Drop everything you’re doing and go to the store right now to pick up all the ingredients you need to make these pan-fried chicken pot stickers. Go! Do it!
I am being 100% serious here. These homemade delights are so darn tasty, you will never need to order in or go out to a restaurant to get your pot sticker fix ever again.
When you order Chinese takeout from a new place, do you have one thing that you order to test whether that restaurant is good?
Maybe you order the egg rolls, or the lo mein. Maybe you judge a place by one of the main courses like Kung Pao Chicken. But my go-to test dish is pot stickers, and there are several elements to making pot stickers that stand out above the rest.
First, you need a flavorful filling, with a good balance of vegetables and seasoning.
Whether it’s a vegetarian version or one like this recipe that’s made with minced or ground meat, it’ll have just the right amount of moisture. You don’t want it to soak through the wrapper, but you don’t want it to be dry and bland either.
Next, you need a crispy exterior. The dumpling skin should be crispy and golden brown, wrapping up the filling in a safe little package that doesn’t burst or fall apart in the pan.
This means a careful stuffing technique is required, and the method used to cook these Chinese-American dumplings is also of the utmost importance.
I used to fry my homemade version in canola or vegetable oil, but then I learned the secret to creating an extra blast of flavor…
Frying the pot stickers in sesame oil is the only way to do it. You might think this would overwhelm the flavor of the filling, but it really doesn’t.
While sesame oil should be used with a delicate hand, it imparts just the right amount of flavor to the exterior of these crispy packages.
This is all you need to master creating the perfect pot sticker. And you will never need to venture beyond your own kitchen to get your hands on a plateful.
Of course, I know that the idea of making an appetizer like this at home can be really intimidating. The key is to go into it with confidence.
All you need to do is break it down like I have below. As you can see in the detailed Cooking by the Numbers section below the recipe card, there are only 5 basic steps to making these, and each of these is simple and straightforward.
I’ll admit that my method is not traditional – the filling is cooked first, the wrappers aren’t folded into complicated pleats, I flip mine to fry on both sides for extra crispiness, and there’s no steaming involved in the cooking process.
But they’re quick and easy to make, and they are delicious. There’s no fancy folding to worry about, and there’s no slaving over a filling and frying process that takes hours to come together, except perhaps among those who have been making this dish for a lifetime.
If you can’t find round wonton wrappers at the store in your neighborhood, that’s okay. You can make your own out of the standard square wrappers with a biscuit cutter. Simply use the largest biscuit cutting ring you have to trim the square edges off.
Just like that, you have round wonton wrappers to make this delightful recipe with. That way, if you don’t have time to run around the city finding the round wrappers, you can save time by making them yourself.
The only question is, will you share these with friends and family, or will you hoard them all for yourself?
Either way, I won’t judge you.Print
There’s no need to order takeout to get your appetizer fix – make pan-fried chicken pot stickers in your own kitchen instead.
For the Dipping Sauce:
- 1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 1/2 tsp seasoned rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
- 1 tsp packed light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
For the Dumplings:
- 1 tsp canola oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, minced (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1.5 cups pre-packaged broccoli slaw
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 Tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1/2 tsp salt, plus more to taste
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
- 40 round wonton wrappers (1 12-oz package)
- 1/4 cup toasted sesame oil, divided
- Stir together all of the ingredients to make the dipping sauce. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Add ground chicken and cook until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain off any fat.
- Chop the broccoli slaw very finely, between a dice and a mince. Add to the pan and stir to combine. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Stir in garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, and cook for 1 more minute.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Add additional seasoning to taste.
- Lay wonton wrapper on a clean, flat work surface. Using your finger or a pastry brush, wet the perimeter edge with water.
- Add 1 tablespoon of chicken mixture to the center of the wrapper.
- Fold wrapper in half to form a half moon shape, and press the edges firmly together to get a tight seal. Set aside.
- Repeat this process until all of the ground chicken mixture has been used up.
- Heat about 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Lay a few pot stickers at a time in the pan with the seam to one side. Cook for about 1-2 minutes or until golden brown, then turn over and cook on the other side.
