Guo Tie (Pot Stickers) Recipe

Guo tie, which are also known as potstickers, are a wonderful Chinese dish. These delicious little treats are one of the mainstays of Chinese cuisine, and they are prepared as a snack, staple, treat, or appetiser, as well around the Lunar New Year. Making them is often a social ritual because all the family can come together and rustle up a big batch. Sometimes hundreds of these will be prepared at once.

Recipes for guo tie vary, because there is no single way to make them, and different cooks have their own ideas and recipes, many of which have been handed down the generations. Pork is a typical filling, and Chinese cooks like to use fatty pork such as belly pork or minced pork with a high fat content. Not only is this very flavourful, but the gummy fat also helps hold the filling together. In the West fat is often avoided but in the East it is prized for the incredible flavour it can add to dishes.

Sometimes beef is used instead of pork, and shrimp sometimes features too. Some potstickers might have cabbage while others have dried mushrooms. If you want to prepare a nice dipping sauce for these, whisk 3 tablespoons of soy sauce with 2 tablespoons of rice vinegar, and a little minced fresh ginger and/or chilli oil if you like. This is optional but really tasty with the potstickers.

Although the wrappers for potstickers can be handmade, it is also possible to find them in supermarkets. These are round not square (like wonton wrappers are) and a little thicker so they can stick to the pan without tearing apart.

Because these take a while to make, it is best to make a batch of them. You can even double or triple this recipe if you want, because they freeze well. To freeze them, arrange them on a baking sheet, freeze them for an hour, then put them in a re-sealable plastic bag. To cook them from frozen, steam them for 8 minutes, then let them brown when the water has evaporated. Use a nonstick pan to brown these, else you will discover the reason they are nicknamed ‘potstickers’!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Keep the guo tie wrappers moist under a slightly damp, clean towel.
  2. Combine the cabbage, spring onion, pork, ginger, sesame oil, and salt using your hands.
  3. Dust a baking sheet with flour.
  4. Put a tablespoon of the filling in the centre of a guo tie wrapper.
  5. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the wrapper edges around one side.
  6. Fold it in half to make a triangle and press it together, ensuring all the air is squeezed out.
  7. Bring the two points together until they overlap then press to seal.
  8. Repeat these steps with the rest of the wrappers and filling.
  9. Heat a nonstick frying pan over a high heat until a bead of water jumps around on the surface.
  10. Add a thin layer of peanut oil to the frying pan and swirl to coat.
  11. Put some of the potstickers in the skillet in one layer, making sure you do not overcrowd the pan.
  12. Fry them over a high heat for 2 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown.
  13. Pour 1 cm water in there.
  14. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to medium-high.
  15. Steam them for 5 minutes, then transfer them to a serving platter and keep them warm while you cook the rest.
  16. Serve the potstickers warm, with a dipping sauce if liked.
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