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Appetizers, Pork, Stuffing Stuff

Potstickers

by Nick

A few weeks ago I went to a surprise party for a good friend of mine. The theme of the party was sushi and I thought I’d bring an appetizer. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at potstickers or dumplings for awhile now so this was as good a time as any. While I like the steamed variety, potstickers are actually my favorite. A good potsticker is crunchy and browned on the bottom and then steamed on the top so that the filling is cooked through.

These potstickers were actually easier to make then I thought. And they were very tasty.

I really stressed about this recipe. I was worried about the filling and the technique. But the reality of it is that if you just get a few things right, they are going to be delicious. So if you want to make them, try not to get too worried about that stuff. Most likely, they will be very edible and, if you’re feeding friends, they’ll be impressed.

Yield
Makes 25.
Prep Time
Total Time

Just a moment please...

Print Recipe Potstickers

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/3 pound large shrimp, peeled and well chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2-3 scallions, minced (greens and whites)
  • 3 inches ginger, peeled and grated
  • Chopped cilantro, I used about 2 Tablespoons
  • Ground pepper
  • Dumpling skins (usually sold in batches of 25 in the freezer section)
  • Few Tablespoons neutral oil for frying
  • Dipping sauce: (You can buy very good dumpling dipping sauce in some supermarkets, but below is a recipe if you want to make it yourself)
  • 1/4 Cup soy sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Asian chili sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon rice vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar

Directions

1) Chop up all meats and veggies and add them to a large bowl.

2) If it is too runny or thin, add 1 Tablespoon of cornstarch to thicken it a bit.

3) Take dumpling wrappers, fill with mix, and close.

4) Using a large pan with a tight-fitting lid, coat the bottom of the pan with a few Tablespoons of neutral oil (ie canola).

5) Once the oil is glistening hot, place the dumplings in the pan, seam-side up. Make sure that none of the dumplings are touching or they will fuse together.

6) Let the potstickers fry on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until the bottoms of the potstickers are turning a nice brown.

7) After a few minutes of frying, steam the potstickers (first pour off pools of oil from pan), turn the heat down to low, slowly pour about 1/4 Cup of water in pan and very quickly put the lid on the pan.

8) After a few minutes of steaming, take the lid off and the potstickers are ready.

9) Cut into one before serving to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

10) Serve with sauce!

I kind of fused two recipes together for these. One from Rasa Malaysia and one from Steamy Kitchen.

Making the filling

There are a ton of variations for the filling. Some have cabbage added, some are thickened with a corn starch mixture. I decided to pass on both of those and just keep it simple. Almost all recipes I saw though used both pork and shrimp. It definitely makes the filling really flavorful.

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Also, you’ll need some veggies. I chose to only use the veggies that would give a ton of flavor to the filling: Scallions, cilantro, and ginger. Take some time to make sure that each one is minced really well (or grated for the ginger). Otherwise, you might end up with a huge piece of something in a dumpling.

Also, I used these sauces and oils to give some good moisture and extra flavor and saltiness to the filling. It’s the same basic stuff you would use for a dipping sauce, so the flavors meld nicely.

Chop up all your meats and veggies and add them to a large bowl. Pretty straightforward stuff.

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All mixed up it doesn’t look very pretty, but it makes a perfect filling. If it’s too runny or thin, add 1 Tablespoon of corn starch to thicken it a bit. In my completely amateur assessment, mine was fine without it.

Making the Dumplings

Ok. So it was impossible for me to photo these while I made them. But I found some success with the below setup. The red bowl is just a bowl of water I used to lightly wet the outside of the dumpling wrapper which makes sure it seals nicely.

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I would try to buy the thickest dumpling wrappers you can find. Also, the round ones actually work better than the square ones but either are fine.

I only had one variety available and they worked fine but I would’ve liked something a bit thicker. My dumplings were not perfectly shaped so I don’t want to sound like an expert on that part of the deal. Steamy Kitchen has some excellent photos that definitely helped me out.

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Also, this video from YumSugar was probably the most helpful. It shows the basic technique that I went with. This is definitely one of those things that is kind of hard when you start but after a few you get a lot quicker at it and by the end my dumplings were even looking pretty even.

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Worse case scenario, just pinch the potstickers closed with a fork!

Cooking the Dumplings

Once you have all these shaped, the hardest part is done in my opinion. To cook these guys all you need is a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Coat the bottom of the pan with a few Tablespoons of neutral oil (I used canola). Once the oil is glistening hot, place the dumplings in the pan, seam-side up. Make sure that none of the dumplings are touching or they will fuse together.

