All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pot Stickers (鍋貼)

After the third attempt, the pot stickers (鍋貼) finally looking and tasting more presentable. I never had any problem making the dough or the pot stickers themselves. The problem lie in the cooking. A couple months ago, when I tried to make the pot stickers for the very first time, they got stuck to the pan, and we had no idea why that happened. When Wid and I were visiting my parents, Ma showed us how she cooked the potstickers, and I wanted to see if I can try out what I learned. Thursday night we made some pot stickers. The filling consisted of pork, Chinese chives, a bit of sesame oil, salt, water, and soy sauce. I wanted to have some shrimp added to the mixture, but we didn't have any in the house. The dough was the so called hot dough which consisted of flour, boiling water, and cold water. Making the pot stickers was time consuming but relatively easy, but when it came to the cooking, things started to go wrong. The pot stickers were stuck to each other before going into the pan. I though the dough was too wet and others suspected the juice from the meat mixture seeped into the dough making everything stickier. Too much oil was added to the pan, and someone kept moving the pot stickers during the cooking so the bottom didn't get to brown. Then I added the flour/water/sesame oil/vinegar mixture, but it was thought that not enough liquid was in the pot so more water was added. In the end, while the pot stickers didn't get stuck to the pan like the first time, the texture was not correct either. The bottom was not crunchy and golden brown enough and the top was too soggy.

I had some dough and meat mixture left over so I tried again next day for lunch. This time the plate holding the pot stickers were coated with plenty of flour to prevent the pieces sticking to each other or to the plate. I tried to lessen the amount of oil this time, and I laid the pieces in a more orderly manner once the oil and the pan were hot. I waited until the bottom started to brown, and I checked to make sure the pieces were not sticking to the pan before adding half a cup of water and covered the pan. The pot stickers were allowed to cook for about 6 minutes, and then I made sure most of the water evaporated before taking the pot stickers out. In the end the pot stickers were getting a bit stuck to the pan, but we were able to remove all of them from the pan without the bottom getting fixed on the pan.

Wid made the dipping sauce which consisted of soy sauce, water, vinegar, and ginger. The end result is the following:

Wid suggested to add a bit of minced ginger into the meat mixture, and I think that'll be quite good. I'll also add shrimp to the mix. I think the lack of shrimp made the meat filling tasted a bit too dry. Wid's mom was telling me about the time she saw a dumpling master making dumplings/pot stickers. She seemed very impressed, and I wouldn't mind seeing a professional do it.

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