Friday, October 3, 2008

perfect potstickers

My camera isn't taking it's best pictures lately. A nosedive on a ceramic floor will do that. I'm working on figuring out if it's the camera or just the lens. Hang tight, would ya?
But till then, how do I not share photos of the goings on here? If a picture is worth a thousand words, it would take WAY too much typing for the same effect, doncha think? And even bad pictures are better than none so here we go...
Girl-child and I had a date yesterday - dinner and a movie (and some laundry). We got the dinner part done and the laundry finished but the movie got put off because perfect potstickers are a lot of work! But, being girl-child's 'favorite thing in the -whole- world', (goodness, I hope not!) we dove right in, me with the wrapping, her with the camera. Though I did make her get her own hands dirty. This is one of those recipes where you have to dig in with both hands. Keep a towel nearby and you'll be fine.
Let's get started.
Recipe from Cook's Illustrated 2008 Fall Entertaining issue.

For the filling:
3 cups minced napa cabbage leaves (MINCED cabbage! This step took FOREVER!)
3/4 teaspoon table salt
ETA: 12 ounces of ground pork (how did I forget this?!)
6 tablespoons minced scallions (about 4 medium scallions, white and green parts)
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 medium garlic clove, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 1 teaspoon)
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
24 round gyoza wrappers (or wonton wrappers)

  1. toss cabbage and salt in colander or mesh strainer. Let stand till cabbage begins to wilt, about 20 minutes; press cabbage gently with rubber spatula to squeeze out excess moisture. Combine cabbage and other filling ingredients. Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 30 minutes.
  2. Place 4 wrappers on work surface, keeping remaining wrappers covered so they don't dry out. Place a bit of filling in the center of the wrapper, how much depends on your selected wrapper. You don't want them too full or they'll split. Keep a small finger bowl of water nearby and after dipping both index fingers in the water, gently wet the outer edge of the wrapper, all the way around. Fold each wrapper in half; starting in center and working to the outer edges, pinch edges together to seal firmly, pressing out any air pockets as you go. Position each dumpling on it's side and gently flatten, pressing down on the seam to make sure it lies flat against the work surface. Repeat with remaining wrappers. My mixture used a while pack of wrappers - 48 dumplings. I worked in batches of 12.

They look a little brainy but don't be scared. They're tasty brains, I promise.

  1. add 2 teaspoons of oil to non-stick skillet, making sure the whole bottom of the pan is oiled. Add single batch (depends on your pan size, I suppose) to the pan laying flat on one side with all the seams going in the same direction and place over medium-high heat. Cook without moving until dumplings are golden brown on bottoms, about 5 minutes. (You can move, just don't move the dumplings!) Reduce heat to low, add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and cover immediately. Cook, covered, until most of the water is absorbed and wrappers are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes. Uncover skilled and bump the heat back up to medium-high and cook without stirring until dumpling bottoms are well browned and crisp, 3 to 4 minutes more. Serve immediately.

Tasty stuff. And nothing thrills me more than making a dish I know someone loves. Girl-child was uber happy and all it took was a little time in the kitchen. And a sharp knife. ;)

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Erin said...

You are amazing!

Skrappingirl said...

I am sooo damn jealous. Now you know I use my swear words sparingly, but I miss my Melly. When I come to visit I want to make these with you sister friend.

noble pig said...

OMG the perfect Halloween recipe name...Perfectly Tasty Brains...

Anonymous said...

I didn't know people made those from scratch???? They look very good. No meat in them????

gaylen said...

OMG! those are some of my favorite things too. It's what I always get when the office orders teriyaki. Now I'm gonna have to make some - and darn it Melly - I hate to cook. g

Thimbleanna said...

You know, it really pains me to have to say this, but I don't think I've ever had pot stickers??? I love wontons and egg rolls and I'm assuming they're very similar? Yours look fantastic -- a must try!