A crispy sesame seed bottom elevates these dumplings to make them a wonderful prep-ahead showstopper for entertaining or special occasions. Chicken and mushrooms are a classic pair, working perfectly inside juicy, plump potstickers.
Making dumplings is probably one of my absolute favourite things to do in the kitchen. Not only is the actual process super therapeutic, but I love having a big batch of them in the freezer, ready to whip out for easy, impressive entertaining or a quick meal.
Mixing ground chicken with mushrooms and a host of lovely Asian-style aromatics and seasoning is a delicious filling, that still feels quite light.
There are a few ways you can cook dumplings, but turning them into potstickers (basically, this just means giving them a crispy bottom, thanks to pan-frying), is my go-to for entertaining. Dipping them into sesame seeds pre-frying is totally optional, but it’s an easy way to level up the dumplings to turn them into something really special. I love to serve them on a big platter, drizzled with lots of chilli oil and dumpling dipping sauce for everyone to help themselves.
- Ground chicken. I’m using ground chicken thigh meat, which is juicier than breast, and I’d recommend staying away from anything that’s TOO lean, as you need a bit of fat in your filling to keep it nice and juicy.
- Mushrooms. I’m using regular button mushrooms as they’re super easy to find, but if you can find any speciality mushrooms, like shiitake, use them as they provide even more gorgeous flavour.
- Cilantro (coriander). I know this is a divisive herb, so you could use mint or Thai basil instead if you like.
- Fish sauce. This is one of my most used ingredients, and often the secret that takes recipes to the next level. It doesn’t make the dumplings taste fishy at all – it provides a lovely savoury note that you just can’t replicate with salt.
How to make them
Finely chop your mushrooms, then add them to a pan and cook, stirring, for about five minutes until they’re deeply brown and their water has been released. Add the cooked mushrooms to a bowl along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix well to combine – you want it to be quite sticky and cohesive.
PRO TIP: To save chopping time, I like using my food processor or food chopper to finely chop the mushrooms, cilantro and scallions.
Spoon about a tablespoon of filling onto a dumpling wrapper, then fold it up and seal it well. If you’re using store-bought wrappers, you’ll need to brush the edges with a little water to help them stick (store-bought wrappers are coated in starch to stop them from sticking together in the packet). Fold them whichever way you prefer and seal them well (I have a whole post that breaks down three easy ways to fold dumplings which is helpful to take a look at).
The easiest way is to fold the dumpling over on itself, to create a half-moon shape.
Set yourself up with a shallow plate of sesame seeds, and one with water in it. Set a pan or skillet that has a lid over medium heat and add a little oil. Dip the bottom of a dumpling in the water, then into the sesame seeds, then transfer directly to the pan. Cook for a few minutes, until the bottoms start to brown, then pour in enough water to come about halfway up the dumplings and pop the lid on. Leave for about five minutes, until most of the water has evaporated, then remove the lid and cook for another few minutes until the water has completely evaporated.
Transfer to a serving plate and serve with lots of chilli oil and dumpling dipping sauce. I like to present them potsticker side up so that everyone can see the lovely crispy sesame seed bottom (and this keeps the bottoms crispy).
Got a question?
Yes, you definitely can. If you do, I’d increase the amount of scallions and ground chicken, just to fill out the mixture.
You can – just don’t do the sesame seed base as it won’t work. Line a bamboo steamer – or regular steamer – with baking paper. Make a couple of cuts in the paper so that the steam has somewhere to go, then arrange the dumplings in the steamer. Steam for 10 minutes.
It can! It will keep for 3 days in the fridge, in a sealed container.
I wouldn’t recommend it. The filling will start to seep into the dumpling wrapper and make it soggy, and it may tear. Instead, freeze them. You can pop them in the freezer on a lined tray or plate, then once solid, transfer them to ziplock bags. Then you can cook them straight from frozen.
Everything you need for dumpling night
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