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Jan 1, 2008 05:23 PM

potsticker problem

Hi everyone. I've been lurking for a long time but this is the first time I've come up with a problem I cannot solve, so maybe one of you can help me out. I've been making potstickers for years but always have the same problem. When they come out of the pan, I get lacy and crispy bits hanging off of them which is highly unattractive. Usually I make my own hot water style dough but sometimes I use gyoza or won ton wrappers. I use a non stick pan as well. Regardless I have the same problem. I think it's the starch coming out of the dough and crystallizing on the bottom of the pan that is doing it but I have no idea how to stop it. Any thoughts?

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  1. A couple of questions -
    How dry is your filling?
    One problem many people have is too moist filling, the juice inside can cause surface starch to "run" through the seal and/or sometimes ooze from the skin. When I make Korean Mandu (very similar to potstickers) I line a basket/strainer with lint free cloth, place the filling into the cloth, and place a weight on top to press the excess moisture out.
    Do you steam them before you pan fry?
    Steaming first can remove much of the starch residue from the skins.
    Are you cooking with too much heat?
    With some skins high heat can cause the lacy/crispy problem. I usually pan fry over medium heat.

    1 Reply
    1. re: hannaone

      I have not tried steaming them before frying them. My filling is quite dry too. Perhaps I have been using too high heat or too much water.

    2. pot stickers are tricky to get just right...though i haven't run into your particular problem, it sounds like the wrapper is dissolving from liquid. have you tried starting with just oil and covering them for a few seconds before adding the steaming liquid? it would give the wrappers a chance to cook before steaming...also, i don't know if this makes any difference, but i throw a tiny splash of rice vinegar right at the end of cooking. using the appropriate amount of liquid so that it is almost completely evaporated is also important...

      not sure if any of that will help, but good luck..

      2 Replies
      1. re: soypower

        I always frying them first to crisp up the bottom before i add the liquid. I think it's the water leeching too much starch out of the dough that is causing the problem.

        1. re: bw2082

          BW - try boiling or steaming them first! Pot Stickers (or guo tie in Mandarin) are a "third" way to make/eat dumplings. If dumplings are boiled in water they are called shui jiao. If steamed, the same dumpling is called zheng jiao. Pot Stickers (guo tie) are made by taking shui jiao or zheng jiao and then pan frying them! The steaming or boiling helps to remove the starch (as Hannaone says) from the doughy wrappers before pan frying, while giving them a crunchy bottom. The story I heard of their invention was that a long time ago somebody in China was just trying to re-heat shui jiao (or zheng jiao) and forgot about them cooking and came back and found and they got crispy in the bottom of the wok hence "pot stickers!"