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Fusion recipe: Cajun Pot-stickers

02/23/2013 11:37PM ● Published by Curt Guillory

Make plenty. These Cajun pot-stickers are the best of both worlds.

They could be the result of an experiment gone awry.  They could be the brainchild of a mad scientist.  Actually Cajun Pot-stickers are what happens when two great cuisines are fused together.

What is a pot-sticker?

Pot-stickers are an Asian staple.  They are a snack, an appetizer, and an entrée.  They are filled, flour dumplings that are first pan sautéed, and then steamed.  The result is a chewy, crunchy little dough pocket of goodness.  Pot-stickers are known the world over, and they are to Asians what boudin is to Cajuns. 

Pot-stickers fused

Traditional pot-stickers are filled with a savory pork meat and Napa cabbage filling.  So I thought, why not fill them with some traditional Cajun meats.  I mean, we like pork.  Correction, we love pork.  We make sausages, boudin, bacon, gravies, cracklin, and anything else we can think of from pork.

These dumplings used the traditional Chinese dough for the skins, and the traditional Chinese cooking technique along with a little Asian inspired flavor.  The Cajun comes in the filling.  Using seasoned ground pork, and traditional Cajun smoked sausage.

The result is a savory, smoky, tender, crisp dumpling that you can’t help but to eat one after the other.

Handmade versus store bought dumpling dough

There is no argument that store bought dough, or skins, saves a mountain of time.  And if you are a novice, like me, at filling and folding this recipe will take some time.  Block off about two hours total preparation time.  However hand making the dumpling dough is simple, only two ingredients, the flavor can be customized, and the texture just cannot be beat.

Also store bought dumpling skins require some sort of glue (water, egg whites) to be used to seal them.  Handmade dough has plenty of moisture already in the dough to do the job nicely.

If this is your first time making pot-stickers consider hand making the dough.  You won’t be disappointed.

Pot-sticker particulars

This recipe makes about 20 dumplings, but the dough recipe will be enough for 40 or so.  Simply double the filling recipe to accommodate all of the dough, or you can freeze half for next time.

To save time use some fresh (green) sausage purchased from a local specialty meat market such as The Best Stop, Don’s Specialty Meats, Billy’s Boudin, Took’s Fine Meats, or any of the other great local meat markets throughout Acadiana.  Simply split the casings with a sharp knife and peel them away from the meat.

Folding the dumpling is a little tricky.  This link goes to a short, but precise video on how to do it.  Remember that practice makes perfect.

When rolling out the skins remember that they won’t come out perfectly round, and that’s ok.  Roll them out using a small rolling pin or dowel of wood, and the middle should be slightly thicker than the edges.

Ingredients for the dough:

2C           All-purpose flour (sifted)

1C           Very hot water

Ingredients for filling:

6oz.         Cajun smoked sausage (finely chopped)

6oz.         Ground pork

3cloves    Garlic (finely chopped)

½med.     White onion (finely chopped)

All-purpose seasoning to taste

1tspn.     Kosher salt to taste

2tbsp.     Olive oil

½C         Water

Method for dough:

Tip:  The dough can be flavored with whatever you would like, such as cayenne pepper, granulated garlic, onion powder, etc.

Using a hand or stand mixer slowly add the water to the dough until completely incorporated.

Note: If the dough seems dry or there is some flour left in the bowl don’t worry, this is normal and will be incorporated during kneading.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead well to thoroughly combine all of the flour, about 5 minutes.

Let the dough rest for 5 minutes and knead again, using flour as needed to prevent sticking, for another 3-5 minutes or until the dough is silky smooth with absolutely no lumps.

Let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Cut the dough into two equal portions and roll into log about 12" long.

Cut the dough into ½" pieces.

Flatten and roll each piece into a 3" round.

Method for filling and cooking:

Use a food processor to finely chop the smoked sausage, onions, and garlic, and remove to a large bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil and water, mixing to combine.

Note: If the mixture seems a bit dry, or crumbly, that is normal.

Tip: Make a small patty and cook to taste seasoning.  Adjust as necessary.

Place a heaping tspn. of filling in the center of the round and fold like in the video above.

Add the olive oil to a large non-stick skillet and preheat until the oil is shimmering.

Add about 12 pot-stickers to the skillet and let cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.

Add the water, partially cover, and cook for 8 minutes.

Tip:  If you do not have a lid for your pan, use a cookie sheet or sheet pan.

Repeat for the remaining dumplings.

Remove and serve with soy sauce, or dipping sauce of your choice.

No limit dumplings

As you can see from the recipe these dumplings can be filled with whatever your imagination can conjure up. 

I’m thinking a Mexican something or other.

Stay hungry.

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