potstickers2

While plumbing the depths of the basement freezer recently I came upon a long lost package of ground pork from last year’s half-pig. It was sort of like being granted one wish by a genie. I knew exactly what I wanted — my grandmother’s pot stickers — but couldn’t find the old recipe I’d written down years ago. Cookbooks jogged my memory just enough, and the process, which is fairly labor-intensive, might help to explain the recipe’s mysterious disappearance. Nevertheless the finished product reminded me why they’re oh so worth it. Fried and steamed, these puppies are so good, and gone so quickly.

Recipe: Potstickers

Filling: 1 lb ground pork / ½ cup napa cabbage, steamed and minced / ¼ cup fresh bamboo, minced / ¼ cup shrimp, minced / 3 tbls mushrooms, minced / 2 tbls scallions, minced / 3 tbls soy sauce / 1 tbls cornstarch or arrowroot / 1 tsp sesame oil / 1 tsp rice vinegar / 1 tsp salt or to taste

50-75 potsticker or gyoza wrappers

Dipping Sauce: ¼ cup soy sauce / 3 tbls water / 2 tbls rice vinegar / 1 tsp chili paste, or to taste

Combine all of the filling ingredients and let sit for 10 minutes so flavors combine, or refrigerate for up to 12 hours. If desired, fry up a small meatball to check your seasonings and adjust as needed.

Fill a shallow cup with water. Place an individual wrapper on a smooth surface and place 1 generous teaspoon of filling at the center of the wrapper. Dipping fingers into the cup, moisten the edge of the wrapper and fold in half, sealing the edges to make a half-moon, then take the package in hand, moisten the rounded edge and fold in four pleats, pinching the dough together so the potsticker looks roughly like the above photo. Repeat until all pork is used up; makes 4 to 6 dozen.

Mix dipping sauce ingredients in a ramekin.

Frying: heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Swirl vegetable oil in the pan. Place potstickers upright in pan — there should be plenty of room, with no touching — and fry for about a minute until the bottoms turn golden. Pour in 1 cup water and bring to a boil, then turn heat down to medium and cover, steaming about 7 minutes to cook pork. Uncover and boil off any remaining liquid, allowing potstickers to crisp on the bottom. Lift carefully with a spatula and serve with dipping sauce.

Freeze any potstickers you don’t use right away. You can add the frozen stickers straight to a hot oiled pan. Steam these for about 10 minutes to fully cook.

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