Shanghai Dumplings (Potstickers)

  • Active Time 45m
  • Total Time 1h 55m

Makes about 10 dumplings

Records show that these dumplings were made more than four centuries ago. They are still a favorite in Shanghai and Beijing (Peking), where hundreds of specialty stalls make nothing else in order to satisfy the appetites of the locals. The dough, make from wheat flour, is rather heavier than that of the South where rice flour is often used, and the technique of frying first, then steaming in chicken broth (stock) makes them a very substantial snack. They should be eaten with a dip of vinegar and shredded fresh ginger. Sometimes these dumplings are called "pot stickers" because the base of the dumpling is crisped and browned in oil before steaming.


  • For Filling:
  • 1 cup stems of Chinese cabbage
  • 7 ounces ground sirloin (topside) steak
  • 1 ounce fresh pork fat, ground
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • Good pinch of pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • For Dough:
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil, for frying
  • 1/2 cup Family Chicken Broth (see recipe) or water

Companion recipe: Family Chicken Broth


FOR FILLING: Blanch the cabbage in a pot of boiling water just to soften, drain well. Squeeze the water out between paper towels.

Combine the cabbage with the remaining filling ingredients in a large bowl. Beat and knead until the mixture is soft and clingy. Chill in the refrigerator.

FOR DOUGH: Sift the flour into a stainless-steel bowl. Add the boiling water gradually, mixing with a wooden spoon until a fairly thick, soft dough forms. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.

Remove the dough to a floured work surface, and knead for another 1-2 minutes until the dough is smooth and pliable. Divide mixture in half.

Roll each piece of dough into a 3/4 x 5-inch sausage. Cut each sausage into about 10 pieces. Press each piece into a circle with the palm of the hand and roll into 3-inch rounds.

TO ASSEMBLE: Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling into each round, close the edges together, pleating the side farthest away and seal together. (The dumpling is slightly curved because of the stretching of one side.)

Place the dumplings into a bamboo steamer and steam over boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Place the dumplings into a heavy bottomed skillet. Add enough peanut oil to cover one-third of the dumplings. Raise the heat and fry the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms become crisp and lightly browned. Sprinkle a little water into the pan to create steam, cover with a lid, and reduce heat to prevent burning. Shake the pan a little from time to time and continue to pan-fry and steam for another 4-5 minutes. Remove and serve.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2576

nutrition information per serving

141 calories; 7g total fat; 16mg cholesterol; 225mg sodium; 13g carbohydrates; 1g fiber; 7g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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