I love pot stickers. In Chinese they’re called jiaozi. The Japanese call them gyoza. No matter what you call them, these little bundles of flavor just make me so darn happy.
Chinese cooking is simple. However, there’s a lot of prep work. Which makes it time-consuming.
There are many ways to make pot stickers, many different ingredients, styles, and personalities behind creating pot stickers. I’ve been making pot stickers since I could fold them. My mom made sure each of us helped out when it came to meal preparation. If you’re going to eat, you ought to help. Plus, I’m grateful I learned, so that this deliciousness is readily accessible for my belly.
Today you get to check how I make them. Enjoy!
For my pot stickers I like to have leeks, chives, green onions, garlic and ginger.
I also chop up spinach. I need my iron, and I enjoy spinach like Popeye. However, he likes it from the can, and I prefer it fresh.
I love Napa cabbage. It’s so much prettier than the bald, round cabbage.
I also love, love, LOVE mushrooms, so I add shitake mushrooms.
Once I have all these savory veggies chopped up, I saute them in garlic olive oil. Add 1-2 Tbsp of olive oil to a large wok over medium high heat. Add garlic, ginger, mushrooms, leeks, and saute a few minutes. Then add the napa cabbage, spinach, chives, green onion, and saute. You can add 2 tsp of freshly ground pepper. You can add salt if you like, but I usually don’t as I’ll be adding sauces to the meat mixture. Once the saute is done, set it aside.
I love making this, as the saute of veggies is so pretty, and boy the aromas, are heavenly.
I use about 1 – 2lbs of ground pork. I usually use less than 2lbs. You really don’t need much meat, as all the delicious veggies will increase the mixture substantially.
I put the ground pork in a large mixing bowl, then I add a box of silken tofu, and one raw egg. The tofu makes the mixture creamy, and the egg helps everything bond together.
Mix the tofu, egg and meat well.
After I mix the tofu, with the egg and meat, I add in the sauteed veggies to the bowl. Then I literally, start dumping in sauces. Why do I do this? I like my pot stickers to have flavor, without needing any dipping sauces. I usually, just dump in whatever I have available. Below you’ll find sesame oil, oyster sauce, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and soy sauce. I eye ball it.
I want the meat to adopt a color like the sauces. Usually I put about 1-3 Tbsp of each sauce in the mixture. I add more of the oyster sauce because I like it. Be careful as you add the sauces, because you don’t want the mixture wet, and soupy. So, little-by-little is the key. You can always add more, you can’t take it out.
Optional, add some sriracha sauce, or chili sauce if you like your pot stickers with a kick. I usually, have the hot sauce to dip, as my daughters have not reached our spicy level yet.
Next step, the time-consuming work of folding the pot stickers. Make sure you get the round wrappers. I usually need 3-4 packs that you can find at our local grocery store, for each batch I make. That’s roughly 240 pot stickers. It all depends on how much meat you put in each wrapper.
I use a small bowl of water to dip my finger in to wet the wrapper as I seal it. Use a small spoon to place meat on the wrapper, adjust it as you see fit to wrap. You’ll want the wrapper sealed completely so the mixture doesn’t slip out.
Once you’re finished wrapping all the pot stickers, it’s time to cook them.
I heat up about 1-2 Tbsp garlic flavored olive oil over medium heat. I place my pot stickers in the pan in a circular formation. I let the pot stickers cook for 2-3 minutes, or longer. I check the bottoms to see how brown they get.
Once the bottoms are brown, I pour 1/4-1/2 cup hot water over the pot stickers, cover the pan with a top, and reduce the heat to low. I then let the pot stickers cook for 7-8 minutes, until the water is boiled off. Watch it carefully, as you don’t want them to burn.
Once that’s done, I shake the pan a bit to loosen them from the bottom, or take a wooden spoon and loosen them. Then I slide them onto a large platter, and then… don’t bother me, I’m eating.
Some people like their jiaozi as dumplings (boiled, not pan-fried). If you prefer that, simply bring a large pot of boiling water to a high boil. Place the dumplings into the pot and stir to gently distribute them in the water. Allow the pot to come to a boil, and pour in 1/2 cup of water. Stir gently to redistribute all the jiaozi. Repeat this two more times. Then you can strain them with a ladle onto a dish, and enjoy.
ps. You can freeze any extra pot stickers you have, that have not been cooked. I try to freeze them on a cookie sheet first. Then once they’re frozen I put them in a freezer bag to make it easy for me to fry them when they’re frozen. Don’t defrost them, just stick the frozen pot stickers on the hot oil and let the bottoms brown. It’ll take a few more minutes for the browning. The other timing should be about the same, or you can increase the time by a couple minutes.