There is nothing surprising about what I am about to say, but I love food that comes in little pastry pockets. I have said it time and again. It is just about my favorite thing. So, needless to say, I love dim sum. A meal consisting mainly of pockets of delicious foods. I’m obsessed. In fact, I’ve been so obsessed lately that I thought I should try my hand at making my own potstickers. I make my own egg rolls, I figured, why not?
And rightly so. Sure, it is a little time consuming to pinch together a million little pockets, but let me tell you. It is worth it. These are a million times better than any frozen potstickers you’ll get from Trader Joe’s or Safeway or whatever brand of frozen ones you get. Trust me, I’ve tried a lot of them.
Not only are these better tasting, you can make a bunch of them and freeze them for future use. That is, if you don’t eat all of them first. I cooked two dozen the first night, thinking that it was more than enough for me and my boyfriend. But he crowed all night about how these might be the best potstickers he’s ever had and let’s just say that we made a much larger dent in the potstickers than I had imagined.
I made two different kinds of potstickers. The ones above are the Ginger Pork. The filling was inspired by my favorite steamed dumpling at this dim sum place that we frequent most weekends. It is mostly pork with a healthy dose of ginger to really make them sing.
The second filling is a Chicken and Vegetable filling. It is more traditional potsticker filling with lots of cabbage and carrot in the mix. It was hard to pick a favorite. They are two sides of the delicious potsticker coin. Since we couldn’t choose, I’m considering them both winners.
I would highly recommend doing a double batch and trying them both out. Why? Well, one- because they are delicious. And two- because if you are going to go to the trouble of making potstickers, you should make a ton so that you don’t have to do it again anytime soon. Each recipe makes about three dozen.
Pork and Ginger Potstickers
1 lb ground pork
2 TBs ginger, finely chopped
2 green chilies, finely chopped
3 TBs cilantro, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 TBs soy sauce
1 egg beaten with 1 tsp of water
flour for surfaces
1 package of potsticker wrappers
Mix all ingredients except the egg and water (and flour) in a medium sized bowl.
Set up your station for folding the dumplings. You will need a surface for folding, lightly floured, such as a cutting board or clean counter. I recommend flouring the surface, and leaving a pile on one corner, so that you can reflour as needed. You won’t want to have to go back to the cabinet to get more flour with your hands all gooey.
You will need somewhere to put the dumplings. I like setting them on parchment paper to prevent sticking.
Also, you will want something to drink to keep hydrated. I recommend a straw, because as I said, your hands will be gooey. First up, put a wrapper in the center of your board. Using your finger (or a tiny kitchen paintbrush if you are fancy), paint the edges of the wrapper with the egg wash. Then, scoop a small amount of filling into the center of the wrapper. You will find the perfect amount after you make a few. It is more than a teaspoon and less than a tablespoon. Fold the wrapper in half like a taco, and pinch the dough together at the top.
You will then pinch down from the top along the sides until the pocket is sealed all the way around. When you are about 2/3 the way down the pocket, push down a little so that there is a flat bottom that it sits on. And as you pinch the bottom edges together, you can curve them towards you a little, giving the potstickers their definitive shapes.
Try to pinch the dough all the way down to the meat filling, so that there are not large air pockets inside. It won’t affect the taste or anything, but if you have large air pockets, when you cook them they balloon up and are not as attractive.
Don’t worry! It may sound hard, but once you are two or three in, you’ll get the hang of it and have some beautiful pockets of deliciousness, aka potstickers.
Once the potstickers are assembled, cook according to the directions on the wrapper package. For the most part, it will say something like: put 2 TBs of oil in a pan. Add potstickers, sitting on their bottom side and cook over medium heat until bottoms are golden. Then add 1/3 cup of water and cover immediately. Turn the heat to low and cook until all the water is absorbed.
My most helpful tip on the cooking part? Have the lid handy when you add the water and use it as a shield. It is very likely that some of that oil will pop and try and get you. Add the water and cover it quick!
Serve with soy sauce and a little chili paste if you like your soy spicy.
Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers
1 lb ground chicken
1 1/4 cup finely shredded cabbage
1 cup finely shredded carrot
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 TBs soy sauce
1 green chili, finely chopped
1 tsp ginger, finely chopped
1 tsp honey
1 egg, beaten with a tsp of water
flour for surfaces
1 package potsticker wrappers
Mix all ingredients except the egg and water (and flour) together in a medium sized bowl.
Assemble and cook the same as the Pork and Ginger recipe above.
In addition to making chicken potstickers, I wrapped some of the chicken in these adorable little bundles and froze them. I plan to make a wonton soup with them in the future. I’m sure I’ll share when I do!