Potstickers are delicious Chinese dumplings that can be enjoyed as a main course or an appetizer. They are the perfect addition to any Chinese food and pair perfectly with these 40 sides!
Potstickers are amazingly simple yet delicious pockets of savory goodness. They are chewy and moist, yet crispy. Small, yet filling.
They are the perfect appetizer, yet they are delicious enough to carry the meal as the main dish too.
Making potstickers from scratch is a labor of love. The filling comes together quickly, but stuffing each pocket and sealing it carefully takes time. That’s why it is such a popular meal to make for a crowd.
Everyone can help with the mixing, the stuffing, and even the cooking, and the result is a meal everyone can enjoy.
If you are planning just such an occasion, you may want to add a few sides to add some variety to the meal. Keep reading for 40 sides that will add interest to your meal and culture to your kitchen!
Gyoza and potstickers are very similar, and the names are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference.
Potstickers are popular in Northern China, made with a slightly thicker wheat flour dough and filled with meat and vegetables. They are slightly larger than gyoza, meant to be eaten in several bites.
Gyoza are smaller, thinner, and have more filling than potstickers. They are the Japanese take on potstickers.
Gyoza are made with premade wrappers, rather than homemade dough.
Both of these small dumplings are steamed and then pan-fried, making them moist and chewy, but also crispy on the exterior.
Potstickers are most popular in Northern China where they have been enjoyed since the Song Dynasty, but they have become popular with Asian cuisine all over the world.
The filling inside potstickers is up to the chef, but it is usually made with very simple ingredients. The most popular filling is pork potstickers, but you may find potstickers with bell peppers, green onions, carrots and just about any kind of ground meat.
You may also find veggie potstickers made with just vegetables or even tofu potstickers. Any savory flavor goes perfectly in this popular Asian dish.
Potstickers are Chinese dumplings while gyoza are Japanese. The Chinese word for potstickers is “jiaozi” which literally translates to “stuck to the wok”.
Potstickers are both fried and steamed, and then fried again for good measure.
To cook potstickers you place them on their side in a single layer in a pot and pan fry them just a bit. Then water is added and the pot is covered with a lid to let the potstickers steam and cook fully.
The steaming process ensures a chewy and moist interior.
Once all the water has evaporated, the potstickers are fried again to give them a deliciously crispy exterior.
You can tell your potstickers are done in several ways. The best way to tell is that the water has evaporated from the pan and the dough is beginning to crisp up slightly.
You should also pay attention to the color of the filling. You may not be able to see much through the dough, but your ingredients on the inside should darken just a bit.
The dough on the exterior will become just a tiny bit more translucent as it cooks and then become golden brown as it sticks to the pan.
You can use just about any oil to cook potstickers. but for the best flavor I recommend using sesame oil. Sesame oil should not be cooked at a very high temperature, but it is great for this dish and adds a delicious nutty flavor to the dumplings.
How many potstickers make up a serving depends on how they are being eaten. If they are the main course, you can expect guests to eat four to seven. If potstickers are served as an appetizer, two to five will be plenty.
Potstickers dipped in a salty dipping sauce may feel a bit heavy. It’s a good idea, even if potstickers are the main course, to serve other sides alongside the dumplings to help cut through some of the salty flavor.
Homemade potstickers can take some time to make fresh, so they are often reserved for special occasions. They are a must-have during the Lunar New Year to help bring prosperity and good luck. Many families use different fillings to represent different things, and the crescent shape of potstickers is said to resemble ancient coins.
In the United States, you can find frozen potstickers in many grocery stores, even Trader Joe’s. Using frozen, premade pot stickers makes them an easy meal for just about any night of the week.
The unique cooking method of potstickers makes them both soft and crispy. The filling is steamed inside the dough, making it moist and tender. The exterior is lightly fried, making it crispy on the bottom.
Spring rolls and potstickers have a similar filling but they are different. The dough or wrapper for spring rolls is made with simple wheat flour and water. For potstickers salt is added to the dough, giving it a slightly chewier texture.
Spring rolls are also fried which gives the entire exterior a crispy texture. Potstickers are steamed and then pan-fried, making just the bottom crispy.
If you are making a large batch of potstickers there are several tricks to try to keep them nice and crispy.
One trick is to dust the potstickers with a tiny bit of cornstarch or potato starch before you fry them. This gives them an extra crisp.
Another tip is to keep cooked potstickers warm on a metal tray in the oven while you cook batches.
Potstickers are a great dish to make because they can be served as an appetizer or the main dish. They go with just about any Asian meal but can also be very filling and satisfying on their own.
The wrappers used for potstickers are made with wheat flour, so potstickers are not usually gluten-free. You may be able to find some gluten-free options in specialty grocery stores.
Potstickers freeze very well and you can often find them available for purchase at the grocery store.
To freeze your own, simply stuff and seal the wrappers and lay the potstickers flat on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Freeze the uncooked dumplings for 30 minutes before transferring them to a Ziploc bag.
Frozen potstickers can be saved in the freezer for several months. When you are ready to cook, simply cook them as normal. You do not have to thaw potstickers to cook them but it may be helpful to let them defrost for about ten minutes before cooking.
My Favorite Potsticker Recipes
One of the great things about this dish is that you can change up the filling inside and never grow tired of it! Here are a few of my favorites:
- Pork Potstickers are the most traditional filling, and this recipe from A Farm Girl Dabbles is very easy.
- Ginger Chicken Potstickers from Spoon Fork Bacon is a great way to switch up a classic recipe.
- Shrimp Potstickers from Damn Delicious cook up quickly and are a great low-calorie option.
- If you are making your own dumplings, be sure and squeeze all of the air out of the wrapper before sealing it and then seal with care. Pockets of air or a bad seal can cause the wrapper to come open while cooking. Dip your fingers in a bit of water as you seal the edges to ensure they are stuck.
- Don’t overstuff your wrappers. Of course, you want the most of that delicious filling, but overstuffed wrappers are difficult to keep together during cooking.
- Feel free to experiment with different proteins and vegetables in your potstickers. Pork, chicken, and shrimp are all delicious, but you could also try tofu or even ground turkey. Carrots, cabbage, and green onion are the most common vegetables but mushrooms, bok choy, and water chestnuts are all delicious additions. You can also add some extra spice to your filling by adding some chili flakes a hint of sriracha or some extra flavor with sesame seeds.
- Be careful adding your water to the pan after the first fry. It may be a good idea to remove the pan from the heat and add the water slowly to prevent any oil from splashing out of the pan.
- If you are making a large batch of potstickers, be sure and keep your prepared but uncooked potstickers covered with a dish towel to keep them from getting dried out. Dried-out potstickers may crack and expose the filling.
What to Serve With Potstickers
Side Dishes: Green beans, lo mein, fried rice, fresh spring rolls, fried wontons, egg drop soup, vegetable stir fry, Chinese noodle soup, cabbage salad, cucumber salad, hot and sour soup, egg rolls, bok choy, sesame noodles, white rice, miso soup, snap peas, bean sprouts, Chinese broccoli, shiitake mushrooms
Main Course: Sesame chicken, Beef with Broccoli, orange chicken, California rolls, ramen, kung pao chicken
Dipping sauce: Soy sauce, chili sauce, ginger sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar
Recipe to Serve with Potstickers
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