If you love Momos (steamed dumplings) and fried wontons, then you’re gonna LOVE these pan-fried dumplings or Potstickers – they are both fried AND steamed!!!! Two different textures in one amazing dish – and it’s VEGAN too!!! Steamy hot, spicy vegetable filling – sounds perfect for Fall, doesn’t it? The days are getting colder and so the food must get warmer! I say, let’s make it HOT!
A little history…
The history of potstickers, though slightly muddled, dates back to the Song dynasty (960 – 1280 A.D.) in China. Evidently, a chef in the Imperial court was steaming regular dumplings in a wok and left it in for too long – the water evaporated and the bottoms burnt slightly. With no time to make another batch, he served them as they were, calling it a new creation. Lucky for him, the court loved it and it’s been served all over Eastern Asia since. In Japan, these are called Gyoza and although they vary slightly, essentially, they’re the same pan-fried dumplings accidentally created in China.
My version comes with a vegetarian filling, but feel free to swap the vegetables with meat, if you prefer. Whatever the filling, just make sure it is dry and cool before you start to fill the dumpling.
Shaping the dough takes practice, I’ve been told and now I know that I need a lot of it! So if they don’t look perfect like they’re supposed to, fret not my friend! They still taste great! Theoretically speaking though, this is how you shape them-
You start off with dough that’s been rested for at least an hour. Roll it into a thin log about 10″ long and divide it equally into 8 pieces. Take one and cover the rest with a damp cloth as you work to prevent them from drying out. Roll out into a circle (or what passes for a circle – seriously, I am terrible at it!)
Fill and fold in half and start sealing from one end, crimping and pressing as you go. Pinch the edges to make sure nothing goes in or nothing gets out. Place on a baking tray lined with wax paper/cling film, and then dusted with flour. These suckers can get quite sticky, and you don’t want them sticking to the pan or to each other.
Repeat until you are done with the remaining 7 pieces.
Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and place all the filled dumplings, without touching each other. Once the base has turned golden brown, pour in 1/4 cup water, cover and cook until the water evaporates and the potstickers are translucent and cooked.
You know the potstickers are cooked when you can see the filling showing through the dough. Raw dough is opaque and dull but when cooked, turns translucent and shiny.
Serve hot with a side of vinegar (as the Chinese do), vinegar+soy+sesame oil + chilli oil (as the Japanese do) or with any other dipping sauce you may fancy! Crispy on the bottom and soft and comforting on the top with a colorful and delicious filling – it’s the perfect appetizer, perfectly portioned for two. Just make sure to eat it straight out of the pan, piping hot! As it cools, the dough becomes chewier, and it’s not a pleasant texture to saveur.
When you make these (which I really think you SHOULD!), be sure to SHARE YOUR PHOTOS with me through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I’d love to see what you cook from here and will share it with pride on my social media feeds.