Gluten-Free Pot Sticker Wrappers

Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: the cutting phase
What’s more Chinese than wheat-filled porky pot stickers?
Being a good host who makes all your guests feel welcome, that’s what.
In 1980s Minnesota, growing up a first generation American-born child of Chinese immigrants, Asian produce and processed goods were not readily available at the grocery stores on University Ave in Saint Paul. For special occasions, my parents would host parties and invite all our family friends over to help fold dumplings. They’d mix the pork filling and procure wrappers and get everyone –ethnic Chinese or not– involved in trying their hand at wrapping the dumplings.  I still remember one time our friend Javed found the filling so fragrant (it’s the toasted sesame oil in the pork) he asked if he could eat it raw. Was it that he grew up partly in Germany? Not sure, but sesame oil sure does make things smell good. Then my Mama would boil and/or fry round after round to fuel yet more dumpling wrapping. Some times my Baba would buy wrappers, other times I remember him mixing the flour and water and letting is rise, then rolling it out (by hand or by pasta roller), to be cut by the rim of an aluminum green bean can.
In light of this childhood memory, I was excited when K conceded to hosting a few friends over for a pot sticker* party for lunar new year with only a week’s notice.
New challenge: make gluten-free wrappers for my friend Jillian, so she could join in the fun!

In a hurry at H Mart to have a trial run and get it figured out in advance of host day, I started with Natalie of Feasting on Fruit’s GF wrappers recipe, added xantham gum for good luck and elasticity, and changed the shaping process to cut circles with the rim of a glass to get nice symmetrical ones. In testing, without round circles, I got blobby ones that feel dissatisfying. I was very pleased that this second round of tests worked out better than a previous pot sticker night.

Gluten-Free Pot Sticker/ Dumpling Wrappers

Ingredients:

1 c rice flour, plus a little extra for adjustments
1/2 c tapioca flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp xanthan gum
3/4 to 1 cup boiling water (note step 2 of instructions)

Tools:

Rolling pin (backup option: wine bottle or any heavy cylinder)
Wax paper
3.5” diameter rim/cup/other circle-cutting tool
Wet tea towel (or similar)

Makes: about 12 wrappers for 3.5” diameter circle (I used the rim of a glass cup this large).

Steps:

  1. Mix first 4 (dry) ingredients together.
  2. Add the water slowly while mixing, until everything can be kneaded into a ball more dry than sticky. Then STOP adding water! It needs to be moist enough to be plyable and mushed in a ball, but dry enough not to stick to everything and fall apart. If you pass this point, sprinkle some rice flour in and mix until it’s dry enough to be handled easily.
  3. Put dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll out with the rolling pin to a sheet as thin as you can manage. Then roll it out a little more. You can do it, I believe in you.
  4. Pull off top wax paper and cut circles out with glass, pull finished wrapper circles up and store in a container with wet towel on top, wax paper between each wrapper.
  5. Mush the remaining dough together and repeat steps 3-5 until you can’t make any more wrappers out of it.
  6. Done! Well…with the wrappers, at least.

    Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: storage
    VERY IMPORTANT: step 4 of storage under a wet cloth and between sheets of wax paper. Do it.

Wait, you wanted a filling recipe?

Here, try this: 90% Home-Made Pot Stickers (for Lunar New Year, Year of the Sheep).

Also useful: Serious Eats: on freezing and cooking dumplings.

Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: the rolling phase (between sheets of wax paper).
Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: the rolling phase (between sheets of wax paper).

Trial Recipe Rating: 5 of 5. It worked! Wheeee! I admit, this was my second crack at it, after attempting in the year of the sheep with abysmal results. These wrappers are chewier, but within the range of normal pot stickers wrappers. In my experience, pot sticker wrappers tend to be thicker while dumplings’ are thinner, even though you can use either for both.

Novelty Rating: 5 of 5. The most novel part is other people couldn’t tell which ones were supposed to be gluten-free.
Likelihood of Repeat: 100% So excited to make these again. Also, I didn’t get a picture of the finished product with filling, because they got eaten too fast.
Lessons Learned: If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again –possibly a couple nights in advance while your spouse goes to bed and your Mad Scientist Mentality takes over to get things just right..

 

*On pot stickers vs dumplings: in my unwise adulthood, I default to pot stickers over dumplings. Although for hosting duties, dumplings are a lot easier to cook en masse than pot stickers, unhealthier fried things are tastier! I justify it by calling it a ‘sometimes food’. Like, :sometimes I am out of food in the freezer and the only thing left is this bag of frozen pot stickers.” Some folks may keep a frozen pizza back there, we keep frozen pot stickers. I am often excited for emergency food.

Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: after cutting out circles with the rim of a glass
Gluten-free pot sticker wrappers: after cutting out circles with the rim of a glass

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