1 1/2tablespoonssafflower or vegetable oil, plus more for frying dumplings
4cupsthinly sliced green or savoy cabbage, see note 1
1 1/2teaspoonskosher salt
2carrots, grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
1cupchopped Chinese chives or garlic chives, see note 2
1/4teaspoonfive-spice powder, optional
1teaspoonsesame oil, optional
wok or large sauté pan
a large baking sheet or several large plates
dry tea towels
large 12” cast-iron or nonstick skillet with lid
Prepare Vegetable Filling
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a wok or large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and cook for about 1 minute. Next, add the ginger and garlic and stir for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the cabbage and salt and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add the carrots and cook for a minute.
Turn off the heat. Mix in the garlic chives, five-spice powder, and sesame oil, if using.
Transfer the filling to a large bowl to cool for at least 20 minutes.
Prepare Dumpling-Making Station
If you are using store-bought wrappers, fill a small bowl with water for wrapping the dumplings.
Grab a baking sheet for the finished dumplings and a towel to cover the dumplings to prevent them from drying out.
Get a spoon for scooping the dumpling filling.
(For store-bought wrappers) Dip the edges of the wrapper into water, about 1/2 inch deep. Circle the wrapper around to moisten the perimeter of the wrapper.
Lay the wrapper on your left hand. Add about 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable filling. If this is your first time making dumplings, start with less filling so that the dumpling is easier to manage as you pleat.
Using your right hand, pinch the wrapper together on the right side.
Then, using your index fingers, create a pleat with the side of the wrapper that is facing away from you. Seal the pleat by flattening it over to the right. Repeat until the entire dumpling is pleated and sealed.
Transfer the dumpling to a baking sheet or plate. Cover the dumpling with a dry towel to prevent the edges from drying out. Continue making dumplings until all the filling or wrappers are gone.
Cook the Potstickers
Heat a 12” cast-iron skillet or nonstick pan with 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, line the potstickers in the pan, flat side down. Let the potstickers fry for about 2 minutes, until they start to turn golden on the bottom.
Have the lid of your skillet ready for the next step. Pour 1/4 cup of water into the pan. The oil will splatter immediately, so use the lid as a shield. Cover the pan with the lid.
Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 6 minutes, until the bottom of the dumplings are a deep golden brown. Oftentimes, the heat doesn’t distribute evenly across the pan, which results in some dumplings being less browned than others. You can pan fry the dumplings with pale bottoms for an extra minute or two, uncovered.
Transfer the finished dumplings to a plate. Add more oil to the skillet and cook the remaining potstickers.
Place all the dumplings on a lined baking sheet or several large plates. Make sure the dumplings are not touching each other. Freeze the potstickers until firm and store them in a freezer bag.
When you’re ready to cook, just add the frozen potstickers directly to the pan—there is no need to defrost them. The dumplings will take several minutes before they start browning. Then, pour water into the pan, like you would fresh dumplings. Cover the pan and cook the dumplings for 6 to 8 minutes over medium heat, until the bottoms are golden brown.
I usually slice the cabbage into 1/2-inch strips before slicing them thinly. The dumplings will be easier to pleat and seal if the cabbage pieces are smaller.
You can substitute the garlic chives with 1/2 cup sliced scallions.
Leftover wrappers: If you have any leftover store-bought dumpling wrappers, you can wrap them with plastic and refrigerate them for up to a week. You can also freeze them. Alternatively, you can make crispy crackers with the wrappers. Cut the wrappers into 1-inch strips. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Spread the strips over the baking sheet in a single layer. Spray another layer of oil over the wrappers. Sprinkle the wrappers generously with sugar and cinnamon. Bake the strips 400ºF for about 6 to 10 minutes, until they’re browned. Let them cool completely before eating! They continue to crisp up as they cool.