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Shrimp and Chive Potsticker DumplingsThis year seems to be a banner year for cookbooks and there are so many that I’ve leafed through and bookmarked, that even though it’s early in the cookbook season, I feel like I already have the next twelve month’s worth of great recipes to try on my docket. Lately I’ve been impressed by books that make cuisines that people might feel daunted about tackling, accessible. And even though the internet has made finding international ingredients easier, I’m drawn to books and recipes that don’t make you feel like an idiot if you don’t have colatura, or can’t find rascasse at your local fish market for your bouillabaisse. (Or don’t feel like wrestling with a live eel to make it.) Authenticity is nice to aspire to, but I’m also happy cooking something with ingredients that I can find locally.

Shrimp and Chive Potsticker Dumplings

Bouillabaisse was a dish made by fishmongers in Marseilles who used leftover scraps of fish, what they couldn’t sell, to make the soup. It was never intended to be a luxury dinner made with pricey imported seafood. So the esprit of the dish is to use what’s available in your locale. Ditto with cassoulet, which was a nourishing, peasant meal made with dried beans and bits of leftover and preserved meats. Using beans that cost $30 per pound somewhat negates the concept of cassoulet.

Food changes and evolves, especially in America, a land of immigrants, where new combinations are tested when some ingredients aren’t available, and cooks and chefs make changes based on the seasons and regions. In one excellent new cookbook I’ve been reading, Zahav, chef Michael Solomonov talks about how in the winter, rather than using bland tomatoes for tabbouleh, he uses persimmons. It is more authentic to make tabbouleh with tasteless, out-of-season tomatoes? Or to use something fresh, delicious, and available, which is the spirit of the original dish? He argues for the latter, which makes sense to me.

Shrimp and Chive Potsticker Dumplings

Most of us in America grew up with some form of “Americanized” versions of Chinese food. So the esprit of the dishes isn’t a strict adherence to a list of ingredients, but making do with whatever you have. That’s how Thai, Italian, and French food evolved, even in their own countries. And if you don’t believe me, ask our Italian neighbors in France where pistou and macarons came from.

Perhaps because I’m from America where immigrants brought most of our food from somewhere else, origins are not something that I feel like is worth quibbling over, or rigidly defending authenticity, because it doesn’t seem to matter to me at this point. I just care that food is good, made with good intentions, and fresh. Michael Solomonov, Daniel BouludEddie Huang, David Chang, Alice WatersDominique Ansel, and Yotam Ottolenghi have shown that foods steeped in long-standing traditions from certain countries cultures can be updated for today’s tastes, successfully using ingredients that are available in other parts of the world.

Shrimp and Chive Potsticker Dumplings

That said, to be honest, I was a little skeptical when I got Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Favorites, somewhat because of the “pop” design that is intended to look like a 1960’s American Chinese cookbook, the kind that had recipes for rumaki and pu pu platters, accompanied by pictures of backyard tiki parties. I think all those things are fun, but I worked in an excellent, and – yup – authentic Chinese and Southeast Asian restaurant for a few years, and wasn’t sure I needed a book of recipes that are self-described as 100% inauthentic.

Shrimp and Chive Potsticker Dumplings

But as I leafed through the book, I was completely won over by it. I liked how it makes Asian cooking fun and accessible. Every recipe in the book would be easy for anyone to make. Sure, if you want to tackle the great dishes of China, you can find books that will help you do that. (And then spend a few days gathering all the ingredients.) But if you just want to make a batch of dumplings, and feel like a pro with a lot less effort, or roast off a batch of sticky ribs with fish sauce, this book will help you to do that. Cooking is supposed to be fun, and tackling a project like making homemade dumplings will make you feel like you’ve really accomplished something. I know, because I’ve done it.

101 Easy Asian Favorites is a book that anyone could make any recipe from. That’s something I want in a cookbook. (Although there’s certainly room for all types of cookbooks, from ones that capture authentic foods and their fascinating lineage, to reference books that I use for understanding the technical aspects of cooking and baking.) But I find myself being less-drawn to “aspirational” cookbooks that keep you at a distance from your kitchen, rather than cookbooks that are actually useful, and get you cooking. Or in the case of these dumplings – folding and pinching.

