Tips for Making Pot Stickers

Pot stickers are dumplings, commonly filled with ground meat and vegetables, that have roots in Chinese cuisine. They make a great appetizer, and can also serve as a satisfying main course when paired with a hot bowl of miso soup. If you’re interested in pursuing an online culinary arts program, this is one simple and delicious dish you should try preparing at home.

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Make or buy the wrappers
While traditional Chinese dumplings can vary in both thickness and wrapper ingredients, Serious Eats provided a straightforward approach. These directions call for dripping a little under one cup of boiling water into two cups of all-purpose flour in a food processor. When the dough forms, run the food processor for 30 seconds. Form the dough into a ball and set it aside for about half an hour.

When it’s time to assemble the pot stickers, break the dough into quarters and make 10 small balls from each piece. Pour out plenty of flour on your work surface before flattening out all the dough. Stack the wrappers and protect them with plastic wrap until you are ready to fill them.

You can make preparation much easier on yourself by picking up a package of wrappers at the store rather than making your own. As the New York Times pointed out, this “takeout” style is quite common and considerably faster. Either wonton or Japanese-style gyoza wrappers will do the job, making up in convenience what you’ll lose in authenticity.

“Ground pork, cabbage and scallions are common filling choices.”

2. Selecting the filling
Perhaps even more important than the wrappers is choosing what goes into the filling. Ground pork and scallions or cabbage are among the most common choices. Damn Delicious recommended adding flavors by combining the meat and cabbage with shiitake mushrooms, green onions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, hoisin sauce, white pepper and Sriracha.

You can always experiment with a wide range of meat, vegetables and seasoning, and, if you prefer, cut out the meat altogether. Dave Lieberman of the Food Network offered a vegetarian pot sticker recipe that includes Napa cabbage, leeks, garlic, carrots, ginger and rice wine vinegar.

3. Get the fold right
Adding the filling is an important phase in the preparation. For those using homemade dough, place a tablespoon of your mixture in the center of a round. Use a brush or your finger to add a little water to the edges. Fold the wrapper in half, and then repeatedly fold over the top edge, forming pleats. This will ensure the pot sticker is well sealed and give it the look of a Chinese-style dumpling.

If working with store-bought wonton wrappers, Alton Brown advised keeping them in their package, covered by a damp cloth and pulling them out one by one. Then, lightly moisten two sides. Set half a teaspoon of filling in the middle and fold over the edges to seal, forming a roughly triangular shape.

Carefully fold and seal each of the dumplings.Carefully fold and seal each of the dumplings.

4. Cook in two phases
To get pot stickers that have the perfect texture and flavor, cook them in two stages. First comes browning. Martha Stewart Everyday suggested cooking the dumplings on a non-stick skillet with a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Set them over a medium-high heat for about a minute on each side.

Then, finish the pot stickers off by steaming or simmering them. Epicurious’ simmering method involves  adding half a cup of water and covering the skillet. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, watching for the liquid to evaporate and for the dumplings to become golden. Finally, take off the lid and cook for another minute or two.

Serve your pot stickers with soy sauce, or prepare your own dipping choices. Whether you’re just making dinner for your family or working toward an online culinary arts certificate, they’re sure to be a hit.

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