These wrinkly and crispy pork and sardine dumplings (potstickers) are filled with fresh ground pork, canned sardines, green onions, lots of Asian seasoning and spices, and perfectly paired with a tangy vinegar dipping sauce. Plus, these dumplings are extremely freezer-friendly so make a few batches in advance and save them for a rainy day.
I have partnered with Gold Seal to bring you this delicious recipe, but all opinions are my own.
What is in Pork and Sardine Dumplings?
- canned sardines - I used Gold Seal's wild sardines in spring water. Canned sardines are often an under-appreciated ingredient, but this pantry staple deserves some spotlight. Not only are they rich in texture with a delicious and mild taste, but they are extremely nutrient-dense and packed with protein. Gold Seal sardines are wild caught in the Pacific Ocean and are a natural source of omega-3s. Sardines are also a sustainable fish and, unlike some other big fish, have extremely low levels of mercury, and are low in fat, meaning they are good for you and for the environment.
- pork - you will need one pound of ground pork, which pairs really nicely with the delicious and flavourful sardines.
- green onions, ginger, and garlic.
- seasoning - rice cooking wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and Sichuan peppercorn powder (optional).
- dumpling wrappers - you will need 50 round dumpling wrappers.
- vegetable oil - for pan-frying the dumplings.
- toppings - garnish the dumplings with black sesame seeds and green onions.
- vinegar dipping sauce - serve the dumplings with vinegar dipping sauce made with black vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, green onions, and Sriracha hot sauce (optional for a spicy kick).
How to Make the Best Pork and Sardine Dumplings (Crispy Potstickers)
Making these homemade dumplings is actually quite easy. Simply combine the filling ingredients together, add a spoonful inside each dumpling wrapper and then wrap them up. Cook them up in less than 15 minutes.
Make the Filling
First, chop the sardines into small pieces and transfer into a large mixing bowl. Add in ground pork and stir well to mix evenly. Add in green onions, ginger, garlic, cooking wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, white pepper, sugar and peppercorn powder (if using). Stir with a spatula until evenly combined. Cover and marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
How to Wrap Dumplings (Potstickers)
Follow along the steps below and watch the video below for a recipe tutorial and demonstration on how to wrap these dumplings. You will be pleating like a pro in no time!
- Prepare a small bowl of water for dipping your fingers into.
- Take one dumpling wrapper at a time and place it in your palm. Dip your finger into water and smear it along the edge of the wrapper.
- Transfer a tablespoon of filling into the centre.
- Fold the wrapper over into a half-moon shape, and enclose the filling inside. Press the edges together to seal, or pleat the edges together with your fingers.
- Place the dumplings on a parchment-lined baking tray.
- Repeat with all dumplings. Cover with a tea towel to prevent the wrappers from drying out.
How to Pan-Fry Potstickers
- Heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a large non-stick frying pan until hot, about 3 minutes.
- Place a batch of 12-15 pork and sardine dumplings on the pan and place them approximately ½-inch apart to make sure that they don't stick together. Cook for 3 minutes until the bottom turns golden brown.
- Add water into the pan to cover half of the dumplings' height (½-inch deep). The water should start sizzling and boiling immediately. Cover with the lid and cook for 7-8 minutes until almost all the water has evaporated.
- Remove the lid and lower the temperature to medium heat. Cook for another 2 minutes until all water has been absorbed. The bottom of the dumplings should be crispy.
- Repeat the same steps for another batch of 12-15 dumplings.
- Transfer the pork and sardine dumplings onto a plate and sprinkle some black sesame seeds and green onions on top. Serve with vinegar dipping sauce (combine black vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and green onions in a small bowl). You can also add some Sriracha in the sauce for a spicy kick.
Video on How to Make Potstickers
Tips for Making Dumplings
- How to steam dumplings. To steam these dumplings instead, bring a pot of water to a boil and place dumplings on a steamer on top. Steam for 15-20 minutes until tender.
- How to store dumplings. I always recommend making a double batch or more because you can store uncooked pork and sardine dumplings in the freezer for another day. To store, place the dumplings in one layer on a parchment-lined baking tray and freeze for 1 hour. Then, transfer them to a large ziploc bag or airtight container and use as desired.
- To cook from frozen. You can cook these dumplings straight from the freezer. Follow the same steps in this recipe, but when you cover and cook until the water has evaporated, then add another ¼ cup of water and cover. Keep cooking until water almost evaporates, about 5 more minutes.
More Dumpling Recipes
- Egg and Chive Vegetarian Dumplings
- Chicken and Shrimp Dumplings
- Chicken and Cilantro Wontons
- Spicy Chili Oil Wontons
- Crispy Bottom Pan-Fried Pork Buns
- 10-Minute Wonton Soup
- Shanghai Style Wonton Soup
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.