Venison Potsticker Dumplings

4.95 from 18 votes
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Finished venison potstickers recipe
Photos by Holly A. Heyser

Potstickers are the Chinese dumplings Americans love most. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like potstickers — even bad, Costco potstickers, which can be pretty gummy. You eat them and you say to yourself, “Damn, these are pretty gummy… but hey, at least they’re potstickers!” It’s a dumpling thing.

I’ve made a lot of potsticker recipes over the years, but always with store-bought wrappers. After all, the wrappers are super-easy to find in supermarkets, and they work just fine. It was not until I bought my friend Andrea Nguyen’s book Asian Dumplings that I learned how to make the wrapper by hand.

It is not only easier than I thought, but the result is markedly different from store-bought.

What a handmade potsticker wrapper has that a store-bought one doesn’t can be summed up in a word: flexibility. First off, handmade dough is a lot more pliable than store-bought. Secondly, handmade wrappers are not all the same width — which, as we will see, if vital for a good potstickers recipe.

Andrea’s technique for wrapper-making requires an odd, cross-cultural bit of equipment: a tortilla press. Yeah, she lives just down the road from me in the Bay Area, where we have lots of Asians and Mexicans, so it’s a natural!

The press helps you make perfect circles of dough, which you then roll thin with a handmade roller — a short piece of a wooden dowel about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. (You can buy thick dowels at your nearest home improvement store.)

The result is really cool: The wrapper is thick where you crisp it up — the “potsticker” part — because it needs to be to not break. And the wrapper is thin where you seal it, which keeps the pleated edges dainty. Brilliant, really.

As for the filling, it is straight from Andrea’s potstickers recipe, although I used wild onions and venison instead of ground beef and green onions. Any ground meat will work here, or if you are a vegetarian, use minced mushrooms.

Once you makes these dumplings, you can freeze them on a baking sheet until solid, then fill freezer bags full of them. They will keep for a few months that way. But beware: I made a batch that says it’s good for 4 people, and Holly and I ate them all at one sitting.

Gluttonous? Maybe. But that should tell you how good they are.

Finished venison potstickers recipe
4.95 from 18 votes

Venison Potstickers, Chinese Dumplings

My advice for beginners is to make these potstickers with store-bought wrappers to start. Only after you've made a couple batches should you bother to make your own wrappers. While making the filling is uber-easy, getting the pleated fold is mildly tricky. Best not to overwhelm yourself the first time. Once you have the fold down, go ahead and make your own wrappers. If you get lost, Andrea has a great page with how-to videos here. Remember you will need the tortilla press and your little dowel. You will also need a few tablespoons of safflower, peanut or other vegetable oil for pan-frying the potstickers.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Servings: 4 people
Author: Hank Shaw
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes



  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice vinegar or Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 hot chile, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil


  • 3/4 pound ground venison, duck or other meat
  • 3/4 cup Chinese chives, green onions or other wild chive-like green onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock or water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  • Either 30-36 store-bought potsticker wrappers or:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, about 10 ounces
  • 3/4 cup hot water


  • Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and let sit at room temperature while you make everything else.
  • In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients for the filling together until well combined. It is better to let the mixture sit for 30 minutes to overnight, but you can use it right away.
  • Fill each wrapper with a scant tablespoon of filling. Close each one into a half-moon, making sure there are no air pockets. It is probable that some of the filling will squirt out the ends as you seal them -- this is normal, just drop it back into the bowl with the rest of the filling. If the wrappers are dry, get a little bowl of cool water and wet half of each wrapper circle with the water; this will help it seal tightly.
  • Pleat the edges: I usually start from the center and do 3 pleats on the left of the dumpling, then another 3 on the right of the dumpling, As you make the pleats, settle the dumpling on your work surface so it sits flat. You will need this flat surface to get a nice crispy bottom to your potsticker. Set each finished dumpling on a baking sheet lined with either parchment or a little semolina flour or corn meal.
  • To cook your potstickers, get a large, non-stick frying pan out and heat about 2 to 3 tablespoons of vegetable oil (I use peanut) over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, about a minute or two, lay the potstickers down in one layer; they can touch each other. Fry like this 1 to 2 minutes, until the bottoms are browned.
  • Add enough water to come up about 1/4 inch. The pan will sputter and spit, so have a lid ready. Turn the heat down to medium, cover the pan and cook for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, move the lid partway off the pan to let steam escape. Cook 2 more minutes, then remove the lid entirely. You will soon hear the cooking change from boiling to sizzling -- that's your cue they are done. Serve immediately.

To Make Wrappers

  • Put the flour in a large bowl and make a well in the center. Boil some water, turn off the heat and pour in a healthy 3/4 cup of the water into the well you've made in the flour (when I mean "healthy" I mean to err on more water, not less). Stir the mixture with a fork until it gets shaggy, then knead with your hands (the dough will not be too hot to handle) for a few minutes, until it is smooth and elastic. Put the dough in a plastic bag and let sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  • Roll the dough into a thick snake and cut it in half, then in half again. Put the three pieces you are not using back in the plastic bag.
  • Roll the snake you are working with until it is about 1-inch thick. Cut it into 8 disks. Use your hands to return each disk to a nice cylinder. If the dough is tacky, dredge it lightly in a little flour.
  • Open your tortilla press. Put the cylinder between two pieces of plastic or wax paper (I use sheets cut from a freezer bag) and squash it with the tortilla press. Move the circle of dough to your work surface and do the other 8 pieces of dough.
  • Now use your little dowel to roll out the outer edges of each circle. You want to keep an area about the size of a nickel at the center thick, so hold the wrapper here while you flatten the edges out with the dowel. Do this while constantly rotating the wrapper. It does not matter if the wrapper is perfectly circular; just try your best.
  • Once you have your 8 wrappers, fill them and pleat as above. Continue with another 8 wrappers at a time until you finish.


