Seventh Daughter by Cecilia Chiang and Lisa Weiss, features Northern Chinese cuisine from the fabled Mandarin Restaurant, with recipes like Pot Stickers (Guo Tie); Green-Onion Oil-Tossed Noodles (Shanghai Cong Yu Ban Mian); and Tea-Smoked Game Hens (Zhang Cha Zi Ji).
Makes 25 dumplings
These humble dumplings were responsible for putting The Mandarin on the map. We became famous for many Chinese dishes, but pot stickers took on a life of their own. Common throughout China, they're dumplings generically called jiao zi, which can be prepared many different ways—steamed, boiled, pan-fried, deep-fried. Fillings range from pork to beef, or lamb in Muslim provinces. In Beijing, jiao zi are usually pan-fried and served during the New Year's holidays.
I think homemade wrappers are best, but frankly, they're so much work I'd never dream of doing it now. There are so many good-quality wrappers available commercially.
Pot sticker wrappers, unlike wonton wrappers, are round rather than square and tend to be a little thicker. They usually are sold, depending on the manufacturer, 48 to a 12-ounce package. This recipe makes 25 dumplings, so you can double the filling recipe given here or deep-fry the extra wrappers to use in a salad.
To freeze the pot stickers, place on a baking sheet with space between them so they don't stick together; freeze for an hour or so, then put them In a ziplock plastic bag. You can cook pot stickers straight from the freezer by increasing the steaming time to 8 minutes and letting them brown after the water has evaporated.
Cecilia does a clever "box" pleat that I found almost impossible to describe. Any method that works and is easy for you is fine. One important tip, use a nonstick skillet to brown the dumplings, otherwise you'll find out in a hurry why they're called "pot stickers."—L.W.
To make the filling, mix the cabbage, green onion, ginger, pork, salt, and sesame oil together in a bowl with your hands until well combined.
To assemble the dumplings, lightly dust a rimmed baking sheet with flour and set aside. Keep the wrappers moist under a slightly damp towel; have a small bowl of water handy for sealing the filled dumplings. For each pot sticker, place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of a wrapper. Dip a finger in the water and moisten all around the edges of one side of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle that encloses the filling and press together. With your finger, dab a little egg on the two opposite points of the long side of the triangle. Bring the two points together so they overlap and press to seal. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers. If not frying and eating the dumplings right away, they should be refrigerated, loosely covered with the damp towel, and cooked within 1 hour. Or, they may be frozen.
To make the dipping sauce, whisk together the soy sauce, rice vinegar, chili oil, and ginger in a small bowl; mix well. Set aside.
To cook the dumplings, heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat until a bead of water dances on the surface and then evaporates. Cover the bottom of the skillet with a thin film of peanut oil and swirl to coat. Arrange some of the dumplings in the skillet in a single layer, being sure to not overcrowd. Pan-fry on high heat until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes (skip this if cooking frozen pot stickers). Pour enough water over the pot stickers to create 1/2 inch of liquid. Cover the pan, reduce the heat to medium-high, and steam for 5 minutes (or 8 minutes if frozen). If cooking frozen pot stickers, uncover and let them brown after all the water has evaporated. Transfer the pot stickers to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.
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This page created January 2008
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