The first potsticker was created accidentally when the water boiled away from a pot of dumplings.
- 2 tablespoons cilantro leaves
- 1/2 pound large shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 large egg white
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chile oil, or 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil mixed with a pinch of cayenne
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- 3/4 cup finely chopped (about 2 ounces) Napa cabbage
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 small scallions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced (about 1 small) shallot
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 package 3-inch round Chinese dumpling wrappers, available at large supermarkets
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon rice-wine vinegar
- 1 scallion, sliced
Finely chop 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves. Set aside. Coarsely chop half of the shrimp by hand, and set aside.
In the bowl of a food processor, combine remaining shrimp, egg white, chile oil, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Puree into a smooth paste. Transfer to a medium bowl, add chopped cilantro, reserved chopped shrimp, carrot, cabbage, ginger, scallions, shallots, salt, and pepper, and mix well.
Place 1 teaspoon of filling toward the front of a dumpling wrapper. There are two methods of sealing dumplings. Pleating one edge of the wrapper gives the dumpling its distinctive curved shape and allows it to stand upright in the pan. Do this by moistening edges with water using your finger. Bring the edges together, forming a taco shape, and pinch them together only in the top center to seal. Pinch 6 small pleats (3 on either side of the sealed center point) along one thickness only of the wrapper. Seal dumpling by pressing pleated and unpleated edges tightly together, enclosing filling. Alternatively, moisten wrapper edges with water, fold in half into a crescent shape around the filling, and pinch edges tightly closed. While forming dumplings, keep remaining wrappers covered with plastic wrap. Place filled dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and cover with plastic wrap.
In a small serving bowl, whisk together ingredients for dipping sauce.
Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons oil in a well-seasoned 11-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange half of the dumplings tightly together in heated skillet, and cook until deep golden brown, shaking the pan one or two times, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 cup hot water, partially cover, and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium, and cook until the bottoms of the dumplings are very crisp and all the water has evaporated, about 4 to 5 more minutes. Slide a spatula under dumplings to loosen them from the pan. Serve this batch of dumplings immediately or place them on a baking sheet, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and keep warm in a low oven. Wash skillet, and repeat process with remaining dumplings. Transfer to a plate, garnish with remaining cilantro leaves, and serve with dipping sauce.