Potstickers for Chinese New Year

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Pork of course - It’s Year of the PIG!

The pig represents diligence, kindness, & generosity. As snow blankets the ground in Chimacum, nothing sounds more delicious than some hot pork potstickers made with pork raised by our very own diligent, kind and generous local pork farmers.

 
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We carry pork from both Charlotte and Martin Fredrickson of One Straw Ranch and Doyle Yancey of Egg and I Pork.

The juicy pork & ginger filling in these potstickers can be prepped a day in advance & refrigerated, or on the day of cooking, while the dumpling skins are being rolled. The filling goes into the dumpling skins raw, so if you want to taste-test for seasoning, keep a small frying pan handy when mixing the filling, in which to cook up a bite at a time. Keep in mind when salting or adding soy sauce to the filling, that the dumplings will be dipped in a salty sauce when served.

Ingredients are listed according to the section of the recipe they are used in, but at the very end we have included one complete list for easy shopping.

THE WRAPPER DOUGH

This recipe makes about 40 small dumpling wrappers, to hold about a teaspoon of filling each.

Mixing hot water into the flour first helps to minimize gluten, thereby decreasing stickiness.

  • 3 C Nash's Soft White Wheat Flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2/3 C just-boiled water

  • 1/3-1/2 C cold water

Whisk together salt & flour in a large mixing bowl. Using a wooden spoon, stir in hot water until the mixture achieves a raggedy look. Keep mixing, adding 1/3 C cold water, until a smooth dough begins to form. If it is too dry, add the remaining water, or as much as is needed. Put aside the spoon and use the base of your palms to knead the dough for about 5 minutes, or as long as it takes you to form a smooth ball. Cover ball with a damp cloth & let rest 20 minutes. Uncover, knead for another 3 minutes, then let sit covered with a damp cloth on top of the dough, and a plate on top of the bowl, for 1 hour. This hour of rest is important for relaxing the dough & making it easy to work with. During this hour you can make the meat filling or tend to other projects.

PORK & GINGER FILLING

Remember, this mixture will not be cooked before going into the dumpling wrappers, so if you want to taste it, cook up a small bite. The more finely you mince your ingredients, the better.

  • 1C ground Egg & I or One Straw pork

  • 1C minced Midori cabbage & a sprinkling of salt

  • 2 tsp grated Kolokai white ginger

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • The white parts of 6 scallions, minced

  • 1/2 tsp soy sauce

  • 1/4 tsp white or black pepper (white is more traditional)

  • 4 medium shiitake mushrooms finely chopped

  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil

Mince the cabbage and place in bowl with sprinkling of salt. Let it sit for 20 minutes while you mince other ingredients, so that the salt draws extra moisture out of the cabbage. You will squeeze the cabbage and drain off the water before adding the other ingredients to the bowl.

Add your pork, minced ingredients, and seasonings to the bowl of drained cabbage and mix them together thoroughly.

Now your filling is ready; time to make dipping sauce & roll out the wrappers!

DIPPING SAUCE

You may want to adjust this according to your personal tastes.

Mix together & let sit until potstickers are finished cooking:

  • 2 T rice vinegar

  • 1 T soy sauce

  • 1 T toasted sesame oil

  • 1 tsp slivered fresh ginger

  • The green parts of 6 scallions, minced

  • A little bit of sweet chili sauce or chili flakes

ROLLING THE WRAPPERS

Prep a large cookie tray with a sheet of parchment lightly dusted in flour, on which to place freshly rolled wrappers as they are finished. You will want a couple more sheets for stacking layers of finished wrappers on top of the initial layer.

Divide the ball of rested dough in half, and using the palms of your hands, on a flat work surface lightly dusted in flour, roll each half into a long log, about 1 1/4 inches in diameter. Using a sharp knife, cut each log into about 20 pieces. Dust them lightly with flour to prevent them from sticking to eachother. Then, flatten each piece into a disc & using a rolling pin, roll each piece out into 3 1/4 or 3 1/2 inch in diameter circles. A short-cut is to use a tortilla press instead of a rolling pin! You will want the discs to be slightly thicker in the center & thinner around the edges. Rotating the disc of dough in between rolls and rolling outward from the center with the rolling pin, helps to achieve a nice circular shape.

As they are finished, set them aside on the parchment-lined cookie tray, adding a new layer on parchment when the bottom layer is full.

When all the wrappers are rolled, it is time to fill them!

FILLING THE POTSTICKERS

This will be tricky at first, but you will get better as you practice!

Carefully place a teaspoon of pork filling in the center of a wrapper, folding the wrapper perfectly in half, like a taco. Pinch the center of the open edge closed. Then, working first from one outer corner toward the center, pinch 3 pleats, to form a tightly crimped edge with no holes. Repeat the same technique, working from the other corner toward the center. Working from the outer corners towards the center will give the dumpling a nice crescent moon shape. Make sure there are absolutely no holes, or the filling will leak out when they cook.

Form all the dumplings this way, placing them on a flour-dusted sheet of parchment as you go, with space in between them, and dusting your fingers as needed, so that nothing sticks & tears.

COOKING THE POTSTICKERS

A thin frying pan works best; cast-iron can hold too much heat for this recipe and lead to burning.

  • Peanut Oil, to coat pan for each batch

  • 1/4 C water per batch for steaming

Have a good pan lid and water ready, on hand. Over medium heat, swirl just enough peanut oil into frying pan to thoroughly coat its surface. When the oil is hot, fill the pan with a single layer of potstickers, not quite touching eachother. Cook for 1-2 min, or until golden brown. Check their bottoms in a couple places, and rotate pan if one zone is browning more than another. When they are evenly golden brown, pour in 1/4 C water & promptly cover with the lid! Careful! Water on hot oil can cause nasty spatters, for which you need the lid to protect yourself! The lid will also trap the steam in the pan, allowing the insides of the potstickers to cook. Cook 2 minutes, then uncover and continue cooking until all the water evaporates. By that time, a nice brown crust will have formed on their undersides and the tops will be steamed. Transfer them to a warm plate and repeat this process with the remaining dumplings.

Serve soon after cooking alongside your dipping sauce, but be careful! They can be quite hot inside!

Yum.

COMPLETE INGREDIENTS LIST
(for easy shopping)

  • 3 C Nash's Soft White Wheat Flour

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 2/3 C just-boiled water

  • 1/3-1/2 C cold water

  • 1 C ground pork

  • 1 C minced cabbage

  • A sprinkling of salt

  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger

  • 1 tsp minced garlic

  • 6 scallions

  • White or black pepper

  • 4 med shiitake mushrooms

  • Sesame Oil

  • Rice vinegar

  • Soy sauce

  • Sweet Chili Sauce or red chili flakes (optional)

  • 1 tsp slivered fresh ginger

  • Peanut oil

  • Water

RecipesKaty McCoy