Cook With Us #14- Chicken Potstickers and the BEST dipping sauce on earth

in cookwithus •  last year 


Happy Tuesday!

As always, thanks so much for hosting this most eSTEEMed weekly contest @pandamama @chefsteve and @offoodandart. If you haven't check it out yet, head on down to @cookwithus and join the community of lovely foodies making lovely foodies! Congrats on wrapping this first season, it's been such a pleasure getting to know everyone!

So for this week's wrapper theme, I couldn't resist a pot sticker.

But first, story time.

I was a naughty kid. I don't mean that in the 'ah, she's just a little active' kind of way. I fully admit that my poor parents had a hard time with me.

A combination of worming my way into adult conversation and drawing giggles from my uncles, I developed a penchant for cursing.

Like a little sailor.

My parent's solution was to give me a good dose of Tabasco so I could understand that my words burn, or something along those lines.

The outcome? I grew addicted to the endorphin-pumping Capsaicin and now many of my birthday or Christmas gifts feature at least one bottle or Tabasco, or something a little stronger made with a variety of exotic peppers from all over the world (My flavour of the month is a ghost-pepper and apricot hot sauce by Johnny Hexburg).

Anyway, most of my youth was spent pouring the spicy sauce over everything I ate (even over ice cream- don't knock it 'till ya try it- I recommend Lea n Perrin's over lime sorbet).

It wasn't until my twenties that my palette developed and I realized I couldn't just pour hot sauce on everything.
Instead, I have learned to carefully incorporate chili into dishes that warrant them, and few do better than a potsticker at carrying the heat.

While it took approximately 580 attempts to learn to shape a half-decent looking dumpling(considering wonton wrappers are near-impossible to find in Cape Town, and I've had to resort to making my own), and another 300 to find the sweet spot between a crispy bottom and a well-cooked wrapper, that was only the start of the fight.

As I was raised in a decidedly European home with relatively vanilla sensibilities, finding the balance between salty, sweet, sour and spicy has taken approximately a trillion attempts, hundreds of tastings at dim sum restaurants all over the country, and 6 years to get to this point.

These are those dumplings.
And below, the dipping sauce that will set your face on fire, but will have you drinking it like a broth.
Poor English Matt has taken 4 years to grow accustomed to the spicy food, but eats these like a trooper now!

So this is how I make them from scratch (I do not claim that they are authentic by any means!)

With Wings! Because more crunch=more yum!


Dumpling Wrapper:

Makes about 50 wrappers

  • 3 Cups plain flour, plus a little extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Boiling Water


  1. Sift 2 cups of flour and salt into a large bowl and make a mound in the center
  2. Add boiling water and stir until fully incorporated.
  3. Add remaining flour bit by bit and knead until a smooth dough forms.
  4. Wrap in cling film and rest for 15 minutes before kneading for another 2-3 minutes, add a little flour if too soft- the dough must be quite firm after each kneading. You can see the difference in texture between the first and second kneading, the first will be slightly coarse looking, and leave a dimple when poked. The second kneading will result in a smooth ball that springs back when prodded.)
  5. Rest for at least an hour in the fridge or until ready to use.
  6. Cut into quarters at a time and cover the rest while rolling them out.
  7. Break off grape-sized balls and dust work surface before rolling them into disks. Giving the dough a quarter turn with each roll ensures a pretty accurate round shape. (or you could use a mug or cookie cutter if you're a stickler for perfectly round disks...I'm definitely not.) I can't give an exact measurement, but know they're thin enough when I can see my fingers through the dough if held up to the light.


First Knead
After the second knead- smooth and silky


Chicken Filling

  • 400 grams chicken/2 breasts (I used breast because I had some in the fridge, but thigh is better!) chopped into a fine mince
  • 1 large or 2 small carrots, grated
  • 1 Cup finely shredded white cabbage
  • 2 Chilies (I used red Thai chilies)
  • 1 Tbsp finely sliced fresh ginger (paste works too, but I prefer the bite of bits of ginger)
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 Tbsp minced spring onions or chives
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 Tbsp thick sweet soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp white pepper
  • 1 Tsp salt, or to taste (I fry off a little of my filling and taste it before filling the dumplings)
    *1-2 Tbsp corn starch, as needed




  1. Finely mince chicken until it resembles a coarse paste.
  2. Finely shred cabbage and carrots and add to chicken
  3. Mince garlic, slice ginger, spring onion/chives and chilies and add to chicken mixture.
  4. Add sesame oil, soy and vinegar as well as seasoning and stir to combine.
  5. If mixture is wet and loose, add cornstarch a little at a time until it comes together sufficiently for a little of the mixture to form a soft ball when rolled in your hands.
  6. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until ready to roll dumplings


##To Assemble

  1. Lay wrapper in your non-dominant hand and moisten half the edge with a little water
  2. Place approx 2-teaspoons of chicken mixture in the middle, rounding slightly with the edge of a spoon to press it together.
  3. fold bottom of wrapper over and pinch in the middle.
  4. Working from the middle outwards, make a small pleat in the side of the dough facing you towards the pinch in the middle and pinch to seal before repeating little pleats to the edge, then repeat on the other side- this time pulling pleats in the opposite direction towards the pinch in the centre.
  5. Once all pleats are done and dumpling is enclosed, gently pinch until it forms a crescent shape.



