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Beef Potstickers {Niu Rou GuoTie}

by Shirley

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Beef Guotie {Pot Stickers Northwest Chinese Style}

Beef Potstickers, or Niu Rou GuoTie {牛肉锅贴} in Chinese, are pan fried dumplings filled with juicy delicious ground beef. They are traditional, well-liked food in China’s northwestern area. Unlike Jiao Zi, which are boiled dumplings, GuoTie are pan fried and then steamed dumplings that have a crispy bottom but soft top.

Beef Guotie {Potstickers}
Beef Guotie {Potstickers}

The cooking process is like Sheng Jian Mantou, which are Huai Yang style pan fried pork buns in China’s Yangtze River Delta area.

Across China, there are many versions of dumplings and buns. The ingredients used and the different ways of cooking reflected locally available resources and their unique cultural heritage. In China’s northwestern region, beef and lamb are predominant meat choice for dumplings compared to pork in coastal area.

Northern China Jiao Zi and Mantou

Northern China refers to the north of the Yangtze River Delta area, including areas along the coastline such as Shan Dong Province, Liao Ning Province. Jiao Zi {饺子}, or boiled dumplings, is a traditional and well-liked food in this area. Cabbage and Pork Jiao Zi is perhaps the most popular one.

Pork Jiao Zi with Napa Cabbage
Pork Jiao Zi with Napa Cabbage

Steamed Buns without fillings, or Mantou is a classic everyday staple food in this area. Or at least, it used to be.

Blue Corn Steamed Buns {Mantou}
Blue Corn Steamed Buns {Mantou}

Beef Potstickers {Niu Rou GuoTie} is a classic food in the Northwestern China

Beef or lamb is the most popular dumpling filling in the Northwestern China, regions including Shaanxi Province, home to Terracotta warriors. For beef or lamb dumplings, people in this area typically pan-fry them first and steam later, which become potstickers, or Guo Tie.

I am going to share all the tips and tricks on how to make tasty Beef Guotie in this article.

Wonton, Shanghai soup dumplings, Tang Yuan, Sheng Jian Mantou are among the traditional dumplings in the Yangtze River Delta area

Yangtze River Delta area, home to Huai Yang cuisine and also dubbed as the “Home to Fish and Rice”, uses both sweet rice flour and all-purpose flour for dumplings. Steamed rice is the everyday staple food in this area.

Wonton is the counterparty version of Jiao Zi, but served in a chicken broth soup with other fixings. Bok Choy is a traditional vegetable in this area. Therefore pork with tender Bok Choy leaves is the most popular fillings for Huai Yang style Wonton Soup.

Huai Yang Wonton Soup {Authentic Way}
Huai Yang Wonton Soup {Authentic Way}

Shanghai Soup Dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao {小笼包} are steamed dumplings. The fillings are usually just pork itself but marinated with seasonings and mixed with finely chopped ginger and green onions. The juicy, tasty pork filling tastes semi-sweet, an iconic pork flavor of Huai Yang cuisine.

Shanghai soup dumplings
Shanghai Soup Dumplings {Easy Tasty Healthy Way}

Tang Yuan {汤圆} are sweet rice flour dumplings that are very typical in the Yangtze River Delta area. These super soft sweet rice flour dumplings use water-milled sweet rice flour, that provides extra smoothness.

Tang Yuan Varieties {Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings}
Tang Yuan Varieties {Sweet Rice Flour Dumplings}

For the fillings, you can make savory Pork Tang Yuan, or sweet Red Bean Paste Tang Yuan. In addition, you can also make mini balls without fillings in a red bean paste soup called Hong Dou Xiao Yuan Zi.

Sheng Jian Mantou are mini pork buns that is pan fried first and steamed later, same cooking method as Northwestern GuoTie. They are a traditional breakfast item in the Yangtze River Delta area. Sheng Jian Mantou uses semi-yeast dough so that they are not extremely fluffy but soft enough, and still have the good firm bite texture.

Sheng Jian Mantou {Easy Authentic Huai Yang Style}
Sheng Jian Mantou {Easy Authentic Huai Yang Style}

How to make Beef Potstickers {Niu Rou GuoTie} tasty, easy and healthy?

Homemade dumpling wrappers are yummy and easy to make

If you have a pasta machine or Stand Mixer with pasta making attachment, it is super easy to make your own dumpling wrappers at home using this step-by-step tutorial.

Homemade Dumpling or Bun Wrapper Using a Stand Mixer Tutorial
Homemade Dumpling or Bun Wrapper Using a Stand Mixer Tutorial

Wrap Beef Potstickers in an easy and classic style

You can use same Northern China style Jiao Zi wrapping method to wrap GuoTie. Read here for a guided recipe on how to wrap GuoTie {Potstickers} easy and classic Northern China dumpling style.

Warp Guotie {Potstickers}
Warp Guotie {Potstickers}

What Spices make a tasty beef filling for dumplings or GuoTie?

Black pepper, fennel seeds, coriander seeds along with a pinch of turmeric and orange peel, all as powder, do wonderful job to season the beef to this mouth-watering satisfying flavor and eye-catching golden hue color. An authentic northwestern China style.

Fennel seeds and coriander seeds are among the most delicious and nutritious spices. Both have a pleasant aroma, though coriander seeds have a much more subtle smell. Fennel seeds contain rich antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. For instance, calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Inevitably, they are one of the four key spices I used for this super yummy and healthy Chai Tea Spice mix.

Coriander seeds also present impressive health benefits. Experts believe they can help lower blood sugar, and improve brain, heart and digestive health. That they are rich in antioxidants, people also praise them for the power to improve immune systems.

I usually get organic whole fennel seeds and coriander seeds and then use a spice grinder to turn into powder.

