Pot Stickers | Guotie

According to pot sticker aficionados and cookbook authors Nate Tate and Mary Kate Tate, the Mandarin Chinese word for “pot stickers” is guo tie, or guotie, literally “pot stick.” It’s an apt name, one the dumplings earned from their cooking method. “Chinese cooks first steam guotie in giant flat-bottomed iron pans. When all the water is absorbed by the dumplings, they’re left in the pan to crisp and stick to the pan,” explain the Tates. Gotta love literalness.–Renee Schettler Rossi

LC Pot Stickers Politics Note

What’s that, you ask? When is an appropriate time to serve pot stickers? We honestly can’t think of a time that’s not appropriate. We whip them up for all manner of occasions. Lunch. Dinner. Hors d’oeuvres. Cocktail parties. Oh-shit-the-kid-is-melting-down-because-he’s-hungry moments. (Trust us, kids love them for their dunkability. Heck, truth be told, so do adults.) We even reach for leftover pot stickers for breakfast, chopping and sizzling them in a skillet until crisp and warmed through before tucking them within omelets or, for the omelet-challenged, stirring them into scrambled eggs. Catch our drift? And if you’re wondering about pot sticker-appropriate utensils, chopsticks will do quite nicely. (Though a word to the wise…we don’t recommend cramming an entire pot sticker in your mouth at once. But hey, whatever makes you happy.)

Pot Stickers Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 45 M
  • 1 H, 15 M
  • 36 pot stickers

Ingredients

  • For the dipping sauce
  • 1 cup Chinese black vinegar (you can find this at Chinese markets, but buy the good stuff with real ingredients and not “caramel coloring”)
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • For the dumplings
  • 12 ounces ground beef or ground pork (preferably not lean)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 3/4 cup minced scallions, light green and white parts
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • Pinch salt
  • About 36 three-inch round dumpling wrappers (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1 1/2 to 3 tablespoons mild vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup cold water, plus more for sealing the pot stickers

Directions

  • Make the dipping sauce
  • 1. Whisk together the black vinegar, ginger, sesame oil, cilantro, soy sauce, and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside.
  • Make the dumplings
  • 2. Combine the meat, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, scallions, sugar, sesame oil, and salt in a bowl and stir in one direction with a chopstick until just mixed. [Editor's Note: We don't understand the rationale behind the one-chopstick thing, either. Nor did our recipe testers, not even the ones who grew up making pot stickers at their mothers' sides. So try it or not. Up to you.]
  • 3. Fill a small bowl with some cold water. Hold a dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand and place 1 heaping teaspoon filling in the center. Dip your finger in the water and run it around the edge of the wrapper (this helps make a good seal). Lightly fold the wrapper over on itself, but don’t touch the edges together yet. Only seal the edges in the middle. Then, starting at one end, use your fingers to make a small pleat in the edge of the wrapper closest to you. Then press the pleat into the edge beneath it and pinch together to seal. Keep making pleats along the dumpling opening in this way until it’s completely sealed. The pleating should produce a dumpling that stands up on a flat bottom, pleats sticking up. (Feeling a little lost? We were, too, until we saw these nifty pot sticker how-to photos. ) Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. (You can freeze the uncooked dumplings for up to a few months.)
  • 4. Heat 1/2 to 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Place 12 dumplings, pleat side up, in a single layer in the skillet so they’re just barely touching each other. Cover and cook for 1 minute. Decrease the heat to medium-low, carefully pour 1/4 cup water into the skillet (watch out, it may spatter), and cook, covered, until all the water is absorbed by the dumplings and their bottoms are crusty brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Repeat this process twice more with the remaining dumplings, oil, and water.
  • 5. Serve the dumplings on a platter or in a bamboo steamer and pass the dipping sauce on the side.

In-Advance Note

  • To freeze the pot stickers, spread the uncooked dumplings in a single layer on a baking sheet that’s lightly slicked with oil, taking care that the pot stickers don’t touch each other. Place the sheet in the freezer until the pot stickers are almost frozen, at least 30 minutes. Then gently place the dumplings in a large resealable plastic bag and toss in the freezer for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to chow down on the pot stickers, take out as few or as many as you need. But don’t defrost the dumplings. Cook them frozen exactly like you would fresh dumplings—just add 3 minutes to the cooking time after you’ve added the water to the skillet.
Hungry for more? Chow down on these:

Testers Choice

Testers Choice
Testers Choice
Kristen Kennedy

Jan 31, 2014

If these pot stickers are indicative of good Chinese home cooking, I'm going to need to learn a lot more about it. These were insanely delicious and a huge hit with my entire family. And I love that you can make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. I used 6 ounces each ground beef and pork. I was unable to find dumpling wrappers so I used wonton wrappers, which worked perfectly. They took 1 minute to fry and 8 minutes to steam and they were finished. The dipping sauce is a wonderful accompaniment—don't skip it!

