Steamed food may have a bad reputation, says Philippa Davis, but these steamed venison dumplings with lime and soy dipping sauce prove it needn't be a fun-free experience

Steamed food has never tasted better than these steamed venison dumplings with lime and soy dipping sauce, says Philippa Davis. These are best cooked all at once and scoffed immediately.

For more innovations for venison suppers, try our venison cannelloni with crumbly cheese.


These dumplings, inspired by the many I have scoffed in Asia, are best made, cooked and eaten pretty much straight away. Cook them all and reheat any leftovers.

Makes 24



  • 300g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fine sea salt
  • 165ml just-boiled water


  • 400g venison mince
  • 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Chinese five spice
  • 3 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp coriander, finely chopped
  • 50g very finely chopped leek
  • 25g finely grated ginger
  • 1 small red chilli, finely chopped
  • 50g cold grated butter
  • 1 lime, zest only

Dipping sauce

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  •   tbsp hoisin sauce
  • 1½ tbsp lime juice

For the wrappers, ideally, use an electric dough hook for this as the mix will start hot.

Mix the flour with the oil and salt then add in the water (alternatively, you can do this with a wooden spoon). Knead for 10 minutes then cover with lightly oiled clingfilm and rest for 30 minutes.

For the filling, in a bowl, mix well and season all the filling ingredients. 

For the dipping sauce, whisk the ingredients together and pour into a small dish.

To form the dumplings, dust your work surface lightly with flour.

Divide the dough into four balls. Take one and roll it into a 2cm thick log; cover the dough you are not using with lightly oiled clingfilm.

Cut the log into 16g pieces then roll each one into roughly 9cm circles.

Place a spoonful of filling in the centre of each then fold and seal the dumplings. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.

In a steamer lined with baking parchment, cook the dumplings (in batches so they don’t touch) for 12 minutes.

Serve hot with the dipping sauce.