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Manchurian Pork-and-Zucchini Dumplings

  • SERVINGS: Makes about 4 dozen dumplings
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • STAFF-FAVORITE
  1. 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  2. Kosher salt
  3. 1/2 pound ground pork
  4. 1 celery rib, cut into 1/4 -inch dice
  5. 2 scallions, minced
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  7. 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine (shaoxing) or dry sherry
  8. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for pan-frying
  9. 1 package gyoza wrappers
  1. FOR PAN-FRIED DUMPLINGS In a colander, toss the zucchini with 1/2 tablespoon of salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse the zucchini under cool water; squeeze and pat dry. Transfer to a medium bowl. Add the pork, celery, scallions, soy sauce, Chinese cooking wine and 1 tablespoon oil; mix well.
  2. Line a large baking sheet with wax paper. On a work surface or in your palm, moisten the edge of 1 gyoza wrapper with water; keep the rest of the wrappers covered with a damp kitchen towel. Spoon a level teaspoon of the pork filling into the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper over the filling to form a half-moon. Pinch the wrapper in the center, then pleat the edges to seal. Transfer the dumpling to the prepared baking sheet and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
  3. Line a large steamer basket or several bamboo steamer trays with damp cheesecloth or lettuce leaves. Arrange the dumplings, not allowing them to touch, in a single layer on the cheesecloth. Set the steamer basket over 1 inch of simmering water in a large saucepan. Cover and steam until the filling is cooked through and the wrappers are tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Serve at once.
  4. Heat a very thin film of vegetable oil in each of 2 large nonstick skillets. Arrange the dumplings in the pans, pleated sides up, in concentric circles: do not overcrowd the pans. Add enough water to reach halfway up the sides of the dumplings and bring to a boil. Cover partially and cook until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are crisp and browned on the bottom, about 15 minutes. Serve at once.
Make Ahead The uncooked dumplings can be frozen for up to 1 month. Do not thaw before steaming or pan-frying. Notes Gyoza wrappers, sometimes called pot sticker wrappers, are round and slightly thinner than wonton wrappers. They're available in the refrigerator case at Asian markets and some grocery stores.
You can easily freeze dumplings: Spread the uncooked dumplings on a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover the sheet with plastic wrap and freeze until the dumplings are firm, at least 4 hours. Store the frozen dumplings in sturdy freezer bags. Steam or pan-fry the dumplings per the recipe, but increase the cooking time by a few minutes. For the pan-fried version, add more water if the pan dries out before the dumplings cook through. Serve With Soy sauce mixed with rice vinegar.