appetizers, mains

pork + vegetable potstickers with soy dipping sauce.

pork + vegetable potstickers with soy dipping sauce. | a periodic table

Potstickers, dumplings, whatever you want to call them, these little wonder-pockets are an outtake from a project I work on quarterly where I’m assigned an exceedingly normal, seasonal ingredient and two recipes per month, every month. I develop the recipes, photograph the finished product, send it off to an editor, and my work is done. It’s kinda fabulous for someone who’s job is usually the polar opposite: weird ingredient, article and recipe, shooting with a pro. It feels good to flex my “hey, I can make a solid apple galette” muscle once in a while; this project satisfies that. 

This isn’t so much a B-Side that didn’t see the light of day; it did, and it’s out there. Rather, it’s a recipe favorite of mine that sprung from a work assignment, and I’d like you to have it too. One of trickiest things to get used to on this particular project was that things needed to be simple: few-ingredient and free from complex directions, which let’s just say isn’t always what i’m naturally inclined towards *ahem* . Needless to say, I had to tone it down a bit with these recipes, and it was a learning process.

I’ve been watching the first season of The Great British Baking Show recently, and the season finale reminded me that simple can sometimes be the hardest thing to pull off. As contestant Luis so aptly puts it, with the basics, “you’ve got nowhere to hide” – no flourishes, no laundry list of ingredients…nothing. If you’re going to make few-ingredient potstickers, you better pack in the flavor with what you’ve got: I’m happy to say I accomplished that with these beauties. So here they are: my everyday, no-fuss, just-make-them potstickers. They’re great anytime, but I’m fond of finger foods in the summertime: it’s such a casual way to eat dinner, and they’re just as appropriate atop a patio table as they are in your dining room.

pork + vegetable potstickers with soy dipping sauce. | a periodic table

There’s a handful of recipes in this project that have really turned into things I make regularly; I’ll share those soon. Until then, your homework is to make piles of these things and kick back.

Pork & Vegetable Potstickers (Dumplings) with Soy Dipping Sauce

Yield | 25 to 30 |

You can make these ahead for an even quicker meal: simply make the dumplings and freeze them raw on a cookie sheet; transfer to a freezer-safe container and cook them from frozen just as you would fresh. 

In this recipe, I pan-fry them, which is the way I like them best. If you’d rather steam them, just throw them in a steamer basket for 4 to 5 minutes.

Pork & Vegetable Potstickers

  • 1/2 head large bok choy cabbage leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 dozen scallions, white and light green parts only, bottoms trimmed
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 Tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb unseasoned ground pork, browned
  • 1/3 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/3 cup shredded carrots
  • 3 Tbsp fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame oil
  • 30 dumpling wrappers

Soy Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sambal oelek (chile garlic sauce)

| Preparation – Pork & Vegetable Dumplings | Add cabbage, scallions, garlic and ginger to the bowl of a food processor; pulse 10 times to break down. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat; add cabbage mixture cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 6 minutes until softened. Add browned pork, peas, carrots and cilantro; stir to combine and cook 3 minutes more. Remove from heat, stir in soy and sesame oil, season to taste, and mash slightly until mixture comes together; set aside to come to room temperature.

Set wrappers on work surface and cover with kitchen towel, and set a small bowl of cold water to the side. Remove wrappers one by one from towel, fill with 1 tablespoon of dumpling mixture in the center. Use finger dipped in water to wet perimeter of wrapper; fold in half over filling and pinch firmly to seal top. Press firmly to seal wrapper down both sides, pleating slightly as you work. Set under towel and repeat with remaining wrappers.

Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a 10-inch skillet set over medium-high heat. Working in batches, add dumplings, spacing 1 inch apart, pressing down to flatten bottom against pan; cook for 3 minutes until browned. Add 1/3 cup water and cover pan; steam for 3 to 4 minutes until heated through.

| Preparation – Soy Dipping Sauce | In a small bowl, whisk together soy, vinegar, sesame oil and chile garlic paste; set aside until ready to serve.

| To Serve | Serve hot dumplings family-style on platter with bowls of dipping sauce alongside.


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  • Reply John/Kitchen Riffs June 20, 2017 at 6:30 pm

    Two posts in a week? You’re become a blogging machine! 😀 Anyway, love these little things. Haven’t made them for ages and keep thinking about it. And not making them. Yours look terrific — just the inspiration I need. Thanks!

    • Reply shannon June 21, 2017 at 7:35 am

      John: I AM ON FIRE.

      *thanks* 😉 now go and make yourself some dumplings.

  • Reply Wendy June 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm

    This post reminds me that I haven’t made potstickers in ages, and I love them. Once, I had the amazing experience of shopping for ingredients and cooking potstickers with a Chinese friend. We spent an entire day on the project and both had a few bags of potstickers in the freezer by the end of the day. The trickiest part (for me) is pinching the edges into beautiful pockets. Yours look professional, Shannon! Oh, yeah. You are professional 😉 I’m going to pick up some dumpling wrappers and give your recipe a go! Thanks. 🙂

    • Reply shannon June 21, 2017 at 7:34 am

      Wendy, i think the best way to make potstickers is with a friend: it’s one of those happy chores that works best when you’ve got someone else plowing through it with you, and then you’ve got someone to enjoy eating them with! 🙂 The edges can be tricky for me also: my trick is to resist overfilling them. As much as i love a huge potsticker, you have to know when enough is enough if you want to get those edges right. Good luck with these!

  • Reply Deb|EastofEdenCooking June 21, 2017 at 8:04 am

    Love the idea of making a huge batch of the potstickers, so there are some to freeze for later. I am on a never ending quest to keep a few dinners tucked away in the freezer for those busy days when making dinner is too much. The dipping sauce seals the deal, fabulous recipe!

    • Reply shannon June 27, 2017 at 12:14 pm

      I am on that same quest, Deb: especially in the summer, when it can be a little bit of a drag to be making dinner every single night from scratch. I’d rather be at the pool or out enjoying the day, so these make a perfect freezer-to-table summer meal for us: a little vegetable side (or not) and you’re set, and they don’t loose anything when you freeze them.

  • Reply Modish Taste | pork + vegetable potstickers with soy dipping sauce. – A Periodic Table June 22, 2017 at 4:02 am

    […] Potstickers, dumplings, whatever you want to call them, these little wonder-pockets are an outtake from a project I work on quarterly where I’m assigned an exceedingly normal, seasonal ingredient an […]

  • Reply elizabeth June 27, 2017 at 6:58 am

    I looooove potstickers/dumplings, and it’s been some time since I’ve made them so maybe that needs to change. I need to get the round wrappers, though, because when I fill the square ones my folding is not nearly as nice as what you have up there.

    Do you ever have too much filling and not enough wrappers? I feel like no matter what recipe I use, I always have excess filling to deal with (which I usually just fry up quickly and eat as a post-filling reward).

    • Reply shannon June 27, 2017 at 12:04 pm

      twins with that: potstickers are my soul food, and i love them dearly. I promise i’m not a wrap genius – i don’t even get much practice at it – it’s all about the filling to wrapper ratio. I think when you love dumplings, you want to overfill them, even if you don’t know you’re doing it; if you dial the filling quantity down just a smidge, the actual folding is much easier.

      i do! but i’ve learned to remedy the situation by either doing exactly what you mentioned and just fry the excess up as a “congrats, job well done” reward, or by buying my wrappers frozen at an international market. The frozen wrappers are usually packaged in larger quantities, which means I can use what i want without running out or wasting wrappers: i just pop them back in the freezer for later use. Not nearly as fun as the filling bonus plate, but practical. 🙂

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