Crispy Chewy Potstickers (with our favorite beef filling)

Potstickers are meaty dumplings that are steamed and then pan-fried until wonderfully crispy and chewy. They can be enjoyed as an appetizer or as a meal. They freeze well, too.

This recipe includes how to make the wrapper as well as the filling. The beefy filling is juicy, savory and bold with soy sauce, Hoisin sauce and even a bit of gochujang for a just hint of heat. Serve with a gingery dipping sauce, if you like.

Potstickers on a plate

For some helpful tips before you begin, click here.

Makes 60 potstickers and 1 1/4 cup dipping sauce.

INGREDIENTS:

Dough:

  • 5 cups (600 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 2/3 cups (400 ml) boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) fine salt

Filling:

  • 908 g (2 lbs) ground beef
  • 90 ml (6 tablespoons) soy sauce
  • 15 ml (1 tablespoon) rice vinegar
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) toasted sesame oil
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) Hoisin sauce
  • 32 g (2 tablespoons) gochujang
  • 11 g (2 tablespoons) grated ginger
  • 6 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 9 g (1 tablespoon) garlic powder
  • 3 g (1 teaspoon) onion powder
  • 6 g (2 teaspoons) white pepper
  • 6 g (1 teaspoon) MSG
  • 2 large scallions, finely chopped
  • vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1 cup low sodium broth plus 1 cup water, for steaming

Dipping Sauce

  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) broth or water
  • 25 g (2 tablespoons) sugar
  • 5 g (1 tablespoon) ginger, grated
  • 120 ml (1/2 cup) soy sauce
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) rice wine vinegar
  • 18 g (1 tablespoon) garlic chili paste
  • 30 ml (2 tablespoons) sesame oil
  • 1 scallion, finely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

Make the dough:

1. Mix and knead the dough ingredients into a smooth dough.

– Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
– Make a well in the center. Pour the boiling water into the well, stirring with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a shaggy dough. 
– Knead the shaggy dough briefly with hands until the dough comes together and there is no loose flour.
– Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 30 minutes.

– Knead the dough for about 10 to 15 minutes, until the dough no longer feels grainy.
– Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest for at least 30 minutes.

– After resting the dough should feel smoother, finer and more pliable.
– Divide the dough in half. Form each half into a smooth ball and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. Let rest for about 30 minutes. Or refrigerate until ready to use, up to 2 days.

Make the filling:

2. Combine all the filling ingredients until evenly combined.

– Combine all the filling ingredients in a large bowl until evenly combined.
– Cover well and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 or 2 days.

Shape the potstickers:

3. Divide the dough into 60 pieces and roll into thin rounds.

– Take one piece of the rested dough. Roll the dough with your hands into an approximately 5-inch “snake”. Cut the snake into 5 pieces.
– Take one of the 5 pieces and roll into another little “snake”. Cut into 6 smaller pieces.
– Repeat with the second piece of dough. (For a total of 60 pieces, about 15 g each.)
– Roll each little piece into a little ball.
– Then roll each little ball of dough with a rolling pin into a very thin round, about 3-inches in diameter, dusting with flour as necessary to prevent any sticking. 

  • Keep everything covered with plastic wrap while working to prevent any dough from drying out.

4. Fill and then seal the potstickers. (see TIPS)

– Place about a tablespoon of filling in the center of a round of dough.
– Seal the potsticker, pressing out any air, crimping and pleating the edges, if you like (See TIPS), and creating a flat bottom (so that the potsticker can stand on its own). Repeat with the remaining potstickers.
– Place the potstickers on a sheet pan lightly dusted with flour or lined with parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap while working to prevent them from drying out.

  • At this point, the potstickers may be frozen.

Cook the potstickers: (See TIPS)

5. Brown the bottoms of the potstickers.

– Heat enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a large non-stick skillet over medium heat.
– Place enough potstickers to fill the skillet without touching each other, flat-side down.
– Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. 

6. Steam the potstickers.

– Carefully pour in about 1/3 cup broth or water and cover tightly. Reduce heat to low.
– Simmer until all the liquid has cooked away and the potstickers are cooked through and no longer opaque, about 10 to 12 minutes. Add more liquid if it has cooked away before the dough has finished cooking, a tablespoon or two at a time.

7. Crisp the bottoms of the potstickers.

– After the potstickers have cooked through, remove the lid off the skillet.
– Increase the heat back to medium and continue to cook until the bottoms of the potstickers have crisped.
– Remove to a serving platter. Repeat with the remaining potstickers.

