Serious Eats: Recipes

Cook the Book: Potsticker Dumplings

[Photograph: Caroline Russock]

A few weeks back I decided to try my hand at making dumplings—long story short they didn't turn out that well. The filling was great but the dough for the wrappers was a doughy sticky mess. With a heavy heart I tossed my dumplings into the trash and headed out for my favorite 5-for-$1 dumpling joints to satisfy my craving.

Not being one who is easily defeated in the kitchen I decided to try this recipe for Potsticker Dumplings from Mad Hungry by Lucinda Scala Quinn. This version is made with store-bought dumpling wrappers and after my disastrous dumpling dough attempt I decided there was no shame in that.

"The real challenge here is perfecting your dumpling fold and pinch skills."

The dipping sauce and filling recipes are made up of similarly Asian-inspired ingredients and simple to assemble. The real challenge here is perfecting your dumpling fold and pinch skills. I was well beyond my fifteenth dumpling before mine even vaguely resembled a pro version. But by the twentieth, I had really gotten into the fold-pinch groove and they looked pretty darn good if I do say so myself.

Once the dumplings were all folded, I put them in the freezer as a preventative measure to preserve their shape. The final cooking is a combination of frying and steaming, the dumplings are fried on the bottom and then a bit of water is added to the pan which is covered to create steam to cook the filling through.

Trying the finished dumplings filled me with a deep sense of self-satisfaction. They turned out beautifully—maybe not quite as perfect as the ones from the dumpling house, but I had succeeded in making them myself, which made them taste even better.

Next order of business? Conquer the dumpling dough.

Win Mad Hungry

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Mad Hungry to give away this week.

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