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Let these fry on medium-high heat for about 3 minutes until the bottoms of the potstickers is turning a nice brown. My potstickers didn’t actually stick to my pot, which I consider a plus!

After a few minutes, you need to steam these dumplings to finish them off. Right now only the bottom half of the dumpling would be cooked if you cut into it. Steaming them makes them light and fluffy on top and keeps the crust crispy on the bottom. It’s not for the faint of heart though, because you have to basically add water to a pan with very hot oil in it. So be careful!

If you have pools of oil in your pan, pour some off before you add your water.

Get all the little kids out of the kitchen in case there are splatters and then turn the heat down to low. Slowly pour about 1/4 Cup of water in your pan and very quickly put the lid on the pan.

Note the timing! Slowly pour in the water and quickly add the lid. If you were to just DUMP in the water it will splatter even worse! Don’t be tortoise slow about it, but be controlled with it!

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Once the lid is on it will sizzle. It will steam. Guests will be concerned/impressed. Eventually though the water will evaporate and the pan will calm down.

After a few minutes of steaming, you can take the lid off and you should have some very delicious dumplings. Be sure to cut into one before serving to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

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Note that my folds on the potstickers aren’t perfect. That’s fine. As long as they are sealed so the filling can’t escape, they will be good.

 

Pork and shrimp homemade potstickers via Macheesmo.com

Just remember. If they aren’t perfectly folded, just call them rustic. Either way, once your guests eat one, they will immediately forget how it looked because these guys taste so very delicious!

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21 comments on “Potstickers

  1. Ah, one of my favorite things to eat growing up! I like thicker skin on my potstickers too, so if you ever try them again, you should try making the skins – homemade wrappers are usually much thicker (and better).

  2. very nice instructions my friend! I love these too, and haven't made them in ages. I wanted to try a cream cheese filling–do you think that would fly?

  3. Your filling looks tasty, and your dipping sauce is my standard/basic go-to recipe for dumplings, scallion pancakes, etc. Another fun thing to do is to make up fillings and have friends over for a dumpling party – everyone can help make them (kids and grownups both think this is fun) and then they're quick to cook up and eat. I have a huge, 3-tiered stainless steamer I use so that I can cook vast quantities at once. But we're hard-core when it comes to dumplings at our house!

  4. Mmmm, love me some potstickers.

    Elly, I've made potstickers and frozen the leftovers before. Hasn't been a problem.

  5. @lydia. Yea. I think I'm going to try homemade skins next time. This was an intro for me. ;)

    @dawn. Hmm.. Never thought to do that so I really have no idea. If you give it a shot let me know!

    @Elly. Yep. You can definitely freeze them. Just freeze them on a baking sheet and when they are all frozen transfer them to a bag… try to remove as much air as possible.

    Thanks for the comments everyone!

  6. I was just looking at Jaden's version this weekend contemplating how I'm going to do them on the Egg without cracking a pizza stone. I was thinking sear them on a hot pizza stone but cant figure out the best way to induce steam and cover with a raised lid.

  7. Hiya- just had to say I made these last weekend for the in-laws and the dish knocked their socks off!! Way to make me look good though I admit I was all casual about it. "Oh, you like them? Just a little something I got off a blog…" I served them with 2 sauces, the one you listed and a peanut version too. They were so good, they made poppa-in-law reconsider his opinion that the internet is a waste of time. And he's a luddite, so that's saying somethin'.

  8. Love making pot stickers! I make a mix of cream cheese, diced red pepper, and garlic powder that is yummy. But, the best by far was the time I had leftover pulled pork. Put that in there, mmmmm, we couldn't stop eating them!

    Found your blog a few weeks ago, and am working my way through the recipes, bookmarking a lot old them to try. Keep up the good work!

  9. I made these last night with store bought wrappers from the freezer. They were perfect! Tender, flavorful, and the directions worked perfectly. My husband came into the kitchen and said these smelled like the best thing I have ever made. The taste and consistency was even better than the smell. Thank you so much!

  10. I had made up a big batch of potstickers not too long ago, and I froze them. I prefer crispy, so I just pulled out my deep fat fryer (which contains canola oil), tossed the frozen ones in, and YUM!! I’m terrible with splattering grease, so I don’t think I’d try your method–don’t want to set my kitchen on fire or end up in the hospital, LOL!

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