HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >


Pot sticker people... have you gotten creative with your filling?

I've been making my own pot stickers. I make a big batch using won ton wrappers, then freeze. My grocer doesn't sell dumpling wrappers. I've tried making my own, but the won ton wrappers work fine & save me time & trouble. I was following Chinese recipes for my filling, then started getting creative. I must say in the future I'll stick with a tried & true recipe. The last time I used a combination of pork & shrimp. It simply was inferior in taste. My favorite real recipe to follow (so far) is Sohui Kim’s Pork-and-Chive Dumplings found here: http://nymag.com/restaurants/recipes/... I also make my own dipping sauce. Took me a long time to find that recipe. I give it 5 stars only because I can't give it 10. Do you have any pot sticker/dipping sauce stories?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Would love your dipping sauce recipe. Can you share?

    I have yet to make pot stickers or similar but I do have some wrappers in the freezer and several cookbooks.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dfrostnh

      dfrostnh, I found this recipe on a Chinese site (can't remember which one). It makes LOTS of sauce for one person with some to spare. Or make this and it will be just enough to serve 2 people.

      In a plastic bowl place:
      7 - tablespoons water
      1 - tablespoon soy sauce
      a dash of garlic powder
      1/4 - teaspoon molasses (or use 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar)
      a few drops of vinegar
      1/4 - teaspoon powdered beef bouillon (I use about 1/4 of a crushed beef bouillon cube)

      Heat this (the water, soy sauce, etc.) mixture in your microwave till it's hot, then set aside.

      In a small pot place:
      1 - tablespoon oil
      2 - tablespoons (white granulated) sugar
      4 - pieces of ginger (peel the ginger, then cut it into 4 thick coin shaped rings)

      Over medium heat cook the oil, sugar, ginger mixture till the sugar turns golden brown. You will need to stir this as it cooks. It takes some time for the sugar to start to brown.

      When the sugar has browned slightly, add the hot water/soy sauce mixture to the pot. Be careful. It splatters and makes a lot of noise when you add the water. Continue to cook over medium heat and stir. You will feel the sugar on the bottom of the pan, but it will dissolve. Once the sugar has dissolved, lower heat & let it simmer for 5 minutes. Strain & serve.

      I have had sauce left over and placed it in the refrigerator to use the following day. It does not taste as good the next day. So I now make a fresh batch each time I have dumplings.

      1. re: i_am_Lois

        Thank You! I also appreciate your cooking tips and advice that the sauce tastes best fresh.

        I did go thru my recipes for ideas.

        1. re: i_am_Lois

          Woah! I'm not that patient....i do mostly soy sauce, finely chopped green onion, a splash of sesame oil and a splash of mirin or rice wine vinegar.

      2. The last ones I made were shrimp, water chestnuts and chives, which I did in won ton wrappers.

        Time before that was minced chicken with garlic, ginger and edamame (cut up, but not minced) in gyoza wrappers.

        For the dip, I am very boring *ahem* classical - soy and vinegar, sometimes a little chilli oil in there if I make bland dumplings.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ultimatepotato

          ultimatepotato I never tried using chicken or edamame. How did that turn out? It sounds interesting. Which wrappers did you prefer? The won ton or gyoza?

          1. re: i_am_Lois

            I cooked and cooled the chicken before I assembled, and they turned out well - I'd definitely use finely chopped leftover chicken as a shortcut in the future.

            I find that I usually like the gyoza wrappers slightly more for the end result in terms of taste and texture, but the won ton wrappers easier to work with.

        2. This week:

          ground pork
          rice vinegar
          soy sauce

          Tasted like the Chinese restaurant.

          2 Replies
          1. re: melpy

            Yummy sounding. I like to use a lot of cabbage in mine. Lots of work shredding it, par boiling it, draining & squeezing water out. Do you go through all that work with your cabbage melpy?

            1. re: i_am_Lois

              you can buy angel slaw in bags in the salad section. finely shredded cabbage. that's my shortcut.

          2. Just made some this weekend. Only pork, mushrooms aka tree ear fungus, and a little bit of onion. All I had for the dipping sauce was soy sauce and sambal oelek mixed together.

            1 Reply
            1. re: vttp926

              I never heard of sambal oelek . I had to look it up. I see it's something like a chili sauce. Is it HOT? I like chili that has a kick but not a lot of heat. I love those tree ear fungus mushrooms. I especially like them in moo shu.

            2. No, I buy Jiǎozi at Trader Joe's or at a Chinese grocery.

              1. Hi Lois,

                Don't give up on the shrimp concept. It's very classic chinese and adds a lusciouness / smoothness to the filling that only pork cannot achieve... You need to turn the shrimp almost into a paste though, whether via a food processor or with hard work using a chef's knife.

                The only differences i see on the recipe you posted from my mom / grandmom's is: 1) we used green onion, instead of onion, 2) soy sauce instead of hoisin, 3) more chives, 4) white pepper, 5) sesame oil and 6) no egg...

                I think the addition of tofu / egg achieves a similar outcome as with shrimp in that it helps mask someof the gritiness that you might get from pork only filling. My mom also used to add corn starch, again to get the texture right.

                FInally, I know that dumpilng wrappers are a pain in the butt. But I have to say they are 100% worth it. It's a totally different texture when done right. But that being said, I hear you on using won ton wappers to save time. I do think that in some asian specialty stores, they sell slightly thicker ready to go wrappers that are called dumpling adn not wonton wrappers.

