Here is one my most viewed recipes. I am reposting as an encore and an update.
Chinese dumplings are something I’ve been wanting to make for over a year. I had a recipe torn from the February 2010 issue of Family Fun magazine. That same issue also had a recipe from Nancy McDermott for scallion pancakes. I was inspired to order Nancy’s cookbook called “Quick & Easy Chinese” because of those scallion pancakes. This weekend I finally got around to making Chinese dumplings but I used the recipe from the cookbook instead. I was hoping that I could get the whole family involved in the folding of the dumplings but they ended up getting wrapped up watching a movie so I ended up making them on my own. It was fun but a little time consuming. Save this recipe for a day when you’ve got about 90 minutes available to prepare your dinner.
Update February 18, 2014: This is one of my very favorite recipes and I try to fit it into our weekly menu as often as my family will tolerate it. My son who previously would not taste these dumplings now goes back for seconds and thirds when I make this for dinner. My daughter will eat the middle but not the dumpling wrapper. Here’s the lesson… it’s all about persistence and repetition with kids. Don’t give up and eventually they will surprise you by asking for a taste of something deemed gross in the past.
Pot Sticker Dumplings
(adapted from Quick & Easy Chinese by Nancy McDermott)
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 2 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 cup finely chopped cooked spinach (all the water squeezed out)
- approximately 26 wonton wrappers (a package has 50 total) – Nancy calls for 36 wrappers. I buy round wrappers when I have the choice.
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
- 10-inch nonstick skillet with lid
In a large bowl combine all ingredients except the wonton wrappers and the vegetable oil. Combine until evenly mixed in. Set up a work station with a dry cutting board, a small bowl of water for sealing the dumplings, the stack of wonton wrappers, and the pork mixture.
To shape a dumpling, place a wonton wrapper on the cutting board. Scoop up a generous tablespoon of pork filling and place it in the center of the wrapper. Dip your index finger into the bowl of water, then lightly moisten the outside edge of the wrapper. Fold it in half making a triangle, enclosing the filling and pinching the top edges to make a tight seal. Try to squeeze out any air bubbles that may form. Create 3 small pleats one one side of the seal, folding toward the center and pressing to seal it well. Form 3 small pleats on the other side and press the entire sealed edge. Place on a dry baking sheet or tray and press the sealed edge down lightly to plump up the dumpling and make it stand straight.
Continue folding dumplings in this way, one at time, or setting up 3 or 4 wrappers at a time for an assembly line. Place the folded dumpling on the tray so that they don’t touch each other.
To cook the pot stickers, heat a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat and then add the vegetable oil and swirl to coat the pan. Carefully place about 12 pot stickers in the pan, tucking them to form a circle in one direction; squeeze a few in the center if you can. (Packing them tightly is fine.)
Let them cook undisturbed for 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms of the dumplings are a pale golden brown. Holding the skillet’s lid in one hand, add 1/2 cup water around the sides of the pan and then cover quickly. Let the pot stickers cook for 8 minutes, and then uncover the pan.
Continue cooking 1 to 2 minutes more, shaking the pan gently and using a spatula to discourage the pot stickers from sticking too much. When the water has evaporated and the dumplings are crispy and brown, turn them out onto a serving platter. Repeat the cooking process with the remaining folded dumplings. Serve hot or warm, accompanied by Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce.
I usually also make Vegetable Lo Mein as the side for this meal. It works out great because I use the same pan from frying the dumplings. Less dishes is always a good choice.