With all the Chinese New Year festivities going on this weekend, anyone celebrating is sure to find themselves short on time.
Potstickers are probably one of the simplest dim sum specialties you can make at home. From start to finish you should be able to get a golden heap of beautiful pan-fried dumplings out in less than an hour.
I love chives. They are my favorite herb, and I try to sneak them into recipes whenever I can. If you’ve ever had Chinese chives before, they have a stronger flavor than that of American chives, and are a darker shade of green as well.
Since Chinese chives are sometimes hard to come by, I’ve used a mix of both spring onions and chives in this recipe. The chives bring a light freshness to the dumplings while the spring onions bring depth and vegetal flavor. Both are used more as a vegetable than as a garnish, so they are added to the meat filling liberally.
Many potsticker recipes encourage you to get a fatty grind of pork to make dumplings with. After all, it’s that incorporated fat that makes the dumpling flavorful and juicy. Luckily, even though this recipes calls for extra lean pork, you don’t have to sacrifice too much in the way of taste because I’ve sneaked in a secret ingredient here…tofu!
When tofu is combined with lean ground pork, the meat is able to retain more moisture during the cooking process. The result is a luscious yet healthful dumpling that you don’t have to feel guilty about eating. You actually don’t even notice the tofu when biting into these yummy potstickers. Don’t skip out on adding it though, if you do you’ll be missing a key ingredient to this recipe, and the meat will taste noticeably dryer.
Enjoy these potstickers for lunch, dinner, or even as an appetizer. Easy to make and eat, potstickers are everyone’s favorite Asian tea snack, especially during Chinese New Year!
Pork & Chive Potstickers
Makes 4 dozen dumplings.
1 lb. extra lean ground pork ( I used 95% lean)
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 tsp white sugar
1/2 tsp powdered chicken bouillon
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 egg white
1 1/2 tsp grated ginger
4 green onions, sliced thinly
2-.75 oz packages of chives, finely chopped
5 oz. soft tofu
round potsticker wrappers, enough for 4 dozen dumplings
small cup of water for sealing potstickers
1 cup chicken broth, divided into 1/4 cup portions
8 Tbsp canola oil, divided into 2 Tbsp portions
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp vinegar
squirt/dab of your favorite Asian hot sauce
large non-stick frying pan with lid
1 Tablespoon measure
small pastry brush (optional)
large work surface for making dumplings
*** I cook 12 dumplings at a time for even cooking and because they fit into a large pan perfectly. The directions reflect cooking 12 dumplings at a time. If you are making all 4 dozen dumplings, repeat steps #2 through #5, 4 separate times.
1.) In a large bowl, mix ground pork with sesame oil, soy, oyster sauce, sugar, chicken bouillon, white pepper, egg white, and ginger. After this mixture is thoroughly mixed, add in green onions and chives and gently mix into meat. Squeeze tofu with your hand until it resembles a course purée. Mix this mashed up tofu into the meat mixture until it becomes homogenous.
2.) On a large work surface, lay out 12 potsticker wrappers. With a 1 Tbsp measure, measure out 1 Tbsp of the filling and place it in the center of each wrapper. Dip a small pastry brush in a small cup of water and apply a light coating of water on half of the outer edge of each wrapper.
3.) Fold each dumpling in half to make half moons, attaching the “dry” side to the side that has been moistened with water. Prop dumplings up on their base.
4.) Place a large non-stick frying pan on stove top and turn on heat to medium. Pour 2 Tbsp of oil in the pan and let it come to temperature. Place dumplings onto heated oil so that they make good contact with the hot pan. You can place the potstickers in the pan slightly separate from one another or snugly lined up so that they are touching depending on how you would like to serve them later. Let the dumplings cook at medium heat for 3 minutes (uncovered).
5.) After 3 minutes, place heat on high and immediately pour in 1/4 cup of chicken broth. Place cover on and continue to cook the dumplings on high heat for about 4 minutes, or until all the water has evaporated and you start to hear a lot of commotion going on in the pan. Turn off heat, remove lid carefully, and run a heat-proof spatula under the potstickers, then transfer them to a serving platter.
6.) To make dipping sauce, combine soy sauce, white vinegar, Asian hot sauce, and chopped cilantro. Serve aside hot potstickers and enjoy!