Shrimp and Chive Potsticker Dumplings

Called potstickers in America (and Jiaozi in Chinese), these kinds of dumplings are said to be the result of a happy accident when someone was frying up a batch of dumplings and some water unintentionally got spilled into the pan they were cooking in. The dumplings “stuck” to the pan, giving them a crisp crust on the bottom. I love dumplings and they are one of the foods that I could eat for breakfast, lunch, and, dinner. And then as a midnight snack.

These are very easy to make, with a short list of ingredients. It might take you a few tries to get the dumpling folds right, but once fried up and dipped in sauce, you’ll feel confident sitting down to a plate of steaming hot homemade dumplings, no matter when you want to eat them.

Shrimp and Chive Potsticker Dumplings

Shrimp and Chive Potstickers

Adapted from Lucky Peach Presents 101 Easy Asian Recipes by Peter Meehan The amount of dumplings you’ll get from this depends on how much filling you put in each. I started with a 1-pound (450g) package of dumpling wrappers which had 30 wrappers in it, and used a very generous 1 1/2 teaspoon of filling per dumpling. I ended up going out for more wrappers to use up the rest of the shrimp filling. You may get less but best to err on the side of having a few extra wrappers (which can be frozen for the next batch). You don’t want to overstuff the dumpling wrappers, but put the right amount in so you can close them without the filling oozing out. The first few may be clunky, until you get the right amount of filling for the wrappers that you have. By the second or third dumpling, you’ll be more confident. There’s a very good tutorial here on folding these kinds of dumplings. If you don’t want to fuss with them, the dumplings can be made by simply folding the round wonton wrappers over the filling, forming semi-circles, making sure to press as much air out of them as possible before sealing. I used garlic chives, which I bought in Chinatown, which lent a lovely emerald color and gave a sharper taste to the filling. Regular chives will work fine as well. If you would prefer to boil or steam the dumplings, you can do either: Steamed dumplings will take about 8 to 10 minutes to cook, boiled dumplings will take 3 to 4 minutes. If frozen, they’ll take at least twice as long, in my experience. In addition to the simple dipping sauce, I usually like to have a little hot sauce on hand, too, and serve a little chile paste or another Asian hot sauce with them.

For the dumplings

  • 1 pound (450g) uncooked shelled shrimp, fresh or frozen (if frozen, thawed)
  • 1 cup finely minced garlic chives or 2 bunches regular chives, minced
  • 1 tablespoon peeled, minced ginger
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or sherry
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon white or black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Two 1-pound (450g) packages of dumpling wrappers

Dipping Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • a few drops of sesame oil
  • To make the dumplings, peel and chop the shrimp, either with a chef’s knife or pulsing them in a food processor. In a medium-sized bowl, mix the chopped shrimp with the chives, ginger, egg, soy sauce, Shaoxing, sesame oil, pepper, and salt. Cover and chill the mixture for at least 30 minutes.
  • While the filling is resting, make the dipping sauce by stirring together the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, water, and sesame oil until the sugar is dissolved.
  • To stuff the dumplings, have a small glass of water with a brush ready. Dust a baking sheet lightly with corn starch. (I line the baking sheet with parchment as well for extra insurance.)
  • Brush a circle of water around the outer rim of a dumpling wrapper with water. Place a generous teaspoon or so of filling in the middle, then fold the opposite edges of the dough over the filling, and pinch it together in the center. (As shown in the photo, in the post.) Working with your fingers, pleat the edges of the dough to enclose the filling, making sure to expel as much air as possible from the inside before closing them up, and making sure there are no gaps, so the dumplings are completely sealed shut.
  • Place the dumpling flat side down on the corn starch dusted baking sheet, and fill the rest of the dumplings the same way.
  • To cook, add enough neutral-flavored cooking oil in a skillet (one which has a cover) until it coats the bottom of the pan. You can use a non-stick skillet, a wok, or a cast iron one. Heat the oil over medium-high heat until it is hot and sizzling.
  • Add enough dumplings to the pan, flat side down, cooking as many as will fit in the pan, but they should not be touching. (You will likely have to fry the dumplings in batches, depending on the size of your pan.) Fry for 1 minute, until the dumplings are browned on the bottom. Add ¼ cup (60ml) of water to the pan, then quickly cover. Let the dumplings cook until the dumplings are cooked through, about 3 minutes. To check for doneness, the dough should become translucent in all places.
  • Remove the lid and cook until the water is boiled off and the dumplings are browned and crisp on the bottom.
  • Serve the dumplings warm with dipping sauce and hot sauce, such as chili oil, if desired.


