Monday, January 26, 2009

Happy Year of the Ox!

A few weeks ago, Henry and I made a million potstickers.

potstickers

With the help of a food processor, it’s not hard to make the filling for a million potstickers fairly quickly.

ingredients

What’s hard is rolling out each. individual. wrapper. (me.) And then wrapping each potsticker. (Henry.)

rolling out the dough for wrappers

dumplings

Here’s the story of the million potstickers.

We started with this excellent recipe from Jen Yu of userealbutter.com (highly recommended blog – more of her recipes to come). We made approximately a double batch of filling and a double batch of wrappers.

mixed ingredients

The wrappers lasted us through about half of the filling. Half! I don’t think we were rolling them very thick or anything. Seemed quite thin to me. So anyway, then we made another single batch of the dough. (I’m not sure why that seemed like a sensible idea to me, given that a double batch only got us HALFway through the filling.) When those ran out we gave up, threw everything in the fridge, and collapsed. The next day we bought pre-made wrappers and finished off most of the filling. (The bit of filling that was left at that point got pitched into the garbage and good riddance.) Result of this experiment: we couldn’t taste the difference between the homemade and the storebought wrappers. Buy them!

hand mixing

But truly, even with the homemade wrappers, these potstickers were a lot of fun to make, and delicious to eat! The recipe for a tasty dipping sauce is also included below. Henry and I ate these potstickers at 4 or 5 meals over the course of 4 days, and we also served them as an appetizer when his co-clerks came over for dinner. So yummy! I’m craving them now!

potstickers

****

Potstickers, adapted from Chinese Dumplings and Potstickers on userealbutter.com.
(This is the doubled version of the recipe, which made a million (aka about 100) potstickers)

Filling:
2 lbs ground pork
8 cabbage leaves (I’m sure napa cabbage is best, we just had normal old cabbage)
6 green onions
12 shitake mushrooms
¼ cup ginger, minced
4 eggs
½ cup soy sauce
¼ cup sesame oil
¼ cup cornstarch
about a palmful of salt (to taste)
fresh ground pepper

Instructions:
Use a food processor to chop the following ingredients, separately: cabbage, green onions, mushrooms, and ginger. Put these chopped ingredients in a large bowl, add ground pork, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, salt, and eggs. Use spoons or your hands to mix everything together until all is uniformly distributed.

(After you’ve wrapped a couple of potstickers, cook them up and taste. You may want to add more salt or soy sauce. If the filling is not sticking together well, add more egg.)

Dipping sauce:
1 green onion
2 cloves garlic
a small chunk of ginger
soy sauce
sesame oil
garlic chili sauce or chili oil (optional)

Instructions:
Finely chop the green onion, garlic, and ginger. In a small dish, combine with soy sauce, plus a splash of sesame oil. This just gets better over time, as the flavors mix. For a little kick, add a bit of chili sauce/oil.

Wrappers, how to wrap, and how to pan-fry:
See recipe and instructions on userealbutter.com. The recipe/instructions are way down at the end of the post, but then you’ll want to scroll back up to see pictures of how to roll and wrap the potstickers. For this part, the only adjustment we suggest is that you BUY 100 PRE-MADE WRAPPERS. But if you decide to make them at home, follow the userealbutter recipe, except quadruple it and mix a few pinches of salt in with the flour before you start adding water. We have only tried dough Method 2, and that worked great.

Other important notes:
After wrapping, be sure to dredge the bottom of the potsticker in flour. Otherwise, even if it doesn’t seem sticky now, it will become sticky later and you will have a hard time getting it off the plate and into the pan (especially if you store the plate in the fridge for any length of time). Also, don’t let the sides of the potstickers touch each other while uncooked, unless you also flour the sides.

We continued eating potstickers over several days, as I mentioned, and we just kept the uncooked ones in the fridge for those days. If you’re going to store them longer, freeze on the plate (well floured and carefully separated!) and then dump into a bag to store in the freezer.

(Thanks for the pictures, Henry!)

2 comments:

PaniniKathy said...

Luckily I really like potstickers - winding up with a million is fine by me! They look just delicious.

vanlikethecar said...

AWESOME!!!! What a great way to ring in the new year! And Karen, those crimping skills on the potstickers look fantastic and making me hungry. And I'm guessing that you but Ivy Noodle to shame!