Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chinese Potstickers with Chicken and Happy Year of the Rabbit!

February 3rd is the start of  the new Chinese New Year - The Year of the Rabbit!  Being housebound in a snowstorm, as many others were yesterday, dinner was a matter of food on hand. Knowing it was the Lunar New Year, I had recently seen many Asian-inpired recipes and had decided to try making Chinese dumplings for the first time.  I didn't have wonton or dumpling wrappers so took to the internet to find out how to make them myself.

Many sites and videos later, I had a plan. I found they were very similar to making gnocchi only rolled into discs! I used the dough recipe I found at Use Real Butter and mixed the dough in my food processor. I rolled the dough with both a regular rolling pin and my chinois strainer paddle (for the finer work of thinning the edges). Here's a good video on how to cut and roll the dough. Click here for a tutorial on folding a pleated Chinese Dumpling. I actually found the process fun and relaxing but next time I make potstickers I'm sure I'll buy dumpling wrappers to save time.

I also didn't have ground pork in the house, which many potsticker recipes call for, so I substituted some chicken thighs that I had in the freezer which I minced in the food processor. I would definitely use chicken thighs again, as they tasted great!.

One tip that I learned, is that you have to get as much moisture out of the vegetables so that the pot stickers won't be soggy.  I sprinkled the cabbage and carrots with a little salt and let them to rest for about 10 minutes to draw out the moisture.  I then used my potato ricer, to squeeze out the excess moisture from the vegetables.

Tonight, my husband and I enjoyed delicious pot stickers with soy dipping sauce as we looked out on cold snow. We both thoroughly enjoyed them!

I think it's very fitting that we helped celebrate the year of the rabbit since, from the time we were first married, my husband called me Little Bunny and he is still my Big Rabbit.  Don't laugh.

Do you want to find out what your Chinese Zodiac sign is?  Look here.

Potstickers with Ground Chicken

Adapted from Use Real Butter and Mijo Recipes
Printable Recipe

1/2 pound ground chicken thigh meat (the meat of two large thighs, cut into large chunks and minced in a food processor)
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated (I always keep frozen ginger root on hand)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 dried shiitaki mushrooms, rehydrated for 30 minutes and chopped
2 tablespoons green onions, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
1 cup Napa or Savoy cabbage, sliced thin
2 teaspoons cornstarch

24 round dumpling wrappers

Place the thinly sliced cabbage and grated carrots in a small bowl. Sprinkle with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and toss. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze dry with a potato ricer or in a piece of cheesecloth or muslin. Place all of the filling ingredients into a large bowl and stir until well blended. Place in refrigerator until ready to stuff dumplings. (See the recipe for Homemade Dumpling Wrappers below for directions on filling dumplings.) For a tutorial on how to pleat Chinese dumplings look here.*

Heat a frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Place the dumplings with pleated side up into the frying pan and fry for a few minutes or until the bottoms are golden rotating the fry pan several times. When the bottoms are golden, add 1/2 cup water and cover the pan. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover . Reduce the heat to medium low and let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce.

The uncooked dumplings can frozen for 1-2 months. Place on a baking sheet making sure they do not touch and freeze for about 1 hour. Remove and place in zipper bags and return to freezer. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked or make sure they are thoroughly defrosted before cooking.

Dipping Sauce for Two

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar (or red wine or black)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 small clove minced garlic
1 minced green onion
1/2 teaspoon sugar

Stir until blended and serve with hot dumplings.

Recipe for Homemade Dumpling Wrappers

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup warm water

Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Turn on the processor and pour the warm water in the feed tube until incorporated (it should pull away from the sides of the bowl. Pour the contents onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky and not sticky but it’s better to have a moist dough and incorporate more flour than have to incorporate more water.

Knead the dough about twenty times then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes to rest. Flattened the dough and cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide.

Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle With a rolling pin, roll out a flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side and press together. Here's a good video on how to cut and roll the dough. Click here for a tutorial on folding a pleated Chinese Dumpling.


  1. Good morning, Susan!

    You sure used your stuck-in-the-house time well. The potstickers look delicious. Seems like a lot of work though. But well worth it by how much you both enjoyed them.

