Things I learned while making potstickers for the first time:
- Homemade potstickers are totally worth it–if you’re patient.
- If the ground pork at the supermarket looks questionable, ground turkey makes a fine dumpling substitute.
- Supermarket round dumpling wrappers are convenient, but finicky as hell. They will tear at the least provocation. Be gentle, or go to an Asian grocery store for honest-to-goodness potsticker wrappers.
- Don’t do this on a weeknight. Make a stir-fry or something instead. Otherwise you will be lonely, exhausted, and cornstarch-covered at 11 PM.
- Don’t do this alone. Enlist your friends. Have a potsticker-pleating party. Save the wine for afterward.
- Speaking of pleats: they don’t have to be flawless. The goal is to seal the filling in and create a flat bottom for the pan, not to replicate the greasy perfection of your favorite Chinese restaurant. If you can pleat the perfect crescent dumpling, you are more impressive than I.
- Overstuffing is death. Think torn wrappers, gummy fingers, and raw meat everywhere. Don’t be like me–measure your filling.
- You can freeze the dumplings before cooking, using the old baking sheet-to-zip-top bag trick. If you’re cooking the potstickers straight from the freezer, be warned: they will spit and spatter something fierce. Act accordingly.
- The secret to great homemade potstickers? A nonstick pan. Who’da thunk.
- As with so many things in life, these are best fresh from the pan. Soft on top, juicy in the middle, crusty and dark on the bottom. I believe the verdict from my dinner guests was “addictive.”
- My friends will eat as many potstickers as I can put in front of them. There is no limit. See point 10.
Turkey Potstickers (makes about 60 potstickers)
Adapted from Steamy Kitchen
1 1/4 lb ground turkey (preferably dark meat)
4 scallions, white and light green parts only, minced
2 celery stalks, minced
1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp minced or finely grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp unseasoned rice vinegar
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt (if using low-sodium soy sauce, increase salt to 1 tsp)
To finish the potstickers:
About 60 round dumpling wrappers (thawed if frozen)
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup water, plus more for steaming
Peanut oil or other neutral oil for pan-frying
Special equipment: large nonstick skillet with a tight-fitting lid
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground turkey, scallions, celery, garlic, ginger, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, and salt. Mix until thoroughly combined.
Remove the dumpling wrappers from their packaging, and place under a clean kitchen towel. In a small bowl, whisk together cornstarch and 1/4 cup water to form a slurry. Working one at a time, remove a wrapper from under the towel and place 1 tsp of filling in the center. Use a brush or your finger to brush a little bit of the cornstarch slurry all the way around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling, then pleat and seal it using the one-sided pleat shown here or the peapod shape in this video. As you finish wrapping the potstickers, place them on a plate or a baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel to keep the wrappers from drying out.
To cook the potstickers, heat about 1 tbsp of peanut oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil just starts to smoke, add your first batch of potstickers, placing them in a circle flat side down, making sure they don’t touch. Depending on the size of the pan, you should be able to get about 10-12 potstickers in each batch. Fry the potstickers for 1-2 minutes, or until they are golden on the bottom. Add about 1/4 cup water to the pan, cover, and reduce the heat to medium. Let the potstickers steam for 3-4 minutes, or until the wrappers are cooked and the dumplings are firm to the touch. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 1 minute or so, or until the liquid in the pan is gone and the potstickers have started to sizzle again. Cut one of the potstickers in half to make sure it’s cooked through, then remove the potstickers to a plate and wipe out the pan with a paper towel. Repeat the process with the remaining potstickers.
Once the potstickers are fried, serve them with your favorite dipping sauce. You can also freeze the uncooked potstickers in a single layer on a baking sheet, then transfer to a zip-top bag and store in the freezer for up to 2 months.