What Are Potstickers?
Potstickers are delicious little pockets of meat and vegetables wrapped and folded into think circular pieces of dough. They are are pan fried or steamed (but of course, they taste better fried).
Who Made Them First?
The Chinese have been cooking potstickers since the Song dynasty (960 – 1280 A.D.) but of course the exact origins of the meal are unknown. It is assumed, however, that a chef in China’s Imperial Court accidentally burned a batch of dumplings on one side and didn’t have time to remake them. He served them and then everyone loved them and that’s the end of the story! Potstickers and dumplings are loved by everyone- not just the Chinese! They are now served in most (if not all) asian restaurants and grocery stores!
What is the Science?
I would say that the science behind these potstickers would be the Maillard reactions that occur during the frying process. The carbohydrate molecules in the gyoza wrappers and the amino acids begin the reaction process. Because an unstable intermediate structure is formed, tons of delicious byproducts are created. The brown coloration of the outside of the potsticker is meaty and complex because nitrogen and sulfur atoms are added to the molecular mix.
- 1/2 pound ground beef
- 2 cups finely chopped green cabbage
- 1 cup thinly sliced scallions (about 5 large)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce, plus more for dipping
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper
- 1 package round gyoza wrappers (48)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup water
- In a bowl, mix the beef with the cabbage, scallions, ginger, garlic, shiitake, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt and white pepper.
- Line a baking sheet with wax paper. On a work surface, brush the edges of 4 gyoza wrappers with water. Place a scant tablespoon of the pork filling in the center of each wrapper. Bring the edges of each gyoza wrapper together over the filling; press and pleat to seal. Lift each pot sticker by the pleated edge, transfer to the baking sheet and press down lightly to flatten the bottom. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the vegetable oil until shimmering. Arrange half of the pot stickers in the skillet, pleated rims facing up and cook over high heat until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the water to the skillet, cover and simmer until the pork filling is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the water has evaporated and the pot stickers are well browned on the bottom, about 1 minute; transfer to a plate. Repeat with the remaining oil, pot stickers and water. Serve with soy sauce.
Would I Do It Again?
Yes! Now that I look back at all of my other recipes, though, I see that I would recreate all of them. These potstickers were great! However, I would like to include different ingredients and perhaps create a fusion of different types of foods within the gyoza wrappers!