Pot-Stickers (Fast or Slow)
Pot-stickers can be a minimalist, fast or slow dish!
- The Minimalist approach is called takeout and is quite common.
- The Fast alternative is using the wrappers now sold in just about every supermarket.
- The Slow method involves making your own wrappers (recipe at bottom).
I'm a middle road type of person so will share that recipe here. This is made with a filling of ground pork, cabbage, scallions, ginger and garlic. You can substitute beef, chicken, turkey and lamb if you prefer. If you are vegetarian, try cabbage complemented by chopped shiitakes, minced tofu, minced celery and carrots, chives or a combination.
- ¾ pound ground pork or other meat
- 1 cup minced cabbage
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoons minced garlic
- 6 scallions, the white and green parts separated, both minced
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons good soy sauce
- 48 dumpling wrappers
- 1 egg, lightly beaten in a bowl
- 4 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, more or less
- ¼ cup rice vinegar or white vinegar
- Combine meat, cabbage, ginger, garlic, scallion whites, sesame oil and 2 tablespoons soy sauce in a bowl with 1/4 cup water. Lay a wrapper on a clean, dry surface, and using your finger or a brush, spread a bit of egg along half of its circumference. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center, fold over and seal by pinching edges together. (Do not overfill.) Place dumplings on a plate; if you want to wait a few hours before cooking, cover plate with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Or freeze, for up to two weeks.
- To cook, put about 2 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet and turn heat to medium-high. A minute later, add dumplings, one at a time; they can touch one another, but should still sit flat in one layer. Cook about 2 minutes, or until bottoms are lightly browned and most of the oil has been absorbed. Add 1/4 cup water per dozen dumplings to pan, and cover. Lower heat to medium, and let simmer about 3 minutes.
- To make the dipping sauce, combine remaining soy sauce, green parts of scallions and vinegar.
- Uncover dumplings, return heat to medium-high and cook another minute or two, until bottoms are dark brown and crisp and water evaporates. (Use more oil if necessary.) Serve hot, with sauce. Note: If dumplings are really stuck on your pan, take off the heat and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Once the pan cools they will release more easily.
Homemade dumpling wrappers:
From-scratch dumpling dough requires only two ingredients — flour and water — and the water temperature yields different types of wrappers. Hot water is best for pan-fried dumplings like the above because it denatures the flour’s proteins, resulting in dough supple enough to roll very thin and into tender wrappers. The hot water for this dough should be hotter than warm and cooler than boiling and can come from the faucet’s hot tap. Letting the dough rest allows it to more fully absorb the water and relax, which will make rolling even easier.
Makes about 35 wrappers
- 2 ⅓ cups/305 grams all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
- ¾ cup/180 milliliters hot water
- Place the flour in a large bowl and set the bowl on a damp kitchen towel so it won’t slip. Add the hot water in a steady stream while stirring with chopsticks or a fork. Stir until all the flour is hydrated and the mixture becomes shaggy. Let stand until cool enough to handle, 2 to 5 minutes.
- Use your hands to gather and knead the shaggy mass into a ball in the bowl. Turn out onto a work surface and knead until slightly elastic, 5 to 10 minutes. The dough should be tacky but not sticky, and it won’t look completely smooth. If it sticks to the surface, flour the work surface lightly and continue kneading. Knead into a ball and cover loosely with a clean damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Let stand for at least 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.
- Divide the dough in half. Roll one piece to a 1/16-inch thickness. You shouldn’t need to flour the surface while rolling, but do so if the dough is sticking. Once the dough is thin enough, lift it off the surface, flour the surface lightly, and place the dough back down. Cut out 3 1/2-inch rounds as close together as possible, then gather the scraps and cover the rounds with the damp kitchen towel or plastic wrap. Repeat with the remaining dough and knead those scraps with the first batch of scraps, then let rest for 5 minutes before rerolling and cutting. (See Note for a more traditional way to roll the wrappers.) Use the wrappers immediately for dumplings.