Low Carb Pot Stickers a la Guo Tie, Mandu, Momo, Gyoza

12 Mar


I tried making potstickers with success some time ago and haven’t made them ever since. I made the wrappers myself using my pasta machine to roll out the dough. The potstickers turned out beautifully. Unfortunately, my pasta machine has been sitting in the cupboard lately as I experiment with other dishes.

When a friend of mine recently showed me how easy it was to roll out the wrappers, I suddenly got a kick out of making my own potstickers from scratch. No need to unpack the machine and clean it up. After making a batch of ‘normal’ potstickers and ending up with a fair amount of filling left, I wondered if it was possible to use my low carb dough to make them. After all, I’ve made low carb raviolis and low carb Swabish maultaschen with great success. So it was time to see if low carb pot stickers were possible! And yes, it is possible! You can make them low carb! In the photo above, the 3 dumplings on the right are low carb, made with soy flour, and the three dumplings on the left are regular dumplings, made with plain flour. The regular dumplings have a slight chew in the dough wrapper which I was not able to replicate in the low carb ones. Nevertheless, they tasted great.

Before going on, let me divert and give you a short lesson about pot stickers as I myself was confused about the profusion of names. The name pot stickers is English, used to describe the dumplings pictured above when pan-fried. In China, these dumplings are actually called Jiao Zi. They can be cooked in different ways. When they are steamed, they are called zheng jiao. When they are boiled eg. for use in soups, they are called shui jiao. When pan fried, they are called guo tie – in English, pot stickers, although mine have never really gotten stuck to my pan!

These delicious morsels are not only eaten in China. They can be found in many Asian cuisines. The fillings are just different. In Japan, they are called gyoza. In Nepal, they are called momos. In Korea they are called mandu. All these dumplings are wrapped as I have done, although sometimes a different shape is used. These are not to be confused with Russians dumplings, pelmeni, which look similar. Pelmeni wrappers are made with egg. So are the turkish mantis.

I like my jiao zi pan-fried. I find they taste best, served with a dipping sauce. The dipping sauce is essential, so don’t omit it. I’ve tried my dumplings with a Chinese filling, a Japanese filling and a Korean filling containing kimchee. The Korean filling took the most effort – there were so many ingredients – but it won hands down in taste, so I’m going to give you the filling recipe below. If you are just starting out making dumplings or don’t have time, just look for something simpler. My friend made hers simply with ground beef and chopped chives, seasoned with soy sauce and sesame oil.

By the way, although I did roll out the wrappers for the regular dumplings the traditional way by hand, I would not recommend doing it with the low carb dough. It is quite tough to handle. A pasta machine is required.

So let’s get started!

The Wrappers

The recipe for my low carb pasta dough can be found here. Make the dough and let it stand in the fridge while you make the filling or make it the day before. Roll out the dough only when you are ready to make the dumplings.  My recipe will yield about 50+ pcs depending on how big your cutter is. The glass I used to cut the rounds measured 7cm in diameter. I would recommend a slightly bigger circle though.

Mandu Filling

200 gr ground beef marinated with 1 tsp soy sauce, 1 tsp oil, 1 ½ tsp sesame oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, salt and pepper

a small handful cellophane noodles, soaked in hot water till soft, then chopped finely

a handful of bean sprouts (about 1 cup), blanched and chopped finely

3 shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 20 min in hot water or till soft, drained and chopped finely. You can also use champignons, mu-erh mushrooms or enoki mushrooms

about 1 cup kimchee chopped finely

3 garlic cloves minced

1 small onion minced finely

about 4 stalks chinese chives or green onions, chopped finely

You don’t have to be so exact about the quantities. More veggies and less meat is also ok. You can even add some tofu, mashed. Just make sure all the ingredients are finely chopped, otherwise they will poke into the wrappers and rip them.

Mix the above ingredients together and season with:

½ Tbsp soy sauce

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1 egg white

½ Tbsp sesame seeds

salt, pepper

To check if your seasoning is ok, fry a small quantity and taste. If you don’t want to do this, it’s fine. It’s ok if your filling is underseasoned as you will be using a dipping sauce. So it’s better to underseason than overseason.