To Steam Fry (With 'Wings):

  • 2 Cups Water
  • 2 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 1 Tsp Sesame Oil mixed with 3 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  1. Brush non-stick pan liberally with oil mixture and turn heat up to medium.
  2. Place potstickers 8-10 in a pan, ensuring they don't touch.
  3. Mix corn starch with a little water to form a paste before whisking in the rest to form a loose slurry.
  4. Add about 1/3 cup of water to pan and cover securely with a lid.
  5. Steam-fry for 5-6 minutes or until all the water has absorbed and the crispy 'wings' around the dumplings have turned golden brown.
  6. Remove from heat and allow to stand for a minute so the residual steam can release the wings from the bottom of the pan.
  7. Carefully tip the pan over onto a plate if you want to keep the dumplings connected, or break them apart and serve separately.
  8. Drizzle with dipping sauce and sprinkle ginger, chili, coriander and peanuts. Serve with an extra bowl of dipping sauce on the side.


The BEST dipping Sauce Ever

This is subject to opinion. My opinion is that it's the best. I could drink the stuff. I do drink the stuff

  • 1 Tbsp Corn Starch
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 Cup Rice Wine Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
  • 4 Red Thai Chilies, sliced on the bias
  • 1/2 cups each chopped Coriander leaves and Spring Onion or Chives
  • 1/2 Cup Salted Peanuts- roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp White Pepper
  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • Juice of Half a Lemon


  1. In a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl mix sugar, vinegar and corn starch and heat until thickened and straw-coloured
  2. Add soy, sesame oil, chilies and pepper and stir to combine.
  3. Set in fridge to cool or until ready to serve.
  4. Add herbs, peanuts, lemon and water and stir to combine just before serving.

If anyone was wondering whether the Tabasco helped with the cursing, the short answer
But I have learned a lesson. Like the chili, there's a place and a time for everything, and the odd swear word is now used to season a conversation when necessary (primarily behind the steering wheel. City traffic warrants linguistic release and I stand by the opinion that it's better to curse wildly while the windows are up, than try and confront a South African about their driving prowess.)

Here are some pretty pictures to make up for my ugly language!


Have a great break @cookwithus team and look forward to seeing everyone's culinary genius in 3 weeks!

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Wow wow wow! I just want to eat this now and I’ve just had dinner!!!! This is an amazing post and definitely deserve to win. I like your step by step and associated pics. And that picture with the red chilli on top just takes it to another level. This is a great entry. The irony is that I was thinking of showcasing a dumpling dish for the last contest too. But I’m glad you did yours as it is just succulent. Any chance you can do a separate post on how you shot some of the dumplings pics for this entry? Good luck.

Thanks so much @foodforsoul! I love the red chilis fresh from the garden so couldn't resist! I haven't taken wide pics but will do a set up for my next entry as I shoot in the same spot for basically all my posts. So interested to see what your setup looks like too! How 'bout you and I cook the same thing- whatever you like, and we see how we would dress it individually? I love your sense of composition so would be awesome to know how you frame your pictures and select your props/plating etc. So looking forward to your entry!

Wow I can't tell you how much I loved the story. It makes me laugh that you actually turned into a hot sauce lover from your punishment. It also makes me feel better for being a hot sauce crazed person myself.

The dumplings look like perfection. I'm really impressed with the beauty of them and the perfect crispiness. The dipping sauce sounds like something I would dip anything into or pour over ice cream haha.

Nicely done!

haha the punishment backfired a little! I'm obsessed with all things chili now! Thanks so much for the feedback! (I'll get back to you about whether they taste good over ice cream, I've been working on a peanut-coconut concoction and once I master that, will try it with the sauce...something tells me it might just work!)

It sounds right up my alley haha.

Were you really a naughty kid ;)? Ok, I believe you but that's ok, you turned out good. Creative too! Haha!

I love your dim sum making skills. You wrap like a pro! It takes a lot of practice and you surely put the time into it. Like you, I love spicy food so this entry is so appetizing to me. Mind you, it's not only for the spicy appeal but also for the whole package ... the wrapper, that tasty filling, the sauce and the looks. I love dim sum and your version is something I'd get from the dim sum cart ... many times over.

Great photos as usual. And the chili showing ... hungry! For the photo where both your hands show, did you use a tripod or was someone special there to help you out? :)

Thanks again for making Cook with Us a fun place! I appreciate the hard work you've put in for every dish you've entered. The community has definitely learned a lot from you. Please enjoy the break so you can re-charge and jump in again to join us for Season 2.

Haha I'd ask my mom about my behaviour! I've been told I would finish a meal and throw the plate backwards over my head with no regard for who or what was behind me. As a result I spent the first 5 or so years eating on a little rug in the passage so the mess would end up on tile instead of carpet.

So glad you enjoyed the post! Matt did the shooting while my hands were full (he's easy to convince when there's food as reward)

Thank you guys for hosting this! It's been such a pleasure getting to know everyone and seeing all the amazing food everyone puts up each week!

