Sunday, September 16, 2007

Sunday Supper: Potstickers

This post is part of the 7 S series: Soup, Salad, Sandwich, Snack, Street food for Sunday Supper. These are light(er) meals for Sunday night; a tasty way to end indulgent weekends and get ready for a new week. A way to use the vegetable goodness brought home on Saturday mornings. A chance to try something a new recipe, a new ingredient or a new cuisine every weekend.

Today we are enjoying my favorite kind of dinner- making a meal out of appetizers. Filling up on snacks. Potstickers are a Chinese take-out favorite here in the US. Basically, these are cute little dumplings plumped up with a tasty filling. They can be steamed or boiled or fried...or pan-fried, and this last one is generally called a potsticker or gyoza.

The new addition to my pantry this week is dumpling wrappers: paper-thin discs of flour that make it a snap to put together home-made dumplings. At least, I was seeking dumpling wrappers. All I could find that day was square wonton wrappers, and decided to go with these instead. Dumpling and wonton wrappers can be found in either the refrigerated or the frozen section in "gourmet" food stores and international markets, and certainly in Chinese grocery stores. They are quickly becoming mainstream enough to be stocked in many regular supermarkets too. Here is my first attempt at making dumplings. Cabbage and other greens are traditional vegetarian dumpling fillings. I used my favorite combination of spinach and mushrooms, and added some soy crumbles (also sold as TVP, i.e., textured vegetable protein, or Nutrela granules) to mimic the minced pork that is filled into meat dumplings.

Spinach-Mushroom Potstickers


Making the filling: In a small pan, heat 1 t peanut oil. Saute 2 minced cloves of garlic, 2 packed C finely chopped fresh spinach (can use frozen) and 5-6 finely chopped mushrooms. Cook, uncovered, so that the mixture does not become watery. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in a big pinch of red pepper flakes (optional) and 1/2 C soy crumbles. Turn off heat, then add 1 drop ginger extract (or add minced ginger along with the garlic), and a few drops of toasted sesame oil.

Filling the filling into the wrappers: With the round dumpling skins, you just fold down the middle to get a half-moon shaped dumpling. With my square wrappers, I tried it two ways: to get triangular dumplings...
potst1

...and rectangular ones...
potst2

In each case, moisten the edges of the wrapper with some water, place a teaspoonful of filling inside and seal the dumpling by pressing the wet edges together.
Pan-frying the dumpling: This is the "potsticker" bit, resulting in part-fried and part-steamed dumplings. Drizzle 1 T peanut oil all over a wide pan and heat it. Place the dumplings in a single layer in the pan. Fry the dumplings, with the pan uncovered, for a few minutes on one side only, until the underside gets a lovely golden-brown surface. Now, add 2/3 C water to the pan (stand back, it will sizzle!) and cover the pan. The steam created in the pan will steam the dumplings. Once all the water has vaporized, and the dumplings appear cooked and transluscent, remove them from the pan and serve them right away with your favorite dipping sauce (I made this one by mixing soy sauce, honey, ginger, scallions and a few drops of toasted sesame oil).
potst3


These potstickers made for a wonderful meal in a Bet You Can't Just Eat One way! Uncooked filled dumplings can be frozen for future use. Just freeze them on a baking sheet so that they do not stick to each other; once they are frozen solid, they can be bagged/ boxed. I still have some wrappers left over and intend to use them either to make wontons (little dumpling purses) for wonton soup, or to make ravioli.

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Weekend City Blogging


This weekend, we enjoyed the annual Great Forest Park Balloon Race here in St. Louis. Beautiful pleasant temperatures, a blue, blue canopy, colorful balloons dotting the afternoon sky; bathed in sparkling sunshine...my spirits soared! I took these photos from our street.
balloon4


balloon5


balloon7

31 comments:

  1. Nupur,
    I LOVE this recipe! One can get really imaginative with the filling. Thanks for the semi-steam, semi-fry idea. I will def'ly have to try this soon.

