Gingery Pork Pot Stickers for Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year is next Monday (it’s the Year of the Dragon) and what better way to celebrate it than share this recipe for Gingery Pork Pot Stickers from Laura B. Russell’s cookbook, The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen? If the photo above looks familiar to you, it’s because it’s from when I reviewed Laura’s cookbook back in August last year.

I’d never made pot stickers from scratch until this recipe. Prior to making them, my only fond memories of pot stickers were eating them after I’d watched Mulan. The most time consuming part is rolling out the dough and shaping the dumplings, but once you’ve got that all out of the way, it’s pretty straightforward. The pot stickers are first fried a little, then – holding lid at the ready, before yourself like a shield – water is added to the hot pan and the lid is quickly clamped on, covering the pot stickers and steaming them. They’re fried a little more after that, then you serve them right away with the dipping sauce or some soy sauce.

The best part is that they’re practically indistinguishable from pot stickers made with wheat flour and there is no difference in taste at all. They’re an instant party pleaser! I’ve even had family try them who eat gluten and loved these gluten-free pot stickers. You’ll have people clamouring for more, guaranteed.

From my review:

Even my brother, who claimed that he didn’t like pot stickers, had some and was annoyed when he couldn’t have more, since we were saving the rest (four) for my Dad to try. While I was still making the pot stickers, I had to add the water to the pan to steam them, and told my Mum to put some distance between herself and the stove – she didn’t hear; she was too busy enjoying the stickers! It took a second or third time telling her, until she realized.

If you’ve never made pot stickers before, follow the instructions carefully and pay close attention. After you’ve made them at least once, it’ll be a cinch.

Dumplings symbolize wealth, as their shape resembles the Chinese tael: a kind of weight measure, although they could also resemble little purses.

I was given permission to reprint the recipe from the publisher, Ten Speed Press, as well as use the cookbook’s cover art in my post. You can purchase The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

Gung Hei Fat Choy!

Gingery Pork Pot Stickers
Reprinted with permission from The Gluten-Free Asian Kitchen: Recipes for Noodles, Dumplings, Sauces, and More. Copyright © 2011 by Laura B. Russell. Published by Celestial Arts, an imprint of Ten Speed Press and the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. Photo Credit: Leo Gong.

Makes 28 dumplings

1/2 cup tapioca flour (also called tapioca starch)
1/2 cup millet flour
1/2 cup sweet rice flour, plus plenty more for rolling out the dough
11/2 teaspoons xanthan gum
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/2 cup boiling water
2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 pound ground pork
3 green onions, white and green parts, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari GF
1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce 
(page 26), for serving

To make the dough, stir together the tapioca flour, millet flour, sweet rice flour, xanthan gum, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a bowl. Add the just-boiled water and stir with a fork to combine. Add the cold water and mix well until a dough starts to form. Use your hands to knead the dough together a few times—you can do this right in the bowl—and then form the dough into two balls. Transfer the dough to a large resealable bag until ready to use, up to several hours.

In a second bowl, combine the raw pork, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper. Mix well to combine.

To form the dumplings, dust your hands, the counter, and a baking sheet with sweet rice flour. Roll one piece of the dough into a long rope, about 3/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 14 pieces and put them back into the resealable bag. Repeat with the other ball of dough for a total of 28 pieces. The dough will dry out quickly; make sure it stays covered.

Keep plenty of sweet rice flour nearby (up to 1/2 cup) for dusting the counter and the rolling pin to prevent the dough from sticking. Working with one piece of dough at a time, flatten the dough into a circle with the heel of your hand. Using a small rolling pin—a small dowel works best—roll the dough into a 3- to 31/2-inch circle, turning the dough periodically to prevent sticking. (Alternately, put the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap and roll it into a circle.) Transfer the dumpling wrappers to the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining dough. (If you run out of space on the baking sheet, make a second layer separated by plastic wrap.)

Dust a dinner plate with sweet rice flour. Spoon a scant tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Dip two fingers in a small bowl of water and run them around half the circumference of each circle. (This is so the wet side can stick to the dry side.) Lift the sides, forming a half-moon shape around the filling; keep the bottom flat against your hand or the counter. Pinch the dough together at the top and then form two or three pleats along each side; press to seal. (Alternatively, if you have a dumpling press, use it to form and seal the dumplings.) Transfer the dumplings to the prepared plate. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to cook, up to 4 hours ahead.

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat 11/2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add half the dumplings to the pan and cook until browned on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Holding the pan lid in one hand (to control splattering), add 
1/3 cup water to the pan and immediately cover it. Lower the heat to low and steam the dumplings until cooked through, 
8 to 10 minutes. Remove the lid and raise the heat to medium. Cook until the water evaporates and the bottoms of the dumplings are well browned, about 2 minutes longer. Repeat with the remaining dumplings and oil. Serve hot with the dipping sauce or a bowl of soy sauce GF.

Note: If you do not plan on eating the dumplings all at once (reheating them is fine, not great), freeze some of the uncooked dumplings for later. Freeze the dumplings on a plate or tray before transferring them to a freezer bag to keep them from sticking together. Add the dumplings to the pan straight from the freezer and increase the steaming time by 2 minutes.

heads up

The dish calls for Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce. You can prepare it up to 1 week ahead.

Soy Vinegar Dipping Sauce

makes about 1/2 cup1/4 cup soy sauce or tamari GF
3 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
11/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2–3 slices fresh jalapeño, or large pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

Stir together all the ingredients in a small serving bowl. The dipping sauce will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for about 1 week with fresh jalapeño or 2 weeks with red pepper flakes.

10 thoughts on “Gingery Pork Pot Stickers for Chinese New Year

  1. These sound great! I’ve only made pot stickers once and I burned them terribly. I think I should try again. Thanks for the recipe!

    It’s so satisfying to change someone’s mind about a dish. I’m glad your brother liked these!

  2. These look absolutely delicious and not as hard to make as I imagined. Can’t wait to tackle them this weekend. I’ve never baked with sweet rice flour…is there a substitute? Could you possible use sweet sorghum flour perhaps? I’d love to know your thoughts 🙂

    1. Hi Alyssa, I don’t think there is a substitute for sweet rice flour (it’s also known as mochiko flour or glutinous rice flour; it does not contain gluten). You can generally find it in Asian supermarkets or your supermarket’s Asian aisle. Anywhere with a large Asian population should have it. You could also order it online if you can’t find it in your area. I haven’t used sweet sorghum flour, although I don’t know how well it could work since it would be a different structure than sweet rice flour. Using a different rice flour, like white or brown, even if superfine, would not work either as they’re milled from different kinds of rice. Good luck!

      1. Thanks Zoe! I think for this time around I’m going to try the recipe as is and then maybe next time I’ll try some substitutions. My boyfriend and I are obsessed with Pot Stickers, so I’m super excited to make these for him. Just need to go to the Asian market down the street tomorrow!

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