csc's third-time dumpling
Ladies and gentlemen, once again, CSC!
JS mentioned that she had purchased some pot sticker wrappers, and it so happened that we have a cookbook -- The Chinese Kitchen-- that had a recipe for Shanghai pot stickers.
The recipe also had the ingredients and instructions for making your own wrappers, but that's just being too ambitious for my skill level. ;)
The Original Shanghai Potsticker
I really enjoy preparing "Chinese-style" food and cooking, or trying to cook, Chinese dishes.
I remember, as a little girl, watching and learning (a little) from my grandmother and our cook (who also learned from my grandmother). I liked how they would only use one big cleaver to prepare everything. No need for fancy gadgets.
This recipe called for slicing bok choy and blanching it. I used napa cabbage. Although JS kept insisting that I use the food processor to "mince" the cabbage and skip the blanching all together, I decided to just do it "old school". That is, I IGNORED HER (hehe) and left the food processor alone.
(I don't know why, since I am the one who's usually excited about using the food processor, even for my first-ever pancake batter, which did not turn out well at all.)
Well, ignoring JS was just a bonus. ;)
I just wanted to save her some time and effort from the blanching. I thought that running the vegetables through the food processor and then wringing the liquid out of them would achieve the same effect as the blanching.
I tried to lend credence to my theory by invoking my time at a Japanese restaurant. I seem to recall them just using the food processor for the vegetables when making their gyoza.
Anyway, back to CSC.
I actually decided to blanch the veggies because I feared that my son, who's a really picky eater, would spit out all the bits and pieces of veggies if he senses they're there. Blanching them first might prevent this.
I used about a head of napa cabbage. The recipe calls for 3/4 pound of bok choy. This is me blanching the napa and squeezing out the water.
This Shanghai Potsticker recipe called for mixing all of the "marinade" ingredients with the meat. We are using store-bought ground pork.
I measure and mix the marinade first (without the meat and the vegetables) so that in case of mistakes, I can always throw out the marinade (or adjust it) and not ruin the meat.
For 3/4 pounds of pork, the marinade consisted of:
1/3 cup of minced scallions
2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tsp Shaoxing wine
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp oyster sauce
a pinch of ground white pepper (black is fine)
After marinading the meat and vegetables for a few hours, I proceeded to form the pot stickers. My 3-yr old daughter even helped! She carefully scooped out the meat for me.
To form the pot stickers, the recipe said... well, it was too hard what the recipe said. I had to re-read the procedure a few times because the cookbook did not have pictures. I proceeded to form the dumplings as far as I understood what the recipe is saying, as seen here.
Since I am a newbie, it would have been nice to have been told NOT to stack the pot stickers on top of one another as one forms them. . . because that's what I did. So when it was time to cook them (which was a few hours later, for dinner), the whole thing was stuck together, and my painstaking pot sticker-making work was all for naught!
I had to yank them and pull them apart and it was like a big ugly looking thing got butchered into pieces. I might as well have just dumped the dough ingredients in with the meat ingredients!!! Hahaha.
They're all on top of each other!
The pot stickers are pan-fried. The technique calls for pan-frying/steaming.
Heat a skillet and add some oil. Place the pot stickers neatly in the skillet. The potstickers cook for 3 minutes, then about half a cup of water is added to the skillet. Cover the skillet. The pot stickers are left in the skillet until they're somewhat translucent.
This is where I ran into some trouble. In my case, I had to adjust the heat a bit lower-than-high on our stove (the recipe called for HIGH heat, which caused really dark dark bottoms on the pot stickers). Since I used a bigger pan, and hence had more pot stickers per batch, I added more water instead of the half cup the recipe asked for.
Verdict: The pot stickers were surprisingly nice. I would omit the sugar next time since the vegetable we added (napa cabbage) gave the dish enough sweetness. For dipping sauces, we used vinegar with soy sauce, and lemon with soy sauce; or Maggi with Realemon (JS and TS are gagging I think 'coz of the FAKE "realemon").
Faux Siu Mai
TS added masago on top of the faux siu mai.
There was leftover meat filling (thank goodness) and for these, I decided to make siu mai. At least, they were siu mai shaped and topped with peas. I didn't fry them this time, but rather, steamed them. These steamed "siu mai" turned out nicer and easier than pan frying.
Note: I have since discovered that siu mai do not have veggies in the meat mixture, so I think I will stick with this pot sticker recipe, but make them siu mai style/shape.
Nothing much to say this time, except I made them this half-moon shape and both sides were fried. Also, having made this dumpling recipe a few more times, I don't put the sugar in anymore.
I have even made these dumplings in a "huo tyeh" shape!
Besides the super-easy siu mai shape (and steaming cooking method), this "hyo tyeh" shape is probably my favorite. Not only is it easier to fill and shape (you just fold the ends together), you get a lot more meat per dumpling!
I really like making dumplings. But I guess my very ulterior motive? Dumplings are my hubby's most favorite food. =) (Plus, they're popular with the kids... and adults. Haha.)
I think after all these times, I am now going to attempt making the wrapper myself as well!
This potsticker pork filling has been used in:
Stuffed Giant Squid, Two Ways
Torta with Pork and Kecap Manis
Stuffed Savoy Cabbage with Pork
CSC and CSC-collaborated blog posts:
Mario's Pine Nut and Ricotta Tart
Shanghai Potstickers, Faux Siu Mai and "Huo Tyeh" (aka CSC's Chinese Dumplings)
Dark Chocolate Cupcakes with Quick and Rice Chocolate Frosting