    Mamatha

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  2. I like this recipe! Do you think phyllo dough would work?(instead of the dumpling wrappers)I have some leftover from something I made yesterday.I like the dipping sauce you have made. I had not heard of Potstickers before.

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  3. Nupur,

    Great filling for Gyoza! I love both mushrooms and spinach :-D. The dipping sauce looks really gorgeous! Yummy!

    And the balloon race pictures look fun :-D. Must have felt nice to see so many huge balloons on the horizon!

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  4. Nupur, you're making me so hungry here with those pot-stickers! I love them.

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  5. Nupur, this is a definte try!! will go shopping for wonton wrapers. looks so delicious.Here I rarely find veg potstikers in resturants,most have them have meat filling.

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  6. I love this idea... I've never thought to make potstickers myself, but have always enjoyed them at office potluck lunches (I think this person's were the frozen variety). Those balloon photos are wonderful - it must have been quite a treat to see them in the sky!

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  7. Hi Nupur,

    'Potstickers' are completely new to me.. got to know thru ur post and they look so yum..:D

    Thanks for sharing..

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  8. Potstickers can also be baked in the oven -- they don't get the same lovely crust, but for those who need to not cook in oil, the oven method does work. I love the sound of this filling and will try it next time I make potstickers.

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  9. This looks fabulous ..loved the idea of fry n steam n MUST TRY !!

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  10. Lovely... you seem to be in love with TVP now :-)

    We used to get wonton and samosa warppers here, but I can't find them anywhere now... guess I'll have to make my own :-)

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  11. I love it when a plan comes together! We went to a big Chinese supermarket in Birmingham yesterday and I picked up some wonton wrappers - hooray! One large order of potstickers coming right up! :) Thanks for the recipe, Nupur!

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  12. Sounds like you had a lovely weekend, Nupur! Balloons are gorgeous, indeed, and the pot-stickers, yum! It's been ages since I made wontons. Yours look fantastic and I love the filling recipe! :)

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  13. Mamatha, yes, you can go totally wild with the filling. Let me know if you try it and like it :)

    TBC, no, I am quite sure phyllo dough won't work as a substitute here...steaming phyllo dough would result in quite a mess, I would imagine. What you could do is just use this filling in phylllo dough and bake them to make some delicious puffs.

    Musical, it really was wonderful to see balloons on the horizon...the first time that I saw hot air balloons in person.

    Cynthia, glad you like them!

    Sreelu, so true! I got tired of seeing meat fillings and made my own :)

    Cathy, yes, bags of filled potstickers are sold frozen, but making your own is so easy and fun!

    Siri, glad you like them :)

    Lydia, good to know that the oven method works! As frying goes, these did not need that much oil after all.

    Pooja V, let me know if you do try it :)

    Raaga, I know...all the TVP posts are bunching up! I have one more to go :) Making your own is certainly possible but I hear that it takes some expertise to roll them out very thinly so I have never tried it myself.

    Shyam, I hope you enjoy them! I thought these were a lot of fun to make (and eat!)

    Linda, it really was a lovely weekend...cool temperatures after a long long time!

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  14. With potstickers you just cannot stop at one. Yours look so good

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  15. I love them.
    They are one of my favorite.

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  16. Oh My My! Those are lovely Nupur. Best I have ever seen. I have never made pot stickers so far. Have been in my to-do list for a loooong time now :)

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  17. with the dumpling wrappers it has come out well. I have to do some research in this area yet. looks so yum!

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  18. Good job with the potstickers! Gyoza, by the way, is the Japanese word for these. My mom (Japanese) used to capture me in the kitchen when I was little and help her make gyoza. These days you can buy them at Trader Joe's, and they're not half-bad...Have a great week.

