Spring Lamb Pan-Fried Dumplings

This appetizer features pan-fried wontons stuffed with lamb and green peas. The mint in the dipping sauce perfectly complements the fatty, gamey flavor of the lamb. If you don't love lamb, this is really just a technique-you can stuff these with any kind of meat and vegetables you like.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
30 mins
Additional Time:
3 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
4 hrs 10 mins
36 dumplings


For the Filling:

  • 1 pound ground lamb

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

  • 2 tablespoons finely diced Fresno chile pepper

  • ¼ cup green peas, or to taste

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, or to taste

  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper

  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

For the Dipping Sauce:

  • ¾ cup seasoned rice vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons finely sliced fresh mint, or to taste

For the Dumplings:

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • 1 teaspoon water

  • 36 wonton wrappers

  • 2 tablespoons butter, or as needed


  1. Combine lamb, garlic, green onions, chile pepper, peas, salt, pepper, cayenne, and cumin in a bowl. Mix with 2 forks, starting on the surface of the mixture, until ingredients are evenly combined. Wrap in plastic and chill for 3 hours, or up to overnight.

  2. Mix rice vinegar, soy sauce, and mint together in a bowl for dipping sauce. Refrigerate until needed.

  3. Combine beaten egg and water in a small bowl. Brush the edges of a wonton wrapper with some of the egg wash. Drop 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling in the center. Fold over and press edges together while squeezing out any air bubbles. Continue with remaining wrappers and filling. Let rest for about 10 minutes.

  4. Heat butter in a pan over medium heat. Fry batches of dumplings in the hot butter until meat is no longer pink and dumplings are golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with dipping sauce.

Chef's Notes:

A regular sweet red bell pepper will work instead of a Fresno chile pepper.

You can fry these in oil instead of butter if you like.

Once you open the package of wonton wrappers, keep a damp towel on top of them so they don't dry out. If you use homemade wonton dough, just a little bit of water on the edges will generally seal them, but if you use store-bought, make sure to use an egg wash.

You can also try these with ground beef and sauteed mushrooms, ground chicken and green chiles, or Italian sausage and caramelized onions. If you do change your filling, you might want to change your dipping sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

346 Calories
16g Fat
30g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 346
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 16g 20%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 96mg 32%
Sodium 1138mg 49%
Total Carbohydrate 30g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 7mg 33%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 3mg 18%
Potassium 280mg 6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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