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Steamed Garlic Chive Dumplings (Kanom Gui Chai)

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These steamed garlic chive dumplings can’t be beaten – they’re downright delicious, fun to make, and freeze like a dream. With this kanom gui chai recipe and my special homemade dipping sauce, you’re ready to make some irresistible snacks that your family will love.

Steamed garlic chive dumplings, or kanom gui chai, topped with fried shallots and a side of dipping sauce.

This week was fantastic. My grandmother’s neighbor surprised me with a bunch of fresh garlic chives!

It was the perfect time to make my authentic chicken pad Thai. And with the Lunar New Year right around the corner, I got inspired to create these Chinese-style dim sum chive dumplings.

Thai woman holding a bunch of freshly harvested garlic chives in her garden.
My grandmother’s neigbhor gifted me a bunch of freshly harvested garlic chives!

I also made some Thai chive pancakes, they’re just perfect for making ahead of time. Three delicious garlic chive recipes for you!

What are garlic chive dumplings

Garlic chive dumplings, or kanom gui chai in Thai, are savory steamed dim sum. They’re a mix of tapioca and rice flour, filled with garlic chives. It’s a Chinese-inspired snack with a tender and chewy texture and is usually served with a dipping sauce.

Kanom means snack or dessert, and gui chai translates to garlic chives in English.

Steamed garlic chive dumplings

Making these dumplings is just like baking a cake – it’s fun and absolutely worth it.

We start by combining tapioca and rice flour to form a smooth, elastic dough.

Uncooked Thai garlic chive dumplings on a woven bamboo mat.
Uncooked garlic chive dumplings, ready for steaming!

The garlic chives are finely chopped and tossed with some seasonings. It’s a simple dumpling filling, but it adds so much flavor.

The next part is the most fun – filling and shaping the dumplings. It’s the perfect family activity. Take a small portion of dough, spoon in the chive mixture, and shape it.

After steaming, just pair them with the wonton dipping sauce included in this recipe, and they’ll be irresistible. I’ve got more sauce options coming up after the instructions – sweet, spicy, or anything you love.

Close-up of steamed Thai chive dumplings, known as Kanom Gui Chai, revealing the green filling.

It’s a bit of prep, but it leads to loads of deliciousness. Share them, or keep them all to yourself!

Ingredients

For the exact measurements, please scroll down to the recipe card at the end of this post.

Ingredients for steamed garlic chive dumplings labeled: rice flour, water, tapioca flour, garlic chives, salt, oil, white sugar, and baking soda.

Chive dumplings

  • Garlic chives – Garlic chives are fresh with a slightly garlicky flavor, making the steamed dumplings incredibly aromatic and tasty. Learn more about garlic chives.
  • Tapioca starch – Tapioca flour adds a chewy texture to the dumpling wrappers, it’s gluten-free and can be found at Asian grocery stores or at larger supermarkets.
  • Baking soda – Baking soda slightly softens the garlic chives and ensures they retain their green color during steaming.
  • White sugar – A bit of sweetness is essential for balancing the savory flavors in the filling.
  • Rice flour – Rice flour creates a translucent and tender dough for wrapping the dumplings.
  • Salt – Salt enhances the overall flavors, ensuring the dumplings are well-seasoned and delicious.
  • Oil – You’ll need oil for tossing with the garlic chives, for mixing in the dough, and for brushing on the shaped dumplings.

This recipe is a traditional one passed down from my grandmother, making it an authentic ‘boraan’ or ancient dish. The only change I made is the addition of baking soda.

Dipping sauce

Ingredients for steamed dumpling sauce labeled: white vinegar, dark soy sauce, white sugar, chilies, and water.
  • Dark soy sauce – Dark soy gives the sauce a deep, amber color and adds a hint of sweetness.
  • White vinegar – White vinegar adds a tangy note. Adding just the right amount is important to not overwhelm the other flavors.
  • White sugar – Adds a necessary sweetness for balancing the spicy and tangy flavors.
  • Chilies – I used Thai Jinda chilies. Feel free to add more or less to your taste.
  • Water – Blends all the ingredients into a dippable sauce.

How to make kanom gui chai

sauce

Dipping sauce preparation in wok.

Step 1: In a small saucepan over medium heat, blend white sugar, dark soy sauce, white vinegar, and water. Let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring well. Add chopped chilies and stir for another minute.

Kanom gui chai

Chopped garlic chives in a glass bowl.

Step 2: Roughly chop the garlic chives. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chives with salt, sugar, oil, and baking soda.

Garlic chives being prepared in glass bowl for dumplings filling.

Step 3: Knead the mixture by hand to draw out the chives’ moisture. Once done, transfer them to another bowl and set aside.

Mixture of rice flour and tapioca starch mixture.

Step 4: In a separate bowl, whisk together tapioca flour and rice flour.

Mixed dough in a bowl.

Step 5: Slowly pour in boiling water, stirring constantly. Mix until the dough cools slightly and you can knead by hand.

Drizzling oil into dumpling dough.

Step 6: Transfer the dough to a flat surface. Knead continuously, gradually incorporating oil into the dough as you go.

Stretched garlic chive dumpling dough.

Step 7: Knead until the dough is elastic enough to form into a rope without tearing.

Raw dough rope on a flat surface.

Step 8: Shape the dough into a long, even rope.

Cutting dough for garlic chive dumplings into even-sized pieces.

Step 9: Cut the rope into 16 equal pieces.

Rolled out dumpling wrapper with rolling pin.

Step 10: Keep the pieces under a damp cloth to prevent drying. Roll out one piece at a time into a flat, round wrapper and fill immediately.