Storage: The filling and the dumplings can be made one day in advance and refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap or a tea towel. The uncooked dumplings can be frozen on a corn starch dusted baking sheet, then transferred to a zip-top plastic bag and kept for up to two months in the freezer.

Related Recipes

Sui Mai Dumplings

Tricotin Dim Sum in Paris

Thai Stir-Fried Chicken with Chile Jam

Thai Green Curry

Vietnamese Rice Noodle Salad


    • Danielle

    That Lucky Peach Asian cookbook has been on my wish list (it’s not available until Oct. 27). Looking forward to it after your review. Along the same lines, have you seen The Mind of a Chef? It’s a Netflix series following David Chang, investigating (and simplifying) food through travel and science.

    • Eng ting ting

    Hi david, i know someone who lives in paris who is going to relocate. He’s an avid gardener and has lots of herbs and plants to give away. Would you be keen to adopt some plants?

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks. I have planters but people keep swiping the plants out of them, especially the herbs – Roots and all! (I was considering bringing back some poison ivy from the states on my last trip, or planting stinging nettles….) But I am dialing down refilling the planters, unfortunately, but thanks anyways : (

    • Maria del mar

    Beautiful and Delicioso!

      • shelly

      Mar, is that you my love? It’s weird to see your name here. I love David’s recipes and stories. You should check out my blog too. Weird.. funny. I wonder if it’s you, mari

    • Sandra

    Oh this makes me homesick! Where did you get the wrappers? I haven’t been able to find them in my part of France.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      They sell them at Paris Store in Belleville and in the 13th. I am pretty sure they sell them at Tang Frères, too.

    • Chloe’ Meranda

    David! As always I loved the post. I have been subscribed to you for a long time now….5 or 6 years maybe? I’m not sure exactly. However, I have been remaking your recipes/reading your blog/buying your books for what feels like forever and 4 years ago you had visited babycakes . I set it as a personal goal to get myself to babycakes ever since then and monday i FINALLY did. It was as awesome as I had imagined and when I told them I’ve been dying to come here ever since you blogged about it, they said that they love you and agreed your blog is the best! Thanks for what you do! :)

    • megan

    Looks good! I was curious to see what a non-Chinese person’s recipe was, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that it is similar to how we would make it at home (though we more often use pork, or a combination, for $$ reasons). A slight difference is that I don’t add egg to the batter, and omit ginger when using chives, because the chives alone are pungent enough to mellow out that “porky” taste. Plus, I love the taste of ‘just’ chives.
    If you want some very technical comments, “jiao zi” refers specifically to cooking these by boiling, and “guotie” is actually the name for potstickers- guo = pot, and tie= stick (鍋貼). There’s also “zhen jiao” which is steamed dumplings, but no matter.. :)
    My mom also used to remind me that ‘true’ potstickers require a hot water dough- it causes the dough to be more tender, and less chewy than cold water dough. But, most people are so busy these days that the cold water dough probably functions for boiling, steaming, and panfrying!

      • Emma

      really thank for the info in the different names and cooking techniques !

    • Kate

    I saw the recipe pop up in my email box and audibly gasped and then nearly teared up.

    It’s possible I love dumplings too much.

    • Lala

    David, those are beautiful folds on those dumplings!!

