Monday, April 19, 2010

pot stickers

By his own admission, my husband could eat a thousand of these things. And not to toot my own horn, but I make really good pot stickers. Yesterday afternoon, these totally hit the spot. The dipping sauce is addictively delicious too, which always helps, but it's the sensory experience of the pot stickers themselves that is heavenly. Crunchy and soft, comforting yet exotic. The sticky, spicy dipping sauce just completes the deal. (Recipe for sauce at the end of post).

Pot Stickers
In a big bowl, combine 1 package ground chicken with 1 tbs each minced ginger, garlic, and soy sauce. Add 1-2 tsp of sesame oil and cornstarch. Feel free to add whatever veggies and herbs you like, in whatever quantity you like. We had chives, mint, napa cabbage, and shitake mushroom on hand, so we used that.

Place a square wonton wrapper on your work space, so that it looks like a diamond. Then spoon a small amount of the meat mixture onto the center. Moisten the "roof" of the wrapper - the upside down V of the top portion - with wet fingers. I keep a coffee cup of water next to my work space for this purpose. Fold the bottom part over the filling, so the "roof" and the "basement" meet. To close, pinch and fold the edges as needed. My technique, if you could call it that, isn't pretty, but the things stay closed, so who cares.

Swirl a bit of vegetable oil in the bottom of a saute pan over med-high heat. Place the pot stickers in the pan and let them cook for a couple minutes. You want the bottom to get brown and seemingly burnt.

Once they are sufficiently "stuck" to your liking, add 1/2 cup chicken broth to the saute pan. The amount of liquid depends on the size of you pan though. Cover and let them steam! This creates a huge ruckus in the pan, and after you just purposely charred your food, this whole venture seems wacky. Trust me, they'll turn out great.

After a few minutes, the stickers puff, get slightly transparent, and the filling has been cooked through. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon or tongs. Put on a plate with the charred side UP. That way, that delicious, crispy goodness doesn't get soggy.

Dunk and enjoy!

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce
Put 1/4 cup white vinegar and 1/4 cup sugar in small saucepan. Stir to combine as you bring it up to low boil. Add another 1/4 cup sugar, 2 or 3 tbs fish sauce (or to taste), 1 tbs chile-garlic sauce, and juice of half a lime. Doctor these ingredients as you like. Add grated carrot and crushed, unsalted peanuts to garnish at the end.

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