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Aug 11, 2012 05:14 PM

need help with pan-fried pork dumplings

i made my first pork dumplings tonite - came out beautifully but they are not what i meant - they are more gyoza and less ny chinese restaurant pan-fried pork dumpling. i think it's the skins...i purchased the skins - round - they say 'potsticker/gyoza - and they are think ...less 'doughy' than i wanted. do i have to make them myself? recipe? or does someone know a commercial brand that is more what i am looking for??


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  1. redgirl, first, your perfectly pleated dumplings are very very attractive!
    I am happy relying on a book "Asian Dumplings", by Andrea Nguyen, for my (fledgling) dumpling guidance.
    Try looking here
    to see if you find some ideas.

    1 Reply
    1. re: blue room

      That'a great book and a great site. Here's how to put a crispy "skirt" on the dumplings. Agree, the pleating on redgirl's dumplings are beautiful :)

    2. I'm not sure what you bought as "potsticker/gyoza" wrappers. I use wonton wrappers and they work nicely. I prefer to fry them, rather than deep fry them, to have better control over the depth of browning and allow for a little more of that "doughy" texture that I believe you were describing.

      1 Reply
      1. re: todao

        i found that there are two types of commercial wrappers: potsticker/gyoza - which are round (and that's what i used and got the pleated crescent shape but a thin gyoza wrapper taste - and the wonton wrappers which i didn't buy - those are square. the wonton wrappers can be boiled or pan-fried (not deep fry which would never ever be a method i would use) and are more floury-doughy?

      2. Nothing wrong with those dumplings! No reason you can't pan-fry them at all. You have three possible methods that I know of:

        1. steam them until cooked and then brown in a bit of peanut oil in a fry pan
        2. boil them until cooked and then brown as above
        3. place them in a fry pan with both peanut oil and a small amount of water. cover and steam until almost done. then remove the top to let the water evaporate. They will crisp as the oil is what remains.

        3 Replies
        1. re: smtucker

          oh there's nothing wrong with them just not what i set out to make. wanted to doughy-er type.

          1. re: smtucker

            If you can't find thicker wrappers, moisten a wrapper and place another one over it, then go over the top with a rolling pin to meld the two layers together.

            I buy frozen potstickers and cook them the way the owner of the Asian grocery suggested, which is to use a small amount of peanut or other oil in a preheated nonstick pan. Put the frozen dumplings into the hot, oiled pan, flattest side down. When they have started to form a bottom crust, add water to half-way up the sides of the dumplings (assuming pan is full - less water if cooking only a few dumplings), cover the pan, and cook until the water has all steamed away and the bottoms are as crisp and brown as you like them.

            1. re: smtucker

              To put a crisp (or a "skirt") on them, you can also add a flour/water "slurry" instead of just water. Andrea Nguyen shows how: here:

            2. If you want the dumplings the way most restaurants make them, none of the storebought thin skin wrappers are going to cut it. The best restaurant dumplings (in my opinion, anyway) have a slightly thicker skin, and subtle and that slightly doughy texture. With little effort, you can make them the same way...with a simple hot water dough. That's the best bet for a more authentic result (as much as I hesitate to use that word).

              5 Replies
              1. re: The Professor

                so i've been reading a bit...basically just flour and hot/warm water and then little balls and roll them out. can i stack them without them sticking together? i want to make about 100+ of them.

                1. re: The Professor

                  Yep, what The Professor said. Handmade/homemade dough is the way to get the thick chewy skins you're looking for.

                  You can't really stack them, unless you really flour them, and then you run the risk of not being able to get them to pinch shut. When I was growing up, we always had an assembly line: my mom would make and knead the dough, then form a thick loop (with the "rope" of dough about an inch and a half to two inches in diameter), cut the loop, then cut off inch wide chunks. I would then take the chunks, dip both flat sides in flour, and press them lightly flat with my palm. The cup of my hand would leave the center a bit thicker than the edges. Then my brother would take the flattened chunks of dough and roll them thin, turning the dough as he rolled from the outside edge in. This left the center of the skin slightly thicker. Then I would grab the rolled skin, put a dollop of filling in the center and pass it to my mom, who would do the pinching and folding. I didn't get to pinch and fold until I was 7 or 8 and my "technique" got better. We would make hundreds of dumplings like this.

                  Leaving the center a bit thicker was important, especially for pot stickers, so the skins wouldn't tear and you'd get that nice chewy crispy bottom.

                  Sorry, that was a lengthy answer to "can I stack them"! This thread just had me thinking about my family's dumpling making sessions for the first time in years. :)

                  1. re: TorontoJo

                    i'm printing this...invaluable...thanks so much.

                  2. re: The Professor

                    I've also seen people just roll the purchased skins to a thinner consistency. They dust two skins with cornstarch, put them on top of each other, roll them thinner. This makes them spread out, so they use a "cookie cutter thing" to cut out the desired size. Then separate the two layers and fill individually.

                    Interesting idea. There is a video showing it, but i can't locate it at the moment...Cheers.

                    1. re: kaycat

                      All well and good, but for a truly proper dumpling of this sort, you don't want a thinner needs to be thicker than the average storebought type.

                      Then again, I once sat in a restaurant enjoying what were probably the best, most perfect fried dumpling I'd ever eaten, only to hear another patron a few tables over send ing back an order of the very same dumplings and complaining vociferously that they were "too doughy."

                      To each his own, I guess...

                  3. Mix together 2 cups of AP flour and 1 cup boiling water. When combined, add one lightly beaten egg yolk and mix until you get a nice soft dough. Put dough on lightly floured flat surface and knead about 5 minutes. You can do this in a stand mixer if you prefer; use the dough hook to knead about 3 minutes or until the dough is smooth.
                    Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and allow to rest 15 minutes.
                    Remove dough from plastic wrap and cut the dough ball in half.
                    Roll each half of the dough into a log about a foot long. Cut each log into pieces about 1/2 inch thick.
                    Press each piece of dough flat with your hand and roll each of those out into circles about three inches in diameter.
                    Place your filling in the center of each circle (about 1 tablespoon is enough) then lift and pleat (seal) the edges of your dumplings.
                    OK, now let them rest while you heat up the pan. Then fry 'em.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: todao

                      Don't add egg.

                      Use your hands, never a machine, to knead the dough.

                      1. re: ipsedixit

                        Absolutely right. No egg in the dumpling dough!