Chinese recipes
Chicken Potstickers

2 cups all-purpose (plain) flour -- plus extra
as needed
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup boiling water


2 cups finely-chopped napa cabbage
1/4 cup chopped blanched spinach
1 pound ground (minced) dark chicken meat
1/2 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tablespoons finely-chopped garlic chives
or green (spring) onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground white pepper
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (cornflour)

Dipping Sauce:

6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
3 tablespoons light soy sauce
Chili oil -- as needed
Vegetable oil -- for frying

To make the wrappers, in a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the 2 cups flour and salt and pulse once to mix. With the motor running, slowly pour in the boiling water. Continue to process until a rough ball forms and the dough pulls away from the sides of the work bowl, 15 to 20 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 2 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling: Place the cabbage and spinach in a kitchen towel, wring out the excess liquid and place in a bowl. Add all the remaining filling ingredients and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Uncover the dough and knead briefly. Cut in half. Roll out one half about 1/8-inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter 3 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out rounds. Set the rounds aside, lightly covered with the kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining dough and all scraps.
To make the sauce, stir together the vinegar and soy sauce. Add chili oil to taste. Set aside.

To make the potstickers, put 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of a dough round. Fold the round in half and pinch the edges together at one end of the arc. Starting from that point, make 6 pleats or tucks along the curved edge to enclose the filling. As each potsticker is made, place seam-side up on a baking sheet, pressing down gently so it will sit flat. Cover with the kitchen towel and continue forming and placing the potstickers on the baking sheet until all are made.

Heat a 9-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Arrange 8 to 10 potstickers, seam-side up and just touching, in a spiral in the pan. Fry until the bottoms are browned, about 1 minute. Add water to come halfway up the sides of the potstickers and bring to a boil. Immediately cover, reduce the heat to low and steam-cook for 8 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep the pan wet.

Uncover, increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the bottoms are crispy, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a serving plate and keep warm; fry the remaining potstickers.

Divide the dipping sauce among individual saucers. Serve the potstickers hot with the sauce.

This recipe yields about 24 dumplings; serves 4 to 6.

Comments: Traditionally made with pork, Chinese potstickers work equally well with chicken. In a pinch, wonton skins may be used for the homemade wrappers; reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes.


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