Potsticker Party!! ((An Okie Girl’s Take on Potstickers))
One of our favorite people is in town during summer break for just one week and that can only mean one thing! Food and fun — wait, that is two things! Summer brain is a killer, haha! Our Luke is in from Columbia and oh how we have missed him! So dinner was his choice, which as you may guess from the title of this post, he picked potstickers.
A year ago, Luke may have picked sandwiches — but after soaking in all of the fantastic food around the Columbia campus, he has become a fast fan of Chinese yummies. I love potstickers – and find making them therapeutic, so I was immediately all in.
In order to get ready for our potsticker party, I gathered all of my favorite filling ingredients:
- ground pork
- fresh ginger
- lemon ((for the zest))
- wonton wrappers
Luke and twin brother Zach ((who is our local college cousin)) arrived for dinner in time to — well, help cook ((just as I planned, haha)). They became fast pros at chopping, fine dicing and grating. In short order, the ingredients were prepped and it was time to cook the pork filling.
I like to brown the ground pork first, then add the veggies and season to taste. I am sure there are many filling variations, but I like to mimic a pork egg roll. The filling ingredients are assembled and cooked and I seasoned to taste with sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
I divided the pork filling into three, turning some into spicy ((using 4 tablespoons of sriracha)), kid friendly ((or should I say friendly to my kids — with no mushrooms, cilantro and minimal veggies)) and original. A funny thing happened when the kiddos saw I was making a kid version, but I will tell you about that in a minute.
Dinner prep quickly turned from checking off a list of tasks into a fun opportunity to catch up on college life and a chance to give a bit of cooking instruction all at the same time. Yes, it turned into a potsticker party. ((This truth is evidenced by the fact that I have NO pretty ingredient, prep, cute cooking or gorgeous final product photos!! We were literally having too much fun to stop and take pictures, oops.))
Even my herd joined in the potsticker production line. After giving everyone a quick lesson in potsticker making, I started cooking the tiny treats in batches. My herd was initially apprehensive to try them but after watching Luke & Zach inhale them, they mustered their courage and tried the “kid-friendly” variety.
We ended up filling over 100 of these little purses, and I have to say it was one of the most enjoyable meals we have had in a long time. Gracie wrapped hers like a “burrito” and Kade formed his into a tight round ball. The more they did, the better they looked, it was a self-confidence builder for sure!
And the taste? They were in love at first bite, and started eating the filling instead of filling the potstickers. As you can imagine, the “kid’s version” of the filling didn’t last long but the kids were having so much fun filling them that they started using loaded filling. They quickly lost track of what potstickers were theirs. You know what that means?? They ate the full veggie and mushroom ones to their heart’s content and never noticed.
Oh, but I noticed. It was a highlight of my evening. Yes, I find enjoyment in the simple things in life, like masking the flavors of mushrooms and green veggies so that my kids wont know the truth about what they are eating. I clearly have issues.
Next time you are wanting to bond with the fam or just entertain your posse, you should whip out the cutting boards, graters, and some wonton wrappers ((in addition to some filling ingredients)) and throw a potsticker party. I think you will be surprised at just how much fun it can be!
- 1 lb ground pork, I used an 85/15 mixture
- 2 medium carrots, shredded
- 1/4 of a medium yellow onion, shredded
- 2 stalks of celery, shredded
- 1 1/2 cup Chinese cabbage, finely chopped
- 10 medium crimini mushrooms, finely diced*
- 1/2 c cilantro chopped
- zest of one lemon
- sea salt & pepper to taste
- 4 T sriracha ((optional))**
- 1 package of 50 count wonton wrappers, either round or square ((I prefer round))***
- canola oil
- sweet chili sauce & tamari for dipping
- In a large skillet over medium/medium high heat, brown the pork - be sure to break the meat apart into tiny crumbles. Once the meat is cooked, add all of the veggies ((not the cilantro & lemon zest)). Stir to combine and continue cooking over a medium/medium low flame for 5 to 10 minutes until veggies are cooked through. Next, add cilantro & lemon zest and season with sea salt and pepper to taste. If you want spicy potstickers, stir in sriracha. If you don't like spicy food, skip this step**.
- Once the filling is done, pour it into a mixing bowl and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before assembling the potstickers. Wipe out the skillet and place it back on the stove, we will reuse it for cooking the potstickers.
- To make the potstickers, you will need a small bowl of water, a parchment lined baking sheet and an extra 10" x 12" (roughly) piece of parchment paper. Place one wrapper on your sheet of parchment paper, dip a finger in the bowl of water and then run your finger along the entire outer edge of the wrapper. This will allow the potsticker to seal properly. Using a teaspoon, place one small scoop of filling into one half of the center of the wonton round, or in the center of the wonton square. Fold the wrapper in half, making sure that the edges of the wrapper seal by pressing firmly.
- Now this next step is really an art, and I am no pro - but I find it relaxing and fun to try to make pretty crimps along the sealed edge of the uncooked potsticker. So have fun and just see if you can become a potsticker master. The more you practice, the easier and more enjoyable it becomes. One tip, the dough can dry out and tear so move rather quickly and be gentle. I like to make half of the potstickers ((about 25)) before cooking the first batch. Once the first 25 are filled and crimped, I start cooking and leave the remainder of the filling to the guests or kids. As I said in the post, this is a fun time to visit and "bond".
- In order to cook the potstickers, place 2 to 3 T of canola oil in a large skillet and heat over medium high flame. Test to see if the oil is hot by touching the bottom of one potsticker to the oil. If there is sizzling and popping, the oil is hot and ready. Place 12 to 14 potstickers in the pan, crimped side pointing up. Be sure they are not touching one another. Once placed in the oil, do not move them except to check the doneness of the bottom by raising one end up and peeking at the color, 2 to 3 minutes into cooking.
- You are wanting the bottom to turn crisp and medium golden brown - so when you can tell that has happened, pour 2-3 T room temperature water into the hot skillet and immediately cover the skillet with a lid. The potstickers will steam for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, turn off the flame, leave the skillet covered for one more minute and then remove the lid, lift out the potstickers and serve.
- The goal is to have a crisp bottom that easily releases from the bottom of the pan and a steamed, tender top.
- Repeat this process until all of the potstickers are cooked.
- My crew ate each batch as I took them out of the skillet, that way they stayed hot and crisp.
- Serve with tamari or soy sauce and your favorite sweet chili sauce.
- *my kiddos can't stand the sight of mushrooms and green anything, so I removed some filling before adding the mushrooms and the majority of the "green". I love that this recipe can totally be adapted and modified according to your taste preferences.
- **you can split the filling into batches and make one portion spicy.
- ***We made over 100 potstickers, which fed 8 people. In order to make that many, I doubled this recipe.