Right now I feel like I am in college again. I am racing against the deadline to get this first Daring Cooks post written; it’s due tonight by midnight. I thought it was to be posted tomorrow and only realized this when I started seeing all the recipes in my Google Reader tonight! Yikes!
I am very excited to say that this is my first Daring Cooks post. Granted, this is only the second Daring Cooks challenge, but I have not previously been involved with the Daring Bakers. I was stoked when I learned that my first challenge would be potstickers. I have made potstickers before, and I have a filling recipe that I love. So where’s the challenge? Jen, of use real butter, asked that we make our own wrappers. In my prior potsticker experience, I’ve bought wrappers. I thought this would be fun, so I decided to dig in.
I started by preparing my filling recipe, using the same ratios of ingredients I posted before. However, since I had this dough to use, I decided I would triple my recipe and use the entire pound of ground pork I purchased. Potstickers can be frozen after they are filled and pleated. Cooking potstickers from the freezer aren’t any more work than when they are fresh. Reheated, they taste just as good, and they make a great weeknight meal.
After I prepared the filling, I made the dough. It’s a warm water dough, and I mixed it in my food processor, then kneaded it a bit. It was extremely easy to work with. The most difficult part was determining how much dough to use for each wrapper. While it might sound odd, you need about a cubic inch of dough for each potsticker. If you think of it in terms of volume, you needn’t wonder if you are starting too big or small. Roll the dough into a disk, cut it in strips, roll out the strips, cut them in one inch pieces, roll flat with a rolling pin, fill.
I filled each potsticker with a heaping teaspoonful of filling. I like my dumplings a little daintier than the giant ones you get in restaurants. They cook quicker, and I am a little paranoid of biting into raw pork (ask my about my not-so-steamed-steamed dumplings sometime). After filling, I pleated the dumpling closed, then went on to the next. A quick visual of this process is below:
You can see the other great versions of potstickers posted by The Daring Cooks by reviewing the blogroll!
for the wrappers
- 4 C all purpose flour
- 2 C warm water
- flour for kneading and dusting
for the filling
- 3 C finely shredded napa cabbage (about one head)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 3/4 C minced scallions (white parts and some green of 3)
- 1 1/2 T light soy sauce
- 3 tsp shaoxing wine
- 1 1/2 T sesame oil…or maybe a little more…
- 3 T ginger, grated
- 3 T garlic, mined
- 3 tsp cornstarch
to pan fry the dumplings
- peanut oil for frying
- 1/2 C water
First, assemble your filling. Stir all filling ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. You may need to get your hands in there to get the pork well mixed with the other ingredients. Set this mixture aside, and begin the dough.
Make one half of the dough recipe at a time. Place 2 cups of water in the bowl of a food processor. While slowly streaming the water in, pulse until a rough ball forms. Turn the dough out on a counter and knead for about a two minutes until it is soft and not sticky. Form the dough into a round and set aside for 15 minutes to let the gluten develop, under a damp towel. Roll the dough out into a circle about 6″ inches wide and 1″ thick. Cut the dough into 1 1/2″ wide strips. Working with one strip at a time, roll it to about 3/4″ thick, then cut it in pieces a little more than an inch wide (about a cubic inch of dough).
Now, work with one piece at a time, with the others under a damp towel. Roll the dough in your palm until it makes a flat circle about 2″ in diameter. On a well-floured surface, roll each circle out with a rolling pin until it is 3-4″ across. Fill the wrapper with a heaping teaspoonful of filling, and pleat closed. (Photos depicting this process are above). Set aside on a floured plate or wax paper. Continue until all dough is used; then make the second batch of dough and repeat.
To cook the dumplings, you will have to work in batches. If you are going to freeze any dumplings, place them on a cookie sheet in a freezer before cooking for 30 minutes, then transfer to freezer-safe storage bags. To pan fry the dumplings, heat a couple of tablespoons of peanut oil over medium high heat in a skillet with high sides and a lid.Add the dumplings to the hot oil and brown for about 2 minutes. When the dumplings are brown, pour the water into the skillet and quickly cover. Be careful when adding the water, as the hot oil can splatter. Cook, covered, until all water has steamed off. Then, remove the lid and cook for about 1 minute to crisp the dumplings. Remove to a plate and serve with dipping sauce, soy sauce, or sriracha sauce. I like to use about 1/4 C soy sauce, a couple tablespoons of rice vinegar, a squirt of honey and some minced garlic and scallions.
Makes 72 dumplings.