Sunday, June 14, 2009

Daring Cooks - Potstickers/Chinese Dumplings

For June, those brilliant folks at The Daring Kitchen challenged us to make potstickers--specifically the dough. No pre-made dumpling wrappers this time! I'm not sure if I've ever made potstickers before, I may have, but it was a long time ago. I most definitely have not made the dumpling dough before.

This month's challenged was hosted by Jen, from Use Real Butter. Jen has a brilliant blog with so many wonderful recipes and photos. Her blog appears to be down right now--I imagine so many people are linking to it for the Daring Cook's challenge that problems have arisen. Anyway, I'm sure it will be back up and running very shortly. I can't give you the exact link to her dumpling post as I can't get to it, but here is the address of her blog. Be sure to check-it out.

I don't know all that much about Asian cooking. I can do a basic stir-fry, or fried rice, but I know next to nothing about making Asian-style doughs. I thought that for sure I'd mess-up the dumpling wrappers, though I knew I could come up with a good filling. The dough is actually really easy to make. And, it's friendly--not one of those super delicate pastry doughs that can bring me to tears. This dough can take some heavy handedness.

I had good success making the dough, but rolling it out and forming the dumplings was another story. I didn't know exactly how thin/thick to make the dough as I'd never experimented with it before. Some I made too thin, and many I made too thick. I also had a very hard time filling and sealing the dumplings. It's not really difficult to do, I just need some practice.

I made a really yummy vegan filling. Now, I made much-too-much filling for one recipe of dough. Probably, 3 or 4 times too much, but I knew I would use the filling as a meal over rice later in the week. So, if you want to use this filling for dumplings, you'll need to make more dough, or cut down the filling recipe.

Potsticker Filling:
1 regular sized bag of frozen edamame
3 carrots cut into a small dice
1 small head of napa cabbage, very thinly sliced
2 small cans of water chestnuts, diced
2 boxes of silken tofu, firm
dark sesame oil
canola oil
sweet chili sauce

Break up the tofu into small pieces. Put into a large baking dish along with all the veggies. Add a bit of canola oil to prevent sticking and mix well. Add tamari and chili sauce to taste--you'll need to add quite a bit to really coat all the tofu and veggies. Add a few drops of dark sesame oil. Mix well. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until the veggies are tender--for me it was about 30 minutes. If there is a lot of extra liquid in your pan after cooking the filling, just drain it off.
(For the sauce, I just mixed some tamari, a little peanut butter, and some sweet chili sauce.)

After filling and steaming the potstickers, they get pan fried. I had no problems with the actual cooking, it was just the prep work that gave me a hard time.

The potstickers were really good. I do need lots of practice with the filling and forming. If you can get over the fact that they are sort of funny looking, my potstickers tasted just like those at my favorite Chinese restaurant. So, I guess I was semi-successful.

Please see some of the amazing dumplings and potstickers from other Daring Cooks.


  1. I love the edamame in the filling, and the rest of the ingredients is something I HAVE to try :) Your dumplings came out so pretty and love the photos!

  2. ooooh what a great challenge! i would have liked to have tried these

  3. Yum, what a great idea to use edamame! I'll have to try that next time. Nice work!

  4. The bottoms came out goldeny brown and delicious looking - so that says to me they were delish!

    Oh hey, guess what? I'm a horrible wife.. never made him a cake at all this weekend. I just couldn't do it. Even a lower carb cake frightens me right now.. figured I'd eat the whole damn thing. hee! I promised him that his would be the first thing I bake once I'm more sure of myself. *grin*

    I hope you are having a good ending to a great weekend!


  5. I love edamame--I bet that was great in the potstickers! Looks good!

  6. This sounds like such a great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Whats edamame (yes baby soya beans neat)? Just love the first pix beautiful plate and dumplings so brown and golden. Cheers

  8. I grew up surrounded by soybean fields in Illinois and never once ate one until I moved to Alaska. Now I can't get enough of them. Great idea to add here.

  9. You are amazing cook, Michele. I love potstickers and your tamales look incredible! I've had a package of corn husks in my closet for ages; now you've inspired me to use them.

  10. I want to go back and make these. Maybe I'll make them this weekend. They look delicious!

  11. I loved this challenge. Also want to learn more asian cooking besides rice, etc. and this was a great start.

    Your dumplings look really tasty.

  12. Great filling. I love edamame. Well done, they look fantastic