Chinese Pan-Fried Dumplings

Chinese pan fried dumplings

The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

  • Total: 28 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 8 mins
  • Yield: 48 dumplings (8 servings)

Although referred to as "pan-fried," these dumplings actually go through a two-stage cooking process. First, they're fried in oil in a hot wok and then water is added; the wok is covered, and the dumplings are left to steam for a few minutes, resulting in a crispy bottom, soft top, and tender filling.

This is a classic recipe including ground pork and vegetables. Nutritious bok choy and napa cabbage add color, texture, and flavor. These pan-fried dumplings, also called potstickers, are satisfying as is, but are even tastier when served with a dipping sauce. Another good accompaniment is hot chili oil or soy sauce combined with freshly chopped ginger or a few drops of Asian sesame oil.

Ingredients

  • For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped bok choy leaves
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped napa cabbage
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • Dash of white pepper
  • For the Dumplings:
  • 1 (48-count) package wonton or gyoza wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons water (or 1 lightly beaten egg white)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil or canola oil
  • 1 cup water, or as needed

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, the dumplings are broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for preparation and cooking.

Make the Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for filling
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Combine the filling ingredients in a large bowl, using your fingers to mix everything together. If preparing the filling ahead of time, store in a sealed container in the refrigerator until ready to use.

    Combine
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska

Make the Dumplings

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for dumpling
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  2. Place a wonton wrapper on a cutting board. Cover the remaining wrappers with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out while filling and folding the dumplings. Add a heaping teaspoon of the filling to the middle of the potsticker wrapper, and use your finger to spread it out toward the sides. Be sure not to overfill or spread the filling too close to the edge of the wrapper.

    Fill dumpling
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  3. To fold the dumpling, moisten the edges of the wrapper with the mixture of water and cornstarch (this makes it easier to seal).

    Fold
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  4. Gently lift the edges of the moistened wrapper over the filling and bring together at the top center. Crimp the edges of the wrapper several times along the edge and pinch together to seal. Repeat with the remaining wonton wrappers and filling.

    Gently fold
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  5. Heat a wok or nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add 10 to 12 potstickers at a time and cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the bottoms are browned.

    Heat the wok
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  6. Add 1/3 cup water, cover, and steam the dumplings until the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes.

    Add water
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  7. Remove and cook the remainder of the dumplings, adding water as needed, keeping the amount to about 1/3 cup.

    Fry
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska 
  8. Serve alone or with a homemade dipping sauce.

    Serve with sauce
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska
  9. Enjoy!

    Fried dumplings
    The Spruce Eats / Ulyana Verbytska