Thursday, March 22, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Potstickers

I wonder if this post title will bring in a lot of really disappointed people because this post has nothing to do with St. Patrick's Day themed potstickers?  Does the fact that I made and ate them on St. Patty's day count?  In any case, I made this recipe this past weekend for a potluck party and it seemed to receive accolades, so I thought I'd share it here with you!

I got this recipe of Epicurious who originally got it off chef Ming Tsai, who is a much hunkier Asian chef than the more well known, Martin Yan.
Disclaimer: I love Martin Yan 

Potstickers are a popular Chinese dumpling made primarily of pork, similar to gyozas.  There are many varieties to what you can put into the stuffng and I'll add in the ingredients list the ingredients I traditionally like to have in mine.  Not all the ingredients listed below were included in this particular rendition of the dish as some of the potluck attendees had allergies, but it seemed to work just as well.   

If you're making this recipe, be sure to leave yourself plenty of time as you're literally making each dumpling by hand.  I'd say give yourself a good 3 hour span to make the entire batch.  The recipe says it makes 30 dumplings, but my gyoza wrappers were smaller than usual, so I probably made around 45.

To make this, you'll need:
  • 1/4 small head (2 cups) of napa cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon of kosher salt, or a tad more if just using regular
  • 1/3 lb of ground pork
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
  • 1 small carrot, coarsely shredded into 2 tbsp
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced (1/4 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (2 tsp)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (I used 2)
  • 3 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 egg, lightly beaten (I left this out and subbed in more soy sauce and sesame oil)
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 1 package of gyoza or wonton wrappers - be sure to get the circular ones!
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped water chestnuts
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp 5 spice powder
In a large bowl, toss together the cabbage and salt and set aside for 30 minutes.   Transfer to a cheesecloth or gather it all in your hands and squeeze the life out of it until no more water drains from the cabbage into the bowl.  Drain the water out and put the cabbage back in.  Add pork, ginger, carrots, green onion, water chestnuts, cilantro and 5 spice powder, and mix with your hands in a kneading motion to combine.

In a small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, egg.  Add to meat mixture and stir to combine.  Stir in salt and pepper, a few shakes of each.




On a dry surface, get a small bowl of lukewarm water and set beside you.  Take out a single gyoza wrapper and lay it in your hands.  Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the middle of the wrapper like below:




Now comes the tricky part.  Dip one finger lightly in the warm water and trace a water line along the top half of the wrapper on the upward facing side.  Then, to seal, using the thumb of your right hand and the fingers of your left, fold the two sides together in a pleating motion, using your thumb to form the pleat.

See this youtube video for tips:




I didn't quite fold mine exactly as shown above, but you get the idea.  Eventually you'll end up with a little dumpling army like this:




Now it's time to cook!  Take a flat skillet and put over med-high heat.  Once the pan is nice and hot, add the oil.  Turn the heat down a bit if you have a gas stove as gas runs quite hot.  Add the dumplings, arranging them in a circular pattern, with the folds facing up.  Pan-fry until golden, about 1 minutes.  Flip them over onto their other side and let it fry for about a minute till golden again.  Take your skillet lid, and pour about 1/4 cup of water into the lid and turn the lid over the pan - you're going to get a lot of spitting oil so this technique should spare you getting any burns!  Turn the heat down a tad more and let cook until the water has evaporated, meaning it's done!






Now go out and amaze everyone with how wonderful you are!


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