Sunday, June 14, 2009

June Daring Cooks: Chinese Dumplings/Potstickers

Jen, from the blog use real butter, chose our Daring Cooks June 2009 challenge thinking it might be a good time for folks to try their hand at something that looks daunting, but is actually pretty straightforward: Chinese dumplings/potstickers (aka gyoza in Japanese).

Potstickers are made using a basic concept: a finely diced filling of some sort placed inside a dough wrapper, which is then sealed and cooked. This delicious theme runs through many cultures and is among the more popular bites at Chinese restaurants - especially dim sum. The recipe Jen provided is based on a family recipe.

We were given the choice between two fillings - or to make both. I chose to make the pork filling recipe.

Pork filling:
1 lb (450g) ground pork
4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced
3 stalks green onions, minced
7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - rehydrated and rinsed carefully)
1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced
1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced
3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch


Shrimp filling:
1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
1/2 lb (225g) ground pork3 stalks green onions, minced
1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced
1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced
1 tsp (5g) salt
3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil
2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

Dough ingredients:
(double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches - or just halve the filling recipe)2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (113g) warm water
flour for work surface

Make the dough, Method 1:
Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry dough and have to incorporate more water).

Make the dough, Method 2 (Jen's mom’s instructions):
In a large bowl mix flour with 1/4 cup of water and stir until water is absorbed. Continue adding water one teaspoon at a time and mixing thoroughly until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. We want a firm dough that is barely sticky to the touch.

Both dough methods:
Knead the dough about twenty strokes then cover with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Take the dough and form a flattened dome. Cut into strips about 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Shape the strips into rounded long cylinders. On a floured surface, cut the strips into 3/4 inch pieces. Press palm down on each piece to form a flat circle (you can shape the corners in with your fingers). With a rolling pin, roll out a circular wrapper from each flat disc. Take care not to roll out too thin or the dumplings will break during cooking - about 1/16th inch. Leave the centers slightly thicker than the edges.

Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the dough in half, pleating the edges along one side (see images in this post for how to fold pleats ). Keep all unused dough under damp cloth

To boil:
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add dumplings to pot. Boil the dumplings until they float.

To steam:
Place dumplings on a single layer of napa cabbage leaves or on a well-greased surface in a steamer basket with lid. Steam covered for about 6 minutes.

To pan fry:
Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp of vegetable oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are golden. Add 1/2 cup water and cover. Cook until the water has boiled away and then uncover and reduce heat to medium or medium low. Let the dumplings cook for another 2 minutes then remove from heat and serve.
potstickers, bottoms up to show off the crunchies
I chose to both steam and pan fry the dumplings I made.
To freeze before cooking:
Assemble dumplings on a baking sheet so they are not touching. It helps to rub the base of the dumpling in a little flour before setting on the baking sheet for ease of release. Freeze for 20-30 minutes until dumplings are no longer soft. Place in ziploc bag and freeze for up to a couple of months. Prepare per the above instructions, but allow extra time to ensure the filling is thoroughly cooked.
Dipping sauce:
2 parts soy sauce
1 part vinegar (red wine or black)
a few drops of sesame oil
chili garlic paste (optional)
minced ginger (optional)
minced garlic (optional)
minced green onion (optional)
sugar (optional)

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

This was a wonderful Daring Cooks Challenge for me, as I never would have guessed how easy it was to make these dumplings! They were absolutely delicious and quickly devoured by my family during a dinner party we had to greet our baby grandson on his first visit to New York. I will definitely be making them again in the future and I'm eager to try some of the different flavor combinations that some of the other Daring Cooks made.
Thanks Jen for sharing your fantastic family recipe!

Please visit The Daring Kitchen website and learn more about Daring Bakers and Daring Cooks and visit some of the other blogs on the blogroll that participated in the June Challenge to see their Chinese Dumplings.

There is now a recipe archive, FAQ's, a forum, cookbook reviews and lots more on The Daring Kitchen web site. You can also register to join.

I hope you'll join in on all the fun and take a Daring Kitchen challenge!


Carol @ TheWritersPorch said...

Pat...those look yummy! I have eaten them out but never thought about making them at home! :D

Ciao Chow Linda said...

