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When Burnt Dumplings introduced the world to Potstickers

People often use the terms dimsums, momos are dumplings interchangeably. The truth is that while they may be connected to each other in certain ways, there is definitely a differentiating factor between them as well. Potstickers, for example, is a type of dumpling from China. Stir-fried and steamed, these dumplings come with a rich filling and appetizing taste. The highlight of these dumplings is the browned top which is cooked longer than the other side and is softer and whiter. The word potstickers is a translation of the Mandarin word, guotie which means wok pan. Interestingly, this is how Chinese dumplings were also discovered.

Also Read: 5 Dumplings From Around The World You Can’t Miss

Dimsum consists of a wide variety of snacks served at tea time that includes pancakes, rolls, noodle rolls and more, and dumplings are simply a type of dimsum. The former can be made of all kinds of flour, such as potatoes, wheat, etc., and is filled with finely chopped things, and the latter is of wheat and may or may not contain fillings. Potstickers are a type of dumpling that comes with a meat or vegetable filling. Dough is the trick to these delicious dumplings. Pottery dough is prepared in hot water so that it becomes more pliable and keeps its shape properly.

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Interestingly, these Chinese dumplings were made by accident. The story goes that dumplings were usually cooked in a pan and boiled during the Song Dynasty 960-1280 AD. And at that time, a chef at the imperial court forgot dumplings after leaving them to boil in a wok. Since the water had evaporated and the dumplings had stuck to the bottom of the pan, he was at a loss as to what to do next. It would take a lot of time to prepare a new batch of dumplings, so he decided to serve these burnt dumplings, with the brown side on top.

To his disbelief, the guests at court enjoyed these dumplings to the core and enjoyed the combination of the rich filling with the flaky top. That’s when the Chinese name, guo (wok) and tie (stick) were associated with this dish and the world got what is known today as potstickers. These days they are also called wortip which also means potato stick as well as Peking Ravioli. The last name was coined in the 1950s by restaurateur Joyce Chen who wanted to keep a name that was more closely associated with her Italian clientele.

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These days, pot makers are filled with all sorts of fillings from meat to chicken and pork and fried on one side. The other side is steamed in a pot of broth or water and the trick is to cook the fried side just to the level a spoon can scoop it up. Served with an accompaniment of rice vinegar, soy sauce, paprika oil, or grated ginger, potstickers have been a staple of Chinese cuisine for a long time now.