    My grandmother taught me how to make those layered folds on dumpling wrappers and I was so proud when I finally got them right! (And they “sit up” and don’t fall or flip over!) yours are beautiful!

    Next step, you have to try rolling your own dumpling wrappers / skins!! ;)


    • Francine

    The wrappers found in Canada are square. Those look circular so must I cut the wrappers?

      • KAT

      Francine: I am not sure where in Canada you live, but I have found round dumpling wrappers in Korean/Japanese stores in Montreal (frozen section), if you cannot find them in Chinese stores.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, you can use square ones but I would just fold them over in half over the filling, as directed, and fry them that way if you can’t get the round ones.

      • niche

      The square wrappers are usually for won-tons. They are not exactly same thing as the texture is different. In a pinch, you can use it. I’m not sure where in Canada you live but in Vancouver, Toronto or Calgary, just go to T&T and get dumpling wrappers.

      If not in the major cities that have big Chinese populations, just ask the grocer if they can get dumpling wrappers. I can’t imagine how there would be a market for won-tons but not dumplings.

    • Stephanie

    I just saw this cookbook and put it on my list of things to get but I am glad that you tried a recipe.. sold! i knew it was going to be a good one :)

    • Elizabeth

    David, when your blog popped up in my email box, I was very excited. I have tried for years to figure out how to make the folds on potstickers, but have not been able to do so.

    Photos, David is going to show us using photos! No, sigh, you did not. You only whetted my appetite with the first one, folding the wrapper in half over the filling. Then you go on to say “Working with your fingers, pleat the edges of the dough to enclose the filling,…”

    David, working with my fingers to pleat the edges is what I cannot figure out how to do! I must be exceptionally dense, for which I apologize, but could you please, PLEASE, add a sequence of a few step by step photos to help me figure out just how I am supposed to work with my fingers to achieve wrapped perfection? I would be soooo grateful!

      • Kate

      Elizabeth, David links to a dumpling-wrapping tutorial (complete with photos!) in the paragraphs right above the recipe itself.

      I still have a difficult time with this particular shape and all of those tiny pleats, so I often just go for the “nurse’s cap” variety of folding. It’s probably not authentic or recommended, but they’re cute and uniform and delicious.

        • Elizabeth

        Kate, thank you, thank you for pointing that out! I do not see how I missed it, but I did. Yes, the photos did it, I understand! Finally!

        Hope I can try it this weekend, though my husband may have other plans… we are about to have a first frost, and he is very proud of his large vegetable garden! I suspect that we will eat things this weekend that include eggplants, peppers and summer squash… our tomatoes have a late blight. Bummer!

        The nurse’s cap fold… I am not familiar with that… ?

            • Elizabeth

            Kate, you are an amazing source of information! Thank you! When you freeze them, do you layer them with parchment paper? I have had problems with frozen hand made wonton sticking together when I freeze them.

            • Kate

            I lay them out flat, not touching, on a cookie sheet (probably with parchment on it) until they’re frozen solid, and then dump in a freezer bag and suck the air out with a straw. :) That way they won’t stick together.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      It’s hard to take step-by-step photos of making dumplings since it takes two hands to make them, and I take my own pictures for the blog. But thanks to the others, below, for the tips and links – and yes, I included a good one in the post as well. Happy folding and pleating! : )

      • // grenobloise

      Elizabeth, I learned the folds via Maangchi’s mandu (dumpling) video!

      Here’s the link:

      It’s also my favorite dumpling of all time (I’ve tried ’em all) — a huge crowd pleaser (incl. the soup)!

        • Elizabeth

        Thank you so much! I will check tomorrow. Running out the door just now… need to meet the car mechanic! :>)

    • Debbie C

    It’s so funny the timing of this post. I was just eating dumplings and thinking how a warm plate of them, with a good dipping sauce, is the ultimate comfort food. Like everything will be ok now. Thanks for this, will have to try this recipe soon!

