Wednesday, January 14, 2009

CSA week six - Potstickers, part 1

Usually I put the non-English name in the subject line to foster a little suspense before you click through and find out what I'm talking about. Not this time, though. Potstickers are both a Japanese (gyoza) and Chinese (jiaozi) thing and my standard method of cobbling together recipe from a bunch of different ones gave me something with elements of both.

The "part 1" is because I decided to make my own wrappers and had some difficulty. It sounds easy enough: mix two cups flour with one cup boiling water (The hot water improves the dough's ductility.), knead briefly, roll out in the pasta machine that's been sitting in the back of a cabinet unused for the last five years and cut into 3" diameter circles. But that two to one flour/water ratio gave me an intractably sticky dough no matter how much more flour I added and now my pasta machine is all gunked up and it looks like it's going to be a pain in the butt to clean.

I should have known better, really. Using a new gadget never works right the first time out and that's just when a dough will decide to defy all laws of culinary science and do whatever it wants. Fine, I need to go to the Asian grocery to restock on ramen anyway; I'll pick up some ready-made gyoza wrappers (or wonton wrapper at least) and finish this up tomorrow.

But for now there's still the filling which turned out fine. I used:

3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
6 garlic chives, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 pound shrimp
1 pound pork
6 small dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked
3 Tablespoons light soy sauce
2 Tablespoons dry rice wine
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
1 large egg
salt and pepper to taste

I sprinkled the cabbage with salt and let it sit for 20 minutes to purge a bit of water. Otherwise the dumplings get soggy I understand. But I used too much salt and had to rinse it off so it may have added all of the water back in. But it looked like substantially less volume after I wrung it out, so maybe not.

Everything but the vegetables went into the food processor and got processed to a fairly smooth paste. Then I folded in the vegetables and put it into the refrigerator to firm up and be easier to work with.

One of the recipes I found suggested boiling a spoonful of the mix to check for seasoning before starting the wrapping. Pretty good idea; the wrapper dough has no salt so it's easy to underestimate the seasoning the filling requires. I ended up adding more salt, pepper and sesame oil and I'm still not sure I'm entirely happy with it.

So, that stays in the fridge until tomorrow. The dough I'm saving too--it may not want to be noodles, but maybe it'll make a decent loaf of bread. Right now, I have to order a pizza.


kat said...

Bummer about your wrappers they can be tricky though, next time I'll buy mine as well. Your filling sounds great

LaDivaCucina said...

I'm making the chive pork dumplings too, but gow gee instead of pot stickers! Check back later, I give your blog a shout out!

billjac said...

Gow gee are pretty much the same filling, just steamed instead of pot-stuck, right? I'll check your blog to see if you've got any insight on dealing with the wrappers before I try again tonight.

LaDivaCucina said...

right! I won't be posting until after I make dinner tonight but I'm making with the pre-made wrappers I bought at PK the other day. I admire your courage on making your own though!

LaDivaCucina said...

The dumplings turned out tasting very authentic! And I gave a shout out and link to your blog. : )