Spicy lemongrass potstickers

Potstickers are really easy to make at home and the end result is far superior to anything that comes frozen from the grocery store (although we’re using pre-made potsticker wrappers, you can also make the wrappers from scratch and we have in the past. Google the recipe for the wrappers, it’s just flour and water). Probably the best part about making potstickers from scratch is that you can freeze the potstickers you don’t use and cook them from frozen almost as quickly as you can from fresh (instructions later).

This recipe calls for a few ingredients that are easy to find at any Asian grocery store (and if you haven’t been to one, do it, they’re loads of fun). I use a special potsticker folder that I bought at one of these stores for about $5, but it’s just as easy to fold them by hand.

What you’ll need for four people (or two people and leftovers, which is what I always shoot for):

  • 1/2 pound of ground white meat (turkey, pork or chicken — I used turkey)
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass
  • 1 serrano pepper, finely chopped (leave the seeds and innards in if you want it really spicy, which I do)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 Tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon chive oil (or 1 teaspoon sesame oil and a pinch of finally chopped chives)
  • 24 potsticker wrappers, thawed (or fresh)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

What to do:

  1. Prepare the lemongrass by removing the tough outer leaves, then finely chop the soft white parts, about 1/3 of the total length of the stalks. Combine with the finely chopped pepper.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of the peanut oil in a large non-stick skillet. Cook the lemongrass and pepper in the oil for one minute, then add the ground meat and cook through.
  3. Add the cayenne pepper powder and black pepper, then remove from the heat. Stir in the chive oil (or the oil and chives).
  4. Cover the mix in a bowl and chill in the refrigerator (or, if you’re in a hurry, the freezer) until cool to the touch.
  5. Prepare the egg wash (beat one egg with a dash of cold water) and set up your potsticker-making station. You’ll want a large, dry (and clean, of course) space to set your potstickers aside. If your dough is somewhat sticky, make sure the space is well floured.
  6. Place one potsticker wrapper in your folder (or flat) and brush the edge of one half of it with egg wash. Then add about a teaspoon of the chilled filling to the center, fold, and press with the backside of a fork (you don’t need to do this if you’re using a crimped folder) to seal. Set aside, then repeat with the remaining potsticker wrappers.
  7. Once all of your potstickers are made, heat the remaining two tablespoons of peanut oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat until a drop of water immediately boils when dropped in the oil. Fill your pan with potstickers, making sure not to crowd the pan. I can usually get a dozen in our largest nonstick pan.
  8. Fry the potstickers on one side until nicely browned, about two minutes, then flip over.
  9. When the second side is nicely browned (another two minutes or so), add 1/2 cup of warm water to the pan and cover. The water should immediately start to boil off and steam the potstickers). Steam them in this manner for eight minutes. (Here’s the great thing about potstickers: if they’re frozen, you can cook them in the exact same way, just add a little extra time for browning and an extra minute for the steaming). Make sure the water doesn’t completely steam off. If the water has steamed off prematurely, add another tablespoon or so to prevent burning of the potstickers.
  10. While they’re steaming, prepare the sauce. Whisk the soy sauce, rice vinegar and red pepper flakes together.
  11. Serve the potstickers with rice, either drizzling the sauce over the top (my preference) or on the side (Jessie’s preference).

Here’s a photo of my fancy $5 potsticker folder — it adds perfectly crimped edges and consistent folds:

Related posts:

  1. Panko-breaded chicken breast with honey-mustard sauce
  2. Pork with Riesling and shallots
  3. Sauteed asparagus with poached egg
  4. Easy steak in brown ale sauce
  5. Fear not the chorizo

About the Author

Owner of a graphic design firm specializing in magazine design and wannabe chef. Former resident of Belgium, the United Kingdom and...North Dakota.