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.)
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 15 M
- 36 pot stickers
- 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 ginger
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon minced cilantro leaves
- 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 ginger
- 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
- 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.
- 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.