Jiaozi Chinese Pan Fried Potstickers
Jiaozi, also known as Potstickers or pan-fried dumplings, have a golden, crispy skin outside, and a soft juicy filling inside. This Chinese potstickers are much easier to make than the traditional Chinese dumplings and are low carb, paleo, and whole30. They freeze well and are perfect for quick lunches or dinners whenever you need a quick potsticker fix!
What are Jiaozi (Chinese potstickers)?
Jiaozi (餃子 jiǎozi) are a kind of Chinese dumplings, filled with ground meat and shredded vegetables and wrapped with a thin dough. There are three major types of Jiaozi – boiled (shuǐ jiǎo), steamed (zhēng jiǎo) and pan-fried (jiān jiǎo or Potstickers or guo tie).
Today’s recipe is more closely related to potstickers (pan fried dumplings) and I made them low carb, Keto, Gluten-free, Grain-free, and Whole30.
Growing up in a Chinese household, we ate jiaozi on almost a weekly basis. You can buy freshly made jiaozi in local farmers’ markets and my mom always comes back with two dozen dumplings and store them in the freezer for emergency meals.
My Family Chinese Dumpling Story
During Chinese New Years, jiaozi is a must have food in my grandma’s house. The two most common ways of enjoying jiaozi are water boiled (shuǐ jiǎo) or pan-fried (potstickers or jiān jiǎo). My grandma (from my mother side’s) is from Northern China and she makes the best homemade Chinese dumplings and dumpling wrappers from scratch.
She would make hundreds of them in one setting and the dough is soft yet chewy and pillowy at the same time. She would stuff the jiaozi with very finely minced ground pork that has the perfect fat and lean ratios with shrimp, Chinese green and yellow chives, and shiitake, and only one of the hundreds she makes has a small date inside. Whoever gets that special lucky one dumpling will receive the biggest red envelope from her (i.e. cash) 😀
How to make low carb jiaozi – Chinese potstickers/dumplings
Today’s jiaozi (Chinese potstickers) are inspired by our recent trip to Asia where people use daikon radish as wrappers to make low carb dumplings and they taste surprisingly light and absolutely AMAZING!
After I return to the states, I hard a hard time finding large size daikon – you’ll need about 3-inch in diameter or even larger to wrap the dumpling fillings – so I tried using turnip, which are naturally larger and rounder in shape. I was so glad that turnip works just as well as daikon without sacrificing the taste!
In a way, turnip or daikon helps cut down the grease and keeps the potstickers light, refreshing, yet still satisfy your dumpling cravings!
Easy Potsticker Chinese dumpling fillings
There are various Chinese dumpling fillings and you can basically stuff anything you like from meat based to plant based. For my low carb potstickers, I use ground chicken with very finely minced ginger and scallions to keep the fillings simple and easy. You can also use ground turkey or pork or even ground lamb will be a fantastic choice.
Traditionally people might add shredded cabbage to the dumpling fillings but I skip it because 1) this is not a traditional jiaozi recipe that the fillings are concealed in a dough. The shredded cabbage will not stick to the daikon or turnip dumpling wrappers and might fall out the shield easily, 2) In order to add the shredded cabbage the right way to do is to salt it first and then squeeze out as much water content as possible. This process will add time and more ingredients to prepare.
My paleo potstickers are light and very healthy because less is more and simple is the best!
How to pan-fry Chinese dumplings without sticking?
You can use non-stick skillet or a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. I found that cast iron skillet creates the most golden beautiful potsticker sear than non-stick.
*Note: For our potstickers, please remember that these low carb jiaozi are more fragile than the traditional Chinese pan-fried dumplings. You can’t really flip them back-and-forth because the fillings might fall out of the shield. So here’s the best way to pan fry them without sticking –
- Place the dumplings in a well-heated skillet and pan fry them with a neutral flavor oil, such as avocado oil. Try not to over crowd the skillet.
- Once the bottom side gets seared and in light golden brown add about ½ tbsp water to the skillet and cover it with a lid to steam.
- When the dumpling fillings are cooked through. Open the lid to pan fry the dumplings for a few additional seconds to evaporate the water.
- Carefully remove the dumplings one-by-one with a small spatula and serve with the golden seared side up.
When you remove them from the skillet, some dumpling fillings might separate from the turnip/daikon shield. No worry. Simply place them back and once they become cooler the fillings will stick back to the wrappers. 🙂
How to keep low carb potstickers from tearing/opening up?
This is the method for low carb potstickers use turnip or daikon as dumpling wrappers.
- Slice the daikon or turnip as thin as possible, using a mandolin slicer.
- Lightly salt both sides and let them sit for 15 minutes. This will draw water content from the radish.
- Pat them dry. The radish slices should be fairly soft and flexible at this point.
