Making something like potstickers from scratch, and by hand, makes you appreciate your food so much more. I tell you by the time you are done kneading, filling, folding and cooking you will be calling your grandmother and thanking her for the labour that she put into each ravioli, or every dumpling she ever made you. Don’t get discouraged though, they are worth the effort and are a great oppurtunity to get a group of friends or the whole family involved.
This potsticker recipe calls for ground pork, but I have also made them strictly vegetable, and therefore vegan, by doubling the vegetables and tripling the cabbage, they are wonderful that way too. You can purchase a potsticker dipping sauce or you can easily make your own by mixing rice wine vinegar, soy, a touch of sesame oil and chili.
Homemade Pork and Vegetable Potstickers( ~36 potstickers)
First prep your ingredients. Chop the cabbage very fine and sprinkle it with a big pinch of salt and put in a strainer. Allow to drain for 20-30 minutes, it will wilt significantly. Once drained, squeeze dry with a clean kitchen towel. Place all vegetables, pork and ginger into a bowl. Use your hands to bring it together so the pork is distributed evenly thought the vegetables.
To make the best possible potstickers it is worth checking the seasoning. Grab a tablespoon of filling and put it in simmering water or fry it. Once cooked you can taste it and see if it needs salt. I recommend under-seasoning slightly since it is nice to serve with a salty dipping sauce. That said, I find that the amount of salt you put on the cabbage can be sufficient. Once you are happy with the filling, store in the fridge until you are ready to use it.
Now bring the dough together. Put the flour in a small bowl with a pinch of salt, stir the water in until it forms a rough dough. Transfer to a board and knead until smooth and elastic - about 5 minutes. If it is very tacky you can add more flour one tablespoon at a time. Cover with a warm barely damp cloth and set aside. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.
Make the potstickers in batches. Starting with a third of the dough roll it out into a 1" thick snake. Take a sharp knife and cut pieces off about 1/2" thick. Roll each piece into a flat circle as thin as you can get it. Stuff each piece of dough with a tablespoon of filling, gently wet your finger and run it along the inside of the edge of one side to wet it (this will help the dough to stick together), pinch all the way along to seal the seams. Place each dumpling on a parchment lined cookie sheet as you go, gently flattening one side to make a "bottom". (For a great video on how to do this go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N5u0qvDoDo). Once you have made all of those potstickers repeat with remaining dough and ingredients. You can freeze the potstickers like this or cook them immediately.
To cook them get a solid frying pan with a lid and heat it to medium high heat. Give it a gentle spray with cooking spray and add 1-2 tablespoons of oil. Typically it is done with quite a bit, but I find it isn't required. Place the potstickers in the pot and cook until the bottoms are nice and brown. Very quickly you want to add a 1/2 cup of cold water to the pan and immediately cover it. Cook until the liquid has evaporated. Remove the lid and continue cooking for about 3 minutes or until cooked through.
If desired serve with a combined sauce of sesame oil, soy, rice wine vinegar, chilies and fresh ginger.