Instructional steps for shaping chive dumplings.

Step 11: Place 2 heaped teaspoons of the chive filling in the center of your wrapper. Gently lift the edges of the wrapper and start pleating, working your way around the filling. Pinch the pleats firmly to seal the dumpling, ensuring the filling is snugly enclosed. Finish by closing the dumpling at the top and then keep your finished dumpling under the damp towel.

Uncooked garlic chive dumplings arranged on a banana leaf in a steamer.

Step 12: Arrange the dumplings on banana leaves or parchment in a steamer, spaced apart. Brush with remaining oil and steam over medium heat for 8 minutes.

Steamed garlic chive dumplings in a steamer showing the translucent dough.

Step 13: After steaming, brush the dumplings with another layer of oil. Steam for an additional 2 minutes. Serve hot, topped with crispy fried garlic if desired. Enjoy!

Kitchenware

  • 3 large bowls (2 for prepping garlic chives and 1 for the dough)
  • Small saucepan with spoon for making the sauce
  • Cutting board and a sharp knife
  • Steamer and parchment paper
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Flat surface and rolling pin

Thai Steamed dumpling recipe tips

Sealing dumplings: Ensure your dumplings are sealed tightly to prevent them from opening during steaming.

Steam in batches: Avoid overcrowding your steamer, as this can lead to uneven cooking.

Fried garlic: While the dumplings are steaming, brush them with garlic oil instead of regular oil. After they are steamed, garnish each dumpling with crispy fried garlic.

Vegetables: Feel free to add some veggies, like finely chopped spinach, carrots, cabbage, or mushrooms.

Proteins: Steamed dumplings are versatile – you can add ground shrimp, pork, chicken, and even tofu to keep it vegetarian.

Make sure to finely chop anything you add to your garlic chive dumplings!

Thai Chive dumpling dipping sauces

These dumplings pair perfectly with the dipping sauce included in this recipe! If you’re having a party, it’s always good to offer multiple sauces – try Thai sweet chili sauce and Thai hot sauce, a homemade sriracha.

Make ahead and storage

Make ahead: Dumplings freeze wonderfully. Prepare a big batch, place them on a baking sheet without touching, and freeze for up to 3 months. Once solid, move to a freezer bag. Steam directly from frozen, just add a few extra minutes to the cook time.

Freshly steamed garlic chive dumplings in a steamer.
After steaming, the kanom gui chai becomes wonderfully tender and chewy.

Storage: Cooked dumplings can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Let them cool down to room temperature and keep them in an airtight container or sealed in plastic wrap in your fridge. To reheat, simply steam them again for about 5 minutes, or until they’re warmed through.

Frequently asked questions

Are chive dumplings vegetarian?

Chive dumplings can be vegetarian, but some version might include meat like pork.

Are these steamed dumplings gluten-free?

Yes. Stick to the mix of tapioca and rice flour to keep them gluten-free.

Authentic Thai appetizer recipes

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5 from 1 vote

Steamed Garlic Chive Dumplings (Kanom Gui Chai)

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 30 min Total Time 40 mins
Servings: 3 Calories: 273

Description

This recipe for steamed garlic chive dumplings, or kanom gui chai, is fun to make and dumplings are always a hit with the family! Vegan, gluten-free, and delicious.

Ingredients

Garlic chive dumplings

Dipping sauce

Instructions

Sauce

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, blend white sugar, dark soy sauce, white vinegar, and water. Let it simmer for 3 minutes, stirring well. Add chopped chilies and stir for another minute.

Dumplings

  1. Roughly chop the garlic chives. In a large mixing bowl, combine the chives with salt, sugar, oil, and baking soda.

  2. Knead the mixture by hand to draw out the chives’ moisture. Once done, transfer them to another bowl and set aside.

  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together tapioca flour and rice flour.

  4. Slowly pour in boiling water, stirring constantly. Mix until the dough cools slightly and you can knead by hand.

  5. Transfer the dough to a flat surface. Knead continuously, gradually incorporating oil into the dough as you go.

  6. Knead until the dough is elastic enough to form into a rope without tearing.

  7. Shape the dough into a long, even rope.

  8. Cut the rope into 16 equal pieces.

  9. Keep the pieces under a damp cloth to prevent drying. Roll out one piece at a time into a flat, round wrapper and fill immediately.

  10. Place 2 heaped teaspoons of the chive filling in the center of your wrapper. Gently lift the edges of the wrapper and start pleating, working your way around the filling. Pinch the pleats firmly to seal the dumpling, ensuring the filling is snugly enclosed. Finish by closing the dumpling at the top and then keep your finished dumpling under the damp towel.

  11. Arrange the dumplings on banana leaves or parchment in a steamer, spaced apart. Brush with remaining oil and steam over medium heat for 8 minutes.

  12. After steaming, brush the dumplings with another layer of oil. Steam for an additional 2 minutes. Serve hot, topped with crispy fried garlic if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Servings 3


Amount Per Serving
Calories 273kcal
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10.71g17%
Saturated Fat 1.66g9%
Total Carbohydrate 42.02g15%
Dietary Fiber 3.3g14%
Sugars 4.06g
Protein 4.84g10%

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

Note

  • Use the nutrition card in this recipe as a guideline.
  • Feel free to customize these - add vegetables and ground meat to your liking.
Keywords: garlic chive dumplings, chive dumplings, kanom gui chai
About Author

Praew

I owned my own Thai restaurant and have years of experience in various other Thai restaurants. I've been whipping up classic Thai dishes by my mother's and grandma's side since I was just a little girl. Now I'm sharing my deep-rooted passion with my authentic Thai recipes on this food blog.

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