Ever gone to a Japanese restaurant and ordered gyoza? Or even gone to TGIFridays and ordered pot stickers? I know they have them there, I’ve eaten them. I was also a cook/backwait/expediter at P.F. Chang’s for a good while when I first moved back to the eastern seaboard. After standing in my kitchen for the last two hours folding a grand total of 51 pot stickers, my heart goes out to Changs’ dim sum girl (my super awesome ex co-worker), Lisette, who spent her entire day making and hand folding the various kinds of dumplings Chang’s has on its menu.
For the last week or so, I have been craving pot stickers something fierce. I had to eat some – my body said so. And seeing as I’d made them once before, I knew the work and dedication involved…Pot stickers are a looooot of work…however, they’re completely worth it. The best part about making your own is that you control what goes into them. As you saw in my post on Saturday, I picked up a bunch of dumpling wrappers at the local Asian market, and I had it set in my mind that I would make pot stickers this week, so that is precisely what I did. Some friends are coming to watch our cats while the Ryan and I are out of town for Memorial Day, and since I always end up with TONS of pot stickers, I figured I’d feed them my remainders in gratitude for scooping kitty poop in our place.
A while back, I was having the same pot sticker craving and was extremely curious how to make them, and I found this blog with a recipe and a video. The video was a tremendous help in that I had no idea how to fold the wrappers. I’m still not the greatest at it, but I can get the job done. Aesthetics is important, but deliciousness trumps all. It is an authentic recipe and tastes delicious – the dipping sauce recipe she includes is to-die-for. The best part is that it requires only ingredients that most people who do a lot of stir-frying will already have in their house, so they’re convenient as well.
So what are we waiting for? Let’s make some pot stickers!
Ingredients: Dumpling Wrappers (1 pack), Ground Chicken (1 lb), Cabbage (1 cup, shredded; I bought cole slaw mix because I don’t like red cabbage and that was all they had available at my store pre-shredded. I also didn’t want to buy a head of cabbage since we’re leaving – it’d be bad before we got back 😦 ); Soy Sauce (1 tbls), Chinese Rice Wine (1 tsp), Ginger (2 tsp, peeled and grated), White Pepper (1/4 tsp), Chicken Bouillon Powder (2 tsp), Sugar (1 tsp), Sesame Oil (1 tsp), Vegetable Oil (I used Canola; 1 tablespoon plus 2 tsp).
Since the dumplings are so small, I took my cole slaw cabbage and chopped it down to a very small size – shredded cabbage at normal size, I found last time I did this, was very hard to separate and fit properly into the dumpling wrappers.
In a pan, heat 2 tsp of your oil and saute the cabbage until it is tender.
Set aside and let cool.
In the mean time, in a medium bowl, add chicken, ginger, pepper, sesame oil, rice wine, sugar, soy sauce and bouillon powder and mix thoroughly. Then stir in the cooled cabbage mix.
Make sure you have a small bowl of water available, as you will need to wet the outsides of the dumpling wrappers so they will stick together and close.
After you’ve wet the wrapper, place a teaspoon of your mix inside.
Gently fold the corner of your dumpling and pleat the edges to join both sides. Make sure not to get any of your chicken mixture into your seams otherwise the dumpling won’t close.
I chose to line mine up on my cookie sheet (yay, a new use!) to prep for cooking. The Ryan and I ate the first cookie sheet full. The second is in my freezer right now waiting for Thursday.
This is where I did it a bit different: The recipe I linked shows the cooking method to be steaming the pot stickers in oil and water until the water has evaporated and the oil has made them crispy. Last time I did that, I just ended up with very swollen, soggy pot stickers. At the restaurant, we steamed them and then pan fried them in a cast iron skillet. So I got out my vegetable steamer and steamed the pot stickers for about 6-7 minutes. Make sure to lightly oil your steamer, otherwise the dumplings will stick to the metal. Steam with the lid on, as you would with veggies.
In a small skillet, lightly oil it and once the dumplings are steamed, brown them in the pan until golden on the underside. I have an uneven stove (as you can see) and nonstick pans, so I had to pick them up and swirl the oil around to distribute it properly. One of these days we’ll have a cast iron skillet. 🙂
All done. Nice and golden. Serve with dipping sauce (I used the recipe on the blog, but there are TONS out there) and enjoy!! These are extremely time consuming, but totally worth it. And since you can freeze the ones you don’t eat, you are either getting multiple meals or just knowledge that you have a yummy snack easily accessible when you want it. Enjoy!