Potstickers for the Dysphagia Patient: A Delicious Snack for Celebrating the Chinese New Year

This is a delicious dysphagia snack recipe from the Chinese kitchen.

4384055226_7a0d2b4c28_zOne of the things that the SLPs tell me is that there is a real need for good snacks for patients with swallowing disorder. SLPs are the dysphagia healthcare providers known as speech language pathologists. We are working to provide recipes for snacks.

In my regular writing life, I am a China expert. I have studied the cuisine not only in Asia, but in the United States as well. To honor the Chinese New Year, I chose the potsticker.  

The potsticker is a dumpling. It has balance. It is basically a wrapper of dough that contains a protein and vegetables. It can be filled with chicken, pork, shrimp or vegetables. It can be made with chicken broth or vegetarian broth.

The potsticker in this recipe is better than takeout from a Chinese restaurant because the dough  is very light and thin, and does not get gummy because it does not contain gluten. It is ideal for the dysphagia kitchen. It purees beautifully. It is safe for the swallow. The dysphagia patient may eat a festive treat from an international cuisine safely. 

I have discovered a store-bought brand of dumplings, frozen, gluten-free and easily available at your local whole foods store. The brand is called FG, for Feel Good Foods. They come in a box of 12, vegetable, chicken or pork.They do not contain MSG or other chemicals and preservatives.

This is a convenience food of high quality that makes the caregiver job easier. For the dysphagia kitchen, they are superior to frozen potstickers bought in Asian markets. Those from the Asian markets that I have bought in the past have thick wrappings and contain gluten. When not well-prepared, they can puree to a gummy texture. This creates a swallowing difficulty. In order to eat this delicious treat, you need the safe swallow. So check with your healthcare provider, bring your SLP or physician a box of the dumplings or a prepared serving of dumplings and get an expert opinion.

The FG brand of dumplings are easy to prepare. You can microwave them or steam them in a pan in a more traditional preparation method. Any time you have an easy prep, that is good news.   I tried the microwave version. The potstickers, with their dipping sauce, prepared according to the directions on the package are excellent. They are tender, just what is needed for the dysphagia patient.

Serving: 1 box of 12 dumplings serves 2. A serving is 6 dumplings, 230 calories. The nutritional breakdown is on the package.


  • 1 box of Feel Good Foods gluten-free dumplings, vegetable, chicken or pork
  • ½ cup of liquid, either vegetable broth, chicken broth or water
  • The dipping sauce packet thawed to room temperature.


  • In a microwave dish, arrange the dumplings in rows.
  • Add a half cup water or broth.
  • Cover with a damp paper towel and cook on high for 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove from microwave and add dipping sauce.

For the Puree

To the bowl of a nutrition extractor, such as a Nutribullet, add six dumplings and ¼ cup of broth and half of the dipping packet. Pulse a few times and then puree until smooth. You can make this in a regular blender. Pulse to incorporate, then puree on high until you get a smooth texture. Add extra broth to thin. Add a gel thickener such as Simply Thick or any of the others listed on our website under Thickeners.

Swirl Away!

Image courtesy of Christian Newton via Flickr CC