Fried Potstickers

When I was a little kid, my mom and I once made dumplings/potstickers with this neat white foldy press (that helps crimp them together). There's a really cute picture of me at about 3 years old, standing on a step-stool, wearing an apron, and proudly holding up a potsticker.

Anyway, on a recent visit to Los Angeles, I saw the potsticker crimper sitting in a drawer (probably unused by my mother since that day in the photo), and asked if I could take it home. (I subsequently saw the exact same crimper for sale at Hill's Kitchen about a week later, but oh well.) With the proper implement in hand, and having just acquired a "Cook's Illustrated" recipe for perfect potstickers (compliments of Jon's mom), we went to making potstickers.

The recipe that follows is a combination of the Cook's recipe and the handwritten one my mom had from an Asian cooking class she took long ago. No doubt that is the recipe I followed at age 5.

Makes approximately 24 potstickers.

Gyoza or won ton wrappers (cut into circles to fit your press - about 4" diameter) from the supermarket
1/2 lb ground white meat (we split ours half/half pork/turkey, but you could do all pork or all turkey)
1.5 cups minced green cabbage, allowed to wilt under some salt for about 20 minutes
1 green onion/scallion, minced (white and green parts)
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
2 tsp soy sauce
1/4 tsp sriracha
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Optional Dumpling Sauce
Mix together:
1 part soy sauce
1 part mirin
1 part rice vinegar
1/2 part sugar
Dash of spicy sesame oil
Thinly-sliced scallions
White sesame seeds

Dumpling-making Process:

Mix filling ingredients (everything but wrappers) together.
Allow to chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

Place round gyoza wrapper on your crimper press. (If you don't have a crimper press, just put it in your work surface.)
Wet your fingertips and brush the outer rim of the wrapper with water.

Using two small spoons, put approx 1 rounded tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper.
Crimp it, or fold it in half and then pinch the edges together with your finger.
Make sure the dumpling is closed, and while doing so, try and remove any extra air pockets that may have become trapped inside the wrapper.

If desired, dumplings can be wrapped in freezer paper and frozen at this point.

Dumpling-cooking Process:

Add 2 tbsp oil to non-stick pan.
Place dumplings (flat side down) in a circle in pan, all facing same direction and not touching.
Depending on the size of your pan, you'll probably be able to get about 6-10 in at once.

Place pan over warmed medium heat burner.
Cook about 5 minutes (without moving dumplings), or until bottoms are golden brown.
(If desired, flip and cook one minute more to get a slight crust on the other side. Flip back to original side.)

Reduce heat to low.
Carefully add 1/4 cup of water.
Cover immediately and cook, covered, until wrappers are slightly translucent - about 5 minutes.

Take cover off, increase heat to medium.
Cook, without stirring, another 3 or 4 minutes - or until the bottom of the dumplings are well-browned and crisp and water is evaporated.
Be careful not to let dumplings burn (or pick up burned bits from your pan) at this point.

Remove from heat and serve with a dumpling sauce. Enjoy!!

Potsticker Process
Potstickers Fried
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