  2. What a nice way to spend a storm day and an even better way to spend the evening. The recipe sounds delicious!

  3. Those look so good. I need some Chinese, but am not going out in the cold today.

  4. Well I just spent entirely too much time looking up Chinese zodiac signs and finding out who was compatible with whom. Which then led me to looking up meanings of first names. It's funny how web searches end up being like the story of Hansel & Gretel: you leave a trail of bread crumbs, but when you turn around to follow them back, you find all the birds have eaten them and you forget where you started. Thankfully computers come with back buttons ;)

    These look great! Potstickers are one of the foods I've always wanted to make, but haven't worked up the courage yet (no idea why). You made them look relatively easy & delicious though and for that, I thank you---it's like a dose of encouragement!

  5. I just did a post on Chinese New Year too. I should have set the table for four! I'll be joining you on Foodie Friday! Amazing pot stickers, I'm so impressed you made homemade wantons! Go girl! Happy Chinese New Year!

  6. I love a good potsticker! And I am embarrassed to say that I have never made them before. Yours sound so good! In fact, I think I have found my new pregnancy craving :)

  7. Hi Bunny! :)
    They look wonderful! I have the little press, only used it a few times.
    I went through a Chinese food stage years ago, Hours of chopping, making dumplings and egg rolls! Very time consuming! I wonder what I did with my bamboo steamer??
    You did a great job , as usual.
    I would love to have some!

  8. Bunny, oh, I mean Susan, I love potstickers and I have never made them homemade and your really went the extra mile by making homemade dough -- you are the queen! They look so delicious and so well formed! Joni

  9. They look amazing Susan! What a fun way to spend a snow day! Lovin' your beautiful pan too-enjoy:@)

  10. Good for you, Susan! Your pot stickers look wonderful. I don't know if I would have been brave enough to make them myself though I did once years ago. They are shaped perfectly. Very, very nice. And good, I am positive!!

  11. Chinese is one of my favorite food. I love your stickers! they look well done and I bet the taste is great Susan! Happy rabbit year!

  12. Nice work, Bunny! :)
    Pot stickers were one of my long-delayed must makes last year. I enjoyed making them and even more, eating them!
    (wonder if I should delay my rabbit stew post?)

  13. Yum!!! It looks delicious! I've never made pot stickers but that will change now. Thanks for the recipe! Way to go Susan!!!

  14. such a great way to spend a day in the house! they look amazing susan!

  15. The wrapping looks perfect! Happy New Year =)

  16. I am a horse Bunny:) Too cute..I agree I have made the dough..and loved the experience in the sun in my kitchen..i think w/ a new blue tea towel I had received:)
    It was fun..but already made is quicker and with specialty asian shops..with excellent products.I love those shops.

    I truly enjoy them..yours look delicious..they are favorites here..

    So now I picture Bunny and Big Rabbit..looking out at the snow..smiling at each other saying MMMMM ..aren't these delicious?:)
    Ypour pics are great.That little press is wonderful..I have one.. or 2:)

  17. Susan, this is just impressive! There ain't any better food says Chinese Lunar New Year than some homemade Jiaozi or Potstickers.
    I love potstickers and always do my own wrappers. And what a surprise that you even prepared the dipping sauce :-)) o gosh...I feel like at home right here in your blog. Thanks, Susan! And Happy Rabbit Year to you (Bunny)and yours (Big Rabbit)!

  18. Happy Chinese New Year. I just sent your post to my daughter in law who is Chinese; she will be thrilled.
    I am Dragon and proud of it.
    Great post for today.

  19. wowwwwwwwwwwwwww Susan che buonooooooooo!bravissima!!!!!!!

  20. Good eating at Bunny and Big Rabbit's house :)
    I know if I didn't have the wrapper's I'd have put off the recipe, but you are awesome, you made the whole entire thing from scratch, and they look amazing! great pictures, I love the one in the Le Creuset!

  21. Susan, these look so good! I love potstickers but usually buy the premade - you have so much patience to make them all from scratch.

    Bunny & Big Rabbit are pretty darn cute - I guess this definitely will be your year :)

  22. Ces petites bouchées sont absolument ravissantes!! Bonne soirée:)xxx

  23. A tip of the toque to you! I'm not sure that I would have the patience to make my own won tons but who knows what one might attempt when snowed in!! I will admit that they look delicious. We are shoveled out--finally--and I hope to get to the local grocery store if, for nothing else, to see who's there!!


