Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Daring Cook: Potstickers!

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!

20 comments:

  1. Your dumplings are stunning, and I LOVE the shrimp combined with the scallops for the filling..sorry they were mushy though. I also love that used the Cahr Siu tofu, so ingenius for a vegetarian dumpling! Beautiful job, perfect pleating and browning too!

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  2. Was waiting for your posting - Marvellous work on this challenge and I think that your pleating is fabulous. The vegetarian version sounds great and it seems that you have plenty of experience with this recipe already. Wonderful pixs also. Nice colour on your potstickers. Bravo on this challenge and you are a marvellous cook and baker. Cheers from Audax in Australia.

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  3. Your dumplings look irresistible! Beautifully done!

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  4. Love your photos! Your dumplings and potstickers look great and sooooo delicious :)

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  5. Thank you all! It makes my day to read such lovely comments about my cooking! I can't wait until LittleGirl's nap so I can read some of YOUR posts!

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  6. What a wonderful job you've done with this challenge. Your dumplings and photos of them are fantastic.

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  7. MMMmm nice and chunky. Cute story. I will be back to read more. Nice work.

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  9. OOOOOhhh! Those tofu ones look right up my ally! Great job, I will have to bookmark the recipe for the next time I make them!

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  10. Gorgeous work! I love the golden brown color you achieved. It's so fun seeing what everyone did with the challenge :)

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  11. Okay, can I just tell you how much I love you for using roast pork style tofu? That is brilliant! Your dumplings are lovely and you did such a great job with the whole challenge. Congratulations on giving this challenge the smackdown! :)

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  12. Wonderful ideas of filling. Love the roast pork tofu filling so much. Great job!

    Regards
    Kris

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  13. Any cook that can make tofu look like char siu pork is aces in my book. Lovely job.

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  14. Mmmm... It looks really good! Very creative! Bravo!

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  15. Oh my goodness, your tofu filling is amazing. Can't wait to try it. And your potstickers look picture perfect and delicious.

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  16. Your dumplings are so crispy and look delicious! Great job on this challenge!

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  17. roast pork dumpling... YUUUMMMMMM.. great choice of filling. Just wished my partner can eat pork! I had to make it pork free, which is not real dumplings I say.. yours looked great!!

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  18. Yum!! Your dumplings look amazing =D. I love the filling you made!!

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  19. Everything looks amazing! Yup, you're right - having moved to India, I too feel slightly isolated, but now I can make my own dumplings!! =)

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