Welcome to the second year of All Asia All Month on LunaCafe! (See the list of all the wonderful dishes we created last year at the end of this post.)
I can’t think of a better way to launch the New Year than to dive into my new stack of Asian cookbooks (thank you so much Santa Claus) and try a heap of new and delicious dishes.
To kick things off, let’s make this easy, breezy potsticker dough, which is our entry to the wide world of succulent, mind-bending Asian dumplings.
Imagine sitting down to all the delicious potstickers you can possibly eat—WITHOUT a hefty bill afterward? Pure luxury and so much better than you are likely to get in even a top-notch Asian restaurant.
Plus, you are going to have a lot of fun making them. Grab a cooking buddy, make a lovely pot of this tea, put on this soulful music, and make a blissful afternoon of it. (Don't even think of inviting MauiJim to help you. He made a mess of my wrappers.)
After you’ve mastered this simple potsticker dough, you’ll find dozens of tantalizing fillings to keep your dumplings interesting all year.
I got carried away with my little Gyoza press and barely remembered to save some potsticker dough to shape a few dumplings by hand to show you what they look like (below). I love gadgets!
And here are the hand-shaped potstickers (below). Notice how the one-side-only pleats point to the center from both sides. Very easy to do.
Coming up Next: Pan-Fried Pork & Prawn Potstickers (AKA the filling for this dough).
Asian Potsticker Dough (for Chinese Jiaozi & Japanese Gyoza)
This silky, chewy, quick and easy, potsticker dough is inspired by the version showcased in Andrea Nguyen’s most excellent Asian Dumplings cookbook. If you love Asian dumplings, this book is a must-have resource. You’ll want to try every delicious thing in it. Also check out Andrea Nguyen's excellent video on the dumpling rolling process.
Equipment Note You need a small, tapered Asian rolling pin or something similar (about 11-inches long with a center diameter of 1¼-inches) to roll these wrappers. These are generally available at modest cost in Asian supermarkets. You may also want to try a Gyoza dumpling press, just for fun. Or watch one of the videos below to get a feel for the easy hand-shaping process. To pan fry the dumplings, you will also need a medium-size (1o½-inch diameter), preferably nonstick, skillet with a tight filling lid.
Technique Note It’s easy to make this dough with a processor, which I specify here, but you can also make it by hand. Just put everything into a mixing bowl, stir to get a rough dough, and then turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 5-8 minutes, until dough is smooth and somewhat elastic.
2 cups (9 ounces) unbleached, all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¾ cup + 1 tablespoon water, brought to a boil
- To make the potsticker dough, combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a processor fitted with the steel blade.
- With the machine running, add the water through the feed tube.
- Pulse for 5-10 seconds to get a cohesive dough. And then process for another 5-10 seconds to knead the dough.
- Remove the dough from the work bowl to a clean work surface, and knead for 1 minute or so, until the dough is smooth and somewhat elastic.
- To rest the dough, put it into a small glass bowl and seal with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature for 30 minutes to 2 hours. The dough will create steam and soften in the bowl.
- To roll the wrappers, on a clean work surface, roll the dough to a long log with a diameter of 1-inch. Cut crosswise into ½-inch wide pieces. Each piece should weigh about ¾ ounce.
- Flatten each piece between your hands or place it on the work surface, cover with a sheet of heavy plastic (cut from a freezer bag) and flatten with a flat, heavy object.
- Roll each disk from the center out, as you continuously rotate the dough. If the dough sticks to the work surface, dust with a tiny bit of flour. (If the dough is the correct consistency to begin with, it will not require additional flour while shaping.)
- To store the wrappers, arrange the finished wrappers on a lightly floured work surface or a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Don’t stack the disks. Cover with plastic wrap, and either use right away or refrigerate for up to several hours.
- To fill the wrappers, hold a wrapper in your slightly cupped hand. Position 1 tablespoon of filling slightly off center, making sure to leave the edges of the wrapper clear. Fold the wrapper over the filling and press the edges together to form a half moon. (Homemade wrappers don't require moistening the edges to make them stick,)
- To hold the dumplings, place completed dumplings, edges up, on a parchment paper-lined, lightly flour-dusted edged baking sheet or bamboo steamer tray. Press lightly to form a flat bottom on the dumpling. Cover completed dumplings with a clean kitchen towel or bamboo steamer lid as you continue to shape the remainder. Continue until all 18 wrappers are filled and shaped.
- To store the dumplings, when the dumplings are filled, you can cover them with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or freeze them for an hour, then transfer to a freezer bag for longer storage in the freezer.
- To cook the dumplings, pan-fry them in hot oil either cold from the fridge or partially thawed from the freezer.
Makes 18 dumpling wrappers; serves 4-6.
More Asian-Inspired Recipes from LunaCafe
- Asian Pancakes (Beijing Pancakes)
- Asian Tacos with Prawn & Shiitake Filling & Cabbage Slaw
- Chinese Cracker Jacks
- Chinese Good Fortune Cookies
- Home-Style Chinese Fried Rice
- Pan-Fried Pork & Prawn Potstickers
- Spicy Korean Noodle Soup (Jjambbong)
- Spicy Pork Wonton Soup
- Thai Red Curry Paste
- Thai Red Curry Soup
- Vietnamese Crispy Crepes (Banh Xeo)
Cookin’ with Gas (inspiration from around the web)
- YouTube Video: How to Roll Asian Dumpling Wrappers
- YouTube Video: Mom’s Chinese Dumpling Recipe (unusual shaping technique)
- YouTube Video: How to Make Potstickers with Chef Martin Yan (shaping and steaming techniques)
- YouTube Video: How to Make Gyoza
Equipment & Books
- Amazon: Helen Chen’s Asian Kitchen Dumpling Press
- Andrea Nguyen’s most excellent Asian Dumplings cookbook
- Small, tapered Asian rolling pin