  24. I have always meant to make my own wrappers - you make it look easy and I bet they were much better. We have made the mu shu pork wrappers from scratch before and they weren't hard either. These look fantastic, sorry about all the snow, but glad you had to go from scratch!

  25. I love potstickers but have never made them. Thanks for a great recipe "Bunny" :)

  26. I am totally impressed. Your pot stickers look amazing. More impressive, you prepared these with only the ingredients on hand. Absolutely delicious.

    This has been a wicked winter. In North Florida, we have been wet and freezing. The only state not to snow. Stay warm.


  27. Oh Susan, I could eat my weight in these babies. Wonderful photos, as usual. Great post.


  28. Yum, I do love potstickers! I have never made them and think I would have to be snowbound to take on the task. I'm sure they are well worth the effort. Perfectly pleated, Susan. Well done.

  29. These are truly a labor of love! I'm impressed that you made your own wrappers, and also the pot stickers are perfectly pleated! What a wonderful project for a snow day.

  30. Hello Susan,

    Just hopping by to check your delightful post. Your pot stickers are a work of art and I'm sure so tasty. I'm thinking Chinese New Year works well for me, six weeks behind in my life! So happy year of the rabbit...

  31. Oh my! they look so delicious ~ how inventive you are!

    "All Things French"

  32. I have never made a potsticker, but these look so good that I may just have to try.

  33. Wow, these look super impressive. What a wonderful way to use your snow day and a wonderful way to celebrate Chinese New year!

  34. I am sure you put a lot of effort in those little treats and it shows. they look beautiful and the filling must have been very tasty too. I wish I had a couple of those at night too. We don;t have snow but it's cold and windy here as well.

  35. Thyese do seem a perfect way to celebrate Chinese New Yea. There is still time for me to make these.

  36. I have been in such a mood for dumplings lately... thanks for a great recipe. When I made them... I got tired of the rolling part and used the pasta roller!!! It worked well (even if the rounds were a tiny bit oblong) and they were uniform (which my hand rolled version were not). They are so delicious. Too bad I always eat too many.

  37. There is NOTHING like homemade pot stickers. I have made them. I have been taught TWICE by different Asian couples. The filling was different, but I was actually surprised to see that all made the dough and pinched it very similarly. I love them! This is a great post for Chinese New Year and a good time to push myself to make them again!
    Your recipe looks yummy, too!

  38. These look beautiful and I would have guessed were made by a Chinese person! I admire your persistence and skill!
    Judging by the dough ingredients, it is similar to the dough we make our shish barak dumplings from.
    What a wonderful meal!

  39. Susan, they look so darn cute, all huddled together in the pot!
    And I know how delicious they are, as this is what I often get when we eat Chinese.

    I really like the idea of using chicken, as opposed to pork. And I'll have to remember your secret weapon tip.

  40. Thank you so much everyone for all of your great comments!

    I guess I'll never live down this 'Bunny' business ;)

    Deana, great idea to use the pasta roller to make the wrappers!

  41. You even made the wrappers ... unbelievable! ;)

    I love potstickers, but Mike doesn't so I settle for frozen and make my own sauce.

  42. Loyal, faithful, and true, people born in the Year of the Dog make the best of friends......WOW I am a dog! Susan these look super!A warm hug from Italy

  43. I am so impressed that you made your own potsticker wrappers! They look amazing and quite professional!

  44. These look wonderful! I have made them once before for one of the Daring Cooks challenges. Lots of fun but like you said..I'd probably just buy the wrappers if I made them again.

  45. These bring back great memories! I spent a summer in China teaching English and a few of my students taught me to make dumplings! it was a whole family process, and so much fun. Yours look delicious :)

  46. Definitely will make this. Just found your blog. Delicious!

  47. Thank you for visiting me and I love, love, all your soup recipes! I'm going to make your Oriental food to serve them on my oriental china, I have two gorgeous dinner sets for 8...the one in the post is for 8 and another more classical forms, but with orintal florals in it for 8. It would look and taste great I'm sure.
    Thanks much for sharing!

  48. Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info specifically the last part :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  49. I'm a rat (in the Chinese Zodiac) lol. I love the way your dumplings look and sound - seems like the perfect thing on a snowbound day :)


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