    • Allyson

    I think somewhere along the lines we’ve gotten the idea that “authentic”=good food and “inauthentic”=trash. And it’s a funny thing that we seem to only apply it to foods that are sufficiently foreign. No one (that I’ve encountered) gets offended if you substitute walnuts for pine nuts in pesto, because everyone knows just how expensive pine nuts are and pesto’s pretty familiar. But that idea doesn’t seem to translate to foods that are not yet completely assimilated.

    Personally, I think that one of the most fascinating things about food culture is that they do change, and how they change. The norms of what a specific dish is that we have now aren’t fixed, and they never will be. I think it’s better to embrace this change and follow the spirit of the dish.

    These dumplings look excellent. I applaud your dumpling wrapping skills.

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      There’s a tendency to want to “own” certain dishes, everything from bagels to kebabs. Foods (and people) travel across borders, bringing their native foods with them, and adapting them. French macarons are based on Italian almond macarons, which, at some point, got sandwiched with filling. People assert the “real” bagels are from New York or Canada, when in fact, they’re from Poland. (Although both the Canadian and American ones don’t really resemble the Polish ones all that much – but they’re still considered bagels.) There is a strong desire to claim things, or to argue about what is the most authentic version of a dish, to scold people for getting it (or calling something) wrong. Food is fluid – Thai people didn’t always have chiles, Italians didn’t always have tomatoes (or coffee) – but they’ve adapted and integrated them into their cuisines successfully and now we consider them normal. If people had stopped chiles and tomatoes from being added to those cultures, we would not have those now-classic foods today.

        • Emma

        Even if I do agree with the notion of evolving food, and being tolerant with “ou” inauthentic” food, I think that for foreign and new or not very known food, a kind of authenticity is needed in order to have the good taste, the good basic notions of the aromas, flavors and tastes of said cuisine.

        For example I remember the “authentic” thai salad recipe a famous French food critic gave : there was sesame seed oil, sriracha and kikkoman sauce in the dressing !!!
        This is absolutely not in the thai range of salad flavors. So I explained in the comments about the 4 ingredients of a Thai dressing and the whole balance of taste philosophy behind (the blog thaifoodandtravel has a very interesting post of how to train your taste to really master the impact of fox example changing the proposition of sugar in thai dressing).
        Well the guy answered me very dryly about that he didn’t need to be so accurate, provided it was somewhat Asian !!
        So for him Japan style dressing is like Thai style dressing !

          • megan

          I agree with you completely on this note! I definitely think that food evolves and that there is place for creativity in cuisine, but there are definitely some definitions that should not be crossed. For instance, there have been times I have seen salads called “Chinese” because there was edamame and sesame oil added…not only does that mis-categorize edamame and sesame oil as purely Chinese ingredients (which they are not), but also implies that Chinese people eat salads with leafy greens. The only time you’d find a raw leafy green salad in China/Taiwan would be if they are making or imitating Western cuisine.

          • David
          David Lebovitz

          I once saw a French woman on a cooking show making a Caesar Salad with chicken stock in the dressing, which I thought maybe she was getting Americans (or Mexicans?) back for making sandwiches out of croissants. But now I see croissanwiches in France, too. Hope the chicken stock-Caesar isn’t coming behind!

        • // grenobloise

        Well said David!

    • shelly

    Hi David,

    I would love to make your dumplings (maybe with veggies instead of shrimp) but I have no idea where to find the dumplings wrappers in Mallorca. We just moved here a month ago from California and I didn’t find yet an asian grocery store. I’m sure there is one on this island…

      • David
      David Lebovitz

      You can make your own. There are recipes around the web if you want to give ’em a go! Or I recommend Andrea Nguyen’s book, Asian Dumplings for doughs and other fillings.

    • italiangirlcooks

    Beautiful potstickers…love them…especially with ground pork, although shrimp is a nice idea.

    • Gavrielle

    Very well said! It’s easy to fetishise “authenticity”, to the absurd degree that what’s a simple peasant food in its home country turns into a apendy splurge. Why not substitute with what’s good locally? In fact, that’s pretty much the basis for New Zealand cuisine, which has a strong South East Asian influence but with our own local spin. The only exception I make is with Malaysian cuisine – it’s one of my favourites, but I don’t try to make it as it has so very many ingredients I can’t get locally that substitutions would lose the dish altogether.

