Sunday, March 21, 2010

Pot stickers

I often am surprised at how easily many popular dishes eaten at restaurants can be recreated at home. I mean, if something which tastes so good can be made just as good at home, it wouldn't be so popular right?

Or maybe not.

A long time ago, my mum was flicking though a chinese cookbook she borrowed from her friends. She cam across a potsticker recipe which she thought would be interesting to make, especially as we love potstickers so much.

Potstickers are something we (used to) order almost whenever they're on a menu. They usually come in lots of 10 so we would share them so that my parent would get 3 and us kids would get 4 each. Me and my sister would eat them ever so slowly, wanting to be the one to eat the last potsticker, not wanting to be the one who watched the other eat it whilst we sat there in jealousy. The potstickers at yum cha were also really good, especially as they were big (although often not hot) but they were quite expensive, as they only came in lots of three.

So you could probably imagine our excitement was my mum told us that we would be making potstickers for lunch. Taking her cooking approach of following the recipe exactly for the first attempt, my mum made her own 'lard', or pig fat, as the recipe called for it. We then followed the recipe step by step. It took a while -all the kneading, resting and then the rolling out of the dough took a lot longer than expected and us amateur dumpling pleaters took a while to get a hang of pleating these things. The trick to pleating these things is to only pleat one side of the dumpling, like when pleating har gow. It will naturally curve inwards, giving a nice, 'potsticker' shape!

By the time we'd actually finished pleating, we couldn't wait to try them out. Unfortunately, the cooking time is about 10 minutes- much longer than we could wait for.
So when they came out of the pan, all hot and crispy, we didn't wait for them to cool- and they were delicious! They tasted exactly like the ones at restaurants. So pleased were we, with this recipe that it has now become a sort of 'tradition' that we make these potstickers at least once every holidays. Eventually, we substituted oil for the lard (a much healthier alternative!) which didn't make too much of a difference, and got the hang of making these it takes us less time to make them.

Now, when we go to restaurants, we only occasionally order potstickers, as we prefer to try other things which we don't make at home. We can never get enough of these things though- eventhough we the recipe makes a lot more then 10, and so we end up having more than we would at a restaurant, my sister and I still end up eating it slowly, wanting to be the last person to finish out share- even if they taste better hot!



40g flour
20g water

20g lard (we used vegetable oil)
150g flour
75g boiling water

160g Chinese cabbage
240g minced pork
20g water chestnuts
20g Sichuan preserved vegetables
1tsp chopped ginger

1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp oil
Dash of sesame oil
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1tsp chicken powder
1 ½ tsp bean flour

Prepare the filling:
Wash vegetables and blanch in boiling water. Squeeze dry and mince. Mince with pork and seasoning and stir well. Place in refrigerator.

1. Mix ingredients A into a dough an set aside for 1 hour to rest (this is the raw dough)
2. Boil oil and water. Pour immediately into flour. Stir and mix well. Add to raw dough and knead into a smooth dough.
3. Divide into 3 pieces and with rolling pin, press into thing circles (we do this approximately and usually end up make only around 20 from the recipe…)
4. Wrap in ingredients (about 15g- again, we do this approximately). Note: to wrap potstickers, pleat them like you would with normal dumplings but only pleat one side, leave the other side smooth. You should end up with a curved shape.
5. Heat and grease a frying pan. Line potstickers in pan and add 4-5 tablespoons of water. Cover and cook slowly for 10 minutes. When all the water has gone, add a little oil. Fry on low heat until golden brown.

Tips (from the book, not me!)
* The wrapping is the same as for mini steamer buns, ie Xiao long bao (*gasp* I didn’t realise until now!!) The advantage of using a raw and cooked dough combination is that it will not stick to the table or the rolling pin. The texture when eaten is not sticky as well.
* When the dumplings have been cooked, they should be placed on the plate so that the bottom becomes the top. (I tried it- it looked funny....)


SteelCityFlan said...

Okay. That first picture is adorable. I can't tell whether I want to eat it or hug it more XD I want to try these so bad, since my family also loves potstickers and we go through them really fast.

I like the shots in this post a lot!

MaryMoh said...

Looks perfect and delicious. It's my favourite. I make it often, mostly for dinner or parties.

Ari (Baking and Books) said...

I love pot stickers but only get them when we eat out. Maybe I should try making them at home like you did! You made it sound so easy. :)

Two fit and fun gals said...

these babies panfried are the BOMB!

Amy @ cookbookmaniac said...

Your pot stickers look perfect! I wish I could wrap the skins like that.

A Canadian Foodie said...

Came across your name on another site and had to check you out... pretty pot stickers! Great descriptions. Loved that you made your own dough. YUM. So, how old a kid are you, Von?

vincent said...


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Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella said...

Well done! :D All that kneading, rolling, pleating and steaming all to be rewarded with gorgeous hot dumplings!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

those are beautiful potstickers! I love those dumplings!



Xiao Yen Recipes said...

My all time favorite food, potstickers! I pan fry mine so that it's crispy at the bottom. My kids don't like boiled potstickers which is a lot healthier and requires less cooking time. They like theirs pan fried too.

tasteofbeirut said...

I am so impressed! Your potstickers look so perfect and the photo is beautiful! Professional! You could start making them for a living; I used to go to a special place here in the Chinatown section that specialized in potstickers. Just to get a dozen and eat at home. I would never have attempted to make them, so Bravo!

A Canadian Foodie said...

Did you see I passed on a little love to you today and gave you a BEAUTIFUL Blog award. Stop by to pick it up...

grace said...

wow, von, these are pretty perfect! thanks for sharing some of your memories with us--it makes these delicious nibbles even more special!

Anita said...

These look perfect! I would love to try them... yum!

Amanda said...

They look so perfect, I bet they were fabulous :)

Couples Kitchen said...

These look fantastic! what a beautiful job you have done. they are all perfect size and shape.

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