- Repeat with remaining pot stickers, adding more sesame oil 1 tablespoon at a time if the pan gets dry.
- Serve with dipping sauce.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Appetizers
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Chinese
Keywords: pot stickers, chicken, appetizer, Chinese
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Mince and Measure Ingredients
Peel and mince half of a yellow onion, and set it aside.
Mince two cloves of garlic using a sharp knife or your garlic press. Set aside.
Measure out the remaining ingredients as they are listed on the ingredients list.
Step 2 – Make Dipping Sauce
Add the soy sauce, water, rice wine vinegar, and sesame oil to a small bowl.
Stir in crushed red pepper flakes, if you would like to use them. You can omit these if you don’t like spicy food.
Step 3 – Make Filling
Heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is hot, stir in the onion and cook while stirring occasionally until it is softened and translucent. This should take about 1-2 minutes.
Stir in the ground chicken and stir occasionally until it is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Drain off any excess fat from the pan.
While the chicken is cooking, chop the broccoli slaw very finely, until you get pieces that are somewhere between a dice and a mince. Stir the slaw into the chicken and onion mixture. Cook for 3 more minutes, until the vegetables have softened.
Stir in the garlic, ginger, and 1 tablespoon of soy sauce. Cook for an additional minute before removing from the heat.
Stir in the crushed red pepper if you’re using it, as well as the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Give the mixture a taste, and add more salt and pepper if desired.
Step 4 – Assemble and Shape
Start with one wonton wrapper, placed in front of you on a clean surface. Moisten the perimeter edge of the wrapper with water. I just use my finger for this, but you can use a pastry brush if you like.
Keeping the wonton wrappers moist and pliable is important, since they may crack if they get too dry in the heat of the kitchen. Keep them in the package or loosely covered with a towel that is just barely damp. Make sure it isn’t wet, or the wrappers may stick together, and that’s going to be a mess.
If you have the opposite situation and your cooking environment is too sticky and humid, a very light dusting of flour can help to keep your wrappers from sticking to your hands and your cutting board or work surface.
Add 1 tablespoon of the filling mixture to the center of the wrapper. This is important! Overfilled dumplings will burst, and you need enough space around the perimeter of each wrapper to create a sturdy seal.
Fold the wonton wrapper in half to form a half moon shape, and pinch firmly around the perimeter to make the edges stick together.
Repeat this process until you have used up all of the filling.
Step 5 – Pan Fry
Once the oil is hot – shimmering but not smoking – add a layer of pot stickers to the pan in a circle, arranged so they are laying on one side.
Cook for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook on the other side for another 1-2 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter.
Add 1 tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan at a time if it is dry, and repeat with the remaining dumplings.
Serve with dipping sauce.
The Ideal Appetizer for Any Occasion
There is no occasion that I can think of where these pot stickers won’t work.
Dinner party? Perfect. Game night? Wonderful. Bridal shower? Go for it!
Savory, just a little spicy, and served with a simple dipping sauce, they are fantastic for any time when you are gathering with friends to enjoy a cocktail, or to share a great big meal with sesame noodles or beef lo mein and a main course like chicken teriyaki.
If you’re wondering what to serve after this appetizer, here are a few takeout-inspired recipes with just the right flavors:
- Spicy Ground Beef Lettuce Wraps
- Spicy Garlic Green Beans
- 15-Minute Chow Mein
- Sriracha Tofu Stir Fry
- Lightened Up General Tso’s Chicken
- Grilled Chicken Yakitori
Which meal will you choose to serve after these easy homemade dumplings? Tell us in the comments below, and be sure to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it!
Photos by Meghan Yager, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on April 29, 2012. Last updated: June 7, 2021 at 19:54 pm. With additional writing and editing by Allison Sidhu.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Meghan Yager
Meghan Yager is a food addict turned food and travel writer with a love for creating uncomplicated, gourmet recipes and devouring anything the world serves up. As the author of the food and travel blog Cake 'n Knife, Meghan focuses on unique foodie experiences from around the world to right at home in your own kitchen.