    • Nancy

    I was recently in the Republic of Georgia, where they eat filled dumplings that are also pleated. The filing is, I think, typically based on beef or lamb. I was lucky enough to be in the home of a Georgian woman while she and her friends were making dumplings, and I got a chance to try pleating.

    Georgian dumplings are pleated all around, so that the pleats end in a sort of top-knot. They are cooked by boiling in a large pot of salted water, with the result that there is a lot of juice inside the wrapper once the dumpling has been cooked. Eating a dumpling becomes a contest to see whether the eater can consume the dumpling, which is held by the top-knot and eaten all at one go (although not in one bite), without spilling the juice. Different people advise different techniques for achieving this, and some people eat the top-knot, while others leave it.

    • Linda

    And if you have ever come by couenne (or hooves or feet of any kind of animal) you can make stock with them, allow it to set, then replace half of the filling with the stock-gel.

    Voilà – tang bao. (Steamed soup dumplings) In the southeast of China there are dumpling where it’s all soup, and we stick a straw in. Like a juice box.

    Sadly though, living alone in France, (and having a miniscule fridge thus no room to freeze leftovers) I’d have problems justifying walking all over town looking for pig’s knuckles, then spending three or four hours on a twenty-minute (or less, sigh) meal…

    • Li-hsia

    Re: dumpling wrappers–the round ones are for chiao-tse/kuo-tieh (Mandarin pronunciation) and the square ones for won-ton (Cantonese).

    If you can find them use thinner dough for a better relationship between wrapper and contents.


    • Deborah

    Well, there you go – something to do with all those garlic chives growing in my garden.
    Sounds yummy

    • Miss Louise

    That first shot is the cutest dumpling ever made, I am sure of it.

    • Jennifer Almarine

    I’ve really disliked shrimp in the past. Perhaps it’s time to make myself acquire a taste for them? Anything tastes better fried…

    • T00551542

    Great, another cookbook I need to add to my growing list of books I want. Seriously though, thank you for bringing up this book, it is one that I would have passed over easy enough, I guess that will teach me to judge a book by it’s cover. Thank you for broaching on the fact that coking should be fun and some of the roots of the foods that we consume. A lot of people now are so disconnected from food and the dishes they enjoy so much. Sometimes the dishes are best when made with love and enjoyment than when they are made with the best ingredients money can buy.

    • // grenobloise

    I’m a non-Asian NYer and I’ve been making dumplings consistently since moving to France 4 years ago, as I could not find fresh ones here. Once you learn the folding methods well, I find it rather easy (and relaxing), and I make a ton at a time to then freeze ’em(for up to 2 months like you said).

    I have made Chinese and Korean dumplings; including something similar to this fine recipe you’ve shared. I always fall back on the same, traditional Korean Dumpling (mandu) recipe by Maangchi. I boil them then fry them until they’re a little crispy. People rave over them and my dipping sauce. I suppose it’s one of the few dishes I can make well! I’m a fan of The Dumplings Sisters (Chinese Food) on YouTube — they got me addicted to making Char Siu pork (So good! Life is not complete without it.).

    I fold half of the dumplings in the mood shape for boiling/frying, and another half in the hat shape for mandu soup. So good!

    I also make homemade Chinese hot oil, which you can replace the sesame oil with (or cut 1/2 1/2) for a spicy kick to your sauce.

    Anyway, I love that I’m seeing an Asian recipe! Next, maybe you’ll try Japchae? It’s one of my faves and it’s only been the past year which I’ve been able to find sweet potato noodles in my local Asian supermarkets here in Grenoble. I’d love to see your take on it.

    Seeing your photos is making my mouth water! Your dumplings look delish!

    • Alexandra

    Well said. I feel like the days of aiming for perfect authenticity in our [collective] cooking are gone. I guess that is partly because folks are more into local and seasonal ingredients, versus having to hunt down weird items to make one dish.

    With that said, these potstickers are very beautiful! :)


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