I make it by eye and use ingredients like these, but there are so many variations possibilities are limitless
a little ground shrimp
a little corn starch
a little minced garlic and ginger.
Some finely chopped vegetables, stir fried and cooled--like onion, cabbage, carrot.
Round wonton skins
Fill, seal and pan fry till browned on the bottom. Pour in water to about 1/4 inch and cover, let steam until the water is gone.
Sauce, again I go by eye and taste.
a little sugar
Something hot. could be chile garlic paste, sweet chile sauce, chile oil. Often left on the side for people to mix to their desired intensity on the plate
Pot stickers (or Gyoza, in Japanese) are as much about the shape of the dumpling as the filling---which, as Phil points out, is primarily a mixture of port or pork & shirmp, with veggies.
To fill and shape them, put a rounded teaspoon of the filling in the center of a round won ton wrapper. Wet the edge and bring it up to form a vertically oriented half moon. That is, the seam will be centered on the top.
Next pleat the seam. Traditionally, five folds go into making the pot sticker shape. These are then fried in an all but dry skillet until the bottom are brown and crisp (thus, pot stickers, dontchasee), water or other liquid is added and the skillet immediatly covered so that steam both completes the cooking process and releases the dumplings from the skillet.
If eyeballing doesn't do it for you, here's a recipe to try. It's actually a Shui Mai filling, but works just as well for Gyoza:
Interesting, and all this time I thought "potstickers" (gyoza) were "browned" because the steaming water evaporated and they began to caramalize. So much for listening to "fables" about how dishes were created.
Have you ever actually tried them, Kuan? Or are you just echoing conventional wisdom? Using won ton wraps I get a very crisp bottom and soft, chewy sides.
Using fresh dough, because it's softer, accomplishes two things. First, as Phil mentioned, the dough hugs the filling closer. And, second, it's a bit easier to form the pleats, because there's no danger of the dough drying out and cracking as sometimes happens with won tons.
But fresh-made dough and commercial won tons, once the dumpling is formed, cook exactly the same. At least they do in my experience, and I've been making them both ways for a long, long time.
I had a Vietnamese friend in college- we lived in an international dorm- who came home with me one weekend. She showed me and my mom how to make the dough and steam the dumplings. I sure wish I could remember her recipe, but I'm almost positive we used boiling water for the dough.... but did we add some flour other than wheat flour? I can't remember!
Well, as I said before, if you're going to deep fry them I see no reason for steaming at all.
If you're goal is to make pot sticker (as opposed to fried dumplings), you heat the skillet, add a little oil, and put the dumplings in so just the bottoms are fried. Then you add water (usually, but sometimes other liquid), cover the skillet, and let them steam until the water evaporates and the dumplings are cooked through.