These homemade Potstickers are better than take-out! Chewy wonton wrappers are stuffed with tender and flavorful pork, steam-fried until the bottoms are crispy, then served with a sweet, tangy, slightly spicy dressing.
Trevor and I order Chinese take-out more than we’d like to admit. We’re creatures of habit, so our typical order looks like this: crab rangoons and potstickers as appetizers with beef lo mein and chicken and broccoli as our mains.
Honestly, you could’ve stopped after crab rangoons and potstickers. 😉 While I haven’t yet mastered the homemade crab rangoon, today’s potsticker recipe is a winner!
What are potstickers?
Potstickers are steam fried, crescent shaped Chinese dumplings traditionally filled with pork, cabbage, and various seasonings.
Steam frying is a method to quickly fry the potstickers in a bit of oil to get the bottoms crispy, then steamed in water achieve a juicy filling. Potstickers are mostly soft, chewy, and tender with a crispy finish.
Are dumplings and potstickers the same thing?
All potstickers are dumplings, but not all dumplings are potstickers. Kind of like all squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares.
Dumplings and potstickers can have similar meat or vegetable fillings, but dumplings can be wrapped in dough made of bread, flour, or potatoes. Dumplings can also be boiled, fried, simmered, or steamed.
Potstickers on the other hand contain a filling wrapped in wonton wrappers and steam fried to create a crispy bottom.
Why are they called potstickers?
As legend tells it, potstickers were accidentally invented by a chef who was making dumplings, forgot about the pot on the stove, and let all the water boil away. When he returned to check on them, the dumplings were stuck to the bottom…hence the name “pot-stickers”!
Even though the dumplings were essentially “ruined”, the chef served them anyway and people loved the slightly crispy texture he had accidentally achieved.
And so a new way of cooking dumplings was born…and it’s so good!
While not 100% traditional, we’re using ingredients today that can be found at any grocery store!
- Ground Pork and Coleslaw Mix – the base for the potsticker filling. If pork isn’t your thing, feel free to use ground beef or chicken instead. I like to use coleslaw mix because it’s a prepackaged mixture of shredded cabbage and carrot. Easy prep is key!
- Ground Ginger, Garlic Powder, Salt, and Pepper – our quick and easy seasoning blend. Ginger and pepper add a little heat, the garlic adds a nuttiness, and the salt brings out all the other flavors in the dish.
- Soy Sauce, Seasoned Rice Vinegar, Sesame Oil, and Sriracha – adds moisture and flavor to keep the filling tender and tasty. We’ve got salty, tangy, nutty, and spicy!
- Green Onion and Cilantro – mixed into the filling to add a fresh, slightly sweet taste.
- Wonton Wrappers – perfectly packages the filling to form the potstickers. When cooked they remain chewy, but crispy. Round dumpling wrappers are traditional, but I can’t find them at any of my standard grocery stores and I don’t have access to a specialty store!
- Water and Vegetable Oil – used for frying and steaming the potstickers, so the filling cooks through while the bottoms get crispy.
- Soy Sauce and Seasoned Rice Vinegar – the base of the dipping sauce. The soy sauce adds a savory saltiness while the rice vinegar adds a bit of tang.
- Chili Garlic Sauce – adds a sweet, nutty flavor with a kick of heat.
- Brown Sugar – adds a warm, sweet, molasses flavor to offset the tang from the vinegar and spice from the chili sauce.
- Sesame Oil – adds a rich, nutty flavor and smooth texture.
- Onion Powder and Garlic Powder – the dipping sauce is already flavorful but these two seasonings take it up a notch.
How to make
Make the sauce, make the filling, stuff, fold, fry, and steam! I promise, homemade potstickers are easier than they seem!
- Mix together all dipping sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
- Place pork, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt, pepper, coleslaw mix, green onion, cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha into a medium-sized bowl then use your hands to mix the ingredients until fully combined. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Place a wonton wrapper onto a clean work surface then moisten the edges with water. Place 1/2 tablespoon of the pork mixture into the center of the wonton wrapper then fold the wrapper in half so it forms a triangle. Seal the edges well and be sure to let out any air.