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  19. Hi Nupur, you re maiing me very happy when trying Chinese recipes like this. You can actually make your own wonton dough by mixing plain flour with lukewarm water (2:1 ratio). Lovely accompanying sauce...

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  20. Love chinese food!!Nupur the snack looks sinfully delicious..:)

    By the way I tried(still spurting up in the final stage on the stove)PAV Bhaji!!My house is filled with aroma..Only thing I didnt get MDH or Everest masala.So had to compromise with MTR..
    the taste is awesome!!so is the aroma!!
    We get REAL PAV here..I mean the accompanying bread!!
    Thanks for sharing this Perfect Recipe Nupur.I will be doing this regularly here after!!:)

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  21. hi Nupur, I visit ur site often. Very impressed. Please check my blog too: Let me know if u liked it

    http://aaswadrecipes.blogspot.com/

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  22. Yum yum yum! Potstickers look great! The filling sounds tasty, I am tempted to add some Sambal Oelek to it and wrap in some crispy, cool lettuce leaves :)

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  23. Sandeepa, thanks :) I ate about a dozen of these :D

    Happy Cook, yup, we love 'em too!

    Suganya, you already make such beautiful dumplings, so potstickers are going to be no big deal for you.

    Sharmi, it is too easy with store-bought wrappers. Give it a try!

    Mari, ooh, so you have made and eaten the "real" gyoza! I did know that it is the Japanese name for them, should have clarified that in the post. You have a great week too!

    Zlamushka, another Chinese recipe coming up next...guess which one? :)

    Bharathy, hope the pav bhaji tasted as good as it smelled :) thanks for trying the recipe!

    Aaswad, thanks

    Shweta, ooh...your idea sounds just delicious!

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  24. Those looks really good. The last time I tried to make goyza I had problems getting them to stick together. Now I want to try making them again!

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  25. hey Nupur,
    It looks soooooooo delicious..Want to try this one..Will let u know when i do :)

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  26. I love the idea of spinach mushroom filling...almost like a ravioli....:)
    I very recently tried the dumpling recipe from http://tastypalettes.blogspot.com/search/label/Oriental which is pretty similar and the dumplings were great. However, to make sure the stuffing was cooked, I had to steam them first and then pan fry them lightly...For the sauce I used my own combination which is as follows -
    1) Soy sauce
    2) Chinese Spicy Mustard
    3) Chinese Hot Schezwan Sauce
    4) Spicy Ginger Stir Fry Sauce (I bought this from Safeway and its actually more sweet than spicy)
    5) Finely chopped Ginger and Garlic

    The inspiration for this was the sauce they make at the table at PF Chang's and its out of this world! do try this out if you get a chance:)

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  27. Looks fab! Once upon a time, I too lived in St. Louis :)

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  28. Almost like unfried-samosas, right?
    Can't stop at just one?...more like bet-you-can't-stop-at-one-dozen. Especially if they are made with the smaller wonton wrappers.

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  29. Hey Nupur, do you mean wonton wraps for dumpling wraps or they are different, I want to try this kind of dumplings... Also can we use samosa wraps which we get in Indian groceries instead..
    That looksone mouthful of flavoured dumplings..
    hey did u ever went on a Hot-air balloon ride? They look fabulous!

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  30. Kevin, the edges of these stuuck together together with plain water and a little pressing-down. But I know some people also use an egg wash to do this...

    Vani, thanks :)

    Anu, go ahead and try it! Hope you enjoy it :)

    Smita, yes, Suganya's dumplings look gorgeous. Love your sauce...I have not tried Chinese spicy mustard and will look for it. Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

    M&Ms, good to know that :)

    TheCooker, can't stop at one dozen? You are my kind of girl :D I made a whole meal of these!

    Padma, You can use either wonton or dumpling wrappers...I think the difference is mainly in shape (the former is square, the latter is round). I have never used samosa wraps so I have no idea about those.
    No, have never been in a hot air balloon (and am too scared to really want to!). I just like looking at them :)

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