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Pork Dumplings (Potstickers)

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Pork dumplings (also known as Potstickers) are round dough wrappers filled with meat and vegetables. Steamed, pan fried or deep fried, these versatile dumplings are enjoyed as appetizers by many!

Oh my! These plump dumplings are irresistible! My personal favourite is to pan fry them in order to get that beautiful crisp with every savoury bite! They also freeze well, making them a great go-to appetizer you can cook up within 10 minutes for (unexpected) visitors.

*Good To Know*

  • What type of wrappers do I use?
    Dumpling wrappers are round and sold in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket. I used a brand called “Sun On Food Co.” but you can use any brand. Since there are a variety of wrappers sold at the supermarket, make sure you buy the 2 pack with “Dumpling Wrappers” written on it.
  • What are Asian Chives?
    The long, flat leaf chives are considered part of the onion family. The difference is that regular chives are short tubular leaves and taste more like onions, whereas asian chives are long, flat leaves and taste more like garlic (also known as garlic chives).
  • What filling variations can I use?
    You can add one or more of the filling variations below:
    shrimp, scallop, crab meat, lobster, ground turkey, ground chicken, tofu
  • What is the difference between Dumplings vs. Potstickers?
    The difference lies in your cooking method. Boiling vs. Pan frying dumplings. That’s it! Boiling (or steaming) gives you soft, cooked dumplings. Pan or deep frying dumplings produces a crispier result. The filling remains the same no matter how you cook them.
  • How do I freeze Dumplings and how long can I freeze them?
    To freeze fresh dumplings, space dumplings on tray about a 1/2 inch apart and place tray into your freezer for 1 hour. Remove tray from freezer and then put frozen dumplings into an airtight container or a plastic zip bag. This method will ensure your dumplings don’t stick together and make it easy to take out of the container or bag when ready to cook. Dumplings can be kept frozen up to 3 months.

 

What’s inside these Pork Dumplings?

I prefer ground pork but you can use ground chicken or turkey as an alternative if you don’t like pork.

Here’s what you’ll need

  • lean or medium ground pork
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • yellow cooking onion
  • fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • asian chives (aka. garlic chives)
  • water chestnut
  • tapioca or corn starch
  • shao xing cooking wine
  • seasoning: salt, sugar, ground black pepper

dumpling ingredients

How to prepare Dumpling filling

My sister-in-law, Cindy, gave me great advice on the preparation of the filling by suggesting to cook the vegetables first before adding them to the ground pork (she’s been making them since she was young, so I trust her advice). This achieves a few things; first, though great tasting, fresh shiitake mushrooms are quite pungent. By pre-cooking them with the other vegetables and seasoning, it reduces the funky smell from these mushrooms. Second, seasoning the vegetables during the pre-cooking process marries together all of the juices and flavours before adding them to our raw ground pork. Lastly, adding a tapioca slurry near the end of cooking helps thicken and bind everything together. In doing so, it locks in all the flavours and produces a juicy dumpling once cooked.

pork dumpling ingredients

Allow cooked vegetables to cool for 20 minutes, then add to raw ground pork and mix well to combine.

mixed dumpling filling

How to fill Dumpling wrappers

  1. place a dumpling wrapper into the palm of your hand
  2. scoop 1 Tablespoon filling and add to center of wrapper
  3. fold wrapper from the bottom up to resemble a half moon. You can use water or egg white to brush the edge of your wrapper with your finger before folding it closed. For me, the wrapper didn’t need it to seal
  4. place dumpling on work surface and ‘cup’ filling with the side of your hand to squeeze air out and shape your filling to look like a pierogi dumpling
  5. for easy folding, leave your dumpling on your work surface. The wrapper is soft and will stretch if you hold it raised while working. Fold and crimp the edge of your dumpling from right to left (see illustration below)
  6. when done, hold the crimped, top side and lightly press down on your dumpling so the smooth bottom of your dumpling is flattened a bit (this makes it easier to pan fry later)
  7. place dumpling on a tray sprinkled with tapioca or corn starch and cover with a clean hand towel while you work
  8. from here you can cook dumplings from fresh or freeze and cook later

how to fill dumpling wrappers

Tips on how to freeze your Dumplings

When ready to freeze, space dumplings on tray about a 1/2 inch apart and place tray into your freezer for 1 hour (or place them on a smaller plate). Remove tray from freezer and then put frozen dumplings into an airtight container or a plastic zip bag. This method will ensure your dumplings don’t stick together and make it easy to take out of the container or bag when ready to cook. Dumplings can be kept frozen up to 3 months.

