Thursday, 7 February 2008

Chinese Potstickers

The weather has been bleak recently: endless rain, and a grey dank sky. Uninspiring in fact. Life goes on, of course, as does cooking and eating, but not much of any interest had been cooked until I made these little dumplings on sunday. The recipe was culled from a number on the internet, and then made to fit with the contents of my fridge, and the shopping I had done before I looked seriously at any recipes. The result being that these are not very traditional, but they were nevertheless very good. I think they made a good approximation of the potstickers I have eaten in restaurants, but with the flavours playing a little fresher, which given the weather outside can only be a good thing.

With a bowl of boiled rice, and some steamed greens, what more could you need to perk you up?

A packet of round dumpling wrappers
200g of lean minced pork
4 spring onions
2 tsp of soy sauce
1 tsp of sugar
3 cloves of garlic
2 inches of fresh ginger root
1 tsp of sesame oil
Chicken stock or water
mixture of sesame and vegetable oil for frying

If frozen leave the dumpling wrappers to defrost for 3-4 hours.
Dice the spring onions very finely, and do the same with the ginger. Crush the garlic and add all three to the minced pork, with the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Mix to combine.

Place a large teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water a fold it in half to join the two sides. It should end up like a half moon shape.

Now keep going until you run out of wrappers or mixture

Add a little oil to a frying pan which has a lid. When the oil is hot place the dumplings filling side down and leave to cook until that side is dark golden brown. Do not turn them over. When one side is done (the pastry will not be cooked) add about 100ml of chicken stock or water (carefully as the pan will spit) and cover. Leave the heat on and let them steam until cooked through. This will take roughly 10 minutes, but check to see the pan is not boiling dry, and if it is add a little more liquid.

Serve with steamed greens and rice. I also like them with a dipping sauce made of finely chopped root ginger mixed with rice vinegar and half a tsp of sugar. But they are equally good just with soy sauce.

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