I'm pretty sure this is a factor of the environment I grew up in: my parents shared their first date over Chinese food, and taught us kids to use chopsticks right alongside our knife and fork. When I was a little older, we hosted a Japanese exchange student, Yoko, who taught us how to fold origami flowers, how to make sticky rice, and to eat those little dried fish without grimacing.
I've never actually been to Asia, so I've never tasted real Asian food, but that doesn't stop me talking about it! I hope one day to make the trip, but until then, I'll keep reading books about Asian food, and chasing pork buns and dumplings all over every Chinatown.
Of all the appetizers we made on New Year's Eve, these were the most fun. My Aunt Amy, sister Rebecca, and I filled and formed the dumplings together, setting up a little assembly line, while Matt and Uncle Dan directed from the sidelines. Sure, the process is a little time-consuming, but its a fun activity to do with friends or kids (be warned, it could get messy!) and the product is definitely worth the effort.
These potstickers were amazing - and we didn't even change the recipe! We did double it, however, and if you love potstickers as much as we do, you should too!
Guy Fieri's Ginger Pork Potstickers
makes 12 to 18 potstickers (so double it!) from this Guy Fieri recipe
6 ounces ground pork, medium grind
1/4 cup white onion, finely diced
2 Tablespoons minced ginger
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion, plus more for garnish
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
12 - 18 round wonton wrappers or potsticker skins (we used square and just got creative!)
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon canola oil
Ponzu or soy sauce for dipping
Heat a small amount of canola oil over medium heat in a medium frying pan. When heated, add the pork, onion, ginger, and garlic and sauté until the pork is cooked, about 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add green onion, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly and set aside to cool.
In a medium stockpot over medium-high heat, bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and set beside the stovetop.
Place about 1 Tablespoon of the filling in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with the beaten egg and fold it in half to create a half-moon shape, pinching the edges tightly closed as you fold (don't overfill, or they'll come undone during boiling. Also, if your wrappers are square, you'll have to get creative with the shapes!). Set aside and repeat with the remaining wrappers.
Using a slotted spoon, lower the potstickers into the boiling water for one minute, or until they float to the top. Remove and place on the cooling rack to drain (try not to let your potstickers touch, or they'll stick to each other as they dry).
When all the potstickers are cooked and cooled, heat the canola oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the potstickers and cook without touching them until the bottoms are browned, about 4 minutes. Carefully remove the potstickers. Serve with ponzu sauce for dipping, and green onion to garnish.
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