Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day Dinner: Asian Potstickers

Spring has sprung and it's time once again to celebrate and honor all of our Moms! Last year I shared a breakfast recipe for Apple Cinnamon French Toast. This year, I'm going to share a recipe that you can make for a nice Mother's Day lunch or dinner - Asian Potstickers, also known as Asian Dumplings.

I grew up in a very traditional household. My dad went to work and my mom took care of the house. When I was a kid, she handled all of the meals. So our tradition on Mother's Day was Chinese food for dinner. As we got older, and my brother and I both became interested in cooking, we put aside the wonton, lo mein and fried rice for our own home made meals and grill-outs. A few years back, my wife and I bought bamboo steamer baskets as part of my mom's Mother's Day gift. I thought it would be fun and nostalgic to once again have Chinese food for dinner. We all sat in her kitchen and made home made dumplings together and put the steamer baskets to use right away. Not only was it fun to be in the kitchen with my mom for that day, we also had a great meal that brought back old memories...even if it didn't come in a white cardboard box.

Happy Mother's Day!


Potstickers are made with wonton wraps* and a filling that can be a mixture of scallions, garlic, ginger, shredded vegetables and your choice of minced meat (chicken, beef, pork, shrimp, etc.). I found this recipe online for Minced Chicken Potstickers. Perdue Short Cuts works great for this - it's pre-cooked and one package makes for the perfect amount. You can make the potstickers by either steaming them in a basket or steamer, pan frying them in a pan or a wok, or baking them in an oven on an oven stone (they may stick to a regular oven dish or baking sheet).

*Wonton wraps are square shape and can be found in the vegetarian area of the produce section in your grocery store. They come in a package that resembles pre-sliced cheese. You can also use dumpling wraps (if available), which are a bit larger and are round in shape. You would fold the dumplin wraps in half, rather than folding them into a purse shape.

2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch , plus extra for dusting
1 tablespoon sesame oil
3 tablespoons minced scallions
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1 package Perdue Short Cuts, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
40 wonton wraps

In a small bowl, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, and cornstarch until smooth; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add scallions, garlic, and ginger; cook, stirring, about 1 minute. Stir in cornstarch mixture; cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute (mixture will be thick). Stir in chicken, salt and pepper until well combined; let cool.

Lightly dust a baking sheet with cornstarch. Place 1 teaspoon filling in the center of each wonton wrap. Brush edges of wrap with water; bring each set of opposite corners up over the filling so that they create a purse shape; pinch the edges together to seal. Place dumpling on baking sheet; repeat with remaining wonton wraps and filling.

To Steam in Steamer Basket:
Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water and bring to a simmer. Spray a steaming basket insert with nonstick cooking spray. Place eight to 10 dumplings in basket (they should not be touching). Set basket in pot and cover tightly; steam until dough is cooked, six to seven minutes. Repeat, steaming the remaining dumplings. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

To Pan-Fry:
Pre-heat wok or large frying pan until a bead of water dances and evaporates in the pan. Add two tablespoons of peanut oil into the wok/frying pan. Sesame or peanut oil are preferred for their authentic Chinese flavors. Sesame oil will tend to smoke a bit more than peanut oil at high heat. Heat the oil for about a minute. (You might see bubbles starting to form.) Fry the pot stickers until they are golden brown on the bottom, for about 3 minutes each. Add about 1/2 cup of water and place a cover on the pan. This will allow the pot stickers to steam and cook all the way through. Steam until all the water is gone - you'll start to hear crackling sounds - and the pot stickers again begin to brown. If you like them well browned, gently lift and turn them with a spatula to brown the sides.
Remove from the heat and serve.

To Bake:
Place potstickers on large round baking stone; lightly spray with oil. Repeat with remaining wontons. Bake 12-15 minutes or until edges of potstickers are golden brown; remove from oven and serve.

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoons white vinegar
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons minced ginger
1 green onion, finely chopped
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk or stir well

1 comment:

Jackie said...

That is such a sweet story, Don. And the potstickers look awesome...adding them to my list...thanks.