Blog Archive

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fun with Potstickers

Pork-filled Chinese Dumplings and Dipping Sauce

Fun with Potstickers
by Victoria Challancin

It's always gratifying to teach a recipe that is just fun to make:  full of good flavors, accompanying 
giggles, and sighs of pleasure at the result.  This is just what happened with these potstickers, which were prepared recently in a class I taught to Mexican cooks.  Potstickers are fun to make.  Period.  And for this particular group of cooks, it was an education of the palate as well, as they had never experienced them before.

Mexican cooks in general have a lot of experience folding small parcels of food.  Just think of tamales or empanadas.  For that reason, these cooks embraced the pleating of the dumplings using prepared 
Gyoza wrappers with particular ease and joy.  Often I find that when filling any "packet", whether it is springrolls raviolis, cabbage leaves, dolmas, or whatever, the tendency is to over-fill, resulting in
packets which open and spill while cooking.  Once this lesson is grasped, however, making the small parcels is a snap, as with these potstickers.

Chinese Potstickers with Pork

Although we have access here in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, to many imported items, such as the Gyoza wrappers, I still find I have to substitute.  In this recipe we used jícama instead of water chestnuts, spinach instead of Bok choy (though I can sometimes find it at a local organic ranch or store), and the smallish Mexican bulb onions instead of the narrow scallions so needed for Chinese recipes.  But the substitutions worked.  No problem.

Here is the recipe we used, which I found on the chinesefood.about.com site.  You can also see another
Pan Asian feast here, which includes potstickers from another class.

Potstickers:  Chinese Pan-fried Dumplings
(Recipe from Rhonda Parkinson, About.com)
Yields about 48 dumplings.

1/2 cup finely chopped Bok choy leaves or spinach
1/2 cup finely chopped Napa cabbage
1/3 cup finely chopped green onion
1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts or jícama (we used jícama)
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Dash white pepper
1 package wonton or Gyoza wrappers (about 48 wrappers)  (we used Gyoza wrappers)
1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water, or 1 lightly beaten egg white
1 cup water, or as needed

Combine the first 10 ingredients in a large bowl, using your fingers to mix everything together.  (Note:
if preparing the filling ahead of time, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.)

Fill each wrapper with a heaping teaspoon of the pork filling.  Add the filling in the middle of the
potsticker wrapper, using your finger to spread it out toward the sides.  Be sure not to overfull or to
spread the filling close to the edge of the wrapper.

To fold the dumpling, moisten the edges of the wrapper with the egg white or mixture of water or 
water and cornstarch (this makes ist easier to seal).  Gently lift the edges of the moistened wrapper 
over the filling.  Crimp, or pleat, the edges of the wrapper and pinch together to seal.  (Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out while filling the folding the 
dumplings).

Heat a wok or nonstick skillet on medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil.   Add 10 to 12 
potstickers, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the bottom is browned.  ADd 1/3 cup water, cover, and steam the dumplings until the liquid is absorbed (about 5 minutes).  Check to make sure the pork is
cooked throughout.  Remove and cook the remainder of the dumplings in the same manner.  Serve
alone with this Dipping Sauce, hot chile oil, or with soy sauce combined with freshly chopped
g9inger or a few drops of Asian sesame oil.

Enjoy!



A plate of freshly-cooked potstickers

The Mexican cooks in my classes love to arrange things symetrically;  I tend to be a bit more random.  Perhaps I am lazy?

Paula, with a tray of crimped dumplings, ready to panfry

Note the use of small bulb onions instead of scallions in this sauce that we also used for lumpia, or miniature Filipino springrolls

A leftover from Day of the Dead

©Victoria Challancin.  All Rights Reserved.

5 comments:

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Your dumplings look fantastic! I love dumpling making in groups-it is such a fun activity and you just power through it! :)

Ben said...

That sounds like a lot of fun. I love fried dumplings :)

Lynne said...

Looks very yummy! I actually prefer jicama to water chestnuts and like the spinach, too. Not sure if you keep up with UGA football, but yesterday they beat Auburn- a solid victory-45-7

Lucas said...

Are they still considered potstickers if you use a nonstick pan? I think about these things.

Nagi@RecipeTinEats said...

The dumplings are so delish! Now, I have an idea of what I will make. Thanks for this!