Method of cooking Dumplings

1. Pan fried (Potstickers)– Heat 1 to 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large non-stick pan (make sure you have a lid that fits the pan). Place approx. 8 to 10 frozen dumplings 1/2 inch apart (they expand during cooking, so you want to leave enough room) and fry them for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add 1/2  cup of water to the pan, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium. Cook dumplings for 5 minutes in the boiling water then carefully loosen dumplings with a spatula and cover with lid again. Cook for another 5 minutes or until all of the water has evaporated. In the final stage, remove lid and pan fry dumplings up to 5 minutes or until golden brown. If you like extra crispy sides, flip and turn dumplings as they pan fry.

2. Boiled Dumplings – Fill 3/4 of a large pot with water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Add in frozen dumplings and boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until dumplings are cooked. Use a strainer to scoop dumplings out or pour through a mesh strainer and add cooked dumplings to a large bowl. Pour in 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil and quickly toss to coat dumplings (this prevents them from sticking).

3. Deep fried – In a medium sauce pan, pour in enough vegetable or canola oil in order to be able to submerge dumplings while deep frying. Heat oil on medium-high until a food thermometer reads 325°F (163°C). Carefully add dumplings one at a time and cover with lid each time (to avoid getting splattered with hot oil). Reduce heat to medium if dumplings are browning too fast. Fry dumplings until golden brown and filling is fully cooked.

Serve Dumplings with soy or seasoning sauce, red vinegar and sriracha in separate sauce bowls (or if you’re like me, combine all 3 sauces into one bowl).

If you enjoyed my recipe, please leave a comment or rate it below.  Also don’t forget to follow me on my social media channels (YouTube, Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram) to keep up with my latest kitchen shenanigans.

pork dumplings

Pork Dumplings (Potstickers)

Pork dumplings (also known as Potstickers) are round dough wrappers filled with meat and vegetables. Steamed, pan fried or deep fried, these versatile dumplings are enjoyed as appetizers by many!
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Cooling Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Yields: 54 Dumplings

Ingredients

  • 3 Tablespoons (44 ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (160 g) yellow cooking onion (1 large), finely diced
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 g) garlic (3 cloves), minced
  • 3 Tablespoons (44 g) ginger, minced
  • ½ pound (227 g) fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 cup (237 g) water chestnut (1 small 220ml can), drained & finely diced
  • 2 cups (80 g) asian chives (aka. garlic chives), roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup (59 ml) shao xing cooking wine
  • 1 Tablespoon (15 g) sea or kosher salt
  • 2 Tablespoons (30 g) white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (5 g) ground black pepper
  • 1.2 pounds (544 g) lean ground pork (1 tray)
  • 1 pound (454 g) round dumpling wrappers, 2 pack

Tapioca Slurry

  • 2 Tablespoons (30 g) tapioca starch, or cornstarch
  • 4 Tablespoons (59 ml) water

INSTRUCTIONS 

Filling

  • In a large skillet, heat 3 Tablespoons vegetable oil on high heat. Add diced onions and cook until translucent (2 minutes). Add garlic and continue to cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently. Add ginger and cook for 1 minute until fragrant.
  • Reduce heat to medium-high and add shiitake mushrooms, water chestnut, asian chives, shao xing cooking wine, sea salt, sugar and ground black pepper to skillet (stir in between additions). Continue to stir and cook for 7 minutes (or until vegetables are soft). In a small bowl, mix together tapioca starch and water. Pour into skillet and keep stirring until everything is thickened. Remove from heat, add to a heat proof bowl and allow vegetable mix to cool for 20 minutes.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add ground pork and cooled vegetables. Knead mixture thoroughly to combine and set aside.

