Nothing reminds me of home more than potstickers (aka Wor Tip in Cantonese, Guo Tie in Mandarin)!
Growing up in a Chinese family, we made our own potstickers or dumplings at every holiday gathering, big or small. Especially around the Chinese New Year, our family and extended family would gather together and make these from scratch. We only buy the top quality meat and mince it up by hand! You know you’re in for a treat when the someone in the family pulls out a big butcher block and you hear the rhythmic chopping sound. Everyone is involved in the process! Making potstickers is more like a social gathering more than a kitchen task. We chitchat, gossip about the neighbors and catch up on the minutiae of everyday life. Even after moving to Canada long ago, making potstickers always brings back so many memories of our humble home in China. The best thing about homemade potstickers is that you can completely customize the filling. The classic pork and cabbage or pork and leek fillings are classics, but my personal favourite has always been shrimp. Maybe because shrimp was a rare find back then, or I developed a preference toward seafood early on my life without consciously knowing it. Either way, feel free to use your protein of choice for your personal taste.
Also, don’t let the seemly complicated and technical wrapping process scare you away. Trust me, when you get the hang of it, it’s easy! The boy can tell you, it wasn’t a struggle at all when he learned how to making them the first time. :p Plus, you can make a huge batch and freeze them for later! Just make sure you pop them in freezer right away on a baking sheet, then store them in a freezer safe bag. That way, you get to savour your effort and hardship for a few more meals. When my cravings come or I get homesick, I cook them on a skillet without even defrosting. After trying these, you can never go back to store-bought potstickers!
Prep time: 50 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Yield: 6-8 servings
- 1 pound tiger shrimp, shelled, deveined and chopped to almost paste consistency
- 1 pound ground pork
- 4 large eggs
- 1 pound Chinese chives, thinly sliced
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Chinese all spices
- Salt to taste
- 1 package of dumpling wrappers
- Heat the canola oil in a medium skillet over medium to high heat, scramble the eggs to slightly runny. Set aside and let the egg cool to room temperature.
- In a large bowl, combine pork, shrimp, scrambled egg, chives, ginger, green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, all spices and salt. Using a pair of chopsticks or wooden spoon, stir the mixture well in one direction only. *I always taste my fillings by microwave a spoonful before assemble the dumplings*
- To assemble, place one wrapper on your hand, spoon approximately 1 tablespoonful of filling into the centre. Depending on the store-bought wrapper, I find I need to wet the rim of wrapper for a tight seal. Fold the wrapper in the middle and pinch the edges using your fingers as you create a half-moon shape. Ensure a tight seal, so you won’t end up with wrappers-and-filling stir fry.
- Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat,add the potstickers in a single layer. Pour half to one cup of water (half way through the dumplings) and cook covered until all water has evaporated, about 6-7 minutes.
- Serve warm with soy sauce or vinegar, and drizzle with sesame oil if desired. I like mine with vinegar! The acidity gives me more appetite to eat just one more potsticker even after my belly is so full. :p