Ah! The day I discovered pot stickers: I was introduced to these fancy dumplings by a close Malaysian friend of mine who also shares my fascination with food from around the world. She told me about a restaurant off Liverpool Street in London called Ping Pong who apparently churned out these steamed parcels all day and night.
It happened to be Chinese New Year 2013 celebrations that weekend, so when we discovered that Ping Pong were also throwing together ‘Dumpling Classes’ to celebrate the year of the Snake, we signed up straight away. In the end we didn’t end up going…pretty much how most of my adventures with my friend ended up, but I did manage to persuade another friend of mine to try the restaurant out. Setting: Ping Pong Restaurant; In the midst of our discourse about the failing economy, social injustice and men our intense conversation was interrupted by these delicate yet crispy parcels correctly entitled Gyoza’s. Here begginneth my relationship with the Pot Sticker.
½ cup (or 4) Spring Onions finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
2 cups Chinese white cabbage, finely shredded
1 cup carrots, grated
2-3 garlic cloves chopped
1 sachet black bean sauce (120g)
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 package round gyoza skins or wonton wrappers (around 30)
Salt to taste
1 egg (whisked) or water (in a bowl)
Vegetable Stock cube or jelly
In a Wok or large saute pan, add a little oil and saute garlic and ginger. Add the mushrooms and stir.
Add the cabbage, carrots and onion. Keep frying until the mixture is soft, and then place in colander to drain. Save the drained liquid.
Stir in the black bean sauce little by little, just enough to taste, you don’t want soggy vegetables or a puddle of black bean juice.
Add the sesame oil when mixture is cooled. Check for seasoning. Set aside to cool down.
Lightly flour your chopping or side board.
Take a gyoza skin, lay flat on board. Take a level teaspoon of the vegetables making sure you get a good mix and place in centre of circle.
Then take egg wash or water and wash the circumference of the skin (always wanted to say that word).
Now fold the wrapper in half like an envelope, sealing it to form a half-moon shape, keeping the bottom flat.
Then pinching the corner (I start with the right) fold the corner inwards, like making a paper fan, pressing each fold gently.
In a hot non-stick pan, coat with oil and place dumplings.
When bottom gets brown, mix together the drained liquid from earlier with the vegetable stock jelly (should make up 1/4 cup of liquid all together), taste and add water if necessary.
Pour over the frying dumplings and cover immediately.
This will steam the dumplings. Carefully watch the dumplings and completely evaporate the water so that the bottom gets crispy again and sticks to the pot.
Serve with Soya Sauce or any dipping sauce of your choice.