One of my favorite late night snacks is potstickers, or gyoza. From freezer to table in less than 15 minutes with NO WORK whatsoever– just put them in the pan and let ’em cook! But why buy a bag from the store when you can MAKE them SO MUCH CHEAPER and SO MUCH BETTER??
I’m serious. It’s not hard (TWSS). My photos will look slightly off scale because I made a double batch, which I recommend to stock your freezer (a single batch makes about 60). Here’s your ingredients:
- Half head napa cabbage
- One pound ground pork
- Half pound shrimp
- Two and a half inch piece of ginger
- Two cloves garlic
- Four scallions
- Three tablespoons soy sauce
- One egg
- One package won ton wrappers (round)
I’d already chopped the cabbage and set it in the colander at this point (and I totally forgot the egg); it needs about 20 minutes to rest with the salt. After about 20 minutes it will release some of its water. Squeeze it out pretty good; the more water you get out of it the less you’ll have watering down your dumplings when you cook them. It doesn’t look as pretty all wilty, but it will taste great.
Chop yer stuff. The shrimp should basically have the same texture as the ground pork; chop it good. Mince the garlic, scallions, and ginger. I didn’t have enough fresh ginger so I added a little of the jarred stuff.
Mix ALL THE THINGS together in a bowl.
That’s it! You’re ready to wrap. Grab your wrappers, a small bowl of water, a few wet paper towels, and a large sheet pan (or other large flat object you can put into the freezer: cutting board, platter, whatever you have on hand). You need to keep the wrappers covered with the wet paper towels or they will dry out and start tearing when you try to fold them. Trust me, folding is frustrating enough with nice and doughy wrappers, you don’t want dry ones.
Put about a teaspoon of filling on each wrapper. As you get better, you may be able to put a bit more on each wrapper. You don’t want to get tears or gaps, though, as that will compromise the integrity of the dumpling in the pan. Keep the extra wrappers covered with a wet paper towel.
Wet half the wrapper along the edge, bring opposite wet and dry edges together and pinch at the top to seal the middle. Then pleat one side at a time. Everyone acts like wrapping is some huge accomplishment that is so difficult to master. It’s not, really. It’s like pleating a pie crust. You just tuck a bit up, press it, tuck a bit more and press. Then do the other side. Pleating will give you the traditional potsticker crescent shape.
Really, though, you can just fold them over and seal them and they will taste just as good. The pleat-style allows for a little more filling, I’ve found, and creates a nice flat bottom for browning. But any way you seal it, as long as it is sealed firmly and has a surface you can cook, is fine.
As you make the potstickers, transfer them to your pan and cover them with another wet paper towel. You don’t want them to dry out. Once you get a whole pan filled, take the paper towels off and transfer the pan to the freezer. Give them an hour or so to freeze, then pop them off and into sealed plastic bags.
Now you have potstickers, WHENEVER YOU WANT THEM!!! And they are DELICIOUS and HOMEMADE!! You are a GENIUS!!
To cook the potstickers, brush a pan with oil and heat it to medium high. Put one layer of potstickers in (making sure not to crowd them, LIKE I DID) and cook for five minutes, or until brown on the bottom. I don’t move them, I just leave them alone.
Add a half cup water to the pan, turn to low, cover, and steam ten minutes until dumplings are vaguely translucent.
Remove lid, return to medium high, and cook until water is gone and bottoms are crispy again.
Now about not crowding the pan– see how they kind of puffed up? Well, I put them all too close together in my haste to get as many as possible into my mouth. Then I moved the pan a bit and they ended up touching each other and MELDING into one big potsticker. I didn’t even let them finish cooking because I could tell they were A WRECK.
When I took them out, they were all naked little meatballs and empty skins instead of crunchy-on-the-bottom, noodly-on-the-top dumplings.
Once again, do as I say, not as I do. NO PAN CROWDING!
- Making potstickers is easy
- Folding them does not need to be stressful
- Don’t crowd the pan!!!
I dip mine in a combo of Trader Joe’s Gyoza sauce with a spoon of chili-garlic paste mixed in for heat.
Go forth, and fill your freezer with potstickers for daaaaays.