How to Make Potstickers (Guo Tie)

Four Parts:Making the Potsticker WrappersMaking the FillingFilling the PotstickersFrying the Potstickers

Called "guotie" in China, and translated to "potstickers" in English, these are a popular type of dumpling traditionally eaten in many Asian countries. Follow the instructions below to make the guo tie completely from scratch, or purchase potsticker or Chinese dumpling wrappers ready-made and make your own filling. The following recipe makes about 20 dumplings, enough to serve as a meal for three or four people, or an appetizer for ten.


  • Potsticker Wrappers (alternatively, use storebought wrappers):
    • 2 cups (480 mL) all-purpose flour (have extra on-hand)
    • 1/3 cup (80 mL) boiling water
    • 2/3 cup (160 mL) room temperature water
    • 1 egg (optional)
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL; a small pinch) salt (optional)
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil (optional)
  • Filling:
    • 1/2 lb (250 g) ground meat (pork, shrimp, or beef are all common)
    • 1 cup (240 mL) Napa cabbage, Chinese cabbage, or bok choy (finely chopped)
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) sesame oil or Chinese cooking wine
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh ginger
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) fresh garlic
    • 1-2 stalk(s) green onion
    • 2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) salt
    • 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) pepper
    • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken stock (optional)
  • Dipping Sauce:
    • 2 tbsp (30 mL) dark vinegar (especially Qing Kiang)
    • 2 tbsp (30 mL) soy sauce
    • 1 tsp (5 mL) sesame oil
    • Ground white pepper to taste

Part 1
Making the Potsticker Wrappers

  1. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 1
    Mix boiling and room temperature water together. The potsticker dough may reach a better consistency if the water is slightly warm.[1] Boil 1/3 cup (80 mL) water, then remove from heat and add 2/3 cup (160 mL) room temperature water.
    • Alternatively, heat 1 cup (240 mL) water on low heat and remove from heat after one to three minutes. If the water begins to simmer or boil, remove from heat and let cool to slightly above room temperature before using.
  2. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 2
    Consider adding optional ingredients. While none of these ingredients are required to make guo tie, some recipes call for salt, vegetable oil, and/or egg.[2][3] Stirring roughly 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt (or a small pinch) into the water may add flavor. The other optional ingredients should be added to the flour instead, before you continue to the next step. Mix the flour with 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil and/or 1 small egg to add flavor and help the dough stick together. Continue as usual, but be aware that the egg will add more liquid to the dough, so you will probably not end up using all your water in the next step.
    • If this is your first time making potstickers, you may wish to skip this step to keep things simple. If the wrappers fall apart or taste too bland, you may add one or more of these ingredients in your next attempt.
  3. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 3
    Mix the water gradually into the flour until it becomes sticky. Put 2 cups (480mL) all-purpose flour into a large bowl. Add the warm water a little at a time, stirring the ingredients together with chopsticks or a wooden mixing spoon. Stop adding water once the dough feels slightly sticky, and there is no more dry flour visible.
    • Depending on the brand of flour and the humidity in your kitchen, you may not need to use all of the water you prepared. Keep the extra water around during the next few steps in case the dough dries out.
  4. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 4
    Knead the dough with your hands until it becomes smooth. Once the dough becomes too sticky to stir, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface and knead the flour and water together. The dough should become smooth within a few minutes of kneading. Stop when the dough has no lumps and can be formed into a ball.
    • Add a light dusting of flour to the work surface or your hands if the dough sticks to them. Knead in more flour if the dough is too wet to work with.
    • If you see dry flour that isn't mixed into the dough, or if the dough won't stick together into a ball, add a little more warm water and knead it in.
    • Remember to wash and dry your hands thoroughly before you begin kneading.
  5. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 5
    Wrap the dough and let it sit 10–30 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap or place it in a small bowl and cover it with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. This will trap the moisture released by the dough and cause it to soften.[4] Let the dough sit for at least 10 minutes, and preferably for half an hour.
    • To save time, make the filling while you wait. This step does not have to be precisely timed, so return to the dough once you are done making the filling.
  6. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 6
    Divide the dough into roughly twenty pieces. Return to the dough after it's had enough time to "relax," or soften into an easily manipulated ball. Pull it apart into small pieces, each one using about 1/20th of the total dough. You may find it easier if you first divide the dough into four large pieces, then cut each of these large pieces into five smaller ones.
    • Alternatively, you may use your hand to roll out the entire ball of dough into a long log 1 inch (2.5 cm) thick. Cut this log into discs 1/2 inch (1.25 cm) wide.[5]
  7. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 7
    Roll each piece of dough into a circle. Sprinkle flour over a flat, clean counter or cutting board to prevent the dough from sticking. Use a rolling pin to flatten each piece of dough over this surface, creating circles about 3 inches (7.5 cm) across.[6] Use smaller circles if the dough breaks apart or looks translucent, as the dumplings may fall apart if they are rolled too thin.
    • You can speed up the rolling process by using the heel of your palm to flatten each piece of dough into a roughly circular shape before you roll it out more thoroughly.
    • Filling the potstickers may be easier if you keep the center of the circle thick and the outside edges thin.
  8. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 8
    Sprinkle each circle with flour. After each circle is finished, sprinkle both sides generously with flour to prevent sticking, and add it to the stack of finished dough circles. Your dumpling wrappers are now complete.
  9. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 9
    Keep the wrappers wet. Cover wrappers with a damp paper towel to keep them moist as you work. Once you have made the wrappers, it is best to fill them immediately before they dry out. Store unused wrappers in the fridge if you will use them within a few days, or freeze them and use any time in the next few months.[7]

