherwise. Thanks!
Yes, it is. Corn starch is the corn flour
Do to my ibs I cannot eat cabbage, will leaving it out affect the integrity of the dumplings?
Hi Jennifer, you can leave it out. Add some chopped green onion for better flavor.
This recipe is still a family favorite. Today was the first time I noticed the egg yolk in the pictures and not in the recipe, was it missed?
I found a really easy way to squeeze the liquid from the cabbage, I use my potato ricer and that makes it so much easier and quicker to make.
All in all I still make the recipe exactly as stated except I prefer a mixture of ground pork and ground chicken and sometimes when I’m feeling lazy I just lightly fry or bake the dumplings without the cornstarch step.
Thanks for pointing out. You are right, the egg yolk is missing in the recipe.
Glad to heat that you sill like these dumplings.
Oh man these are so delicious!! I made a double batch with half ground pork and half ground chicken. Before I dropped them in boiling water, I slightly flattened the balls and then after they finished boiling I lightly fried on both sides. This recipe is a definite keeper!
The egg yolk isn’t included in the printable recipe? I “see” it in the picture, so I’ll include it in my mixture. Thanks so much! These are in the works as I type Ü
Wow, these are tasty! I served them as an hors d’oeuvre on New Year’s Eve and even the unadventurous eaters in the group enjoyed them. They freeze uncooked very well (freeze the balls on a cookie sheet first, then bag them) and are super good in soup too. Thank you for having gluten free recipes! Awesome!
That’s so great, Andrea! So happy to hear that your guests loved these dumplings. Thanks for the tip on freezing!
just curious, how many dumplings does this recipe make?
It depends on the size of the dumpling balls you make. I think this recipe will feed 2-4 people depends on how hungry they are.
Hi Holly 🙂
I’m new to this website, but I have to admit that it was love at first sight!!!
Your recipes are so easy to understand and to cook! I love them as does my mother loves the outcome <3 <3 ___<?
Thank You so much for everything!!!!
Thank you, Nhung
I am very happy that you and your mother like my recipes.
I love dumplings in soup too!
Could you share how to make the anchovy soup and any other soup that this recipe can go with.
Simmer a few pieces of large dried anchovies and dried sea kelp in water for 10 minutes. Discard the anchovies and sea kelp. Season the broth with Korean soy sauce for soup or salt, and black pepper. You can always dress up with vegetables for a better taste.
exellent post I love Dumpling since I can’t get the wrapper where I leave so this is fine for me thank you for sharing!!!
Are these meatballs freezer friendly?
Would you suggest freezing pre or post cooking?
Yes, you can freeze them. I would freeze them before you roll them out to meatballs, otherwise they will stick together.
Can you deep fry them too?
I don’t see why not.
This recipe looks great, I’m going to try them this weekend! I was wondering what you think about storage, can left over be frozen and steamed or boiled at a later date like other dumplings?
Hello! Be very careful about the gluten-free thing here. I’m sure you all know that naturally fermented sauces are the best choice.
Just be careful too about people who are also wheat sensitive or intolerant. For those people, any wheat in any form is a painful experience that will not go unnoticed.
Some of us can’t have soy either, but that’s another thing altogether. 🙁
Or anything with citric acid…like chilies and stuff. :'(
Looks great! I just stumbled uppon this recipe on Pinterest and I know it’s gluten free but what if I want to use something else instead of cornstarch? Will coconut flour work? Do you have any grain free suggestions?
Hi Natalie, I don’t have any experience with coconut flour so I can’t assure you if it would work. But I think as long as it has some binding capacity in them it should work. Also Potato flour will be another option.
These look delicious! I am definitely excited to try them out.
Hi, I have just stumbled on to your blog and I love it!! Thank you! I was inspired to buy a bunch of new products online, because of your recipes, and I came home last week to a huge, smelly, fantastic package and I couldn’t be happier. My only problem is that I didn’t notice until today that the dried anchovies needed to be frozen…I don’t know who else to ask…do you think they will be okay (they were on the counter for 4 days)? I tend to air on the side of not waisting food so I want to use them, but do you think it is dangerous? I don’t think so, but I don’t know. I can’t wait to cook your delicious recipes and the idea of ordering and waiting, well, it’s torture! Help!
The reason we keep the dried anchovies in freezer is so that they don’t get damp in a humid climate, which tend to attract mold. You can definitely use the anchovies even if they were sitting on the counter for over 4 days. No worries!
It is advisable to keep some Korean dried goods, such as anchovies, chili flakes, seaweeds and etc, in the freezer for longer storage. I am glad that you found my blog. Please, let me know if you need any assistance.
Thank you!! I’m going to start cooking now! Yay!!
what a great idea for a less heavy sort of dumpling! for chinese new year last year, I decided to do away with dumpling skins too, but instead, I used cabbage as wrappers! go do a search for cabbage dumplings if you’re interested. It was a lot lighter and pretty to boot, but of course took a fair bit of work as compared to yours, which I’m definitely going to try! they look delicious!
Hi Holly, It is just one of our favorite meals: easy, quick, and delicious. Versatile too. I make some variation of it, and my men can’t have enough of it. Served with kimchi it flies out of the plate in seconds! 🙂
Great idea to coat in cornflour! I am married to a dumpling-loving mainly-GF man, and I’ve never considered this! Brilliant idea, thank you so much for posting!
I bet these would be great in a broth, with some noodles and green veg – wonderful. And yet more beautiful pictures, Holly!
Noona, thank you for your recipes…reminds me of home-cooked food! I enjoy your blog a great deal.
I love dumplings. Polish ones are a bit different, but also very tasty. I like the filling so much!
This is such a great idea! I’ve missed dumplings since I went gluten-free over 5 years ago. Great to know I can make them at home quite easily. Fantastic!
I just made these for dinner and they taste fabulous! The dipping sauce sends it right over the top! We added some ginger to that and some chili oil for heat. I am curious how you got yours coated so well…our coating almost all came off.
Make sure your water is not a full vigorous boil, otherwise your dumplings will dance around up and down in the pot which cause their coating to come off. Gentle boil over medium-low to low heat will be sufficient.
Haha! I love your title/recipe name! I’ve never coated in corn starch to make dumplings like this. I have to make this. Especially the weather has been cold and this reminds me of comfort food. Looks delicious!!
Love how you call these nude dumplings! And yes, I like to pinch and squeeze my loved ones as a sign of affection. (Hopefully they are used to it by now…)
Fun recipe title! And a really great recipe. These are so easy, no one now has an excuse not to make their own dumplings. Excellent post – thank you.
Yup, sounds like my type of dumpling! No need to wrap. Almost like chinese meatballs. Now i am getting hungry…douh.
What a cute idea! I love homemade dumplings but don’t really love the tedious process of making them. This is a wonderful shortcut!
Brilliant! Thank you. I have been contemplating GF dumpling wrappers for the celiac members of our family, but this is even a better idea. We lived in China for 4 years and miss this tummy-warming meal. Very exciting.