Sunday, August 10, 2008

Perfect Potstickers

I felt like making potstickers tonight. I have never made potstickers. So I scoured the internet for a recipe. I looked at dozens, just to get an idea of the "typical" potsticker recipe. I ended up choosing and modifying the following recipe from Alton Brown on Food Network. My modifications will be discussed following the recipe. Overall, this is a good basic recipe.

1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 c. finely chopped scallions
2 tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 tsp. ketchup
1 tsp. yellow mustard
2 tsp. worchestershire sauce
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
35 to 40 wonton wrappers
3 to 4 tbsp. vegetable oil, for frying
1 1/3 c. chicken stock

Preheat over to 200 degrees F.

Combine ingredients 1 through 11 in a medium mixing bowl (pork through cayenne)

To form dumplings, remove 1 wonton wrapper from the package, covering others with a damp cloth. Brush edges of the wrapper with water. Place 1/2 round tsp. of the mixture in the center of the wrapper and fold as desired. Repeat until filling is done.

Heat oil in a 12 inch sauce pan on medium heat. Add potstickers. Fry for 2 minutes without touching. Next add the chicken broth and cook for another 2 minutes. Place cooked dumplings on a pan and put in the preheated oven until ready to serve.

My Modifications

First, I am a vegetarian...sort of. I eat fish and shellfish. I do not think it is ethical to consume meat, nor do I even like meat. Now, if I go to someone's house and they are serving meat I will eat it because I do not believe in wasting food.

I used soy meat instead of the pork. I also didn't really follow the recipe in terms of the filling. I used green pepper (that was all I had), minced onion, spinach, and cabbage to fill my potstickers. This worked out fine, except soy meat is harder to mesh together an stick in a wonton wrapper. You need to be careful. I recommend forming little balls of the mixture first, then putting them in the wrappers. Obviously, this is only if you are using soy meat. Otherwise, pork sticks together very well--because of all the fat--yuck! I also substituted the chicken stock with vegetable stock--doesn't matter because it is all just salty flavored water anyway!

Other than changing the filling I followed this recipe to the T. The wrappers turned out very nice. This is clearly how you make potstickers. I feel like it is important to mention that the shape of your wonton wrappers will affect how they look. Typically, at Asian restaurants they serve dumplings shaped as half moons. This can only be achieved if you buy round (circular) wonton wrappers. I purchased square ones, so I ended up making them look like little purses (see picture).

Another thing. This recipe does not include a dipping sauce! This is very important. I was kind of left hanging. I had to improvise on the sauce, which didn't even turn out good. So please find a good sauce recipe for your dumplings. I will look for a good one, and post it eventually.

What I took from this recipe is that the frying and boiling in stock is a great method of cooking dumplings.


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