- Stand the filled wonton upright so the filling is in the bottom the use your fingers to crimp the edges. Repeat with remaining wontons.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil then place 12 of the pot stickers into the oil crimped side up. Cook until the bottoms are golden-brown then reduce heat to medium and cover the pan.
- Lift the lid slightly to pour in 1/4 cup of water then re-cover and cook until the filling is cooked. Drain the pan, then repeat with the remaining potstickers. Serve and enjoy!
How to fold potstickers
Folding your potstickers is actually quite simple:
- Place wonton wrapper onto your work surface.
- Moisture the edges with water.
- Place pork mixture into the center of the wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half into a triangle, and seal the edges well.
- Stand the filled wonton upright so the filling is on the bottom, then use your fingers to crimp the edges.
How to cut veggies for potstickers
Because we’re using an already prepped coleslaw mix, there’s very little cutting involved! All you need to do is roughly chop a handful of cilantro and green onions using a sharp knife.
- Use a different meat. Pork is the classic but you could also use ground turkey, chicken, or even ground shrimp, if preferred.
- Add more veggies. We’re using coleslaw mix which typically consists of shredded cabbage and carrots but feel free to add more veggies if desired. Try mushrooms, kale, water chestnuts, etc. Make sure you slice them small so they cook all the way through.
What to serve with potstickers
We’re making a homemade dipping sauce made up of soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, onion powder, and garlic powder. It’s sweet, tangy, spicy, and so yummy with the potstickers!
If you’re looking for other recipes to serve alongside these potstickers, here are some ideas!
How to freeze uncooked potstickers
To freeze your potstickers before cooking them, simply follow the recipe as directed through step 9.
Once your potstickers are fully assembled and sealed, place them on a baking sheet lined with a silicone baking mat and pre-freeze until they are hardened.
Once the potstickers are frozen, you can remove them from the baking sheet and place them all together in an airtight container. They will keep in the freezer like this for up to 3 months.
When you’re ready to cook them, simply cook as directed but allow more time to steam so they cook all the way through.
How to store
Store leftover cooked potstickers in an airtight container in the fridge for 2 days or in the freezer for 3 months.
To reheat, thaw in the fridge if frozen then microwave or heat on the stovetop until warmed through.
Equipment for this recipe
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 (8.5 oz) bag coleslaw mix (shredded cabbage, red cabbage, carrots) - dressing discarded
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sriracha
- 75 square wonton wrappers
- Vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Place pork, ground ginger, garlic powder, salt, pepper, coleslaw mix, green onion, cilantro, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and sriracha into a medium sized bowl.
- Use your hands to mix until the ingredients are fully combined.
- Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Place a wonton wrapper onto a clean work surface.
- Moisten the edges with water.
- Place 1/2 tablespoon pork mixture into the center of the wonton wrapper.
- Fold the wrapper in half into a triangle, and seal the edges well. Be sure to let out any air.
- Stand the filled wonton upright so the filling is on the bottom, then use your fingers to crimp the edges.* They should be able to stand upright unsupported.
- Repeat with remaining wontons.
- Freeze** or cook the wontons following the steps below.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat 1/4 cup vegetable oil over medium high heat for 2 minutes.
- Place 12 of the pot stickers into the oil crimped side up.
- Cook for 2 - 2 1/2 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover the pan.
- Lift the lid slightly to CAREFULLY pour 1/4 cup water into the skillet.
- Re-cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until the bottoms have browned nicely and the filling is cooked.
- Drain the pan, then repeat with remaining potstickers.
- Place soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili garlic sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, onion powder, and garlic powder into a medium sized bowl.
- Whisk until well combined.
- Serve with potstickers!
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*Note: Nutrition information is estimated and varies based on products used.