In Vancouver’s China Town, there was a place, whose name I’ve long forgotten, where I often downed bowls of steaming broth with barbequed duck and pot stickers that were quite simply Zen. It was a starving art student’s dream! This is my interpretation…
1 pkg. Wonton Wrappers (square ones)
1 lb. Hamburger or Ground Pork or Ground Turkey
(or a mix of any two or three to total 1 lb.)
The China Town pot stickers were definitely pork. I usually opt for beef at home as it’s less fat than the pork and ground turkey if I’m on a health kick.
½ small Onion, minced
If you’ve got them green onions are better than a bulb onion.
1” piece minced Fresh Ginger or 1 tsp. Ginger Powder
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. Sesame Oil
2 cups Chicken or Beef Broth
Olive Oil for Frying
Brown your meat of choice with the onions. When the onions are soft, add the remaining ingredients. Cook for a few minutes. Let the meat mix cool so that you can handle it.
Lay out the wonton wrappers 4 – 6 at a time. Any more than that and they’ll dry out before you can get them stuffed and sealed. I lay mine on a wooden cutting board. Have a small bowl of cold water on the side. Put 1 tsp. or so of the meat mix on each wonton square. With the tip of your finger, run water along two sides. Fold the wrapper over, dry-edged side to wet-edged side. You’ll have a little triangle of stuffed with meat. Set aside and continue.
It’s a fussy business that requires a Zen state of mind.
Lightly flour a large platter to place the first layer of stuffed wontons onto. For the next layer, put down some plastic wrap. You can’t put the stuffed wonton wrappers ontop of each other, they’ll stick. Once you’ve stuffed as many wrappers as you want proceed with the next step.
(I usually do the entire wonton pack, this takes me about an hour, and I freeze some. For freezing, put the wontons on a lightly floured plate, single layer and freeze solid. Once they’re solid, you can take them off the plate and plonk them all in a plastic freezer bag. They won’t stick to each other once they’re frozen. When I want to use them I toss a handful or so into broth with a few veggies and VOILA wonton soup.)
For the potstickin’ step, you’ll need a fry pan and a pot. Heat the broth in a pot. Splash Olive oil in a frying pan set on medium heat. Lay the potstickers into the hot oil. Don’t crowd them. When brown on one side, turn and brown the other. Add 1/2 ladle-full of hot broth to the browned potstickers. It will sizzle and bubble and produce a dramatic steaming show so stand back!!! Let the broth evaporate and dump the potstickers onto a serving platter. If you’re doing a bunch, then put them in the oven on low until you’ve done them all.
Repeat, splash of oil into the fry pan, more potstickers to be browned, more broth…etc.
Serve with a simple dipping sauce
1 part Soy Sauce,
1 part White Wine,
½ part Water,
Optional; A pinch of Garlic Greens or Chives
*** You can grow your own garlic greens very easily. I learned the technique from a Japanese Eau Pair. Fill one empty Styrofoam egg carton up with water, half way or slightly less in each cavity. Place one peeled garlic clove in each cavity and put in a sunny location. If you’ve got cats, make sure the carton is beyond their reach. Over the course of a week or two, the tops of the garlic cloves will sprout a single green leaf that will resemble a blade of grass. Let the green bit grow 4” – 6” long, then snip, and use as a tasty garnish.