Interesting how this simple dish conjures up my memories of the days shared with a Japanese roommate who cooked. Potstickers, as they were called in the US, were among her favorites. Although it is time-consuming and quite messy to make, it is worth it. The secret is in the grated ginger and the final steaming process with the lid tight on top of your non-stick pan.
Later, these became my comfort dish. And they are so easy to make given that you have the ready-made wrappers on hands.
Best served with chopsticks, chili oil-infused soy sauce and a bowl of greens drizzled with Japanese-style soy sauce or sesame dressing.
(making about 23 pieces, enough for two)
– One pack of pot sticker wrappers
– Minced pork (about 200 grams)
– Shitake mushroom, cooked and minced (about 10 mushrooms)
– Napa cabbage, cooked and minced (about 1-2-3 leaves)
– Finely chopped spring onion & cilantro (just a hand full)
– Finely chopped garlic (one clove), salt and soy sauce to taste
– Freshly grated ginger (one small knob) with every drop of its juice preserved
For chili-oil-infused soy sauce
– 3-4 dried chilies
– Cooking Oil
– Soy sauce of your preference
– Make the filling by mixing the minced pork, chopped garlic, grated ginger, chopped spring onion, cilantro, shitake mushroom and napa cabbage well together. Season with soy sauce and a little bit of salt.
– One at a time, wrap by using a small spoon or your fingers to put the filling in the middle of the wrapping sheet. Dab the edge of half of the sheet with water, pull both sides up and pinch both ends together into a nice continuous pleats. Try to make each piece into a half-moon shape if you can. Repeat until you run out of the wrappers or the filling.
– Use a large non-stick pan with a good lid. On medium heat, add some splash of cooking oil. Place the potstickers, one by one, into the pan and cook for about 3 minutes. Use a small ladle to ladle in the shitake mushroom broth you keep from cooking the shitake onto the pan. At this point, make sure you have the lid ready to quickly cover the sizzling pan. If the broth evaporate and you think the potstickers need more time to cook, add more broth and continue cooking with the lid on. The cooked potstickers should be transparent and tender. And the good-looking potstickers should be golden browned at their bottoms. Serve immediately with the soy sauce + chili oil.
– The chili oil is so easy to make. In a pan, add some cooking oil. Wait until the temperature is ready and put in the dried chilies. Fry the chilies until aromatic, but not burnt. The heat from the chilies will be infused into the oil, hence chili oil with the kick and aroma. Mix it with the soy sauce to your taste.