Pot Stickers

Pot Stickers

I can’t tell you how pleased I am with these. I had NO idea how easy it was to make pot stickers. And not just any pot stickers, but the best pot stickers I’ve ever had. The filling I chose is a spicy ground setian mushroom mix, with fresh ginger and chilies. The possibility for fillings are endless, though, so feel free to play around and stuff these puppies with your idea of a good time. Cabbage and carrots? Go for it. Chinese five spice tofu? Yum. Tempeh with cilantro and mint? Yes please.

See what I mean? If you can dream it up, you can put it in a pot sticker once you know the basics.

Hot ChiliesI made my own seitan for this, and if that makes you nervous, relax. You can use store-bought seitan, but making your own baked seitan is really, really easy. It takes a little bit of forethought (it bakes for about an hour and a half), but if you’ve got the time it’s super easy to prepare. The recipe I used was inspired by the Seitan O’ Greatness, but mine is more mildly seasoned so I can flavor it up for the pot sticker filling.

You’ll also need to find the right wrappers. My favorite are Japanese Gyoza wrappers. They’re easy to work with and easy to find. They’re sometimes sold in standard grocery stores, but you’re pretty much guaranteed to find them at any well-stocked asian grocer. The ones sold in my neck of the woods are egg free, but it’d be wise to read the label to verify before you pick them up.

Pot stickers need not stick to your pot. This is the perfect dish for your non-stick skillet. In a regular omlet-sized pan (10-12 inches) you can fit 8-10 pot stickers. They won’t even pretend to stick. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, I recommend a well-seasoned cast-iron pan. Either way, choose something with a lid.

Easy Baked Seitan
Makes approximately 4 Cups

1 1/2 Cup Vital Wheat Gluten
1 tsp Salt
2 Tbs Nutritional Yeast
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Cup Water
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 tsp Mustard
1 Tbs Tamari or Soy Sauce

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Mix the dry ingredients together until well combined. Mix the wet ingredients together. Add wet to dry and knead the dough for a few minutes. Let it rest for 3-5 minutes, then form the dough into a log. Roll the log up in aluminum foil, pinching in the ends. Bake for 80-90 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Mushroom Seitan Filling
Makes enough for approx. 24 Pot Stickers

2 Cups of Chopped Seitan (roughly half the log)
10-15 Cremini mushrooms, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1 Tbs Oil
1-2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1-3 tsp Fresh Ginger, minced
2 Hot Green Chilies, deseeded and minced
1 Tbs Soy Sauce
1 Tbs Rice Vinegar
2 Tbs Water mixed with 1 Tbs cornstarch

Pot Sticker FillingRoughly chop the seitan and add it to your food processor. Process until it’s ground uniformly, it should look like breadcrumbs. Remove the ground seitan to a large bowl. Process the mushrooms in the same way. Heat the oil in a skillet, adding the garlic, ginger and chilies. Fry for a few minutes until the garlic begins to turn golden (don’t burn it), then add the mushrooms. Saute until softened, then add the ground seitan. Stir in the soy sauce and vinegar and taste. Season if necessary. Turn off the heat, and once the pan has cooled a bit, add in the water/cornstarch mixture and stir well. This will help the filling stick together. Let the filling cool a bit before you get going.

Now we’re ready to make some pot stickers!

Folding Pot Stickers

Place one of your wrappers in front of you. Place 1 packed tablespoon of filling in the center. Wet the edges of the wrapper. I keep a little bowl of water next to me for this. Keep your stack of wrappers covered with plastic wrap while you’re working so they don’t try out.

Folding Pot Stickers

Gently fold it in half.

Folding Pot Stickers

Begin to press and seal the edges, forcing out as much of the air as you can.

Folding Pot Stickers

If desired, crimp the edges. This makes sure they’re sealed tight, and it looks pretty, too.

Folding Pot Stickers

Once you get the hang of it, start filling more than one at the time. Here I’m making two at a time, but I actually find it easiest to make four at a time.

Searing the pot stickers

Arrange them in your non-stick pan that has been lightly coated with oil. Place them over medium high heat and cook until the bottoms are browned and crispy. If you want a really golden bottom, add a drizzle of oil to the pan (but this is optional). You can lift them up to check on them as they’re cooking, as the photo above shows.

Adding water to the hot pan

Once they’re as brown as you’d like, add 3/4 cup of hot water to the pan and cover immediately with a lid. Turn the heat up to high.

Set the timer for 7 minutes. Then give a peak. You want most or all of the water to be evaporated. If there’s still some water in the pan after 7 minutes, remove the lid cook until the pan is dried out and the bottoms have re-crisped. If desired, you can mist them with water or oil if they seem to be drying out.

Once they’re crispy again, slide them out of the pan:

Pot Stickers, just out of the pan

Ideally, you want the non-brown sides to look like they’ve been shrink-wrapped. If you didn’t get all the air out while you were filling them, an air pocket might have developed. While this isn’t a tragedy, the ones that don’t have this pocket will be easier to eat (the filling won’t fall out as easy). Here’s a comparison of one with an air pocket, and one “perfect” one:


Not that big of a difference, but pot sticker experts would prefer the one on the right.

Want to see what the inside looks like?

Pot Stickers, inside

They’re really delicious. The wrapper is soft and chewy, the bottom crispy-crunchy, the filling hot and savory… the mushrooms add a nice depth but don’t overwhelm. They’re just downright tasty.

Pot StickersI like to serve them with a dipping sauce–you can do the standard gyoza sauce, which is soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar, and sometimes a bit of sugar. I also like tonkatsu sauce, which is a thick Japanese steak sauce made from fruits and veggies. It’s sort of sweet, so I think it balances well with the salty filling.

I also served these with some sauteed Chinese broccoli, but any green would work. I tossed them around in a hot wok with some oil until wilted, then added a splash of soy sauce, a pinch of sugar, and some sesame seeds on top. It’s the perfect accompaniment.

Really, they’re better than take-out.

Pot Stickers


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