Mix ground beef with this simple but amazingly tasty spice mix, along with Himalayan pink salt, eggs, arrowroot flour, and lightly stir-fried red onion small pieces for a super juicy and delicious Beef Potstickers or Niur Rou GuoTie filling.

How to cook Beef Potstickers easy and perfectly?

It is essential to have a quality nonstick frying pan for making GuoTie. A frying pan that is made of healthy materials, endures high heat well and performs impressive non stick function. I have used many kinds and am thrilled to say I need no look further once I have switched to these hard anodized frying pans.

Beef Guotie {Pan Fried Dumplings}
Beef Guotie {Pan Fried Dumplings}

To cook perfect GuoTie or potstickers, heat the hard anodized fry pan for 1 minute first, and then add oil and dumplings. Pan fry for about 3 minute or till the bottom is browned.

Pan Fry Guotie first
Pan Fry Guotie first

Then add water so that about 40%-50% of the dumplings are in the water. For a 12-inch fry-pan, that is about 1 cup of water. Cover the lid and steam for about 10 minutes, or water is about to disappear.

Steam Guotie after pan frying
Steam Guotie after pan frying

Then remove the lid, and cook for additional 2 minutes, or till the water is gone.

Freshly cooked Beef Guotie {Potstickers}

All done! Enjoy a super yummy Beef Potstickers {Niur Rou GuoTie 牛肉锅贴} Northwestern China Style.

Beef Guotie {Potstickers} Northwest China Style}
Beef Potstickers {Northwestern China Style Niu Rou GuoTie}
Beef Guotie {Pot Stickers Northwest Chinese Style}

Beef Potstickers {Niu Rou GuoTie} Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 50 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Beef Potstickers, or Niu Rou GuoTie {牛肉锅贴} in Chinese, are pan fried dumplings filled with juicy delicious ground beef. They are traditional, well-liked food in China’s northwestern area. 

Ingredients

For the Dumpling Wrappers:

  • 660 g all-purpose flour, organic, about 4 cups
  • 320 g of room temperature water, about 1 1/3 cup
  • 25 g avocado oil
  • 1/4 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 tbsp. all-purpose flour, organic, for dusting and coating the dough later
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour, optional, for dusting and coating the finished wrappers

For the Beef Filling:

  • 1.5 lb. ground beef
  • 2 large eggs, cage free or organic
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds powder, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 tsp coriander seeds powder, freshly ground
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried orange peel, freshly ground
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Pink Salt
  • 1 small red onion, chopped and lightly stir-fried
  • 1 tbsp. arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 cup water, room temperature, optional

For Pan-Fry Guotie:

  • 1.5 tbsp. avocado oil, see notes

Instructions

Make Homemade Dumpling Wrappers:

  1. Read here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial on how to make homemade dumpling wrappers using a stand mixer or pasta machine.
    Cut Dough Sheet into Rounds for Homemade Dumpling Wrappers

Prepare Beef Filling:

  1. Peel off the outer layers of red onion, trim off both ends and cut into small pieces.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat a hard anodized fry-pan for 1 minute.
  3. Add about 1/2 tsp avocado oil using a home oil sprayer and then add the chopped red onion. Stir fry for about 2 minutes or till they are wilted. Set aside.
  4. Crack two eggs into a large mixing bowl and use an egg whisk to mix well
  5. Add the remaining ingredients under the "For the Beef Filling". Use a pair of bamboo spatulas to press down and break the ground beef and fold into the seasonings.
  6. Once they are loosely blended, turn the bamboo spatula in the same direction, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, swiftly to blend the whole thing into a thick paste.
  7. If the filling appears to be dry, add 1 tbsp. of water at a time while turning and blending the beef, until the beef filling turns into juicy sticky paste.
  8. Add the stir fried red onions and fold into the beef. Then turn the bamboo spatula in the same direction for about 15 seconds till they are fully blended. Use the silicone mini spatula to scrape mixture off the mixing bowel walls.

Wrap Potstickers {GuoTie}:

  1. Use the same simplified while classic Northern China Jiao Zi wrapping technique to wrap Guotie.
  2. Read here for a detailed step-by-step tutorial.
    Freshly Wrapped Jiao Zi

Cook Potstickers:

  1. Wash and clean the fry pan you used to stir fry the red onion.
  2. Turn the heat to medium-high and heat the pan for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 tbsp. avocado oil into the pan, spread evenly across the pan using a silicone spatula.
  3. Lay beef potstickers into the pan, leave some room in between. A 12-inch fry-pan can hold about 16 dumplings. Pan fry for 3 minutes or till the bottom is browned.
    Pan Fry Guotie first
  4. Add 1 cup of water into the pan, or the water should cover about half of dumpling height. Cover the pan with a lid and steam for about 10 minutes, or till water is about to disappear.
  5. Remove the lid and cook for additional 2 minutes, or till water is gone.
  6. Done with the first batch.
    Freshly cooked Beef Guotie {Potstickers}
  7. Repeat the cooking until you've done with all dumplings.
  8. Enjoy a super yummy and healthy Beef Guotie.
    Beef Guotie {Potstickers} Northwest China Style}

Notes

  • Each batch of pan-fry cooks about 16 dumplings in a 12-inch non-stick fry-pan, and require about 1/2 tbsp. avocado oil. You may need to cook 3 batches for this recipe, hence the total 1.5 tbsp. avocado oil.
  • A quality hard anodized fry pan uses less oil and withstand the heat well.
  • Arrowroot flour is my go-to gluten-free wholesome starch.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 897Total Fat: 40gSaturated Fat: 13gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 22gCholesterol: 163mgSodium: 611mgCarbohydrates: 89gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 43g

Nutrition calculation is provided by Nutritionix to the best knowledge per ingredients description and isn't always accurate.

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