Pork and Cabbage Potstickers
Today is day 100 - day 100 of 100 days on which I’ve posted a recipe on this blog every single day. 100 - it sounds like so much. Honestly, I’m proud. I did it to bring some of my hobbies back to life, I did it to learn, I did it because I love taking food photos and because I love to eat.
I especially love, love looooooove dumplings. Potstickers, momos, gyoza, dumplings - I’ll have them any which way. Up to now, I’d been stuck with home delivery or eating out whenever I had cravings - but as of now, no more.
I’m now proudly dumpling-self reliant, and I’m posting this potsticker recipe as the closing recipe of this challenge because at the beginning of this year, I wouldn’t in my wildest dreams have pictured myself making these. But here I am - and here we are. Crazy things are possible if you only try - and it’s not half as hard as I’d thought. Fear was, once again, an irrational obstacle.
I’m grateful for this beautiful recipe from Healthy Nibbles & Bits, which was perfect - and I didn’t change anything to it.
Ingredients (makes about 20 dumplings):
250g minced meat, 50% beef, 50% pork
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
3/4 cup finely chopped Chinese cabbage
3 large scallions, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon soy sauce
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon tapioca starch
1 1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon vegetable oil, plus more for frying the won tons
Approximately 20 wonton skins (I used a thin version made by Happy Belly in Singapore, which was great for frying).
Low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar and chili oil
Need: a non-stick pan with a lid big enough to cover it, and a damp clean tea towel.
1. Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil and add the cabbage, scallions, garlic and ginger. Fry for 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add a bit of salt, stir again, then set aside on a plate and let cool.
2. In a large bowl, add the minced meat, water and tapioca starch. Using a wooden spoon, mix thoroughly for 3-4 minutes, until the meat is no longer separated but becomes paste-like. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and sugar and mix for a couple of minutes more. Then, add the cabbage mixture and stir for another minute until thoroughly mixed.
Making the dumplings:
3. I used frozen wonton skins. To defrost, take the package, leave it closed, and let it defrost on your counter for about 40 minutes. You can also let them defrost in the fridge overnight, if you prefer.
For your dumpling-making station, you will need a large clean counter, and a small bowl filled with water.
4. When you are ready to start making the dumplings, open the pack of dumpling skins. Remove 1 dumpling skin and cover the package with a damp paper towel so the remaining skins don’t dry out.
5. I used square skins and a large round cookie cutter to cut them into circles. Take the circle and place it on your palm. Place a dollop - about a teaspoon’s worth - of the pork filling in the centre. Then, wet your finger with water and use it to create a wet border - about 1.5 cm thick - all around the dumpling.
6. Now take the top and the bottom of the circle and pinch them together, then fold 3-4 pleats into either side. Honestly, I searched ‘how to fold a dumpling’ on YouTube and suggest you do the same - it’s all pretty straightforward and the more you make, the easier it gets.
7. Place your finished dumpling on the clean counter, and cover it with the damp tea towel so that it doesn’t dry out. Repeat steps 4 until 7 until you’ve finished all the meat.
Frying the dumplings:
8. Heat some vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet (one that you can cover with a lid). Then place dumplings in the oil flat side down and pan fry for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is golden brown.
9. Now, steam the dumplings - add 1/4 cup of water and cover the pan with the lid for 5-6 minutes. Then remove the lid and cook for about 1 minute more until the water evaporates.
Serve steaming hot with a dumpling dipping sauce. I used low sodium soy sauce mixed with vinegar (about 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part rice vinegar), and a bit of chili oil on the side.