Pot Stickers

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1 quantity dumpling filling
250 g/8 oz/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
250 ml/8 fl oz/1 cup boiling water
4 tablespoons peanut oil


Prepare dumpling filling, but omit prawns and increase pork to 375 g (12 oz).
Put flour into a large bowl and pour in boiling water, stirring with handle of wooden spoon or chopsticks. When cool enough to handle, knead well until soft and smooth, dusting hands with flour if necessary. Shape dough into a cylinder 2.5 cm (1 in) in diameter and slice into 30 pieces of even size. Cover with plastic or a damp cloth to prevent surface becoming dry.

Roll each piece of dough on a lightly floured board to a circle 10 cm (4 in) in diameter. Pleat half of circle to form a pouch, place a teaspoonful of filling inside and press edges together to seal. If necessary, dampen edges with a little cold water. Place dumplings on a tray not touching each other and keep covered with a damp cloth.

Heat a large, heavy frying pan over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons peanut oil and tilt pan to coat base and half way up side of pan. (This is important. If pastry touches side of pan that is not oiled, it will stick and tear.) When very hot add half the dumplings in one layer, pleated side up and fry until golden underneath.

Add 1/2 cup boiling water to pan, using a long-handled ladle as it will hiss and sputter. Cover immediately and cook on low heat for 5 to 8 minutes. Uncover and cook until liquid evaporates and pot stickers become crisp and deep golden brown underneath, lifting occasionally with a spatula to prevent them sticking too firmly.

Remove to a platter, clean the pan and cook remaining pot stickers in the same way. Serve hot, with a dip of chilli sauce or Chinese red vinegar.

Note: Pastry rounds are available in plastic packets from the refrigerator section of most Asian grocers.

Recipe excerpted from Encyclopedia of Asian Food by Charmaine Solomon (Periplus Editions, 1998)