Pat - You gave a great step by step instructive guide to those of us who might never have tried. These look terrific.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Pat, your dumplings and photos turned out phenomenal! I wish we could have all gotten together for a dumpling party!!

Also, ARGH to our Yanks, the Red Sox deal is awful!! 0-8??? WTH??

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Your potstickers look most professional...and delicious! That is something I have never tried making...but with your encouragement...and directions...I just may.

You will have your grandson enjoying a multi-ethnic diet in no time.

Anonymous said...

Wow is all I can say. Your post was so detailed and clear even I may try these. I am about cooked out at my age. But it's never to late to start again. Thanks for such a clear and attractive presentation. Blessings

Tara said...

What else can I say Pat but WOW! Your hubbby must be so happy you blog and join the challenges (as I am sure he is happy with the yummy results!)


Anula said...

Great looking dumplings :) can I have some? ;)

Junie Moon said...

Pat, your dumplings are wonderful. I used the pork filling recipe, too. In looking at your pictures, I see you have a dough mat/cloth with markings to help make dough the size you need. That's going on my shopping list as it looks like it helps a lot in projects such as this.

Thank you for sharing the Daring Bakers projects months ago as I've thoroughly enjoyed each challenge. The Daring Cooks aspect has added another dimension to improving my cooking/baking skills.

Susan @ SGCC said...

Well done, Pat! Your dumplings look terrific! I love to make dumplings, but I've never attempted my own dough. That will soon change!

Claudia said...

Those are some of the best looking pot stickers I have ever seen. We adore them at our hyouse - and I (sigh) always do take-out. So shall bookmark this - because it couldn't look tastier!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Everyone who lives in our house likes pot stickers...and these look delicious! once again, your tutorial is superb.
♥, Susan

Beverly said...

Pat, I'm drooling here. These look so good. I prefer mine steamed, but I love them all.

You are awesome!

ARLENE said...

These look delicious. Haven't made potstickers in way too long. Need to bring a nosh for a party next week. May do these.

CatHerder said...

oh YUM I am definately going to make those

Jen Yu said...

Oh yum, your postickers look really good (and crunchy bottoms - my FAVORITE). Great job on the challenge and I'm so glad that you found it very doable. Yay!!

Lisa's RetroStyle said...

Those sound and look wonderful Pat!

Joyce said...

I have never made these but you make it look so easy.

Anonymous said...

W-O-W! I've always wanted to try making these because they're so delicious!
Thanks for the motivation :)

Linda Lou said...

Pat, its time you had your own cooking show-you can be the next TV Network FOOD STAR!! I am craving chinese food right now...

Linda Lou said...

Pat, its time you had your own cooking show-you can be the next TV Network FOOD STAR!! I am craving chinese food right now...

steviewren said...

YUM! I bet your family loves to come to parties that you host!

Anonymous said...

Ooo I love Chinese food. Thanks for sharing Pat.

Tracy said...

Oh, soooo good! I've not made potstickers in 100 years...Thanks for the inspiration! I feel so hungry now... LOL! Happy Days ((HUGS))

MiniMadWoman said...

Hello Pat and dear PenPal! I'm hugry!! LOL!!

Thanks for leaving such lovely comments on my blog! I've been going through yours too and I must say, I haven't been this hungry in years! LOL!! Everything looks so scrumptious!

My niece was in New York back in May and she loved it! I wouldn't be surprised if she up and moves there at some point.

I've also enjoyed your pictures of New York and your grandson is way too cute!

Looking forward to getting to know you better!

Take care,

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Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

You did great! And your step-by-step guide is really perfect.

I am totally The Lazy Kitchen these days! We're so busy with work it's all take out, all the time. Thank goodness for good (healthy!) take out in our neck of the woods or I'd be in SERIOUS trouble (re: fatter). :-)

Oliag said...

Yummy! I keep saying I'm going to try the Daring Cook Challenges but never seem to do it:( These look wonderful!

jen laceda said...

Oh yum!! I like fried dumplings a lot!! Thanks for the recipe, although I'm very insecure about my own dough-making skills. I think I'll just buy pre-made ones :)