It seemed like Fried Wonton Wrappers were on every hit menu I’d seen recently so I was interested in playing around with that idea for myself and when I found them in the grocery store the Gyoza wrappers were right next to them. I love pot stickers and NEVER have them so I figured (with the help of the recipe on the package) how hard could it be to make myself? After-all, I love to explore with sauces and flavors and there aren’t really any ‘wrapped’ foods I don’t like: potstickers, egg rolls, spring rolls, wontons, sushi rolls, ravioli, pelmeni, burritos, calzones, chili bowls… Don’t even get me started on all the mouth watering meals mentioned in that Veggie Tales song about polish foods! (maybe I just like to eat?)
I like the simplicity of potstickers, and that it is easy to make them vegetarian. It’s also really easy to change the flavors by what you put in them and especially what you dip them in. They are also great in brothy soups.
As far as making them, though there are a lot of steps, they really aren’t hard to make. Plus they’re pretty hard to mess-up. I LOVE that my young son can help with the prep work by shredding carrots and stuffing his own potstickers. Food always tastes better when you’ve made it yourself.
The original recipe called for the use of a single pan to fry and then boil each batch, but I prefer having two pans on heat for the separate tasks. It just makes the whole process move along faster and more assembly-line like. Besides, the second pan for boiling doesn’t really even add to the dishes mess since it only needs a soupy rinse to be clean.
This dish is fun, simple, flexible, kid friendly, and a huge hit at potlucks or hors-d’oeuvre parties alike; very sophisticated.
Sesame Ginger Potstickers
By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 3 – 4
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (minced) – more or less to taste
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 1/2 cups green cabbage (shredded)
- 1 cup carrots (shredded)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil – more or less to taste
- 20 – 25 gyoza wrappers
- Small bowl of water
- Cook the thawed pork in a large skillet for 5-6 minutes on medium high; until brown. Drain and return to pan.
- Turn the heat to low and add the soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger. The few minutes it takes for the pan to cool down with ‘roast’ them a little. Heating and softening really helps to take the ‘bite’ off of the ginger and especially the garlic.
- When the pan has cooled some and is no longer ‘frying-hot’ add the carrots and cabbage. You want to cook them over low for just a few minutes, not so long that they are completely soft, but they should start to have an glossy appearance; shiny and soft, but still with a little ‘snap’. Remember that they will get heated again before the finished product. At this point your filling is finished.
- STUFFING Your Gyoza Wrappers: Make a little ‘stuffing station’ on a cutting board with your filling in a bowl, a spoon, and a small dish. Lay one wrapper out flat and add about 1 tablespoon of filling to the middle. Dip your finger in the water and run it around the edge of one half of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, over the stuffing. Against the cutting board, press the two haves together around the edge with your index fingers on left and right from center (and back again as needed) You shouldn’t need to flip it over and do it again. The water works as a bonding agent. Little tares can be pinched back together, but not over-stuffing will prevent that. Line them up by the stove ready for frying.
- Cooking the Potstickers: Have two skillets (medium or large is fine) on medium high heat. The first will be used with just a few table spoons of oil at a time. The second will have an inch or two of boiling water. (Note: if your have a lot of water at a rolling boil your potstickers might be inclined to thrash around and come apart.) Make sure your oil is hot enough to fry (it should ‘crackle’ when a few drops of water are splashed in) but not so hot that it has smoke or a burnt smell. Drop 4 to 6 potstickers in the oil and fry until golden brown. Use tongs to turn them; about 30 seconds on each side, or until golden. Next transfer them to the pan with boiling water and let them cook for about 2 minutes until they are transparent-like. Remove from the water and place on a plate for the excess water to evaporate.
- Serve with a dipping sauce.
Spicy Mae Ploy Sesame Dipping Sauce
By: Semiserious Chefs
Serves: 3 – 4
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons mae ploy
- 1/2 teaspoon hulled sesame seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon crushed red peppers (finely chopped in a food processor)
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch + 1 teaspoon water
- In a small sauce pan combine the first 6 ingredients over medium low heat, stirring occasionally.
- While the sauce is heating in the pan, dump some crushed red peppers into a food processor and chop until turned into a powder. Measure out a teaspoon and add to the sauce. I only call for one teaspoon of crushed red peppers in this recipe so it won’t be too spicy for most people. In other words, if you like spicier food, I would recommend adding at least one more teaspoon of crushed red peppers.
- Measure out 1 teaspoon of cold water and 1 teaspoon of cornstarch. Blend these together with your finger in a small container and then add this to the dipping sauce. It isn’t much but it thickens it just enough to help it cling to the potstickers better.