Sunday, February 21, 2010

Pork Potstickers with Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

I don't make these often because they are a little labor intensive, but they are soo worth the effort. An order of potstickers from our local Thai restaurant is about $6 and has 8 pieces, I believe, maybe less. I only spent $5.24 today at the store for the fresh ingredients I needed to make these tonight and there will be a TON of them (about 70-80 pieces if you use all the meat & wrappers).

When I started to learn about Asian cooking, I learned that many of the recipes have the same few ingredients. I just keep them on hand all the time now. I make a meeeeaaan fried rice using these same few ingredients.  They are Mirin (sweet rice cooking wine), rice wine vinegar (watch for $1 off Star Vinegar - Jewel often has it for $1/bottle which means FREE VINEGAR!), soy sauce, Sriracha hot sauce, toasted sesame oil, garlic and fresh ginger root (I keep it in the freezer & just grate it in).

Potsticker Ingredients
1-1.5 lbs lean ground pork - ground turkey or chicken will work & I've made them, but we like the pork best.

1 bunch of green onions/scallions (they are the same thing) - white part only, minced. Save the green parts  for the sauce.
1" fresh ginger root
3 cloves garlic - minced
1/8 cup soy sauce
A squirt or two of Sriracha hot sauce OR a tsp of red pepper flakes
1 carrot (I used two because they were wimpy)
- you could also add bok choy or red pepper if you like too.

1 package of potsticker or wonton wrappers
1 egg

I like to make the filling a few hours ahead of time to let the flavors blend and develop. Toss your carrot, garlic and scallions in the food processor. Mince to a very fine consistency. An easy way to peel ginger root is to scrape a spoon on the outside of it. It comes off very easily that way.

Dump it into a large bowl with the pork. Add the soy sauce, grate in the ginger & squirt in the Sriracha. Mix it well. I always make a little tester patty in a skillet to check the seasoning. If it's not salty enough, add more soy. Not spicy enough? Add more hot sauce. You get the idea. 

When you're ready to cook, lay out a piece of plastic wrap. Sprinkle it with cornstarch, beat the egg and set near your "potsticker station," get a baking sheet & sprinkle it with cornstarch as well. If you have a potsticker machine, get it out. Otherwise you can just use your fingers. If you have a little scooper/melon baller, use it. I've used a teaspoon for YEARS, but this last Christmas, my dear husband got me a little scooper :)

Lay out a few wrappers on the plastic. Use your finger to wet the edges with the beaten egg. Now scoop a small amount of the pork filling in the center of each one. Then, fold them over & pinch them shut...sealing out any excess air. Set aside on the cornstarched baking sheet. Keep going until you run out of meat or wrappers. There will be A LOT. If you have extra, just label it and throw it in the freezer. This pork makes a great burger with a slice of pineapple on the top.

Heat a large skillet on med/high heat. We are going to need a lid, so make sure you have one that fits. Drizzle in a bit of oil (we always use olive oil) so it covers the bottom of the pan lightly. Add the potstickers in an even layer...don't crowd them. They will start to sizzle & brown. Let them. Leave them alone for a few minutes!  When the first side gets light brown & crispy, turn them over and let them cook 1 minute more. Add 1/4-1/2 cup of water (so it covers the bottom of the pan) and cover it immediately.

 Set the timer for 2.5 minutes. It will be sizzling hot and you will want to check them, but don't. When the timer goes off, take off the lid and the the remaining water cook off. You can move & toss them around now. When the water is gone and they look a little "pruney," they are done. Transfer to a plate and continue cooking in batches until they are all done.

Ginger Soy Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/8 cup mirin
1/8 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2" grated ginger
1 clove minced garlic
the green parts of the scallions - minced finely
1/8 cup honey
a few drops of toasted sesame oil
a small squirt of Sriracha hot sauce

Combine everything but the scallions and microwave for a minute until warm. Add the scallions & combine well. If you prefer it sweeter, add a bit more honey. Spicier? More hot sauce.

Iggy rules.
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