                Dipping sauce is simple for me... good soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and hot sauce. I also like just black viengar and shredded ginger.

                As you can tell from my screen name, i love dumplings!!!

                Hope this helps.

                2 Replies
                1. re: FattyDumplin

                  FattyDumplin, thank you for the shrimp tip. I had chopped mine before adding to the pork. I think I will give it another try using your method. There are no Asian stores near me. I have to make do with what I find in Publix grocery store. Also no Asian restaurants near me... so I try cooking my own. I lived most of my life in Philadelphia & frequently went to the Chinatown there. I miss that cuisine so much that I've even gone so far as to order rice flour & wheat starch from Amazon so I could make my own rice noodles.

                  1. re: i_am_Lois

                    No problem. I grew up outside if Philly, and its amazing what the Chinese food scene has become. Some pretty good stuff nowadays. Let us know how the shrimp "paste" works out!

                2. Thanks for the pork chive dumpling link. I love making my own pot stickers In the past I would use any leftover veggies chopped up combined with ground turkey and an egg for binding it together. Since making pot sticker involves some oil for frying I liked the less fatty aspect of ground turkey.

                  I did try salmon once as a filling w/ a fruity vinegar dipping sauce. It was just ok and not something I was inspired to doctor up in order to improve it. OTOH, one night I had a craving for Thai angel wings, but didn't have chicken wings so I put angel wing filling inside wrappers and used sweet chili sauce as the dipping sauce. The recipe called for chopped up skinny rice noodles mixed in with the meat mixture. It added an interesting dimension. I think the steaming part of the process brought out the Thai flavors better than it did for the fried wings. My former husband loved them.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                    You are welcome Tracy. I found that recipe by watching Throwdown With Bobby Flay. Sohui Kim owns a restraunt and it's famous for her dumplings. She beat Bobby. When I looked on the internet I saw she gladly shares her recipe with the public. It is good. You've gotten much more creative with your fillings than I ever have. I'm gonna have to find a veggie filling soon. A vegetarian guest will be visiting. She's staying for 2 weeks & loves pot stickers. I am a little reluctant to try tofu in the filling. Maybe ground mushrooms to give it a meaty texture. Do you have any ideas?

                    1. re: i_am_Lois

                      I'll have to check out the videos, thanks. Tempeh might work. There is a sushi bar near my house that uses yam on their sushi, I love the flavor combination of the yam, ginger, wasabi and soy. I think a sweet potato or yam filling mixed with some nice vegetables could work.

                      1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                        Thanks, now the wheels in my head are turning & I don't feel so stuck with the limited idea of tofu or mushrooms.

                      2. re: i_am_Lois

                        Just a thought, but how about steaming some cauliflower, then chopping it very fine (careful not to puree it) for texture in your veggie dumpling. steamed cauliflower is a great blank canvas for oriental or other kinds of flavors.

                        1. re: flueln

                          That's an interesting choice. Will be something I will consider for my vegetarian guest coming soon for a visit. I want to avoid tofu if possible. I would like the veggie egg rolls to be interesting and not too bland. I've had my head wrapped around the idea of cabbage & mushroom, but adding cauliflower could add an interesting flavor without being overpowering. Maybe some finely chopped red bell pepper to add some color too. I was thinking of grinding the mushrooms to the consistency of ground meat for texture.

                          1. re: i_am_Lois

                            Actually if you blend the tofu with the veggies its nearly undetectable and acts as a binder like egg once they are steamed.

                            A place near me makes a veg dumpling with tofu, scallions and mushrooms that is really flavorful.

                    2. I have always gotten favorable reviews for Ming Tsai's:

                      Although my wife (Taiwanese) asks "What is ginger doing in here?"

                      1. I usually make a traditional pork, garlic chive and napa cabbage filling for potstickers. I use dumpling skins rather than wonton wrappers, which are thinner and contain eggs.

                        Lately, though, I've been trying desperately to recreate the amazing dumplings at Chicago's Fat Rice. There is something savory and slightly spicy in them that I originally thought was lao gan ma, but now surmise might be dried shrimp, in addition to fresh. I'm also curious to see if sour cabbage might be an interesting addition in my filling. Typically I add ground pork fat to my storebought ground pork to get the right ratio for dumplings; a bit of tang from a young sauerkraut or kimchi might lighten up the flavor while still leaving me with a moist filling.

                        Dipping sauce changes depending on how I feel. Sometimes I will simply do soy sauce, black vinegar, julienned ginger, sesame oil and scallions. Other times I might go in a Korean direction switching rice vinegar for the black and adding gochugaru and toasted sesame seeds. A generous helping of lao gan ma in the sauce is always welcome.

                          1. I once made a gelatin from a soup dumpling (XLB) recipe and added it to my pot stickers. Tasted really good.

                            1. Andrea Nguyen is my hero when it comes to dumplings (and other things!):


                              1. 1. Pork and fresh dill
                                2. Chives and scrambled eggs

                                1. pork, cabbage, worcester(shire) sauce. easy, moist, and best of all lazy (no need for a dip)

                                  1. I took a package of ready-made palak paneer (Indian ricotta cheese and spinach curry, usually eaten over rice), thickened it with an egg, a bit of cornstarch, and some additional cheese, and used that as a filling. It's really good. I suppose just about any sort of curry would work.

                                    I have also had fresh tomato potstickers (in a restaurant in China) that reminded me of gazpacho.

                                    I happened on this discussion while looking for advice on how to thicken fillings for potstickers. The egg, cornstarch, and cheese helped but I wonder if there are any other ways.