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Potsticker Dumplings

From the book Mad Hungry by
Yield 36 dumplings

Culinate recipe editor’s note: Sometimes certain dishes, no matter how good of a cook you are, taste better ordered out than cooked at home. When the craving for Chinese food hits my family, we usually look to Lucky Strike for potstickers and spicy ginger eggplant.

Though I was dubious about making potstickers at home, these came together easily and were polished off by my mad-hungry teenagers. Not only that, they were also pronounced just as good, if not better, than take-out. I substituted red chile flakes for the fresh green chile in the dipping sauce, and cabbage for bok choy, merely to avoid another trip to the store. For a full meal, serve with rice and stir-fried greens.


Like most things wrapped in dough, this is a friendly, go-to choice. The variations on dumpling fillings and shape are endless, and it is surprising how easy these are to make at home. Start with a large batch, freeze it, and you’ll always have a quick snack, appetizer, or meal ready in about 8 minutes.

I once made the filling from ground meat I found in the freezer; I defrosted it, then mixed it with some lone scallions and ginger found in the back of the crisper. “You know that’s turkey, right?” my husband asked. I had thought it was pork. So I just boosted the seasoning a little to make up for the fat flavor lacking in turkey. I made enough to eat right away and also to freeze for later.


Soy-Vinegar Dipping Sauce

½ cup soy sauce
1 tsp. rice vinegar
½ tsp. toasted sesame oil
2 tsp. sugar
1 whole scallion, trimmed and sliced
1 hot green chile, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp. water


½ lb. ground turkey, chicken, or pork (if using poultry, add 1 tsp. peanut oil to the mixture)
1 cup finely chopped bok choy
½ tsp. minced fresh ginger
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp. soy sauce
½ tsp. sesame oil
½ tsp. coarse salt
1 large egg white
36 dumpling wrappers (see Note)
~ Peanut oil, for frying


  1. In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the meat, bok choy, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Stir in the egg white.
  3. Working with 6 at a time, lay down the dumpling wrappers on a work surface. Spoon 1 teaspoon of filling onto each one. Lightly wet the edge of each wrapper with water. Fold the dough over and pinch around the edges. This is easiest done by picking up each dumpling and pinching around the edges with thumb and forefinger. Place on a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap to keep the dumplings from drying out. Repeat until all filling is used. (Freeze any dumplings that will not be cooked immediately. After they are frozen, transfer them to resealable plastic bags or wrap in plastic.)
  4. To cook the dumplings, heat a large skillet and swirl some oil around to coat the pan. Add a single layer of potstickers. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes (2 minutes longer if frozen), until they begin to turn golden on the underside. Don’t move them. Add ¼ cup of water to the pan and cover immediately. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the meat is cooked through and the dumplings release from the pan. Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.


Dumpling wrappers — Chinese wonton or Japanese gyoza skins are the same thing — are widely available in the produce or frozen-food section of most markets.

This content is from the book Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn.

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