Today, I present to you pot stickers. Now, I know what you’re thinking, what the heck is a kid from Alabama doing making pot stickers? Fair enough, I’ll admit, I’m no master of Japanese, Chinese, or any other -ese cuisine. I couldn’t even put together a decent pot of Asian-inspired noodles or rice if my life depended on it. And while it may be sad to be relegated to paying for someone else to make my rice and noodles for me, there is one Asian-thing that I can cook. They call them pot stickers, and not only can I cook them, I’ve mastered them. Seriously, they kick ass. I’ve never had any better. Every time I order them at a restaurant, hopeful to try something that will blow mine away, they’re always met with the same reaction– “Well, they’re good… but mine are better.” And trust me, I want to be blown away. I want to feel the rush of a pot sticker so good I never have to make them again. I was just born to make pot stickers. It’s a gift… I can’t help it. Who knows, with some hard work and a little luck maybe you too can be a pot sticker master.
Pot Stickers Recipe:
- 1 pound ground pork
- 6-8 spring onions (reserve 2 for garnish)
- 1/2 head of small green cabbage
- 1/2 tsp chili oil
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1 package wonton or gyoza wrappers
- Peanut, canola, or vegetable oil (amount depends on how many batches you make)
- Warm water (for steaming and sealing wontons)
Spicy Pork Filling
1) Finely shred and chop the 1/2 head of cabbage and finely slice the spring onions.
2) In a heavy-skillet with a couple tablespoons of cooking oil, cook the cabbage and onions until par-cooked and slightly tender.
3) Once the cabbage and onions are cooled, combine the first 10 ingredients (from pork to salt).
There are a million ways to pleat dumplings and the exact procedure will differ depending on if you use square wonton vs. circular gyoza wrappers, but the basic procedure is the same:
- Place a small spoonful of filling in the middle of the wrapper.
- Using a small brush, lightly paint the edges of the wrapper with water.
- Fold in half, making sure there is no air trapped with the filling.
- Fold in the corners and press closed to seal the wrapper (Below is how we like to do them with square wontons)
1) Lightly oil a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and place the dumplings into the pan, making sure they don’t touch.
Note: A non-stick Teflon pan is absolutely necessary. Despite the name, sticking to the pan is really counter-productive.
2) When the dumplings begin to sizzle add 1/4 cup cup of water or chicken stock, cover with a tight fitting lid, and gently simmer until the water is evaporated.
3) Remove to a lightly oiled cooling rack, wipe the pan clean with a paper towel, add 1/2 cup of oil, and increase the heat to medium-high.
4) Fry until golden brown and delicious, transfer to a paper towel covered plate, and serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce and the reserved green onions.
Note: Though I’ve never done it personally, I’m sure you can freeze them on a lightly-oiled baking sheet and, once frozen, transfer them to a freezer bag and store away for quite awhile. (If you do this, let me know how it turns out and how you manage to cook them).
We’re poor and in college so we just dip them in soy sauce, which is tasty enough, but I’ve taken the liberty of doing some research on a variety of dipping sauces that look really great.