Make the dipping sauce:

8. Dissolve the sugar in the broth. Combine with the remaining ingredients.

– Warm the broth (or water), sugar and ginger in the microwave for about 20 seconds, until the sugar has dissolved.
– Combine the broth with the remaining dipping sauce ingredients.
– Pour into dipping bowls and serve.

*****
Potstickers on a plate
Crispy and chewy.

ABOUT THIS RECIPE

Potstickers are loved for their crispy, chewy textures and meaty fillings. You can get potstickers for take-out or even buy them frozen. But potstickers are so much better when made at home. They may take a little effort, but it’s really worth it.

These potstickers are filled with a tasty, beefy filling. We like to use bold flavors like Hoisin sauce and gochujang, so savory with a hint of heat. But you can also customize and change things up to suit your own tastes. Adjust the seasoning, add finely chopped shiitake mushrooms or cabbage. You can even use ground chicken or turkey.

Potstickers are also great to keep in the freezer. So make a bunch for later.

TIPS:

Here are 6 helpful tips:

1) Knead and rest the dough until smooth and pliable.

– Don’t rush when kneading and resting your dough. Take the time to knead and rest the dough until it looks and feels smooth and pliable. This will make rolling out your dough and folding your potstickers much easier.

potsticker dough

2) Filling and folding potstickers:

There are so many ways to beautifully crimp and pleat your dumplings, all with various levels of finesse needed. But actually, you can seal your potstickers any way you wish. The important points are that:

1) air is pressed out when sealing your dumplings;
2) the potstickers are sealed well; and
3) your sealed potstickers have a flat bottom so they can sit and crisp up in the pan.

Here is one way to fold your potstickers:

  1. Fill a thin round of dough with about 1 tablespoon of filling.
  2. Stick the top and bottom of the round together.
  3. About halfway between the top of the potsticker and the bottom corner, pull, fold and stick the dough to the top center, forming your first pleat.
  4. Form the second pleat by pulling the dough that is halfway between the top of the potsticker and the outer edge and sticking it to the top, next to your first pleat.
  5. Repeat to make the third pleat, sealing the edge.
  6. Repeat with the other side.
  7. Pinch and seal the edges of the potsticker.
  • Potstickers don’t really need fancy crimping or pleating as long as it’s just sealed well with a flat bottom.
  • The potstickers cooking below were just minimally crimped.
  • No matter how fancy or rustic, they are all delicious!
sealed potsticker

3) Cooking potstickers:

  • Brown the bottoms of the potstickers.
  • Pour broth into the pan. Cover and steam the potstickers until no longer opaque.
  • Crisp the bottoms of the potstickers.

4) Freezing potstickers:

– Uncooked potstickers freeze well.

  • Place the potstickers in a single layer on a cookie sheet sprinkled with a little flour or cornstarch, or lined with parchment paper.
  • Place in the freezer for about 30 minutes until firm.
  • Once they are firm, place in a freezer bag and freeze for up to 3 months.

Do not thaw frozen potstickers before cooking.

  • Frozen potstickers are cooked the same way as unfrozen potstickers, except they may need a little more time for steaming. Steam for about 10 to 15 minutes, until they are no longer opaque.

5) Using store-bought wrappers:

– You can buy gyoza wrappers in the refrigerated or frozen section of Asian grocery stores instead of making your own potsticker dough. They are also becoming more and more available in major grocery stores, too.

package of gyoza wrappers
  • When filling store-bought gyoza wrappers, you will need to wet the edges of the wrappers with a little water to get them to stick and seal.
  • Gyoza wrappers are thinner than hand-rolled potsticker wrappers, so they will need less water for steaming, about 3 or 4 tablespoons.
  • They will also need less time to steam. Steam for about 5 to 8 minutes, until they are no longer opaque.

6) Ingredient substitutions:

Hoisin sauce, gochujang and garlic chili sauce are typically found in Asian groceries and sometimes found in major grocery chains. They add a lot of flavor and personality to these potstickers. But if you don’t have them or can’t find them, you can always try these substitutions. Or you can skip them. Your potstickers will still be delicious.

  • Hoisin sauce is a sweet, salty, sticky, dark and thick sauce. A suitable substitute for Hoisin sauce can be barbecue sauce with a little added molasses.
  • Gochujang is a thick, rich, flavorful, fermented chili paste. If you can’t find gochujang, you can use garlic chili paste, Thai chili paste, Sriracha and in a pinch, red chili flakes just for the heat.
  • Garlic chili paste is a spicy and slightly vinegary chili sauce. A good substitute for garlic chili paste is Sriracha. If you don’t have that either, you can use red chili flakes just for the heat.
*****
Potstickers on a plate

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