Ready to jump in as soon as s2 rolls around! Have a great break @offoodandart!

Hi whattheduck,

Your post has been upvoted by the Curie community curation project and associated vote trail as exceptional content (human curated and reviewed). Keep creating awesome stuff! Have a great day :)

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😲😲😲 oh my my my...!!!! This serously looks DELICIOUUUUUS! 1st of all- all pictures looks amazing and the last ones- I just want to eat RIGHT NOW!! I love eating dumplings in restaurants and always wanted to make them at home but didnt really find a recipe that I really wanted to try... till you brought this!! Thank you!! Definitely resteeming and will try it out😙
Good luck @whattheduck!

Thanks so much @cooknbake! As with all my other recipes, if you do decide to make these and get stuck with anything, drop me a comment or dm me on instagram and I can help walk you through it. Send pics if you do make them! Love seeing the little twists/improvs people put into recipes.

Oh wow, these look so fantastic! I am drooling just thinking about what these would taste like. That little crispy bit on the bottom... perfection. I've never attempted to make my own potstickers, but I am going to have to save this recipe and make them for sure.

Oh, and LOL at your sea-worthy linguistics. I think it's funny your parents went with hot sauce. Mine went with the old "wash with soap" method... ick.

I would only eat the crispy bits if I could. So good. They're MUCH easier to make if you can find pre-made wanton wrappers, just can't seem to find them around here, but from scratch is definitely doable if you're patient. (I can't pretend these are easy peasy. I took ages to learn the folding thing, but I'm also not that

Oh, my folks tried pretty much everything- soap didn't work either, but now I can't stand the smell of bar-soap unless it's glycerin...thankfully I didn't develop a taste for that!

Thank you so much my dear sir..

What a shame you can't find wonton wrappers there. I definitely know where I can find some here, so I may have to try it. (Though I do like to make things totally from scratch, too, so I still might want to try it the old fashioned way.) The folding is the part that makes me hesitate. I'm sure it's one of those things that once you figure it out, it's a no-brainer... it's just a matter of practicing enough to get to that point. lol

It's a feel thing- the folding needs to look pretty and still not let any filling leak out. For the longest time I did the pyramid parcel fold just because that's easy, but it tastes different (I'm probably mad, but I'm convinced the crescents taste better.) So I watched youtube videos and figured it out from there. Here's a great tutorial on all the shapes if ya need it!

it is amazing your recipe i have a questión for you what happend if i do not have bread flour, and have rive flour, what do you think could i uses it as substitute from your flour, it is a great and hard work that you share with us ithink required around one day to prepared the complete dishes.
thank you for this great work.

Hi @galberto, rice flour would make a much more glutinous, sticky dough- like mochi. I'm not sure it would work steam frying them, but think they might go nice and crispy if you ensure the wrappers are very thin, and you deep fry them. I would add a little corn starch if you have it to ensure they aren't too sticky to work with, and to help with crisping them up. I'll experiment with some rice flour over the next few weeks and let you know how it turns out!

AMAZING! (sorry I had to press my capslock button)


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Oh wow @whattheduck, this is a fracking excellent post! Very well done with the cooking, the photography, the writeup etc etc, an 11/10 for sure! And a #&[email protected]*!¿ hearty congratulations with the Curie upvote, well deserved👌
PS hope I passed the spelling test?

Thanks for the giggle @lizelle! Love how my one little story about dirty language has encouraged everyone to let the naughty words out- even if censored. How the [email protected]$%# am I going to get you lot to behave ? (by [email protected]$%# I mean fork, of course. This is a kitchen.)

LOL...naughty duck

Whattheduck...... what an awesome friggin recipe Yum Yum.Loving the fact you made everything from scratch even the dumpling wrappers.Oooh the nalli crunchy bits are the best thing ever.That dipping sauce is devine.I do like a chilli kick.Will so be attempting these.Thanks for such awesome recipe and love your background story.Fab post!! 👍👌

Thanks at @pamcooks! Love the crispy bits most too!

This is legendary! I cannot wit to try your pot sticker recipe and the wraps! I prefer making the wraps myself. Such a beautiful presentation. Well done @whattheduck! Good luck!

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Love your entry. You nailed this one! From the juicy flavorful filling to the perfectly crisp bottom and finally to that sauce! That sauce that I borrowed from you earlier this week! thanks. Your plating and photography also make the food look so appetizing as well. Thanks for sharing this recipe and I look forward to seeing you after the break!

So happy you tried the sauce! What did you dip into it? How'd it turn out? Thanks for the always wonderful feedback! Missing you guys already!

You really are a star @whattheduck - and congrats on being picked up by Curie - a well-deserved mention and successful post. This is an amazing post and I will chat about it on Dsound. You don't have to miss us as we will be on discord - and I certainly hope you will join us on the MSP waves radio show coming up in a few days. Also a ghastly hour for me - but will be well worth it

Will be up for the waves show! Just as soon as I get instructions as to how I tune in! I might not seem it, but I am severely technologically inept!

It's pretty simple - you just go to their discord - will ask @offoodandart to explain

@chefsteve has just put up a post to explain re the radio show