I’ve been meaning to write this entry for a long time, but until now, I’ve avoided trying to figure out how to embed a video into a post. Apparently, it’s way easier than I thought, so now it seems silly I waited so long.

If you know me, you probably know that I absolutely love dumplings and have been known to spend hours wrapping them by myself without complaints. When I was growing up in Hong Kong, I was recruited to help wrap wontons every time we made them at home and I prided myself on being fast and efficient. Once I got good enough at wontons – which let’s face it, it’s not that hard because you just sort of bunch the wrapper all together around the meat – I wanted something a little more challenging. So I sat down and tried to figure out how to make pot stickers.

It took me a few tries but finally, I figured out how to shape pot stickers that looked like the kind you get at restaurants. I then started looking around for different fillings and of course, the possibilities there are endless. Some of my current favorites are a pork and super-gingery filling and a green curry chicken with thai basil filling. But finding a good all-vegetarian filling has always stumped me… until now.

Ming Tsai dubbed these the “Best Vegetarian Pot Stickers” and before you scoff like I did when I first read it, you really should give it a try. They definitely are the best vegetarian potstickers I’ve ever had.

Adapted from this recipe from Ming Tsai. The only thing I changed is to chop everything relatively finely, so that you don’t have large chunks of one ingredient hanging out in a pot sticker

1 red onion, chopped finely
1 tbsp. ginger, minced
1 cup shiitake mushrooms, chopped finely
1 cup white cabbage, shredded
1 cup carrots, shredded
1 cup garlic sprouts or chives, chopped
1 tsp. white pepper
1 tsp. sesame oil
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1 package gyoza wrappers (avoid the super-thin “hong kong style wonton” wrappers)
canola oil

In a wok or large saute pan, add a little oil and saute onions and ginger. Add the mushrooms and stir. Add the cabbage, carrots and chives. Season. When mixture is soft, place in colander to drain.

Add the sesame oil and cilantro when mixture is cooled. Check for seasoning.

Using the gyoza skins, make half moon dumplings keeping the bottom flat (see video above).

Note: At this point, the gyozas can be frozen, but since you don’t want a giant mass of dumplings, here’s what you do. Line them up on a baking sheet (or whatever flat surface you have), making sure the individual dumplings are pretty well separated. Stick the whole tray in the freezer. Once the gyozas are completely frozen (they should not be soft to the touch at all – I usually just leave them in overnight), you can then store them all together in a freezer bag. Cook dumplings directly out of the freezer, without thawing.

In a hot non-stick pan over medium-high heat, coat with oil and place dumplings. When the oil starts sizzling around the dumplings, add in water (1/4 cup for unfrozen dumplings, or enough water to cover the bottom halves of the dumplings for frozen ones). Immediately cover pan and allow the water to boil in order to steam the dumplings.

After about 5-10 min, start paying attention because the water will pretty much all boil off. Once you have only a little bit of water left in the pan, uncover the pan and let it go for a bit longer. You want to see the bottoms of the dumplings browning and getting crispy and possibly looking like they’re starting to stick to the pan (thus, “pot stickers”) – but don’t worry, you’re using a non-stick pan! Turn off the heat and carefully remove the pot stickers with a spatula.

Serve hot with soy sauce and vinegar for dipping.