Serve your potstickers with a zippy soy dipping sauce, sriracha or something else that is sweet-and-spicy. Just make more than you think you need. You'll find yourselves fighting over the last one...


Calories: 482kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 68mg | Sodium: 1966mg | Potassium: 472mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 341IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 6mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Hank Shaw

Hey there. Welcome to Hunter Angler Gardener Cook, the internet’s largest source of recipes and know-how for wild foods. I am a chef, author, and yes, hunter, angler, gardener, forager and cook. Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook.

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  1. I plan on making these for a large number of people (100-120 potstickers will be needed). Anyone have an opinion on how these would keep for 30-45 minutes after cooking, say in a chafing dish? Would they still be good?

  2. I was wondering if anyone had thought to use venison ina pot sticker recipe, decided to google it, whala, up you popped. wondering if you ever substituted lea&perrins for soy in stuffing? I love venison w/lea&perrins. Gonna try this when I get more gr venison!! Thanx!!

  3. I made these tonight. Your instructions on the frying/steaming were spot on, and the sauce is great. Yet another great thing to do with venison burger. Thanks.

  4. I made these tonight, never made such a thing. They turned out great but were very very potent of Ginger. Did I do something wrong, used 2 TBS fresh minced root.

    Thanks TIM

    PS any other easy ground venison recipes? We eat it 3-4 times a week.

  5. Hank-

    I made Venison Potstickers for a game dinner that my duck hunting buddies and I put together this past weekend. I made a half-sheet of them for the eight of us following your recipe and everyone raved about them. The sauce is a fantastic accompaniment. I had no idea they were so easy to make! I’ll never have to buy a frozen potsticker again, and I now have a “can’t miss” game dish to share with all those folks who “don’t like the taste of wild game”.

    Thanks, Hank! Hey when’s the Duck book due out?

  6. Eva: The circles are about 3 1/2 inches across.

    Sam: LOVE to hear stories like that! Thanks a heap for passing it along.

  7. Made these and took them to a party where a young lady from a Chinese family excitedly sought me out to tell me how good they were and all about how her and her family just celebrated the Lunar New Year with dumplings. I gave all credit to the recipe, great job! Also, the party was in Chapel Hill, NC and you wouldn’t have expected the warm reception venison got among the (mildly) snobby pursuers of higher education. I doubt many of the party goers frequent HAGC but it is because of smart outlets like this that more and more folks are recognizing hunting as the ultimate sustainable free range source of meat so again, great job!

  8. I’ve made pot stickers before – and like you said “who doesn’t love a potsticker?” but I never would have thought of a tortilla press – that is a great idea. And I love how you browned the bottom – amazing!

    Now I want to go make some!

  9. Oh wow, Hank, THANK YOU for using the phrase “Lunar New Year” instead of “Chinese New Year!” Drives me freaking crazy that people seem to not know, or to disregard, the fact that plenty of other Asian countries celebrate the lunar new year as well. Also, hooray potstickers!

  10. This looks fantastic. Yet another great use for the ever versatile tortilla press! Other things I use mine for include empanada dough and another cross-cultural application, to make evenly thick perfect rounds for cannoli pastry.

  11. That’s gonna be my dinner 🙂 maybe I’ll go for the vegetarian variaty. One question, what is the approximate diameter of one cicle?

  12. How excited am I right now? Very! I’ve been wanting to make my own wrappers but haven’t found a recipe yet. And I hadn’t thought to use our venison for the filling. Can’t wait to try this out. Gotta get a tortilla press, though, which has been on my wish list. Now I have more incentive. Thanks for the awesome recipes. Love your blog.

  13. Oh, how I love potstickers! When I first began making them, I did it the way you’ve described. Fry and then simmer in some water (grotesque understatement for your excellent culinary explanation of the process). I ran into a problem when it came to cleaning the pan in between batches and because I’m a hack, neglected to do so and then the last ones out were never quite right. Since then, I’ve always just cooked them atop cabbage leaves in bamboo steamer baskets like they were dim sum. My family doesn’t know any better, so we horse them down 4 servings at a time. The wrappers I buy in the store are always stale and break when I’m folding, so I really appreciate the recipe. I’m curious, could I use a pasta roller instead of tortilla press or is it too sticky for that? Any recipes for Japanese soba noodles? Happy Chinese New Year, Hank! And thanks for this recipe. I’m excited to give it a try with our own ground pork.

  14. Mike: Nope, there’s a little fat in the venison. Most people grind with beef or pork (or venison) fat. But ours were very lean and still good.

    And yes, totally freezable before any heat hits them.

  15. what a cowinkiedink…. was just going to message you a question about making Duck gyoza’s. no fat in the ground meat? and freezable before any heat hits them?