I went to graduate school in St. Louis, MO. My parents have lived in New York for a long time now. For several years, I drove between St. Louis and New York for the big-deal holidays. One year, I got in from a long day of driving and my mom had made potstickers, which she has done regularly, if infrequently, most of my life. I ate a big plate-full and then sat there chatting, dipping my spoon into the bowl of dipping sauce until my mother told me to stop drinking the salt.
I love potstickers. I love potsticker dipping sauce. I love making them (like here and here).
So imagine my thrill when Jen from UseRealButter announced that the June challenge was to make potstickers by hand. As in, even the wrappers by hand, something that had, quite honestly, never occurred to me as an actual possibility. But really? It was fun and not that much more work than using pre-made wrappers in the end. Thanks, Jen!
Freedom reigned in choice of filling and I chose two: a shrimp/scallop one that was hurt by mushy scallops and the Chinese-roast-pork-style tofu previously mentioned.
I tried to time most of the prep work to coincide with LittleGirl's nap. It almost worked. I got the fillings and the dough made, and my workspace set up before she slept, but very few wrappers were rolled and filled before the inevitable sounds of waking toddler filled the house. She was excited about watching the process for a short time, but then wandered off to play with her insects. Always fun.
Once again, I pulled out my amazing rolling-jar, but unlike my experience with the strudel dough, which did not respond well to the jar, the potsticker wrappers thought my jar was just the right size. And so did I. The rolling went smoothly and I worked out most of the kinks in the pleating process about half way into the job.
They all looked pretty once they were fried, though! Gorgeous golden bottoms make ugly pleats go away. The char siu style tofu potstickers were very tasty, although they suffered from the same over-sweetness as the tofu on its own. The seafood potstickers needed to have a bit more bite to them, both in terms of flavor and texture. I've made a similar filling before, with larger chunks of shrimp and scallop and they were much, much better.
The best result of this challenge was that I now know that, no matter how isolated this foodie gets, I can always have good potstickers by making my own wrappers! Again, thanks, Jen!