Oh how I’ve missed pot stickers. Back in the day, David and I ordered them so often — along with Szechuan string beans and lemon chicken — from Dim Sum Bar in San Francisco that when I gave our delivery address they would recite back our usual order. (Seriously, it was all too reminiscent of Miranda’s experience with the Chinese takeout girl in Sex and the City, fortunately minus the laughter.)
The most time-consuming part is making the wrappers from scratch, but the recipe itself is quite foolproof. Whether you work the dough for a short amount of time or for longer (to make them extra smooth, like their wheat-based counterparts), they will remain moist and pliable enough to form into dumplings. I experimented with a lot of different folding methods, some quite “creative” (the early, poorly photographed, silly-looking attempts can be seen on the Facebook page for A Sage Amalgam). Most recently, though, I found that the classic technique illustrated by Saveur Magazine was by far the easiest, most attractive option. However, I won’t judge you if you prefer to use a Dumpling Maker, it can help to speed things up a bit.
An electric pasta roller is one gadget that I wholeheartedly recommend if you want to make your [dumpling-making] life easier. I use the KitchenAid Pasta Sheet Roller Attachment (available from Chefs Catalog, Amazon, Bed Bath and Beyond); the model I purchased (KPSA) does not include any of the pasta cutting accessories, and set me back $60 (from Chefs Catalog through Amazon) two years ago. If you prefer to roll them out by hand, the Joseph Joseph Adjustable Rolling Pin is really helpful for achieving consistently thin wrappers (it includes disks for 1/16″ thick dough, which is just about what you’re looking for) — it’s just a lot of work make them this way.
Stay tuned for my favorite dipping sauce to serve with these tasty morsels (psst, it’s Chili-Scallion Oil). Hope you enjoy ’em as much as we do!
Pork-Scallion Pot Stickers with Homemade Wrappers
Food and Wine, wrappers and cooking method my own)
Preparation Time: 2 1/2 – 3 hours
Cooking Time: About 8 minutes fresh, 10 minutes from freezer (plus frying time)
Makes: 4 – 4 1/2 dozen
- 1 1/2 tablespoons (from about 2) finely grated dried shiitake mushrooms¹
- 10 grams (2 teaspoons) minced garlic
- 10 grams (2 teaspoons) minced fresh ginger
- 14 grams (1 tablespoon) untoasted sesame oil
- 14 grams (1 tablespoon) gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
- 113 grams (4 ounces or 1 cup, packed) whole Napa cabbage leaves (do not remove white rib), very finely chopped
- 1/2 cup (from about 5) quartered and thinly sliced scallions (light, medium and dark green parts)
- 1/2 pound (227 grams or 8 ounces) ground pork
- 120 grams (1 cup) millet flour, plus more for rolling
- 120 grams (1 cup) garbanzo-fava flour
- 96 grams (1/2 cup) potato starch
- 64 grams (1/2 cup) arrowroot starch
- 20 grams (2 tablespoons plus 1/4 teaspoon) xanthan gum
- 312 grams (11 ounces or 1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons) boiling water
For Frying and Serving:
In a medium bowl, stir together mushrooms through black pepper. Stir in cabbage and scallions, coating evenly with soy sauce mixture (like you’re making a cole slaw). Add pork, and use a fork to mix together just until combined. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate while making the wrappers.
DO AHEAD: Filling can be made up to two days before making wrappers and assembling pot stickers.
When you’re ready to fill the potstickers, make the pot sticker wrappers. Whisk together millet flour through xanthan gum in the bowl of a stand mixer; fit mixer with the paddle attachement. Set machine on low and pour in boiling water. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
Scrape dough onto a clean, millet-floured counter (from now on when I say flour I mean millet, ok?). (The dough should be cooled enough to be handled after mixing, but if you find it too warm, let it sit, covered by a moist towel for several minutes.) Knead dough to combine into one lump (it will not be very smooth looking at this point). Work with about 1/4 of the dough at a time, cover the rest with a moist towel. On a floured surface (use as little as possible to prevent sticking), roll dough out til it’s about 3″ wide and 1/8″ inch thick, length will vary (if you’re rolling out by hand, keep rolling until dough is about 4″ wide and 1/16″ thick, and go ahead and skip the next paragraph).
Using the pasta roller on the widest setting (#1), sprinkle dough liberally with flour, run dough through (it may tear a bunch, but that’s ok, it’s gonna go through the machine a few more times). Fold dough over in thirds (so it’s still only about 3″ wide), use the pin to roll it out to 1/8″ again, sprinkle with more flour and run through the pasta machine on the widest setting again. Adjust width-setting of the machine to the next thinness (#2). Dust with additional flour (if it feels sticky), and run dough through, it will be about 1/16″ thick.
Cut wrappers using a 3 1/2″ round cookie cutter; stack on a large piece of plastic wrap, fold it over the top to keep them from drying out while the other wrappers are made. (I usually stack about half of the wrappers together, then start a second pack — no leaning towers of pot sticker wrappers for me!) Re-roll scraps (if you have enough) or knead them into another quarter of the dough; repeat rolling and cutting process.
Form Pot Stickers:
For a visual guide, see these handy illustrations by Saveur. Line a freezer-safe platter or rimmed baking sheet with plastic wrap; set aside. Set out about 6 wrappers, moisten just the edges using your finger with a tiny bit of water. Place a packed TEASPOON (it doesn’t need to be level, but it shouldn’t be overly heaping) in the center of the wrapper. Fold wrapper over dough (it will look like a crunchy taco), pinch just the center together. Start on one side, about 1/3 over from where the center is pinched together, pull dough on the side facing you to the center, and pinch it to stick. You basically make a little cone shape then fold it over to the center — only one side of the potsticker will have the fancy pleats, the back remains fairly flat. Do the same thing to close up the side you’re working on; repeat with the other half. Place dumpling on plastic wrap-lined pan, press down lightly so it will stand up on its bottom. Repeat with remaining filling and wrappers.
Once all pot stickers are formed, proceed to cooking or place pan in the freezer. Completely freeze dumplings on pan before transferring to a freezer bag or freezer storage containers. Will keep frozen for 2 – 3 months, cook directly from frozen.
Steam, Fry and Serve Pot Stickers:
Fill a large pot fitted with a metal steamer basket with water (just under the bottom of the basket). Set pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, carefully place potstickers in a single layer on the basket (they can touch a little, you’ll have to cook them in multiple batches). Cover top of the pot with a clean towel, place lid over top (towel has a dual purpose: keeps the potstickers from getting too wet, prevents the lid from rattling annoyingly). Steam fresh dumplings for about 8 minutes and frozen for 10 minutes, or until pork reaches at least 155°F. While dumplings steam, preheat sauté pan/frying pan/skillet over medium heat; add about 1 tablespoon (just enough to form a thin film) of oil to the pan. Once dumplings have finished steaming, remove from steamer basket (you may need to gently wiggle them to get them off) and fry bottoms in the hot oil, just until golden brown (if using a non-nonstick pan, they will detach with a gentle wiggle once cooked, all is not lost!). Serve immediately with desired dipping sauces.