(Part of the Chinese New Year Theme Thursday Series)
My Grandma Sandy is Chinese, and I have grown up lucky enough to eat authentic Chinese food on many occasions. My family requests that we get a batch of her creations all the time… maybe too often. The most beloved of her treats are the Steamed Pork Dumplings, and we eat them on every major holiday. Even on Thanksgiving, an empty plate that was once stacked high with steamed pork dumplings is always removed from the table by the time the turkey is served.
A few years ago, my Grandma Sandy taught me how to make her steamed pork dumplings, and I made them every chance I got. I was proud of myself, because they were almost as good as my grandma’s. However, after making them for years, I would drive myself crazy wondering why they were only almost as good. I did everything exactly the same. I used the same ingredients. Why weren’t they ever just as good?
After a while, I decided to give up on making the perfect batch of my grandma’s Steamed Pork Dumplings and moved on to adapt her recipe into something that was more my own. What I wound up with was crisp-skinned, flavorful Pork Potstickers and a Spicy Dipping Sauce that is different, but just as delicious, as my grandma’s dumplings.
Although Potstickers seem intimidating, they are actually really easy and fun to make, and not very messy at all. Once you make these, though, anticipate a lifetime of requests!
- 1 package dumpling skins
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 egg
- 1 (8oz) can water chestnuts, minced
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (like sriracha)
- 2½ teaspoons seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- In a bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce, mixing well. Cover and set aside until ready to use.
- Mix all of the filling ingredients in a large bowl. It may be easier to use your hands to combine them well.
- Place a tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the dumpling skin.
- Dip your finger in water, run it along half of the circumference of the dumpling skin, and then fold the skin in half to seal it.
- Position the potsticker on a table or other hard, flat surface, so that the sealed end is in the air and the folded side is against the table. Gently press down so that the potsticker will stand up that way without support. The folded side should now be flattened, and the sealed end should be at the very top.*
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a frying pan. Heat for about a minute on medium.
- Add potstickers to the pan in a single layer, flattened side down, sealed side up. It may take a few batches to complete all of your potstickers.
- Fry the potstickers for about 3-5 minutes, or until the bottoms have turned a light golden brown.
- Standing back, carefully add ¾ cup of water to the pan. Cover immediately.
- Steam the potstickers until all of the water has evaporated. Then, remove the pan from the heat.
- Remove the potstickers from the pan after letting them cool for a few minutes. You may have to help them off with a spatula, as they may stick (thus the name, potstickers). Serve warm.