Choose Between Two Options
- $16 for dinner buffet for two ($25.98 value)
- $29 for dinner buffet for four ($51.96 value)
Potstickers: Bites of Good Fortune
Potstickers are a popular hot appetizer on many Chinese menus. Find out what’s hiding inside these plump pockets with Groupon’s guide to a Northern Chinese favorite.
In China, they’re jiaozi; in Japan, gyoza; and in English-speaking countries, they’re known as potstickers. They’re petite, usually crescent-shaped dumplings pinched closed at the top and stuffed with finely minced fillings of spiced vegetables and meats.
The dumplings often begin with pork blended with bits of chopped cabbage and spring onions. Cooks then spoon this filling onto bite-sized discs of simple wheat-flour dough, rolled thin, before sealing them up by hand and popping them in a pot of boiling water. As the dumplings cook, the skin locks in the interior steam, preserving the rich flavors while simultaneously cooking the contents. When they’re inflated enough to float, they’re done. Once cooked, potstickers are generally served with a splash of soy sauce or a dipping sauce made from rice vinegar, sesame oil, peanuts, or chili paste. Instead of boiling, they might be steamed or fried—the fried version’s habit of clinging to the pan is what earned the the name “potstickers” to begin with.
It isn’t difficult to imagine that this basic dumpling template might have arisen in several places independently, but ancient myths about their creation still circulate. One story attributes them to Zhang Zhongjing, an ancient master of Chinese medicine who purportedly invented the ear-shaped snacks as a sort of homeopathic cure for frostbitten ears. Today, potstickers have come to symbolize riches and good fortune. Their shape somewhat resembles the gold and silver ingots used as ancient currency, and they remain a traditional part of New Year celebrations in North China, whose plentiful wheat crops are thought to have spurred their invention.