Monday, October 6, 2008


Jiaozi, or potstickers, are Husband's favorite food. I think if you were to give him dumplings and pizza he'd follow you around like a lost little puppy dog, begging for a treat. You should see his face light up whenever I mention either of those is for dinner. It's about how I look when I find out Crate & Barrel's having a sale. I wonder what would happen if I gave him pizza dumplings? I think his brain might explode.

They look difficult, but they're really not. If anything they're time consuming. You can purchase the gyoza skins at most grocery stores, it's usually near where they keep the tofu, or sometimes they're in the freezer section. Some people use a little fluted press to speed up the folding process, but I prefer the hand pleated look. Which, also looks complicated, but is really not. I'd explain, but I think it's easier to just see how it's done. That honestly makes it look a little more complicated then it is, but I can't find the awesome video that I learned from. Perhaps my awesomeness scared it away. Doubt it...

In any event, if you love potstickers, please, give them a try. They're super easy and soooooo much cheaper than at a Chinese restaurant. Seriously, $6.95 for a half dozen? Friggin' whatev. Once you make them you will never again fork over that much cash for something so simple. Unless, like me, you get very very lazy sometimes.

Then you're totally willing.


40-50 gyoza skins
1 lb. ground pork (or any ground meat)
3 scallions, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 carrot, finely grated (use a microplane zester)
4 nappa cabbage leaves, blanched, drained, shredded, and minced (sometimes I'm lazy and mince celery really fine - works like a charm as a substitution)
1 egg
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon chili oil
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
2-3 cups chicken stock
vegetable/peanut oil

Dipping Sauce

3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon dry sherry
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 scallion, minced

In a small dish mix together all ingredients for dipping sauce, set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl mix all ingredients (except the skins, of course) until thoroughly combined. On a dry surface lay out a Gyoza wrapper and place a teaspoonful of pork mixture in the center. Wet just the tip of your finger and run around the edge of the wrapper. Fold over and pinch the sides together accordion style, or just fold into a semi-circle, whatever works for you. Repeat until the pork mixture is gone. In a large frying pan with a lid (I use a 4 1/2 quart Sauteusse)heat a drizzle of vegetable/peanut oil and place 10-12 gyoza in the pan. Cook undisturbed for 2 minutes, really let them stick to the pan. Then pour in 1/2 cup chicken stock and cover with lid immediately. Allow to cook 5 minutes, or until most liquid is absorbed. Remove from pan and keep in a warmed oven. Repeat with remaining jiaozi. Serve immediately with dipping sauce and steamed rice.

Note: You can make the jiaoza right up until the cooking process, freeze them in a single layer on a baking sheet, toss them in a bag and freeze for up to two months. Pull them out and add a minute to undisturbed cooking time, and two minutes to the steam time and you've got a near instant weeknight meal.


cookiecrumb said...

I love potstickers too!
Your recipe sounds scrumptious. The only time I made potstickers from scratch, they came out good, but I didn't use chicken stock. What a great idea.
(I must brag that I made my own wrappers from scratch. Simple -- just flour and water.)

Sweet Bird said...

Cookiecrumb - I tried making my own skins once, but I couldn't get them thin enough. Husband likes the thick, homemade dumpling wrappers, but I prefer the super thin ones. I think if I had a pasta machine I'd be able to accomplish it, but by hand I can't get them thin enough to be enjoyable. Way to be a bad ass, though!

cookiecrumb said...

They were thin enough!! Rolling pin.
But I'm a dumb gaijin, what do I know?

Sweet Bird said...

You must be much more talented than I. Mine were all thick and doughy. Blech.

Tara said...

These were wonderful! Love jiaozi. I doubled the recipe to have a lot to freeze, but they still only lasted about a week with three of us.