Once the filling is done, roll out the dough. My pasta machine has 10 settings. I roll the pastry out to no. 6 or 7. It should be slightly thicker than won ton wrappers or ravioli wrappers – only slightly. You don’t want them too thin and fragile but also not so thick that you can’t pleat them. Cut out circles with a wide-mouthed glass. More than 7cm in diameter is good. If you are using a glass and not a cutter, you will need a sharp knife to help you. Lightly dust the circles with flour (you won’t be using that much) so that they don’t stick together. Collect all the leftover cuttings together, roll out again and cut more circles. Do this until you find that the dough will not hold together anymore and is difficult to handle.

Folding the dumplings

Fill and pleat the dumplings. Here is a quick tutorial. If your dough is not too dry, you can omit using the water. Just press the edges together firmly to seal.

Once you’ve made all the dumplings, set aside the amount that you wish to cook immediately and freeze the rest. To freeze, place a piece of plastic wrap on a tray or large plate. Place dumplings on the tray without touching. Put tray in the freezer for about an hour. Once hardened, transfer the dumplings into ziploc freezer bags and store in the freezer, hopefully for not too long.

3 low carb on left, 3 regular on right

Pan-frying the dumplings

You will need a large frying pan with a lid. A wok won’t work. Put a thin layer of oil in the frying pan to coat. When the oil is heated, place the dumplings into the pan, ensuring they don’t touch each other. Over medium heat, brown the bottoms. Do the same when cooking frozen dumplings. Once the bottoms are nice and browned, pour in ½ cup water and immediately cover the frying pan. Turn the heat down a little, but not too low. After about 5 minutes, check to see if the water has evaporated. Fresh dumplings should probably be cooked at this stage. Take off the cover, let the leftover water evaporate and that’s it. If using frozen dumplings, you will need to cook them longer. If there is no water left in the pan, add a little more, otherwise cover the pan again. Check after another 3 min. The dumplings should be done and the bottoms crisp. You can cut one to check doneness.

Dipping sauce

While the dumplings are steaming, prepare the dipping sauce. Many chinese jiao zi recipes call for a dipping sauce made up of a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar. You should use chinese vinegar. Since I didn’t have chinese vinegar, I found this sauce which I liked.

¼ cup soy sauce

⅛ cup sweet soy sauce

1 Tbsp chinese rice wine

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

½ Tbsp grated ginger

a sprinkling of chili flakes (optional)

Tip: if you have a large quantity of sauce leftover after your meal, use it to marinate sliced chicken overnight and then stir fry. Delicious!

Potstickers can be eaten as an appetizer or you can increase the serving size and have them as a main course.

chinese dumplings

Print this recipe – Low Carb Potstickers


4 Responses to “Low Carb Pot Stickers a la Guo Tie, Mandu, Momo, Gyoza”

  1. David I September 7, 2014 at 08:46 #

    Love your soy-gluten noodles!

    You mention you have used that to make ravioli. Could you give some detail on that?

    • franinmunich September 7, 2014 at 14:04 #

      Hi David,
      Thanks! For the ravioli, all I did was roll the dough out into thin sheets and instead of cutting them into noodles, I just made them into ravioli as in any ravioli recipe. Just put teaspoons on filling onto one sheet, moisten the edges, top with another of the same size, press down to seal and cut around. I especially like topping them with s sage butter sauce.

  2. David I September 14, 2014 at 01:06 #

    Great! I’m going to try that!

    I’ve missed ravioli….

    Thanks again for this rocking noodle recipe. It opens up a whole new world!

    • franinmunich September 14, 2014 at 10:15 #

      Yes David, you can make any pasta dish with the noodles. I’ve done lasagna too. Take note that when filling, you have to press down the edges quite firmly. They don’t stick together as well as regular pastry. To seal better, you could use beaten egg white or some cornstarch mixed with s little water. And watch them while boiling. Be gentle.:) Good luck!

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