Dumpling

  • Place a dumpling wrapper into the palm of your hand. Scoop 1 Tablespoon filling and add to center of wrapper. Fold wrapper from the bottom up to resemble a half moon. You can use water or egg white to brush the edge of your wrapper with your finger before folding it closed. For me, the wrapper didn't need it to seal.
  • Place dumpling on work surface and 'cup' filling with the side of your hand to squeeze air out and shape your filling to look like a pierogi dumpling. For easy folding, leave your dumpling on your work surface. The wrapper is soft and will stretch if you hold it raised while working.
  • Fold and crimp the edge of your dumpling from right to left. When done, hold the crimped top side and lightly press down on your dumpling so the smooth bottom of your dumpling is flattened a bit (this makes it easier to pan fry later). Place dumpling on a tray sprinkled with tapioca or corn starch and cover with a clean hand towel while you work.
  • When ready to cook your dumplings, you can pan fry them to make potstickers, boil them to keep it simple or deep fry for extra crispy dumplings. For method of cooking, see my notes below.
Category: Appetizer
Cuisine: Asian
Keyword: deep fried, dumplings, pan fried, pork, potstickers, steamed

Tips

What type of wrappers do I use?
Dumpling wrappers are round and sold in the refrigerated section of your local supermarket. I used a brand called “Sun On Food Co.” but you can use any brand. Since there are a variety of wrappers sold at the supermarket, make sure you buy the 2 pack with “Dumpling Wrappers” written on it.
What are Asian Chives?
The long, flat leaf chives are considered part of the onion family. The difference is that regular chives are short tubular leaves and taste more like onions, whereas asian chives are long, flat leaves and taste more like garlic (also known as garlic chives).
What filling variations can I use?
You can add one or more of the filling variations below:
shrimp, scallop, crab meat, lobster, ground turkey, ground chicken, tofu
What is the difference between Dumplings vs. Potstickers?
The difference lies in your cooking method. Boiling vs. Pan frying dumplings. That’s it! Boiling (or steaming) gives you soft, cooked dumplings. Pan or deep frying dumplings produces a crispier result. The filling remains the same no matter how you cook them.
How do I freeze Dumplings and how long can I freeze them?
To freeze fresh dumplings, space dumplings on tray about a 1/2 inch apart and place tray into your freezer for 1 hour. Remove tray from freezer and then put frozen dumplings into an airtight container or a plastic zip bag. This method will ensure your dumplings don’t stick together and make it easy to take out of the container or bag when ready to cook. Dumplings can be kept frozen up to 3 months.
How should I cook my Dumplings?
1. Pan fried (Potstickers) – Heat 1 to 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil on medium-high heat in a large non-stick pan (make sure you have a lid that fits the pan). Place approx. 8 to 10 frozen dumplings 1/2 inch apart (they expand during cooking, so you want to leave enough room) and fry them for 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add 1/2  cup of water to the pan, cover with lid and reduce heat to medium. Cook dumplings for 5 minutes in the boiling water then carefully loosen dumplings with a spatula and cover with lid again. Cook for another 5 minutes or until all of the water has evaporated. In the final stage, remove lid and pan fry dumplings up to 5 minutes or until golden brown. If you like extra crispy sides, flip and turn dumplings as they pan fry.
2. Boiled Dumplings – Fill 3/4 of a large pot with water. Bring to a boil on high heat. Add in frozen dumplings and boil for 8 to 10 minutes or until dumplings are cooked. Use a strainer to scoop dumplings out or pour through a mesh strainer and add cooked dumplings to a large bowl. Pour in 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil and quickly toss to coat (this prevents them from sticking).
3. Deep fried – In a medium sauce pan, pour in enough vegetable or canola oil in order to be able to submerge dumplings while deep frying. Heat oil on medium-high until a food thermometer reads 325°F (163°C). Carefully add dumplings one at a time and cover with lid each time (to avoid getting splattered with hot oil). Reduce heat to medium if dumplings are browning too fast. Fry dumplings until golden brown and filling is fully cooked.
Nutrition Facts
Pork Dumplings (Potstickers)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 68 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Fat 3g5%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 184mg8%
Potassium 65mg2%
Carbohydrates 7g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 67IU1%
Vitamin C 1mg1%
Calcium 8mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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