Pork & Veggie Pot Stickers ~ The Garden of Eating - a sinfully good blog about food

Friday, March 30, 2012

Pork & Veggie Pot Stickers

I love dumplings -- pierogies, momos, wontons, gyoza, kreplach, shu mei, mandu, manti... I am a fan of them all. I also love the idea of having a freezer full of this type of ready-to-cook goodies at my disposal. That is why I devoted half of last Sunday to making a boatload of pork and vegetable-filled pot stickers.

Pork & veggie potstickers with brown rice, peanut sauce & pickled cuke salad by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Ain't they gorgeous? I served them with a peanut dipping sauce (I use the one from Deborah Madison's excellent book, Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone), brown rice, and a quick pickled cucumber sesame salad.

To be honest, by the end of the whole process, I was so tired that I did not want to even see another pot sticker for a long time... But that feeling has passed by now and I am thrilled to know that our chest freezer is bulging with three big bags full of these beauties.

Tray of potstickers headed to the freezer by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

The process is pretty simple if a bit time-consuming and labor-intensive. There's a lot of slicing and dicing to make the filling and then quite a lot of filling and crimping to put the dumplings together. Definitely way more fun with at least one other person and ideally, a couple of friends (you can divide up your haul at the end).

Chopping the Napa cabbage by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

I recommend using high-quality, organic ingredients. My filling was a mix of veggies -- Napa cabbage, carrots, cilantro, leeks, and garlic.

Cilantro, Napa cabbage, and carrots by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

And a whole lotta pork that I bought at Fleisher's, our amazing local butcher shop that sells only locally-raised, organic and grass-fed meats. Buying meat from Fleisher's pretty much takes the guesswork out of the process. They also know, well, EVERYTHING about meat...

Organic pork from Fleishers by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

But if eating flesh is not your bag, you could easily omit the meat and just use veggies - they'll still be totally delicious (and significantly cheaper than the version with meat.) In fact, next time I make these, I'm going all veggie - cheaper, healthier and a little bit easier.

Leeks and carrots by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Or, if you do dig meat but are, say, an observant Jew, you can use ground beef, chicken or turkey in its place or substitute shrimp.

You can also make the dough for the dumpling wrappers yourself if you've got that kind of time on your hands and are feeling ambitious. If not, you can just buy gyoza or wonton wrappers at an Asian foods or regular grocery store (I got mine at Hannaford's).

Wrappers by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Likewise, there's no real right or wrong way to wrap them. I went with the more traditional pot sticker crimping method while my husband preferred to wrap his up like little presents - I think they turned out pretty gorgeous, don't you?

Tray of potstickers headed to the freezer by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

The recipe below is one I've adapted from several that I found online as well as the one I consulted in the Joy of Cooking.

Pork & Veggie Pot Stickers

Ingredients

* 1 head of Napa cabbage, shredded
* 3 large leeks (or 1 bunch of scallions), minced
* 3-4 carrots, grated
* 1 cup of fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
* 1 pound of ground pork (optional)
* 4 Tbsp salt
* 5 cloves of garlic, minced
* 2 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped or grated
* 5 Tbsp soy sauce
* 2 Tbsp sesame oil
* 2 Tbsp corn starch
* 3 packs of pot sticker skins - try to find the circular ones (even though I could not)

To make the filling:

Slice or shred the Napa cabbage until no large pieces remain. Place the shredded cabbage in a colander, sprinkle a whole lot of salt over it, then set it aside for 30 minutes while you prep the rest of the filling. The salt will pull the water out of the cabbage so you want to give it time to work. At the end of 30 minutes, squeeze the remaining water out of the cabbage with your hands (you can also wrap it in a dishtowel or cheesecloth to really wring it out, if you prefer.) Discard the salty water and put the remaining cabbage in a large bowl.

Draining the cabbage by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

2. Add the rest of the vegetables, herbs, garlic, ginger and the pork, sprinkle with the soy sauce, sesame oil, and cornstarch and stir well to combine.

Napa cabbage, carrots, leeks and cilantro filling by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

To wrap the pot stickers:

Set up a small bowl of water that you'll use to seal the wrappers with and set out a plate to do your wrapping on. Put a dollop of filling in the center of the wrapper.

Adding a dollop of filling to the dough by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Dip your finger in the bowl of water and wet along two (consecutive) edges of the wrapper.

Wetting the dough by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Pick up two opposite edges and pinch them together in the middle.

Crimping the potsticker by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Starting from that center point, crimp your way down one side of the wrapper.

Crimping the potsticker by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Then crimp your way down the other side, making sure you pinch tightly enough to really bond the edges of the wrapper together fully.

Crimping the potsticker by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Set them on a wax paper covered baking sheet as you finish them and cover with plastic wrap (or just a big plastic bag - even better!) as you work to prevent the dumplings from drying out.

First row of potstickers by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

Use right away or freeze on the cookie sheet and then place in a heavy-duty Ziploc and freeze for up to three months.

To cook:

1. Heat 1 Tbsp of peanut oil in a frying pan over medium high flame until the oil is shimmering.

2. Place the pot stickers in the pan, flat-side down, they should not be touching. Fry them for 1-2 minutes until the bottoms are a light golden brown.

Frying the potstickers by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

3. Add 1/4 cup of water and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to medium and let steam for 4 minutes.

Steaming the potstickers by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

4. Remove the lid and cook, uncovered for another 4 minutes or until all the water has evaporated. The bottom of the pot stickers should be nice and brown and the insides should be fully cooked - cut into one to make sure nothing is raw in there. If they need more time, add a bit more water and steam for a few more minutes with the cover on. Then remove from the pan and serve with the dipping sauce.

Pork & veggie potstickers with brown rice, peanut sauce & pickled cuke salad by Eve Fox, Garden of Eating blog, copyright 2012

You might also like:
Want even more recipes, photos, giveaways, and food-related inspiration? "Like" the Garden of Eating on Facebook, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest.

3 comments:

Kirsten Lindquist said...

delicious looking! I need to make these again and soon! thanks for sharing

April said...

yep, looks good! but i agree on it being very time consuming. we tried making wontons with a similar recipe and decided the next time to do egg rolls instead - less wrapping and folding :)

Pauline said...

Hi there,

we've recently launched the site RecipesUS.com where users can search through hundreds of thousands of recipes from American food sites and food blogs.

We noticed that you have a great number of tasty recipes in your blog (http://gardenofeatingblog.blogspot.com/) and we would like to suggest you have a look at our Top Food Blogs section here: http://www.recipesus.com/top-food-blogs

If you want to add your food blog to the list and have your recipes indexed on RecipesUS.com all you have to do is follow the instructions here: http://www.recipesus.com/add-your-food-blog

Our concept is already live in Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Spain, we deliver thousands of visitors to food blogs daily. Some of the top food blogs receive 20,000+ visitors from us on a weekly basis.

Hopefully your food blog will be up there in the top!

Warm regards,
Pauline
RecipesUS.com, Hittarecept.se, Findeopskrifter.dk, Alleoppskrifter.no, Todareceta.es