Asian dumplings, wontons and potstickers were one of my favourite Dim Sum snacks in Singapore. Dim Sum is a large range of small dishes traditionally served in restaurants for breakfast and lunch. As a child, there was something magical about Dim Sum restaurants, where the staff carted around the tables with their trolleys laden with bamboo steam baskets filled with piping hot dumplings and other snacks. I never knew what filling I was eating, as there were so many varieties, but I ate them anyway – all of them were so good!

What is a potsticker? It is a part-fried, part-steamed Chinese wonton dumpling, fried until brown and crisp on the bottom and simmered in a small amount of broth to steam the remainder of the potsticker.

Where do they originate from? China. According to legend, an imperial Chinese court chef accidentally left a batch of regular shuijiao boiled dumplings to burn in the wok, causing the bottoms to be crisp and overcooked. Panicking, the chef pried them from the work and proceeded to serve them. Luckily, they were well-received by the guests who loved the contrasts between the rich filling, delicate skin and crispy bottom. In Mandarin, the name for potsticker is goutie – guo means wok and tie means stuck.

How do you serve potstickers? They are served with a soy & vinegar dipping sauce. For a more complete meal, serve broth, steamed rice and Asian steamed greens on the side.

There are various fillings to choose from, but I like to stick to the traditional meat & cabbage filling.

I also use this tofu & mushroom filling as a vegetarian option.

Both are packed with flavour and texture. The water chestnuts give it a slight crunch and absorb the seasoning well. If you have never bought water chestnuts before, they are sold in tins at most Asian/International Supermarkets.

Children are big fans of potstickers, plus making them together is a fun activity. If your child is gluten-free, this recipe will be good news to them, as at this stage, there is a very limited range of gluten-free wonton wrappers on the market.

Gluten-Free Potstickers
For the potsticker wrappers

  • 300g rice flour
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons sunflower oil
  • 300ml hot water

For the meat & cabbage filling

  • 350-400g minced turkey, chicken or pork
  • 50g cabbage, chopped finely
  • 3 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 3cm ginger piece, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce/Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

For vegetarian filling

  • 250g plain tofu, diced finely
  • 10g dried Chinese mushrooms (soak for 20 minutes in hot water) or fresh Shitake mushrooms, chopped finely
  • 9 water chestnuts, chopped in small pieces
  • 3 spring onions, chopped finely
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 3cm ginger piece, chopped finely
  • 2 tablespoons gluten-free soy sauce/Tamari
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil

For frying & steaming

  • Sunflower oil for frying
  • 250ml hot water, beef, chicken or vegetable stock

Dipping sauce:

  • 100ml gluten-free soy sauce/Tamari
  • 50ml rice wine vinegar
  • 1 spring onion, green part, sliced thinly in rings
  • 1 red chilli, chopped finely (leave out if serving to children)

Step by Step Instructions

1. First prepare the wrappers by whisking the rice flour, xanthan gum and salt together in a medium bowl.

2. Mix in the oil.

3. Add the hot water gradually, mix well and pressing the flour mixture against the side of the bowl with the back of a spoon.

4. When the dough appears crumbly, start to knead using your hands. Add a bit more water if it feels too dry or more rice flour if too wet.

5. Knead the dough for a good 3 minutes until it looks smooth. I do not recommend using a processor to mix the dough as it becomes too tough. Best done by hand.

6. Cover with a damp tea towel and rest for 20 minutes.

7. While the dough is resting, start to prepare the filling. Fry the onions, garlic and ginger over a medium heat for 2 minutes.

8. Place the onion mixture in a medium bowl.

9. Add the minced meat, cabbage, water chestnuts, soy sauce/Tamari, white pepper and sesame oil. Mix well.

10. If making the vegetarian filling, mix the tofu and mushrooms with water chestnuts, soy sauce/Tamari, white pepper and sesame oil.
11. Cover and leave to one side.
12. Heat the water or stock in a small pan and leave on the lowest setting while assembling the pot stickers.

13. Remove the dough from the bowl and briefly knead it into a log. Cut 30 even pieces and roll them into small balls (approx. 4 cm in diameter).

14. One at a time, roll out the dough ball as thinly as possible between two sheets of baking paper.

15. Cut out a round shape disc using a cookie cutter or trim the edges into a round shape with a knife.

16. Brush the edge with water.

17. Add 2 teaspoons of meat & cabbage mixture to one half of the disc.

18. Dip your fingers in some rice flour and gently lift the empty side of the disc and fold over the meat mixture, sealing the edges together into a half-moon shape.

19. Lift the potsticker and pleat the edges together, dipping your fingers in rice flour if they start to stick to the dough. For more details, see my video on how to assemble the potstickers.

20. Place each assembled potsticker onto a large plate covering them with a damp tea towel.

21. Heat a large frying pan to medium heat. Spread enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan thinly.

22. Add the potstickers with the seam facing upwards and fry for 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown underneath.

23. Gently add the warm water or stock to the pan and cover the pan with a lid to steam for 3 to 4 minutes or until the water has evaporated.

24. Place the cooked potstickers on a serving platter and cover with foil to keep warm while repeating with frying and steaming the second batch of the potstickers.

25. Mix the all the ingredients for the dipping sauce.

26. Serve with the potstickers with the dipping sauce.

Makes 30 potstickers
Potstickers can be made ahead of time and re-heated in a steamer for a few minutes or microwaved covered in film for 1.5 minutes on High (800 watts). The dipping sauce can be stored in a glass jar in the fridge for several days.