A true staple in Jamaican cuisine, these soft, doughy Jamaican boiled dumplings are made from a simple mixture of flour, water, and a pinch of salt, then lovingly boiled to perfection. The result is a versatile and satisfying dish that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with your favorite Jamaican recipes.
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Dumplings, also known as “dumplin”, are popular in the Caribbean and go with many delicious recipes, like ackee and saltfish, mackerel run down, and corned beef and cabbage. I have fond recipes of my grandmother making dumplings for dinner, rolling the dough in between her hands and flattening them with her palm. She made it look so easy, and I was glad to learn her process for delicious dumplings.
Jamaican-style dumplings are different than American or Asian dumplings. Using just flour, salt, and water, you can make a simple dough by mixing, rolling, and flattening it before adding it to boiling water to cook. Typically, people boil dumplings with green bananas and serve them as a side dish for various recipes.
If you like these boiled dumplings, be sure to check out these fried dumplings as well.
Ingredients for Jamaican Dumplings
All you need for this recipe is all-purpose flour, salt, and water.
A large bowl
Clean, dry hands for mixing the dough
How to make Jamaican Dumplings
In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil to boil the dumplings.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt, stirring to distribute the salt evenly throughout the flour.
Gradually add water to the flour mixture, mixing with your hands until a dough forms.
Divide the dough into equal-sized pieces, rolling each into a smooth ball. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand to form a round, circular dumpling. It should look like a thick disk.
Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water, one at a time, ensuring that they don’t stick together. You can use a wooden spoon to stir the dumplings in the water.
Boil the dumplings for 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked dumplings from the pot, allowing any excess water to drain.
Serve with your favorite recipes.
Refrigeration: To store leftover Jamaican dumplings in the refrigerator, first, allow them to cool completely at room temperature. Then, place the cooled dumplings in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag, removing as much air as possible before sealing. Store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Freezer: For longer storage, you can freeze the cooked dumplings. Begin by laying the cooled dumplings on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, ensuring they don’t touch each other, and freeze them for a couple of hours or until solid. Once frozen, transfer the dumplings to a resealable plastic freezer bag or an airtight container, remove as much air as possible before sealing, and store them in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To reheat, place the frozen dumplings in boiling water and boil for 10-15 minutes until the dumplings are cooked through.
These dumplings are a great side dish in many recipes. Try them with callaloo and saltfish, mackerel rundown, air-fried plantains, or curry chicken.
- Add the water slowly when adding to make the dough. You may find that you need a little less or more water. Add more flour if your dough is too sticky and sticking to your fingers.
- When mixing the dough, use cold water to help create a firmer and smoother consistency. Start by adding a small amount and gradually add more until the dough comes together.
- Some people add cornmeal to their dumplings. To do so, substitute 1/4 cup of the all-purpose flour for cornmeal.
Frequently Asked Questions
Jamaican dumplings are made of a simple mixture of all-purpose flour, salt, and water. The ingredients are combined to form a slightly sticky dough, which is then shaped into small, round dumplings before being boiled. The basic recipe can be easily customized by using different types of flour, like whole wheat flour.
The dumplings will rise to the surface of the boiling water, signaling that they are almost done. Their texture will change, becoming slightly firmer and less doughy. Pierce one with a fork or knife to check its doneness. If the utensil goes through easily and the dumpling looks cooked inside, they are ready to be served.
Yes, you can use self-rising flour to make Jamaican boiled dumplings, resulting in slightly lighter and fluffier dumplings. Omit additional salt, as self-raising flour typically contains salt. Follow the same recipe, adjusting the water as needed for the desired dough consistency.
Jamaican Boiled Dumplings
- 8 cups water
- 1/2 Tablespoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup cold water
- In a large pot, bring water and salt to a boil to boil the dumplings.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour and salt, stirring to distribute the salt evenly throughout the flour. Gradually add water to the flour mixture, mixing with your hands until a dough forms.
- Divide the dough into equal-sized pieces, rolling each into a smooth ball. Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand to form a round, circular dumpling. It should look like a thick disk.
- Carefully drop the dumplings into the boiling water, one at a time, ensuring that they don’t stick together. You can use a wooden spoon to stir the dumplings in the water.
- Boil the dumplings for 15-20 minutes, or until they are cooked through and have risen to the surface of the water. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.
- Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked dumplings from the pot, allowing any excess water to drain.
- Serve with your favorite recipes.