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Pan-Fried Pork and Cabbage Pot Stickers

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Yields about 48 dumplings

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 19

These little dumplings are an essential part of many Chinese festivities, including the Lunar New Year. The fry-and-steam cooking method makes them crunchy on the outside and juicy inside.

For the dough
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
For the filling
  • 1 lb. lean ground pork
  • 1 Tbs. dry sherry
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/2 lb. Napa cabbage, trimmed and finely chopped (about 2 cups)
For cooking and serving
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 cup water or lower-salt chicken broth
  • Soy Dipping Sauce, for serving
Make the dough
Tip:
If you don't have time to make the dough from scratch, you can substitute round gyoza wrappers, available in Asian markets and in the produce sections of some well-stocked supermarkets.

Sift the flour into a bowl. Gradually add 1/2 cup cold water, mixing with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and springy, about 5 minutes. If the dough feels stiff as you work, add a little more water 1 Tbs. at a time, but don't exceed 3/4 cup total. Put the dough in a clean bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.

Put the rested dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 2 minutes. Divide the dough and shape each half into a 12-inch-long cylinder that’s about 1 inch in diameter. With a serrated knife, cut each cylinder crosswise into 24 rounds. Lay the rounds on a lightly floured surface and flatten with the palm of your hand to about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle flour lightly on the pieces to prevent sticking. With a rolling pin, roll each slice into a 3-inch round about 1/8-inch thick. Pinch the edges of the rounds to make them thinner than the middle. Arrange the rounds in a single layer on a lightly floured tray or baking sheet and cover with a towel.

Make the filling

In a large bowl, combine the ground pork with the sherry, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt, ginger, and 2 Tbs. cold water. Add the cabbage and mix until thoroughly blended.
 

Fill the dumplings

Put about 2 tsp. of the filling in the middle of a wrapper. Brush the edges of the dough with a little water.  Fold the wrapper in half and pinch the edge in the middle of the rounded part of the half-moon. Make two small pleats in the wrapper surface closest to you on either side of the pinched middle by gathering the dough and folding it over onto itself. Point the pleats toward the middle of the dumpling. Seal the pleated and unpleated sides by pinching along the top.

Cook the dumplings

In a 12-inch nonstick pan, heat 1 Tbs. of the oil over medium-low heat. Arrange the dumplings in the pan, pleated side up,
starting from the center and radiating out, with the sides of the dumplings just touching.

Cook the dumplings until the bottoms are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the water or chicken broth; cover the pan and cook over medium heat until all the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes. Uncover and drizzle 1 Tbs. oil around the inside edge of the pan. Fry the dumplings until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes. Loosen the dumplings around the edges with a spatula, and then set a large serving plate over the pan. Wearing mitts to protect your hands, quickly invert the pan. Serve the dumplings fried side up.

Make Ahead Tips

To freeze uncooked dumplings, arrange them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze until solid. Transfer to a sealed plastic container, with parchment or waxed paper separating the layers. You don't need to defrost the dumplings before cooking: just cook them a few minutes longer than usual.

Variations

You can vary this filling by substituting spinach, scallions, or bok choy for the cabbage.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : 1 dumpling; Calories (kcal): 50; Fat (g): fat g 2.5; Fat Calories (kcal): 20; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g .5; Protein (g): protein g 2; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 1; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 4; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): .5; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 75; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 5; Fiber (g): fiber g 0;

Photo: Alan Richardson

They are good, however, not good enough to spend time making them again as I can buy a bag of them for a reasonable price in the Asian market.

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