- Add a small amount of dumpling fillings to the center and use the back of a small teaspoon to smooth the filling. Apply a small amount of pressure to press the filling/paste onto the radish slices. This will help them stick together better.
- Gently fold it in half to create a half-moon shape and press the center edge to seal.
Make-ahead and Freeze!
These low carb potstickers are absolutely freezer friendly! Simply store the uncooked dumplings in the freezer over a sheet pan. Once they become solid (overnight is the best), you can store them in freezer friendly bags or containers.
Whenever you crave dumplings, simply pan-fry them directly from the freezer. Please do not defrost them in advance because the daikon or turnip wrappers will turn soft and watery. Add an additional 1 minute to the cook time and enjoy!
Jiaozi (Pot Sticker) Dipping Sauce
There are many dumpling dipping sauce for example my Keto shumai dipping sauce. I keep it simple and only use coconut aminos, rice vinegar, and with little toasted sesame oil. Feel free to add hot sauce and/or aged balsamic vinegar.
Pair the low carb potstickers with
- Paleo Beef and Broccoli
- Paleo Sweet and Sour Chicken
- Paleo Asian Meatballs
- Creamed Napa Cabbage
- Steamed Seafood Dim Sum
- Low carb Cauliflower Gratin
- Air fryer Chicken Wings (Thai style!)
- Instant pot Chinese Chicken Soup
- Whole30 Hot and Sour Soup
- More low carb dinner recipes
More great Asian appetizers around the world
- Paleo Har Gow Dumplings
- Keto Scallion Pancakes
- Keto Egg Rolls
- Temaki Tuna Sushi
- Gluten-Free Wonton Soup
- Paleo Gyoza Meatballs
- Whole30 Chinese Chicken Wings
- More low carb Asian Appetizers
Jiaozi (Chinese dumplings) symbolize fortune and longevity. Making potstickers is a fun family event that everyone can participate. This low carb version of your favorite potstickers is the perfect appetizer for the upcoming New Year’s, or for everyday healthy indulgence. Get ready for an uber-umami whirlwind of deliciousness!
Jiaozi Chinese Potstickers (Paleo, Whole30, Keto)
Low carb potstickers:
- 20 oz. daikon radish or turnip, at least 3-inch in diameter
- 3 bulbs scallions, chopped
- 1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
- 2/3 lbs ground chicken, or turkey, pork, lamb
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- ¼ tsp coarse sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
- ⅛ tsp ground white pepper
- 1-2 tsp arrowroot starch, omit for keto
- Avocado oil
- Dice the tip ends of the radish or turnip. Peel the skin with a vegetable peeler.
- Use a mandolin slicer, slice the daikon or turnip as thin as possible, about 1/16th-inch thickness.
- Place the discs one-by-one over a large sheet pan (you might need two) and lightly sprinkle with coarse sea salt on both sides. Let them sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime, make the dumpling fillings. In a large mixing bowl, combine ingredients from scallions to arrowroot starch. Stir the filling in one direction until it becomes a sticky paste, about 1-2 minutes. Cover and store in the fridge.
- Pat dry the daikon with clean paper towels. Try to keep them in perfect moisture balance - not too dry and not too wet. There shouldn’t be visible water droplet on the surface. You can also cover them with a slightly damp paper towel while you work on the dumplings one-by-one.
- Add a small amount of dumpling fillings to the center and use the back of a small teaspoon to smooth the filling. Apply a small amount of pressure to press the filling onto the radish slices. This will help them stick together better.
- Gently fold it in half to create a half-moon shape and press the center edge to seal with your thumb and index fingers.
- In a well-heated non-stick or cast iron skillet, add 1tbsp oil. Pan fry the dumplings for about 2 minutes over medium heat. You might need to fry them in separate batch so as to not overcrowd the skillet. Please do not flip the dumplings.
- Add ½ tbsp water. Cover with a lid. Lower the heat to medium-low and steam the dumplings for about 2-2.5 minutes. The fillings should be cooked through.
- Uncover. Cook for an additional 30 seconds. Off heat, carefully remove them one-by-one with a small spatula. Place the seared side up over a large serving plate.
- Some of the fillings might separate from the dumpling wrappers as you remove them from the skillet. Simply place them back. They will stick together once cooler. Serve with dumpling dipping sauce on the side. Serve immediately.
- Whenever you crave dumplings, simply pan-fry them directly from the freezer. Please do not defrost them in advance because the daikon or turnip will turn soft and watery. When you pan fry the frozen dumplings in separate batches, please do not leave the extras on the kitchen counter. Put them in the freezer to keep them from defrosting. They turn watery quite quickly in room temperature. 🙂
- Use ¼ tbsp water to steam (as opposed to ½ tbsp when cook from fresh).
- Add an additional 1 minute to the cook time and enjoy!