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There might be no such thing as the perfect food, but potstickers definitely come close. Potstickers, or jiaozi, are a Chinese dish that have been around for many hundreds of years, though their exact origins are unknown. Some say that potsticker recipes were invented by mistake when an Imperial Court chef left a batch of dumplings on the stove for too long. Another legend claims that the dumplings, which have a crescent moon shape that resembles ears, were the invention of traditional Chinese medicine practitioners who used them as a cure for frostbitten ears as far back as the Eastern Han dynasty (25-220 AD).
Regardless of their origins, potstickers are a much-loved food on both sides of the Pacific, and they’re as much a staple in North American Chinese restaurants as they are in China itself. They’re also incredibly easy to make, with no shortage of potsticker recipes out there for when you want to cook Chinese cuisine at home.
If you’ve got a craving for potstickers, here are 12 recipes you may want to try, with plenty of variations depending on your preferences and what’s in your pantry.
How to Make Potstickers
All potsticker recipes contain two main components: a filling and a wrapper.
The potsticker ingredients for your filling vary based on your protein choice (or lack thereof) and the various vegetables and Chinese spices that you choose to use. Common potsticker ingredients include minced meat (chicken, beef, and shrimp are most common), tofu, cabbage, scallions, and carrots, as well as aromatics like garlic and ginger.
As for the potsticker wrapper, it’s made from a light wheat flour dough that is slightly thicker than a wonton wrapper. If you can’t find them at the store, you can make them from scratch—or just sub in wonton wrappers if need be.
To make potstickers, you’ll mix together your filling first and then stuff and seal your wrappers. Then pan-fry your dumplings for several minutes before steaming so you get that ideal crispy-chewy texture. If you want to make a huge batch and save some for later, fill and freeze uncooked potstickers, then pan-fry and steam from frozen later on when you’re ready to enjoy.
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12 Potsticker Recipes to Try at Home
There’s something truly irresistible about takeout potstickers. But if you don’t want to order in, you can make potstickers yourself with just a handful of simple ingredients. Whether you’re looking to ditch the meat with a vegetarian potstickers recipe or go traditional with a beef, shrimp, or chicken potstickers recipe, here are 12 ideas for whipping up something tasty and getting your potsticker fix at home.
Keep things hot with a spicy sesame chicken potsticker paired with an umami-bomb of a dipping sauce.
When your filling is simple, you’ve got more room to go big and bold with your dipping sauce. This toasted sesame honey soy sauce does the trick—it’s definitely worth making a double batch.
In addition to giving some good advice for getting an extra crispy bottom on your dumplings, this recipe for vegetarian potstickers also includes some not-so-typical potsticker ingredients like eggplant, green beans, and miso.
Firm tofu adds a healthy dose of protein to these succulent potstickers, while red cabbage creates a filling (and pretty) bite.
There’s nothing fancy about this recipe, but there doesn’t need to be. Basic ingredients come together into something that’s simple and yummy—and that will definitely end up on your regular meal rotation.
You’ll almost always find minced ingredients inside of a potsticker, so this whole shrimp version is a fun twist. The result is a much heartier bite, plus a dumpling that can easily hold its own as a full meal.
Based on the recipe title alone, it’s hard to see where you could go wrong with this shrimp potstickers recipe. Peanut dipping sauce optional, but highly recommended.
When takeout isn’t an option, go with the next best thing. This beef potstickers recipe combines minced ground beef with frozen veggies, so it’s quick and easy to put together—a nice bonus when you’re too hungry to do a lot of chopping.
You’re not going to find these Irish-inspired potstickers (or green potsticker dough, for that matter) in any Chinese restaurant, but if your potsticker craving coincides with St. Patrick’s Day, this is the way to go.
What Goes Best With Potstickers?
Dipping sauce is a must for potstickers. A small bowl of Chinese black vinegar will suffice, but you can find endless dipping sauce recipes online if you’re wanting something more complex.
Beyond that, potstickers can be served as an appetizer or side dish with any Chinese meal. Or they can work as the star of a stir fry, soup, salad, or noodle or rice dish. With so many choices, you may just end up having potstickers every night of the week!
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