Testers Choice
Lori Widmeyer

Jan 31, 2014

I'd never had pot stickers before, and for some reason I'd thought they were deep-fried. Now the name finally makes sense. I was worried about making these, wondering if the dumplings would take me much longer than the 45 minutes of hands-on time given I had never even used dumpling wrappers before. I also worried that all my filling would spill out. But my worries were for nothing. If anything, it took me less 45 minutes to make and shape these. I used a large nonstick pan and it only took me 2 batches to complete all the dumplings. When I removed them, they looked very browned on the bottoms, so I hoped they weren't overcooked. They were perfect—a little crunchy brown on the bottom but not too crunchy and soft on top. The flavor of the pork filling was wonderful on its own, but it was even better with the dipping sauce. I rarely make a recipe where I wouldn't change a thing, but this one was perfect as written. I'll definitely make these again, and I love knowing that I can make and freeze them! So easy and so good.

Testers Choice
Cindi Kruth

Jan 31, 2014

Putting together the filling for these dumplings was a cinch. The filling was tasty. Being ginger lovers, we'll use a little more the next time. And more salt. But then, “a pinch” isn’t precise, so maybe the author’s pinch was bigger. The dumplings cooked and browned perfectly. Not having black rice vinegar, I ignored the “no substitution” rule on the sauce and made it with the rest of the ingredients and half reduced balsamic, half rice vinegar. Can’t say how it differed, but it worked well, anyhow.

Testers Choice
Jill R.

Jan 31, 2014

This recipe takes a little while to prepare due to the time it takes to assemble the pot stickers, but it's well worth it. The filling comes together very quickly and the dipping sauce is very easy to make and well worth what it takes to find the Chinese black vinegar. (I only found one store in my area that carried it.) I made my pot stickers with ground beef, and the taste wasn't quite what I expected, but I think that's because I was expecting them to taste like the pork ones I'm used to having. Next time I'll use pork and I'm certain this will be a 10. I did find that the instructions to pleat them were a little confusing. This recipe is a keeper.

Testers Choice
Dawn E.

Jan 31, 2014

After seeing this recipe just this morning, I was in the store and back home within a few hours to start making these yummy little treats for lunch. The filling and dipping sauce were quite simple to make. I used store-bought dumpling wrappers, which made the assembly of these little dumplings rather easy. As this was my first attempt at making Chinese dumplings, I followed the link to how-to pictures as a guide to sealing and folding the dumplings. This recipe was a huge success and I'll definitely be making these again. I did tweak the ingredients after my first time. I added to the meat mixture another tablespoon soy sauce, a splash sherry vinegar, and a pinch white pepper for some extra spice. I actually made 2 batches—one with ground pork, the other with ground chicken.

Comments
Comments
  1. sanscravat says:

    I’ve usually made my own dumpling wrappers (just unbleached all-purpose flour and boiling water, well-kneaded) but have occasionally used store-bought wrappers. Most of them are too thin, more like wonton wrappers. However the ones made for Gyoza are closer to restaurant or homemade ones.

  2. Vicki says:

    Any thoughts about substituting chicken for the pork/beef?

    • David Leite says:

      Vicki, not a problem. Just substitute an equal amount of ground chicken thighs. (You need the extra fat and flavor).

  3. Jyll says:

    Just bought everything I need to make these this weekend – including gyoza wrappers from our Asian market. Thanks again for the suggestion, sancravat!

  4. Dawn says:

    I’ve made 3 batches of these since the recipe was first posted on the site last week. [Editor's Note: You can read Dawn's initial wow after first making these dumplings in her TC comment above.] The dumplings do freeze well on a sheet tray and can be stored in a freezer bag once frozen so they don’t stick to one another. The time invested in making these pays off, especially when I’m too busy to “cook” and just need a quick snack or meal straight from the freezer to plate in under 15 minutes.

    I love the simplicity of this recipe. I purchased the dumpling wrappers and dipping sauce ingredients from my local Chinese market. I made one batch with ground pork and two batches with ground chicken thighs. The flavor of the mix if using pork or chicken is slightly bland. I felt it needed a little more salt and seasoning, so I added 2 tablespoons oyster sauce to the uncooked ground chicken mixture and it really made this last batch taste spot on.

    I love the dipping sauce! I added a little chili oil for some extra heat.

    When I have more time I’ll make my own dumpling wrappers, but the store-bought ones are a nice, quick way to get these done. Using a homemade dough will eliminate having to wet the edges of the dough, so I’m looking forward to trying it out some time.

    • David Leite says:

      Dawn, that’s what I like to see. Someone who’s thinking ahead. So you make a big batch of these, throw them in the freezer, and you’re eating whenever you want. Thanks for the tips about adding the oyster sauce. Everyone’s tastes is a bit different, so it’s great to have another option for readers.

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