College cooking: potstickers

Dumplings are one of my favorite things to have on and around Chinese New Year. This was my first attempt at making dumplings and I ended up making about 100 of them. This recipe has been sized down to use one whole package of dumpling wrappers and makes about 50 dumplings. They are so much easier to make than I had originally thought, but they are definitely time consuming. The assembly process takes the longest but after you put together a few, a rhythm will form and they will become easier to make. Also, they can be folded and crimped in many different ways and are often done so to denote their fillings.

Don’t worry if there are too many to eat all at one time! They can be kept in an airtight container in the fridge for a few days and frozen to keep longer. Please note that if cooking from frozen they might take an extra few minutes to cook.

I highly suggest using a food processor. They are much faster than just hand grating all of the vegetables. It also makes sure that the filling is fine enough to fit into the dumplings. I would also advise having a strainer on hand so that when you get towards the bottom of the filling dough you can strain out all of the liquid that has pooled at the bottom. This is important because you do not want extra liquid in the dumplings that will make them harder to close when assembling. It could also lead to them bursting open while cooking. Additionally, make sure to not over fill the dumplings for the same reasons above.


  • Dumplings
    • One-quarter lb. mushrooms
    • One-quarter lb. bok choy
    • 1 lbs. cabbage
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 1-inch chunk ginger
    • 1-14 oz package dumpling wrappers
    • One-quarter cup soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Sauce
    • 2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce
    • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
    • 1 teaspoon sesame oil


  • Strainer
  • Food processor with shredding wheel
  • Steaming basket or bamboo steamer (optional)


  • For the filling –
  • Cut the cabbage in to small enough wedges to fit into the food processor. Remember to remove the stem of the cabbage too.
  • Remove the stems from the mushrooms and the bok choy.
  • In batches, shred everything using the food processor.
  • Put all of the shredded vegetables into a large mixing bowl.
  • Add the crushed garlic, grated ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil.
  • Mix to combine.
  • For assembly – make sure to have a small bowl of water on hand.
  • Hold the dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand and line the edge of the wrapper with water.
  • Put about a tablespoon of filling into the middle of the wrapper.
  • Fold the wrapper over the filling into a half circle shape and crimp shut.


  • You have two options to cook potstickers – either pan fry or steam.
  • For pan fry – In a medium fry pan add just enough water to cover the bottom and about 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil.
  • On high-heat, add in the dumplings.
  • Cover the dumplings with a lid and let steam until all of the water is evaporated.
  • Once the water is gone swirl the pan so that the oil coats the bottom.
  • Let them fry for about 1 minute than remove gently with a spatula. The bottoms should be golden brown and dumpling wrapper slightly translucent.
  • Enjoy!
  • For steamed dumplings –
  • Either using a steaming basket or a bamboo steamer, line the bottom with a few cabbage leaves or steamer liners to keep the dumplings from sticking.
  • Boil just enough water so that the water does not touch the steamer.
  • Add in dumplings and cover.
  • Let steam for about 6-8 minutes until the dumpling wrapper is slightly translucent.
  • Enjoy!
  • For the sauce –
  • In a small bowl mix together the hoisin sauce, sesame oil, and soy sauce; adjust to taste if needed.
  • Enjoy with either pan fried or steamed dumplings.