Chinese Dumplings or Pot Stickers
No guesses on why they’re called pot stickers! One of the many types of dumplings found in Chinese cuisine, these little morsels or one of their cousins are a must at any Chinese New Year reunion dinners. The word “Jiaozi” (dumplings) has got a few symbolic meanings – from its crescent shape that resembles ancient Chinese ingots to the fact that the wrapper is “yuan”, circular, (tuan yuan refers to reunion and yuan man, perfection), it’s one of many revered foods during Chinese New Year celebrations, a time that is marked with out with the bad and in with the good and plentiful. These pot stickers are made by frying then steaming them, in the same pan, so they’re actually quite easy. The dough is super easy and quick to make too, but if you’d rather skip that stage, by all means visit a Chinese store and pick some wrappers up.
You could also just steam them, which produces a slightly different product.
Dough (makes about 12)
pinch of salt
150ml hot water (boil and let stand for 10 seconds)
150g chicken or prawns or a mix of these two is quite common
50g Chinese or just white cabbage
2 in/5 cm fresh ginger, pounded
half tsp light soy sauce
half tsp fish sauce
half tsp chinese wine or sherry
2 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped
half tsp chopped chives
dash of white pepper
1. Let’s make the wrapper. Put flour and salt in a bowl and gradually pour the hot water in, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon.
2. Bring it all together with your hands, it shouldn’t be hot now.
3. Knead on floured surface for about 3-5 minutes until smooth. Set aside, covered with a tea cloth for 20 minutes.
4. After this time, knead slightly then roll into a cylindrical shape and cut into 12 equal portions.
5. On a floured surface, roll out each portion out into little circles. Give the dough a quarter turn after each roll to achieve a circular form.
6. Roll out all the portions, and set aside covered with tea cloth. You should have made the filling while the dough was resting and should be able to proceed with the assembling now.
The dough can be kept for a day if wrapped in clingfilm and kept in the fridge.
1. Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands. Done.
1. Hold one wrapper in the palm of your hand and place a tsp of filling, make sure you place enough but do not overfill.
2. Lightly dampen the edge, so the dough will seal.
3. Fold over in half and pinch the middle to seal.
4. Beginning with the right, fold the dough over towards the middle, overlapping slightly, to create a scalloped effect. Pinch slightly, to seal.
5. Repeat 2 more times, pinching each time and at the corner, to seal. Do the same on the other side.
6. Repeat with the remaining dough.
7. You need a large frying pan with a lid. Do this in 2 batches if you have to. Heat about 2 tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. When hot, place the potstickers and lower the heat to medium.
8. Fry, without moving them for about 3 minutes until the bottoms are a light golden brown.
9. Add 100ml water and cover immediately with the lid and steam for 2 minutes on each side.
10. Serve with a dipping sauce like chilli sauce or plum sauce.
These dumplings are usually presented on their sides with their brown side up.
In the photo below, I’ve used the same recipe for a steamed dumpling. The assembly is easier, as you just fold over the dough and seal. Steam for about 8 minutes.