Part 2
Making the Filling

  1. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 10
    Finely chop the cabbage. Finely chop the vegetables until you have 1 cup (240 mL). While you can use any hard, leafy, green vegetables, guo tie are traditionally made using Napa cabbage or bok choy. Both of these vegetables are sometimes sold under the name "Chinese cabbage."
    • If you are making vegetarian potstickers, chop 2 cups (480 mL) of vegetables instead.
  2. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 11
    Remove excess moisture from the cabbage. Toss the chopped cabbage in 1 tsp (5 mL) salt. Let sit five minutes while the salt draws out moisture, then drain the cabbage in a strainer or colander.[8]
  3. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 12
    Peel and chop other herbs and vegetables. To add a spicy flavor to the guo tie, peel fresh ginger and fresh garlic, then chop them finely until you have 1 tsp (5 mL) of each. Finally chop one or two stalks of green onion (scallions).
  4. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 13
    Mix the vegetables and ground meat together. Mix these vegetables in a large bowl containing ground or finely minced meat. In different areas of Asia, ground pork, beef, or shrimp are all commonly used, or a mixture of these.
    • Wash your hands in warm, soapy water after handling raw meat to reduce the risk of exposure to harmful bacteria. Clean any surfaces or utensils that came into contact with the meat in hot, soapy water once you are done using them.
  5. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 14
    Add seasonings. Mix in 2 tsp (10 mL) soy sauce, 2 tsp (20 mL) sesame oil or Chinese cooking wine, and 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) pepper. There are many variations on this recipe, and you may decide to replace some seasonings or add your own. Other common options include 1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken stock or chicken broth, a dash of chili powder, or a dash of Chinese five spice powder.[9][10]
    • If you'd like to adjust the seasonings before you make the potstickers, take a small spoonful of filling and fry it in oil until it is browned through. Taste the filling and add more seasoning if necessary.

