The Chinese have been relishing Asian dumplings – pot stickers, for centuries. The legend behind their “accidental” invention is found to be strangely amusing in China. The story of the pot stickers’ creation says that a king’s chef who was making dumplings left them in the pan for too long. As a result of this, they were burnt on one end, and steamed and fresh on the other. But to the chef’s pleasant puzzlement, the King and his court loved them.
It is no surprise that the love for this delicacy is still growing in numbers after nearly four millennia, not only in China, but across borders as well. Pot stickers are as irresistible to eat as they are to look. They are sometimes round with flowery patterns at the middle and the edges, or else elongated, like a folded fan with feathery tips. Steamed, fried, boiled; mushroom filling, celery filling, shrimp filling, pork filling; it doesn’t matter what they’re made of, these little dumplings find their place on the checklist of even the fussiest eater.
Pot stickers melt in your mouth after the crunch of shrimp or bite of pork. They are steamed, pan-fried dumplings, filled with minced meat, shredded cabbage, diced Shiitake mushroom, chopped spring onions and cut up coriander. Some chefs prefer salted shrimp instead of pork filling, but in any case, an assortment of meats such as beef, mutton, chicken and fish usually fills the dumpling.
Although the dish is a mouthful of flavour, it is the smell of pounded ginger and garlic mingled with ground meat that is truly tantalizing, making pot stickers a definite must-eat in China. An off-white layer on top, and a golden brown layer at the bottom, pot stickers are delicious, especially when dipped into a small bowl of thick, dark soy sauce sprinkled with fresh herbs.
Pot sticker dumplings can be readily found all over China, and are eaten in all seasons for breakfast, lunch and dinner. So the next time you are travelling in China, do look out for these irresistible treats. Whether you call them Wortip, Quotie, or just plain pan-fried dumplings, it is impossible to leave China without eating a plateful of these delicious wonders.
Find your nearest Asian Store