“Pot Stickers in Transition”
Okay, there are a few things that are apparent as you examine this picture:
• I am making something resembling Pot Stickers
• I am obviously not an expert at the art of Pot Sticker production
• I have attempted to create something FAR beyond my skill set
• Knowing all that I didn’t know, I tried it anyway
What can’t be seen in the picture??
• The taste — they were soooo GOOD!
• I will be able to make them slightly better NEXT TIME – because I learned ‘stuff’ ((mainly what not to do, ha!))
I don’t know, maybe only my kids were like this — but ((especially when they were little)) they hated drawing! Just at the mere suggestion, they cried and squalled – I think they would have cried less if I had actually punished them. ((Hey, maybe that’s been my problem all along…I should be punishing them by making them draw. Forget grounding them from their iPods – which in fact feels more like a punishment for me…)) My point is, they didn’t like drawing because the pictures they had in their minds never matched up with what they were able to get on paper.
That same feeling can influence us grown-ups too. ‘I know I can’t make it look as good as Ina or Martha – so I won’t even try’. Well, although I don’t know either of those ladies personally, I am pretty sure the first time they attempted something outside of their comfort zone, the end product was lacking in the perfection department. But they were many steps closer to perfection than if they had never tried.
My first attempt at pot sticker production taught me a few things. As I went through the steps, I transitioned from knowing ‘very little’ to knowing ‘a little’, haha! Well, that’s not exactly true — I know a little more about what not to do — and it all goes back to geometry.
⇒ Cutting the egg roll wrappers in half diagonally, in order to form 2 triangles, doesn’t work out well…at least for me. There is no good way to fold them, maybe there is a good way but I couldn’t find one.
⇒ did you know egg roll wrappers are rectangular, not square? There is a long side and a short side. If I would have slowed down for a second, I probably would have noticed – but because of that oversight, I learned another tip! The way you cut them in half matters, a lot. I learned it’s best to cut the longer side in half, this way you have more surface area to hold the filling and less wrapper dough to contend with in the crimping phase.
⇒ I think circle cutouts of the egg roll wrapper would work the best, leaving just enough extra around the filling for crimping.
⇒ The filling components need to be finely chopped & if using meat, it needs to be cooked down to a fine crumble as well (at least I did this part right!).
⇒ I think an egg and some panko would bind the filling components together well & add a light & fluffy quality to the filling texture (so maybe use less pork or a different protein altogether, along with some binder).
Looking forward to my next attempt ((maybe ground shrimp with lemongrass & shallots!)). Momma always said, “If at first you don’t succeed, fry fry a hen!”
- 1 lb ground pork, browned (small crumble size)
- 2 medium carrots, finely diced
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 mushrooms (I used crimini) finely diced
- 1/4 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
- 1 T fresh ginger, peeled and finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely diced
- 3-4 T soy sauce
- 1T brown sugar
- 1-2 T pepper jelly
- 1 T fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- 1 c Napa cabbage
- 1 pkg egg roll or wonton wrappers*
- 1 little bowl of cold water
- cooking oil or peanut oil
- In a medium saute pan, brown ground pork - breaking down and large crumbles. Once pork in browned, add carrots, celery and green onions. Cook until carrots begin to soften (about 4-5 minutes). Add mushrooms, jalapeño, ginger & garlic, cook for 2-3 more minutes. Add soy sauce, brown sugar and pepper jelly -adjust amounts to fit your sweet & salty preferences. Add cilantro and cabbage, cooked for 1 more minute, until cabbage is softened. Once filling is complete, set aside.
- If using egg roll wrappers, cut them in half, making 2 shorter-sided halves. If using a wanton wrapper, you have the perfect size, but if you have a circle cookie cutter, you may want to try cutting a circle out of each wrapper ((that is what I will do next time))**.
- Place 1 T of filling in the center of of the wrapper, dip you finger in water and trace your finger around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and gently pinch the edges together. Dip you finger back into the water and begin at one end, working to the other end,crimping the edge of the to sticker. Repeat until you have made the number desired.
- Add oil to another sauté pan & heat over medium heat (make sure the oil doesn't smoke).
- Place pot stickers 1" apart in pan, cook for 2 minutes allowing bottoms to brown and crisp. Add 3-4 T water to the pan and cover, cooking 8-9 more minutes. ((This will steam the wrappers perfectly!))
- Serve with a mixture of soy sauce and pepper jelly for dipping.
- * I think wanton wrappers are preferred if you can find them.
- ** Next time, I will use wanton wrappers and a circle cutter, cutting each wrapper into a circle before filling and crimping.
- ***If you don't want 3 dozen pot stickers allay once, refrigerate the extra filling for unto 1 week.