Potstickers (鍋貼)

by tina

I <3 potstickers!! well, dumplings in general! My late mother used to make these all the time when I was young. They were the best and it’s one of the many things that I loved about her cooking. I am very thankful that my friend’s mother was able teach me how to make them from scratch and in the process, it also refreshed some of my memory of how my mother used to make them.

For this particular recipe, I tried my best to make them like my mother’s style. :) and I can proudly say that it ended up tasting SUPER close. yay.

Even though making these sucked up about 5 hrs of my time, it was well worth it. (if you have an assistant, it’ll probably cut that time down to 2-3hrs)

Ingredients:

dough:

  • 3 1/2-4 cups all purpose flour
  • water (cold and hot)

filling:

  • 1 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 8-10 large shrimps
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon potato starch (太白粉)
  • 3/4-1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, very finely minced
  • 1 3/4-2 teaspoons salt (amount dependent on how much shrimps/chives you decide to use)
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3-4 cups chives, finely chopped (depends on how much you like chives. I love chives, so I use 4 cups, or more..)

dipping sauce:

  • 1 soy sauce : 2-3 vinegar ratio
  • garlic, chopped (however much you like)

(recipe yields about 80 potstickers)

1) Make the dough. In a mixing bowl, place the flour in, start adding a little cold water, and mix them together with your hand. Continue the process of adding a little cold water and mixing, and repeat until medium clumps form. Attach the mixing bowl to the mixer and use the hook to help continue the flour mixing process. If you do not have a mixer, no worries, it can still be done with your hands, but it’ll just be more tiring.

For the mixer, add hot water as needed and mix on low. If using your hand, add hot water as needed and continue kneading the dough. Continue mixing and adding water as needed until all the flour sticks together in a mound. The mound should be not too hard and not too sticky. Leave it in the mixing bowl, cover the mixing bowl with a wet towel, cover that with a lid, and let the dough settle while you prepare the filling.

2) Make the filling. Ground up the ground pork a little more, ground up the shrimp, very finely mince the ginger, and finely chop the chives.

Mix the pork and shrimp in a mixing bowl. Always mix in the same direction (I was always told to do this and apparently it does the trick somehow. it’s supposed to make the meat more tender or something). So if you’re mixing clockwise, keep mixing in that direction. Also, mix on a slant as if you’re beating eggs. Add the water a little at a time and mix well after each addition. After the 3/4-1 cup water is fully added (water addition depends on dryness of mixture), add the potato starch, mix. Add the rice wine, ginger, salt, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix many times to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the chives. Mix. If your arm isn’t sore from mixing, then you’re not mixing hard enough (may not happen to you, but it happened to me. I definitely got an arm workout). Basically, the more you mix, the more tender and yummy your filling will be. I think I mixed this for about 20-30 mins with breaks in between.

3) Make the skin. By now, the flour would have settled and become sticky and softer. Cover your cutting board with a good layer of flour. Take the whole mound onto the cutting board and knead. Add more flour as needed. After you knead it a couple times, separate a small mound from the large mound. Place the large mound back in the mixing bowl and cover (it’s important to keep to dough moist). Take the small mound, cover the cutting board with flour, and knead it very well.

Roll it with your hands into a circular long shape. When the width of it is 1 1/2 inches, cut the dough into 3/4 inch segments (1st picture). Flour the cut pieces and with the cross section facing up, smash them down with the palm of your hand (2nd picture). Roll out the smashed pieces to about 2-3 mm thick (3rd picture). Roll the edges of the skin (about 1/2 inch of the edge) to 1 mm thick. (4th picture). Personally, I like to make my potsticker skins thin, so I try to do the 2 mm and 1 mm edges.

4) Wrap the potsticker. Enclose the filling with the skin by crimping folds, pleating. Once wrapped, flour the bottom nicely (to avoid sticking to plate and pan when frying) and set aside on a plate.

Repeat 3) and 4) with each of the other mounds.

You could freeze the rest of the potstickers to save and enjoy later. Freezing them was a little tricky for me. You’d want to place them flat on a large tray, a cookie sheet will probably be fine (the plate below was a not so good idea). Flour the cookie sheet with a thin layer before putting the potstickers on and then place in freezer.

5) Fry/steam the potstickers. Turn temperature to high. Once pan is hotter, add 1 1/2 tablespoon of oil. Place the potstickers in the pan and let it sizzle for 1 minute. Add 1/2-1 cup water to fry/steam (the water depends on if the potstickers were freshly made or if from freezer). Put the pan cover on. Sometimes, I would also put the cover to the side to let the air escape a little.

Once the water in the pan fully evaporates, the potstickers are done!! Make the sauce and Enjoy~~nom nom nom.

Boiled dumplings can be made with this same recipe, but you can just use cold water when making the dough and when making the dumpling, instead of pleating the skin, you only have to pinch the skin together when you wrap.

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