If I was asked to describe my latest dumpling project, I’d respond:

An all-beef patty, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions – in a sesame seed bun.

It’s of course, a Big Mac inspired dumpling. It was adapted – perhaps surprisingly – from this vegan recipe!

Dough topped with meat, cheese, pickle and cabbage

Dumpling burgers

Makes 12 large dumplings


For bun dough

  • 1 pack dried yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 4 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup boiling water

A dumpling covered in sesame seedsFor filling

  • 500 g mince
  • 3 slices cheese
  • 12 pickle slices
  • 1/4 onion finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cups finely shredded green cabbage (pretend lettuce)
  • 1/2 cup mayo
  • 3 tsp tomato sauce
  • 3 tsp sweet relish
  • squirt of mustard
  • 1/2 cup sesame seeds
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Open the yeast sachet and pour the yeast into the cup of warm water. Add a cup of flour and mix thoroughly. Cover the bowl with a cloth. Let the dough rise for an hour in a warm place.
  2. Dissolve the sugar and oil in 1/2 cup boiling water. Cool until just warm.
  3. Pour the sugar and oil mixture into the yeast mixture and add 3 1/2 cups flour. Knead the dough until smooth. Put the dough in a warm place and cover with a damp cloth. Let the dough rise for about 2 hours.
  4. Preheat your oven to 180°C. Set a pan of water on the bottom rack of your oven.
  5. Season the mince with a little salt and pepper then shape into 12 mini-patties, each about 1 cm thick.
  6. Brown the patties over medium heat in a fry pan. Leave them a little under-cooked in the centre.
  7. Cut each cheese slice into quarters and place one of the quarters on top of each patty.
  8. Toss the shredded cabbage and diced onion with mayo, tomato sauce, relish and a squirt of mustard.
  9. Cut the dough into 16 equal pieces.
  10. Roll the first piece out into a circle about 12 cm in diameter.
  11. Place a patty, then a pickle, then a heaped tsp of cabbage and onion mix in the center of the dough.
  12. Pinch the dough together at the top, then smooth the dough into a bun.
  13. Sprinkle it with sesame seeds and place it on a baking tray.
  14. Repeat until you’ve made 12.
  15. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until they are golden-brown.

Bun filled with meat, cheese, pickles and cabbageYou will have four remaining pieces of dough. Time to get creative – let me know what you decided to stuff yours with. I had a vego drop by the night I made these so I created a mushroom, garlic and onion filling for the remaining four rounds. By all reports they tasted pretty good!

The verdict?

The burger dumplings were something of a Frankenstein’s creation. They tasted OK to eat at the time, but I definitely regretted it later. I guess they were more like a Big Mac than I could ever have imagined!


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