Some foods are just tailor made for eating with friends. That’s how I feel about potstickers. One recipe makes a ton of them, and they are just a fun conversation piece. So for this dinner, I invited a couple of friends on which I love to test my food experiments. I don’t know if they would tell me if they didn’t like something, but as my friend Becky told me, “maybe not, but I wouldn’t eat so much of it if it wasn’t good.”
Just about every type of cuisine in the world has some sort of dumpling. I guess people were just born knowing if you put yummy filling in some sort of dough and cook it, it will be delicious. My favorite dumpling food is the Chinese potsticker. They are called potstickers because when you cook them, they stick to the pot at the end, resulting in the perfect texture of crispy and chewy and tender.
I’ve made these with many different fillings, pork, shrimp and vegetable. The last time I made a veggie version, the veggies shrunk up quite a bit as they cooked, resulting in some pretty wimpy filling. So this time, I made some changes. A simple adjustment, cooking the filling first, then making the potstickers, solved that problem. This was by far my best batch of vegetarian potstickers. And the ponzu dipping sauce was fabulous. I served these with some simple sides of rice and sauteed snowpeas & peppers.
One note on big batches. If you don’t have a crowd to feed, go ahead and make the whole batch of potstickers. Lay them out on a cookie sheet (uncooked) and freeze. Once they are frozen, dump them all in a freezer bag and stow in your freezer. Take out as many as you want to eat as needed. Don’t thaw them. They go straight from the freezer to the frying pan for a meal in minutes.
1/2 pound shiitake mushrooms
1/2 pound crimini (baby bella) mushrooms
1 large carrot, shredding
1-2 cups Napa cabbage, chopped
1 tsp. minced ginger
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. olive oil
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 tsp. sesame oil
1-2 tsp. soy sauce
Salt & pepper to taste
2 pkg. Gyoza wrappers (they are the small round ones, usually found in the produce section)
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and crushed red pepper. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes, until they’ve shrunk down a bit. Add carrot and cabbage. Cook and stir for 2-3 minutes more. Remove from heat. Lay out gyoza wrappers on wax paper. Put about 1 tsp. of filling in the center of the wrapper.
Moisten edge with water and fold over, pressing outward to remove all air from around the filling and making sure the edge is sealed all the way around.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet over med high heat. In small batches add potstickers. Sear on one side until brown, then flip them over.
Add 1/4 cup water and cover pan. When the sizzling dies down and water evaporates in a couple of minutes they are done. Remove from pan and drain on paper towels if needed. Dip in ponzu sauce (below) and enjoy! This recipe makes about 60 potstickers.
Ponzu Dipping Sauce
1 tbsp. chopped green onions
3 tbsp. fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tbsp. mirin
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. garlic chile sauce
1/4 tsp. fish sauce
Combine all ingredients.