Friday, February 20, 2009

Pot Stickers (Dumplings)

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I made these from scratch awhile ago. They took 2 days and a total of 7 hours or so. Although homemade wrappers are chewy and delicious, they take a ton of work. I think I will use store-bought wrappers from now on, unless I forget the lesson learned.

The fillings are made with:
  • 1 whole head of nappa cabbage, shredded
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 block of firm tofu, cut into small half inch blocks
  • a bunch of scallions, chopped fine
  • 3 ounces of dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked then chopped
  • 8 ounces of dried vermicelli, soaked then cut into small pieces
  • salt and pepper
The key, according to my grandma, is to get the right balance of moisture in the filling. Nappa cabbage has a ton of water, which needs to be removed before wrapping. The nappa cabbage is first shredded and then salted. The salt takes the moisture out of the cabbage. After about 10 minutes or so, put the cabbage into a cheese cloth and wring out the remaining water.

On the other hand, the dried shittake mushrooms and vermicelli need to be soaked in hot water for 10 minutes. After combining all the chopped ingredients, add the eggs to bind the mixture together. Wrap the fillings with homemade or store-bought wrappers and the deed is done (several hours later).

There are several ways to cook them. I pan fried mine today and dipped them in a mixture of soy sauce, hot sauce and sesame oil. It's a good emergency meal, when there's nothing left in the fridge.

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