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Traditionally eaten as a snack or an appetizer, these Chinese panfried dumplings call for thin, 3-inch round wonton wrappers. To pleat a filled pot sticker, after folding the wonton wrapper into a half-moon, pinch the edges together at one end of the arc. Then, using your thumb and index finger, and starting from the sealed end, make 4 or 5 pleats, or tucks, along the arc to enclose the filling completely. As each dumpling is formed, press the bottom lightly against your palm to flatten it slightly.

Ingredients:

  • 1⁄4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 cups finely chopped napa cabbage
  • 1⁄2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄4 lb. ground pork
  • 1⁄2 cup minced fresh garlic chives
     or regular chives
  • 1 Tbs. light soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. Chinese rice wine
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 1⁄2 Tbs. cornstarch
  • 1⁄8 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
  • 45 thin round wonton wrappers
  • 4 Tbs. canola or peanut oil
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce for serving
     (see related recipe at right)

Directions:

Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, add warm water to cover and let stand for 30 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, and remove and discard the stems. Blot the caps dry and mince.

In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage and salt and let stand for 30 minutes to draw out the water from the cabbage. Using your hands and a kitchen towel, wring out as much of the water from the cabbage as possible. Put the cabbage in a clean bowl and add the mushrooms, pork, chives, soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine, ginger, garlic, cornstarch and white pepper. Using a rubber spatula, mix vigorously to combine the ingredients well.

Lightly flour a baking sheet. To fill each pot sticker, place a wonton wrapper on a work surface and brush the edges with water; keep the other wrappers covered with a slightly damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out. Place 1 tsp. filling in the center of the wrapper, fold the wrapper in half to enclose the filling and pleat the outer edge. Place the finished pot sticker on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Preheat an oven to 250°F.

In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the canola oil.

Add 10 to 12 pot stickers, flat bottom down and in a single layer. Sear until golden brown on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour 1⁄4 cup of the stock into the pan, cover and let steam until all the stock evaporates, the pot stickers are tender but still firm, and the filling is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a platter, cover with aluminum foil and keep warm in the oven. Cook the remaining pot stickers and stock in 3 more batches. Serve the pot stickers hot, accompanied with the dipping sauce.
Makes about 45 pot stickers.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Collection Series, Asian, by Farina Wong Kingsley (Simon & Schuster, 2003).