12.21.2012

potstickers recipe

Sometimes I don't cook. Sometimes I order in. Order out. Pick up. Carry out. Dine and dash. 

Ok, I'm kidding about the last one ;] As a former waitress I would never dream of such a thing. But there are times I go through waves of cooking laziness, even though I love cooking. Maybe I'm overworked and just too tired when I get home. Maybe I have some cash burning-a-hole. Ok, I'm just lazy. Don't judge me.


But then there are times that I get that bug. The kind of disease where I have the sudden need to make cheese from scratch, chocolate souffles, and tamales. It's sickening. Don't be amazed. These are few and far in between. But it's always exciting [and rewarding/waistline busting] to try new things out. 

I've always loved potstickers. TGIFridays, the Noodle Company, Costco. You name it. I've tried and probably love it. The best thing about these guys is how flexible they can be. I used shrimp, which I know is pricey [especially if you're feeding a family]. So feel free to substitute ingredients with consideration to what's in your fridge. Ground pork or chicken would work perfectly in place. 

I prepared my filling first. I mixed red cabbage [I meant to buy nappa and for some reason bought red cabbage at the store- total blanking out moment but it worked fine], cilantro, and five green onions. Chop things at the same consistency as possible. I kept my green onions around 1 cm so I wouldn't have problems fitting them into the wonton later. 



I used a fine grater [my favorite tool ever] to grate some garlic and ginger. Add some red pepper flakes if you're feeling saucy, and some sesame oil [toasted], and soy sauce to combine everything.

Next, I pan fried all my little shrimp buddies until they were just pink. No need for overcooking. Although I run the risk later in the recipe, I tend to be on the paranoid side. I used half a pound of the frozen kind [thawed, of course]. Add some olive oil in a pan and keep it simple. 

Once these suckers have cooled off, chop them into manageable pieces. Mix with your other ingredients. Next come the wontons. These things are amazing. I love them. I use them in italian dishes all the time. In our Martin's they're actually in the asian produce aisle near the ginger but ask a friendly employee if you aren't having luck. 

Wontons require a little finesse. Here are my general rules. Don't break them out of the fridge until you're ready. As they warm they become harder to manage. Keep a wet paper towel. You don't want it soaking; just keep it barely wet. If your wontons dry out they will break when folded. Keep one over your clean ones that you haven't used and one for your filled wontons that are awaiting the royal treatment. Don't overfill them. This is the hardest part. You want to fit more fun in that bite sized package but it could mean its demise. DEMISE, I SAY!!! 


It takes a small teaspoon of goodness in the center. Dab your finger with water and trace 2 outside edges making a 90 degree angle. Fold the non-wet edges over and gently press out the air, creating a little triangle. If it's not busting at the seams and all looks well, take a fork and crimp the edges. This may take a few tries if you've never done it before. You need to press hard enough for the two edges to become one. But if you press too hard or if a spoke of your fork [err?] goes AWOL,  you could be looking at some torn wontons. It's not worth trying to repair. Toss it. If you boil that guy, his guts can come out into your water and then you just have a mess. Same scenario if you don't seal those edges. 


So I know two paragraphs on just the wontons seems a bit much, but they really are worth it. And once you "get it," you get it. I would honestly reconsider this if you have a large family. I made a good batch of 30 for the two of us and we were still hungry afterwards [although we didn't have side dishes]. But if you have some teenagers willing to work for grub who have fantastic fine motor skills, I say go for it. 

Then you boil these guys for just a few minutes and pop into a warm, oily pan. Then no touchy! You can lightly pull on them to see if they're ready to let go [they will tell you when they are] but if you force it, they'll fall apart. 





See that nice crunchiness in the picture above? That's what you're looking for. You can attempt just straight up frying yours. I added some of the water I had used to boil and let it "cook down." 

I'll add the sauce below. It's from Martha. You honestly didn't expect me to conjure it up after all that wonton nonsense, did you?! 

Asian Potstickers:




1 cup red cabbage, or nappa cabbage
1/4 cup cilantro
3 garlic cloves, grated
5 green onions, chopped
1/2 inch of ginger or 2 tsp
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp soy sauce [low sodium]
1/2 lb shrimp

olive oil

Chop and mix the first 6 ingredients, adding the liquid afterwards. Go light with the sesame oil, it's easy to have too much of that goodness. 

Cook shrimp in a pan with olive oil until just pink [but still cooked through]. Once cool, cut into small pieces and add to cabbage mixture. Stir. Remove wontons and start to fill with 1 tsp increments. Keep unused and filled wontons moist with damp paper towel. Use water to seal edges of wonton and press with fork along edges. Make sure wonton is sealed before boiling. 

Keep wontons covered while bringing a medium saucepan of water to boil. Also bring a large, shallow pan to medium heat. After boiling wontons for only a few minutes [package directions may differ], add to hot pan with added oil. Leave in place. Add cooking water and let evaporate if necessary. Flip wonton when it easily lifts from pan and has been "seared."

I used with Martha's sauce, which she got from a lady named Lucinda Scala Quinn. It's like potsticker karma. 

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 whole scallion, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 hot green chili, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  
I hope you enjoy. 


2 comments:

  1. i've had trouble with wontons before.. but this post makes me want to give 'em another shot! i feel very informed ;) after our d.c. trip, i'm hooked on potstickers, so i'd love to be able to recreate them at home!

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    Replies
    1. we cant get enough! if you're feeling lazy, costco has a great frozen brand. you just boil and fry. it also comes with a dipping sauce and its all "real" food. we like it a lot for lazy days ;)

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