Chinese Dumplings Steam-Fried

Other names

  • jiaozi
  • gyoza (Japan inspired by China, yet again)
  • momos (Nepalese/Tibetan)

Existential Questions

So why are they called “pot stickers,” anyway?

If you fry them crispily, they shouldn’t stick to the pan, right? That’s what the sesame oil is for!


Wrapper Dough

  • About 2 c flour
  • About 1/2 c water

Homemade dough is delicious and great for your sense of accomplishment, but if you can buy gyoza or wonton wrappers, go for it. They’re available frozen at our local Asian grocer. Thaw them in the fridge before you get started.


  • 6 leaves Napa cabbage
  • 5-6 dried Chinese mushrooms, rehydrated in boiled water for 20-30 minutes,
  • squeezed and quartered
  • 1 clove garlic, very roughly chopped
  • 1 in/2.5 cm fresh peeled ginger, very roughly chopped
  • 2/3 lb ground pork or mixed beef and pork (meatloaf mix)
  • 1 egg white
  • 2 t dark soy sauce
  • ½ t white ground pepper
  • 1/8 t Chinese chili powder
  • 1 t salt

Dipping Sauce

  • 1 t black vinegar
  • 2 T light soy sauce
  • 1 t Shao Xing wine
  • ½ t sugar
  • A few drops chili oil


  1. After washing cabbage leaves, tear each leaf into pieces. Put into food processor with rehydrated mushrooms, garlic and ginger. Chop to fine in food processor. Place in medium mixing bowl. Add ground meat, egg white, soy sauce, pepper, chili powder and salt to mixing bowl and mix all ingredients well. Once filling is mixed, make dumpling dough. If you’re using store-bought wrappers, skip to step 4.

  2. In another medium mixing bowl, combine flour and water. Knead together with hands, adding more water or flour as needed. Dough should be slightly sticky, yet firm and pliable. Or, use a food processor with a blade attachment and a feeder tube. Put the flour into the food processor bowl, turn it on and add the water through the feeder tube. The dough nearly assembles itself.

  3. Place finished dough on floured surface and roll with hands into a long, cylindrical shape (you might have to break dough into halves and roll out two separate cylinders), about 11/2 inches in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut cylinder into 1-11/2 inch pieces, turning roll with each cut so that you don’t squish the roll on one side. Press each dough piece with heel of hand to flatten, then with a floured rolling pin, roll each dough piece into a round flat shape. THIS PART IS TRIAL AND ERROR!! The rounds of dough should ideally be about 4-5 inches across and thickest in the middle. TODO: see how the pasta roller handles homemade dough, and try an egg ring for cutting them out.

  4. Put a dollop of meat mixture in the center of each dumpling wrapper (about 11/2 t). Seal the edges of the dough around the meat filling and place on floured surface. Check the video below for dumpling wrapping help.

  5. To steam, place in steamer basket lined with cabbage leaves and don’t let the dumplings touch (they’ll stick to each other). Steam for 20-25 minutes. To steam-fry (suggested!), heat a large, deep skillet with an unvented lid and 1-2 T oil (we use sesame, but vegetable is fine) over medium-high. Add dumplings to pan, not letting them touch. Pour 2-3 T water into the pan (it will spit), cover with lid and cook 2-3 minutes (until browned). Turn dumplings and brown on other side, another 2-3 minutes. Cook in batches and add more oil and water as necessary. Always be conservative; you can always add more, but too much could ruin your dumplings.

  6. To prepare the dipping sauce, whisk all ingredients together in a small, deep bowl.

The Gambler (You Gotta Know When to Fold’em)