Guotie (Chinese pan-fried dumplings)

When you don’t want something, you see it everywhere; then when you want it, you can’t find it. That was what I encountered for guotie (a.k.a potstickers or gyoza) wrapper. I saw it on the supermarket shelf one day, got the inspiration, went home and researched more on the cooking method, but couldn’t find the wrappers at another supermarket the following day. Despite my thwarted attempt, my enthusiasm wasn’t dampened and I did manage to get the dumpling wrappers in the end.

For too long I always rely on wontons whenever I have a dumpling craving. Now I’ve learned to make guotie and it’s pretty easy. To make the filling, throw in minced pork and cabbage, sprinkle a dash of pepper, top it up with Shaoxing wine and sesame oil, give the mixture a good stir, and there you are!

On my very first guotie making attempt, I was too greedy and made them all too fat. Without reading the method properly, I instructed Mr. P to pan-fry the dumplings on high heat until they are brown on all sides. That wasn’t correct and we ended up deep-frying them to ensure the meat was thoroughly cooked. Never mind, the deep-fried versions were still very, very yummy.

The following weekend, we tried our hand at making guotie again. This time round, the guotie turned out the way we wanted them to but we fried them on the wrong side. Bleah, it didn’t matter. A good guotie tastes delicious no matter which side is brown! We dipped our homemade guotie into vinegar and popped them into our mouths with a few ginger strands. It felt sooooo much more satisfying than eating the puny versions served in most restaurants.

Now I stock up on guotie wrappers in case I can’t find them when I’m in the mood to make some. And Mr. P is so delighted to see these dough wrappers in the fridge—it means a guotie day is coming very soon!

Guotie | Gyoza | Potstickers
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
guotie/gyoza wrappers
200g ground pork
1 cup cabbage, finely chopped
2 tbsps scallions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tbsp Shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon salt
A dash of pepper
oil (for frying)
vinegar (for dipping)
ginger (for dipping; optional)

Method
1. Combine the ground pork, cabbage and scallions together with the seasoning. Mix well.

2. Have a bowl of water handy. Place a spoonful of filling on the centre of the wrapper, then fold it into half and moisten the middle edge with a bit of water. Close the dumpling and make at least six folds on the edge. (Any lesser than six folds and I think the guotie won’t look nice. This blog post gives detailed instructions.)

3. To a heated skillet, add a little bit of oil and dumplings. Pour in some water to almost half the height of the dumplings. Cover the skillet with a lid and let it stand for a few minutes until all the water has evaporated. (We didn’t have a proper lid so we used a big plate instead.) Remove the lid. Add some oil onto the skillet and pan-fry the dumplings until their bases turn golden-brown.

4. Place the guotie onto a plate and arrange them nicely. Don’t forget to serve with the vinegar dipping sauce!

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One thought on “Guotie (Chinese pan-fried dumplings)

  1. Amazingly and strangely enough, my sister fries the most decent guotie among all of us in the family. We often try all ways to get her to do it for us. Haha!

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