Dim Sum: Vegetarian Pot Stickers


Happy Chinese New Year! It is the Year of the Rabbit, a kinder and gentler year, according to Chinese Astrology. I, myself, am a Monkey – no smart remarks, thank you. To celebrate, I’m trying out several dim sum style dishes, and I’m starting with Vegetarian Pot Stickers.

The concept of dim sum is similar to Spanish tapas: lots of little plates and tastes. It’s a wonderful way to try out different flavors and textures, and to stretch your cultural palate. For me, the problem with going out to a dim sum restaurant, is that it’s tough to find dumplings and pot stickers and so on, that aren’t filled with pork or some sort of seafood.

I decided that if I’m going to get to indulge in this delectable form of Chinese cuisine with abandon, I’d have to learn to make it myself. And you know what? It’s not particularly difficult to make at home, either. You can buy egg roll and won ton wrappers in pretty much any grocery store, and while there are traditional fillings, there’s no reason you can’t create your own, or modify the recipes to suit your own needs and tastes.


Vegetarian Pot Stickers
(makes 24 – double or triple recipe as needed)

Ingredients:

24 won ton wrappers

8 oz. mushrooms (your choice – I used half whites & half baby portobellos)
1 Tbs. tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp. sriracha hot sauce
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1 tsp. fresh garlic (pressed through a garlic press)
2 scallions, white & green parts, roughly chopped

A little cornstarch
A little vegetable oil
1 cup water, divided

Special equipment: 10″ skillet with a tight-fitting lid, small bowl of water

Preparation:
Add all of the ingredients (except the wrappers, cornstarch, oil, and water) to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mushrooms are finely minced and all of the ingredients are well combined. It will help if you’ve given the mushrooms a bit of a rough chop first, or if you use pre-sliced mushrooms.

Place a won ton wrapper on your work surface, turned so that it appears to be a diamond shape. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper.

Dip a fingertip into the bowl of water and trace along the two edges farthest from you. Bring up the end closest to you, fold over the filling, and pinch the edges together to seal. Make sure you’ve gently pressed the wrapper around the filling so there are no air pockets.

Stand up your little triangle pocket so that the filling side sits on your work surface. Fold the top point down, away from you, and pinch. Now, give the edges on either side of that fold 2 little pleats and pinch. Your pot sticker will now look like it has wings. Place it on a large plate that’s been dusted with a bit of cornstarch, to prevent sticking.

Heat the skillet over medium-high heat. Brush just a few drops of oil onto the hot pan surface, and place 12 of the pot stickers, upright, into the pan. Allow the bottoms to brown. Carefully add 1/2 cup water to the pan and cover it quickly. Cook for about 3-4 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove the pot stickers immediately to another plate to keep warm, and repeat the procedure with the rest of the uncooked ones.

Notes:

Traditionally, pot stickers are made with round dumpling wrappers, so if you have them, you can skip the part about folding the top point down. You still have to pleat, though. :-)

Feel like you have to have meat? Substitute 4 oz. of ground chicken (or pork, if you must) for half of the mushrooms, just don’t run it through the food processor. Mix the processed ingredients with the ground chicken thoroughly and fill the wrappers as before. Add a full cup of water (instead of 1/2 cup) to the pan, and steam until the water evaporates, about 5-6 minutes.

Wouldn’t it be fun to do up a bunch of these for your Super Bowl party?

By RJ Flamingo

18 Comments

  1. 1
    February 3, 2011

    love potstickers but don't make them at home – kudos to you girl, these look divine!!!

  2. 2
    February 3, 2011

    I really love pot stickers! The year of the rabbit is supposed to be a hard one for horses like me…

  3. 3
    February 3, 2011

    Got same issue with going out for dumplings. Made them before and love them, should try your vegetarian version, I made them with chicken. Looks yum!

  4. 4
    February 3, 2011

    FABU job girl! These look awesome! I can only get round wrappers if I drive to my nearest Asian market (25 minutes away), or make them myself. So if I buy them, I buy the square ones and use a large biscuit cutter to cut them into squares–works perfectly!

  5. 5
    February 3, 2011

    Yum! These look great and love that you used Sriracha.We invite you to share this post and some of your favorite posts on Food Frenzy.Please check out our community at http://blogstew.net/foodfrenzy

  6. 6
    February 3, 2011

    I love potstickers! My daughter always wants me to buy the big bag at Costco. I took a Chinese (collage)class once (years and years ago) and my group was in charge of the potstickers and we made what seemed like a million. Haven't made a potsticker since. :(

  7. 7
    February 3, 2011

    One of my all time favorites, Renee! I love love love having these, but have to psych myself up to make them. Easy–but tedious. Yours look fabulous and I love the meat free version!

  8. 8
    February 3, 2011

    We are having a Chinese New Year's party this weekend and I think we will have to try your pot stickers, thanks for your version. One of our party games is to actually make pot stickers, going to be a lot of hands in the kitchen this weekend, should be a lot of fun.

  9. 9
    February 3, 2011

    LOVE LOVE LOVE pot stickers. My favorite lazy meal is steamed dumplings from the local carry-out place. But, they really aren't hard. Will have to try your veggie version. Yum.

  10. 10
    February 4, 2011

    Congratulations on making some beautiful looking pot stickers! You go girl!

  11. 11
    February 4, 2011

    These look pawesome yummy! I am going to stumble them too!

  12. 12
    February 5, 2011

    These look so good, Renee! I have never made potstickers before. Will have to try them! Happy New Year! Did you know for us Viets, it's the Year of the Cat?

  13. 13
    February 5, 2011

    Happy Year of the Rabbit! I'm impressed that you made them yourself. Unfortunately, we don't have any decent Chinese restaurants near where I live and I've been wanting to try for years. Perhaps this is the time.

  14. 14
    February 7, 2011

    Lovely recipe. I too buy square wrappers and cut them round. It’s easier and I tend to find square wrappers more often than round ones. Thanks for the recipe.

  15. 15
    February 10, 2011

    Love what you've done with these veggie pot stickers, and you've made it all look so very easy and manageable. I'm totally pumped now to follow your technique and experiment with flavors, starting with your lovely filling mix.

  16. 16
    February 13, 2011

    Hey Renée! I would like to happily announce that you have been chosen (by me) to win the "Stylish Blogger Award". It was recently awarded to me and it's time to pay-it-forward. To learn more and find out further deatils, please visit: http://kudoskitchenbyrenee.blogspot.com/2011/02/my-first-stylish-blogger-award.htmlCongratulations my friend :)

  17. 17
    February 14, 2011

    ooh wee, Renee, I love me some pot stickers. I eat a lot of pan fried dumplings at PF Chang's…. Love them.

  18. 18
    February 15, 2011

    This is my favorite. I find it simple to make and it is really delicious.

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