Called gyoza in Japan and jiaozi or shumai in China, potstickers are savory dumplings made of flour-based dough and juicy ground meat filling.
While tasty on their own, they are traditionally dipped in soy sauce or black vinegar. While you can serve them as your main dish, Asian cuisines typically serve potstickers as a part of an entire ensemble.
Asian meals involve an assortment of dishes that are served family-style. One meal usually comprises a soup, a rice dish, a protein, a veggie, and a dessert.
How do they do all of this every day? Well, the trick is to cook easy dishes that are packed with flavor. Thanks to their umami-rich sauces and spices such as fish sauce and sesame oil, this is easily achievable.
So, the next time you’re serving potstickers, give these 13 Asian sides a try and you’re guaranteed to have a hearty and flavorful feast.
1. Vegetable Stir Fry
Give your dumplings a colorful companion by serving them with a vegetable stir-fry. It’s a simple dish comprising various veggies flavored with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce.
To make, heat some oil in a wok on medium high heat. Cook onions and carrots for 2 minutes. Add broccoli, bell peppers, and sugar snap peas and fry for 5 to 7 minutes. Add the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger and stir until combined.
Top with sesame seeds. You may also add some greens such as bok choy and spinach for more veggie goodness.
2. Fried Rice
Rice is a staple in Asian cuisine. Rich and sauce-based dishes are usually served with steamed white rice, but for dry dishes such as potstickers, fried rice is best. With all the exciting elements that go into fried rice, it gives the potstickers a lot of flavor!
When making fried rice, the key ingredients, apart from the rice, are egg, veggies, meat, green onions, and soy sauce. When choosing the protein, you’ll want to use something different from your potsticker filling.
For instance, if you’re already serving pork potstickers, use chicken or shrimp in your fried rice for a more balanced meal.
3. Fried Green Beans with Garlic Sichuan Sauce
I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of green beans. Sure, they’re crispy, but they also taste like grass. But I still eat it all the time!
Thanks to Sichuan sauce, green beans become oh so tasty. Sichuan sauce has a wonderful combination of sweet and salty, and it is perfect for transforming green beans into a delicious side dish.
To make Sichuan sauce, combine garlic, ginger, red pepper, chili garlic sauce, sugar, and soy sauce in a pan. Bring the mixture to a near boil. In a separate container, dissolve cornstarch in water. Add the mixture into the pan and stir until the sauce thickens.
Coat the fried green beans in the sauce and Voila, it’s done.
4. Fresh Spring Rolls
Spring rolls are another delectable Asian dish that’s brimming with tons of flavor. It’s a combination of minced meat, carrots, cucumbers, and other veggies wrapped in rice paper.
Dip them in a sweet and creamy peanut sauce for even more flavor. Together with potstickers, the two make a delicate meal.
5. Hot and Sour Soup
Soup is a huge part of Asian meals. For the Chinese, in particular, soup connects all the other dishes in a meal.
One of their most traditional soups is called hot and sour soup – a thin broth-based dish full of spicy and sour flavors. Apart from the tasty broth, you also get a wonderful contrast of tender tofu, crisp veggies, and chewy dried shiitake mushrooms.
6. Egg Drop Soup
Another traditional soup in Chinese cuisine is egg drop soup. As you may have guessed, the star of the dish is the egg. Its flavor is enhanced with cloves, star anise, ginger, sesame oil, and other Asian spices.
Why is it called egg drop, you ask? Well, that’s because you drop a raw egg or two in the soup right before it’s done cooking. You then give the soup a whirl to break apart the eggs, giving your soup those beautiful swirls of white and yellow.
7. Char Siu Roasted Eggplant
Char siu is a traditional Asian cooking style that’s used to flavor roasted pork. It gives the meat that wonderful combination of sweet and savory. But who says you can’t use the same technique for roasted eggplant?
Go ahead, give your aubergine that beautiful thick glaze! To make, combine oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, honey, soy sauce, rice vinegar, and five-spice powder.
Soak eggplant slices in the marinade for an hour. Roast the eggplant in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Garnish with scallions and enjoy.
8. Potsticker Rice Noodle Bowl
Now, for this entry, we’re tweaking potstickers a bit to make an entirely different dish. What I love about a potsticker noodle bowl is that you need not concern yourself with cooking potstickers from scratch! Using store-bought frozen potstickers, it all comes together in less than 30 minutes.
The idea is, you just throw all the ingredients you’d normally put in a potsticker, cook them in a skillet, add eggs and rice noodles, flavor them with tamari or soy sauce, rice vinegar, ginger, and red chili pepper flakes, and you’re done!
Not only is it easy and delicious, it is also a complete meal.
9. Chinese Broccoli
Gai Lan or Chinese broccoli does not look like broccoli at all, but it sure is tasty. It’s got thick flat leaves and stems that have a mild bitterness and sweetness.
The stems are crunchy and juicy, and taste amazing when flavored with oyster sauce and soy sauce.
Koreans also have their own version of potstickers. Called Mandu, these meat dumplings are usually steamed, boiled, or deep-fried. And what better side dish to serve with these Korean dumplings than kimchi?
Kimchi is a staple side in Korean cuisine and comprises fermented cabbage and radish. It’s got strong sour and spicy flavors, which taste great with savory potstickers.
Now it’s time for my favorite part: dessert! Mochi is a Japanese sweet treat made of balls of glutinous rice stuffed with sweet filling such as red bean paste, strawberry creme, matcha, and ice cream. It’s sweet, chewy, and a glorious way to end your meal.
Ube is a Filipino dessert made from mashed sweet potatoes or yams. It is infused with coconut milk, condensed milk, and evaporated milk. It’s sweet, thick, creamy, and has a beautiful purple hue.
13. Fried Sesame Balls
Sesame balls are a common snack in Vietnam and China. Like mochi, they are also made with glutinous rice and stuffed with a sweet filling like mung bean paste. It is then deep-fried and coated with sesame seeds. Yum!