Pot stickers are a Chinese Dim Sum (appetizer, more or less) consisting of a noodle-like wrapper around a filling that normally has meat, cabbage, onions, and seasonings. I understand that in the eastern US, they're called "Chinese Ravioli", which is somewhat more descriptive of their nature, even though "pot sticker" is pretty descriptive of their behavior. There's a similar item in Japanese cuisine called "Gyoza", though those are usually smaller and have a thinner noodle.
They are one of my son's favorite foods. They can be boiled, steamed or deep fried, but the name comes from a combination cooking method where they are browned by pan-frying AFTER the noodle is cooked by steaming or boiling. Here's how I cook them.
Step 1: Introduction
You CAN make pot stickers from scratch. This is made easier if you have somewhere you can buy pre-made pot sticker wrappers (which are like wonton wrappers, only thicker), but it is STILL (imnsho) one of those things that isn't worth the effort. Counting asian markets, Trader Joes, Safeway, and CostCo, there are probably about a dozen different varieties of pre-made frozen pot stickers that I can buy. After some exploring, including a "pot sticker tasting", we decided that these Ling-ling brand "chicken and vegi" ones are our favorite. YMMV; do your own experiments.
Unfortunately, if you follow the instructions on the package, they don't come out the way we like them, so I've come up with my own method.
Step 2: Prepare the Pan!
Teflon coated pans are a really good idea for pot-stickers. I supposed that a properly seasoned non-coated pan would work too, but this method involves boiling water for some time, which is not such good treatment for a "seasoned" pan.
Heat your pan so it's nice and dry. If your Teflon is getting a bit old, like mine, it will help to pre-season it with a light coating of oil (and heat for a minute or so over high heat) before starting the main part of the cooking procedure.