I had a huge hankerin’ for Chinese food the other day and decided to make my own. This used to be the food I craved most when things were going really bad. This time, I was just hungry. I personally like Szechuan, but it tends to be too spicy for everyone else. I know that the kids love potstickers and I figured it would be a good excuse to try something new. I started by making my own wrappers. The dough came together easily enough, but I made the mistake of trying to roll out the whole thing at once and quickly found it going outside the bounds of my “lightly floured surface”. I should have divided it into 3 sections so that it was more manageable. Anyway, I got it rolled out and found that it was not always the same thickness. I decided to roll with it, due to the time constraints I was working with. My 4-year old helped me cut them out. This was interesting. Fortunately, she got bored quickly and left me to finish the job. I let the wrappers dry for about an hour before stuffing them. I researched online to get some ideas for fillings and decided to go with pork.
In the end I did half of them as traditional fried potstickers and the other half in what I call Potsticker Pho (Vietnamese-style soup). I used to buy frozen potstickers and packaged beef broth that I would doctor up and then toss in the potstickers for a few minutes before serving. This was a nice, quick, fairly healthy meal for us when I needed it. I must say though, doing it from scratch took this to a whole new level of deliciousness.
Here are the recipes for both the wrappers and the filling and a few photos to show you what I did along the way. Enjoy!
Asian Noodles (recipe from James McNair’s Pasta Cookbook):
• 2 Eggs
• ¼ cup cold water
• 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
Add the water to the eggs and beat until bubbly. Add the flour and mix with a wooden spoon until the dough sticks together. Turn out onto floured surface and knead until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky, adding a little flour at a time as needed. Invert the bowl and cover the dough where it is and allow to rest for 30 minutes. Divide the dough into 3 parts and either roll out by machine or hand to the desired thickness. Cut out with a 2 ½”+ biscuit cutter. This made 3 dozen dumplings
*I placed my rounds onto a Silpat lined pan and placed them in the fridge for an hour and allowed them to dry out slightly. You could use this same Silpat-lined sheet method to place in the freezer to set up before bagging for later use.
Pork Dumpling Filling
• 1 pound ground pork
• 4 large Napa cabbage leaves, minced
• 3 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
• 7-8 Shitake mushrooms, minced
• 1 can water chestnuts, drained and chopped
• ¼ cup fresh ginger root, grated
• 3 T. soy sauce
• 2 T. toasted sesame oil
• 2 T. corn starch
• Optional: red chili flakes
Combine all ingredients into a large bowl and mix with hands until everything is fully incorporated. Cover and refrigerate if not using right away. To stuff wrapper, place a small amount of filling onto the center of the wrapper. Wet the edge of half the wrapper with a little bit of water and fold in half and pinch to seal.
*I only used half of this for the 3 dozen dumplings, so I have placed the remainder into a sealed bag in the freezer for another day.
8 cups of beef stock
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
¼ teaspoon white pepper
Add the onion, star anise and cinnamon stick to the stock. Bring the broth to a boil and cover, simmering, for 20 minutes. Remove the onion, star anise, and cinnamon stick. Add your potstickers and boil for 5-10 minutes until noodles are soft. Serve the broth and potstickers in a bowl. Optional: Sprinkle each bowl with chopped green onion, cilantro, basil, bean sprouts, sliced jalapenos and Sriracha.