Part 3
Filling the Potstickers

  1. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 15
    Hold a potsticker wrapper on the palm of your non-dominant hand. Take one of your circular potsticker wrappings and place it on the palm of the hand you use least.
  2. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 16
    Place the filling in the potsticker wrapper. Take approximately 1/2–1 tablespoon (7–15 mL) of filling using a spoon or chopsticks and place in the center of the potsticker wrapper. If the dough is thin or the circles of dough are small, use less filling.
  3. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 17
    Fold the wrapper loosely around the filling. Fold the potsticker in half to make a half-moon shape, but do not press the edges completely together. Only press the center of the edges together, so the corners of the dumpling are still unattached.
    • Note: If you are using storebought dumpling wrappers, use wet fingers to dampen the edges until they are soft enough to press together.
  4. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 18
    Fold a piece of dough at one corner. Grasp one layer of dough at the corner with your index finger and thumb, then fold it toward the center of the potsticker edge, where the two sides of the circle are pressed together.[11] The soft dough should stretch into a classic potsticker pleat or wrinkle. Press the two layers of dough together at the fold to keep it in place.
  5. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 19
    Repeat until there are three or four folds on each side. Using the same technique, grasp one layer of dough at the corner and fold it over toward the center edge. Press together with the opposite layer of the potsticker. Repeat this until there are three or four folds on each potsticker, and the potsticker is completely closed.

Part 4
Frying the Potstickers

  1. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 20
    Heat a pan of oil. Add cooking oil to a wok, flat skillet, or frying pan, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan in a thin layer. Heat over medium heat until the oil begins to shimmer, or when a small piece of vegetable or filling sizzles when placed in the oil.
    • Use a vegetable oil with a high smoking point, such as canola oil or peanut oil.
  2. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 21
    Add the potstickers to the hot oil. Carefully drop the potstickers into the pan from a short distance above the oil. Arrange them with a heat-safe utensil so the dumplings are close together but do not touch each other.[12]
    • You will likely need to cook your potstickers in several batches. Do not pile potstickers on top of each other in the pan, or they may not cook properly.
  3. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 22
    Reduce heat and cover the pan. Cover the pan, reduce to low heat, and fry for a few minutes until the bottom of the potstickers are crisp and golden-brown. Depending on the temperature of the pan, this could take anywhere from two to seven minutes.[13][14] You may lift the lid to check on the potstickers' progress.
    • Remove from heat immediately if you smell burning. Use a heat-safe utensil to unstick the potstickers from the pan, and continue after one or two minutes.
  4. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 23
    Add a small amount of water to the pan. Once one side of the potstickers are brown, lift the lid and pour 1–3 tablespoons (15–45 mL) water onto the pan, just enough to cover the base of the pan with a shallow layer.
    • Pour the water while rapidly moving in a circular motion around the edge of the pan. This distributes the water evenly and prevents one part of the pan from cooling down too quickly. This also reduces splatter from hot oil and water coming into contact.
  5. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 24
    Cover and cook for a few minutes more. Cover the pan again and cook on moderate or low heat for 4-5 minutes. Add more water if it boils away before the potstickers are done cooking. Note that you do not need to flip the potstickers at any point in this process; it is intentional that they are only crisp on one side.
    • Remove a potsticker and cut it open to check that it is done. The filling inside should be browned and fully cooked.
  6. Image titled Make Guo Tie (Potstickers) Step 25
    Serve immediately with dipping sauce. Remove the potstickers from the pan and cook additional batches if necessary. Once all the potstickers are cooked, serve them with a sauce of your choice:
    • Any dark vinegar can be used alone or mixed with an equal amount of soy sauce and a dash of sesame oil.
    • Mix vinegar with sherry or dry wine and sweet soy sauce for a sweeter dipping sauce.
    • Black pepper and sliced ginger add a sophisticated flavor, and can be provided with or without a dipping sauce.[15]


  • If you do not wish to fry your dumplings into potstickers, cook them in boiling water for 4–6 minutes instead. This method is also traditional in many areas where potstickers are eaten.
  • Based on preferences, filling can vary--in components and ratio--from pure meat (pork, shrimp, chicken, etc), to pure vegetables (bamboo, shiitake, cabbage, bok choy, etc), to a mixture of meat and vegetables.
  • The measurements for the dipping sauce can vary depending on how much sauce you want, as well as how salty or sour you would prefer the sauce to be. Feel free to experiment!

Things You'll Need

  • Large bowl
  • Mixing utensil
  • Cling wrap
  • Wok, frying pan, or flat skillet
  • Lid that fits over the pan

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Categories: Recipes