There’s much that I appreciate about my Asian heritage, especially the food, more so now than ever. Growing up Asian American was difficult and I felt like I had to subdue my Asian culture in order to be “cooler.” Along with this came me not appreciating a lot of traditional Asian foods that I am now so thankful for. Dumplings fell under that list of things. I have no idea why I didn’t like them that much growing up because now I fricken love them, especially in potsticker form.
Homemade potstickers/dumplings do take a bit of effort to make, but they’re so worth it. They taste SO much better. And they remind me of my childhood. These ones that I made are pork loin and cabbage. My mom always makes them with pork, shrimp, and Chinese chives. No matter what combination you use, they’ll turn out tasty!
A Brief Potsticker/Dumpling History
Dumplings have been around for over 1,800 years and potstickers have been enjoyed since the Song dynasty (960 to 1280 A.D.). According to legend, they were invented by a chef in China’s Imperial Court, who accidentally burnt a batch of dumplings after leaving them on the stove for too long. With no time to prepare a new batch, the chef served the dumplings with the burnt side on top, announcing that they were his own special creation. Fortunately, court members loved them.
- 300g all purpose flour
- 200 ml boiling water
- Pinch of salt
- 2/3 lb (300g) pork, shrimp, beef, or mix (can make vegetarian with tofu or mushrooms)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon corn starch
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons cold water
- 1 tablespoon shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1/2 lb (200g) finely chopped vegetables (cabbage, bok choy, leeks, chives)
- 2 scallions, finely sliced
- 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon black vinegar (or your favorite Asian vinegar)
- 1/2 teaspoon laoganma chili crisp or chili oil
- Mix the flour, salt and boiling water in a large bowl you have a rough ball shape. Remove from the bowl and knead for 10 minutes until smooth. Cover with cling film and rest for 20 minutes.
- Combine the protein, baking soda, corn starch, seasonings, and liquid ingredients. Stir vigorously in one direction until all the liquid is absorbed and the pork begins to bind to itself. Mix in the vegetables, spring onions, ginger and garlic.
- Lightly flour your work surface. Divide each piece of rested dough into 16 even-sized pieces. Lightly dust the dough pieces with flour. Place a piece onto the work surface with its cut side down, and flatten with a floured palm. Roll each piece of dough into a thin disc, roughly 3″ in diameter.
- Place a heaped teaspoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Fold over into a half moon shape. Cradle the wrapper in one hand and use the other hand to create pleats along the edge furthest away from you, pinching the two edges together after each pleat as you go, to create a crescent shape. Avoid getting any filling on the edges and be sure to pinch firmly as you pleat to create a good seal.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Fry the dumplings flat side down for about 2 minutes until a golden crust forms on the bottom. Add the cold water and immediately cover with a lid. Let the steam cook the dumplings for 8 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. Remove the lid and let the dumplings to cook for a further minute until they lift off from the bottom of the pan easily.
- While the dumplings are cooking, prepare the dipping suace by mixing sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and laoganma.
- Serve the dumplings in a big pile, making sure to show off the golden bottoms. Drizzle the spicy soy sauce on top, or serve on the side for dipping.
- You can always freeze the dumplings that you don’t use and pop them out whenever you want to eat them!
Adapted from Dumpling Sisters.