The Accident That Might Have Led To The Creation Of Potstickers

Do you know how many of your favorite foods were invented accidentally by silly mistakes? Turns out, many iconic foods we enjoy today were never supposed to turn out the way they did. For instance, the iconic chocolate chip cookie was first created when Ruth Graves Wakefield was preparing a batch of cookies for her guests at the Toll House Inn — a familiar-sounding name. According to Business Insider, Ruth realized she was out of baking chocolate and, in a pinch, reached for a block of Nestlé semi-sweet chocolate that she received as a gift. Instead of melting through the dough like the baker's chocolate would have, the Nestlé chocolate kept its shape and the first rendition of the classic chocolate chip cookie was born.

It is commonly thought that potato chips were another kitchen blunder that had gone on to snack stardom. In the late 19th century at the Moon Lake Lodge in Upstate New York, one disgruntled dinner guest kept insisting on being served crispier and crispier french fries from the chef, according to Lemelson Center. The chef sliced the potatoes incredibly thin and created the salty treat that has been popular ever since.

Potstickers also happen to be invented through a big mistake, only many centuries earlier. According to The Spruce Eats, the Chinese have been eating potstickers since the Song dynasty, which ranged from A.D. 960 to 1280, all because of a simple cooking error. And it's also one of the many ways you can upgrade frozen dumplings at home.

An imperial court mishap

According to The Spruce Eats, one of China's Imperial Court chefs may have accidentally created the beloved potsticker when he mistakenly burnt the bottom of a batch of dumplings. It is thought that without time to correct his mistake, he not only served the dumplings as they were but also showcased the burnt portion as an intentional creation. 

Luckily for the chef, the new dish was a hit. Viet World Kitchen notes that his guests specifically loved the contrast between the crunchy bottom and the juicy, tender filling topped with a soft, doughy top — and we don't blame them! This new variation of dumplings continued to be made over the years, and they became known by the Mandarin name guotie, which literally means "stuck to the wok." Even though they are usually prepared in a pan, a wok is more similar in size to a pot, so these dumplings were coined potstickers in English. And now many home chefs go out of their way to learn how to give their store-bought dumplings a crispy bottom layer.

This delicious origin story can serve as a reminder that the next time you mess up in the kitchen, it could just happen to birth the next foodie craze.