I love my sister themed week, it lets me break out of the mold of Italian recipes and into my other experiments in the kitchen. This was an experiment that I tried out a few months ago that came out wonderfully!! I had never thought that making pot-stickers would be as easy as it was, making the dumpling wrappers was messy and took a while, but they were far easier than I had thought, with my fear of anything doughy.
I was inspired by a post on Mark Bitman’s blog Bitten and since I often crave fried dumplings, I figured that I would try to make them myself instead of standing outside of Hang Zhou in Monti for an hour before being seated, and then waiting an hour to get the food that I had ordered (it is worth it though). Finding the ingredients in Rome was, again, less of a challenge than I had expected. There is a Korean market on Via Cavour in Monti that had the sesame oil and rice wine vinegar that I was looking for, the veggies and the meat were easy enough to find at my local grocery store.
Here are a few different takes for making the wrappers, or you can just buy them already made.
Dumpling Wrappers from Bitten
Put 2 cups flour into a food processor, set it spinning and pour in 1 cup boiling — yes, boiling — water. Run until it comes together. Knead into a ball and set aside, wrapped up, to cool.
You can either get someone to teach you how to roll out the perfect wrapper with a doll-sized rolling pin, tapered edges and all, or you can use that hand-cranked pasta machine that you bought fifteen years ago, which is what I did, except that mine is twice that age. Breaking off handball sized pieces, roll the dough to the third-from-thinnest setting (at least that was the setting on my machine) and use a 3-1/2-inch cookie cutter to produce circles. This hot-water dough is very rollable (but not very stretchable), and scraps can be combined and re-rolled without getting strange, so there will be no waste.
More Dumpling Wrappers from Grace Young for epicurious.com
Measure 3/4 cup boiling water into a glass measuring cup and cool for 10 minutes. Place 2 cups flour in a medium bowl. Add the hot water and stir until the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Lightly dust your hands with flour and work the mixture for a few seconds at a time, as the mixture will be very hot, to form a dough. Turn onto a work surface that has been lightly dusted with about 1 tablespoon flour, and knead briefly for 5 minutes with lightly floured hands, adding more flour if necessary, until smooth. Cover with a slightly damp cloth and allow to rest for 1 hour.
After the dough has rested, continue kneading 5 more minutes on a lightly floured surface. The dough should be elastic, smooth and not sticky. Roll the dough into an even rope about 15 inches long. Cut the rope into 1/2-inch pieces to form about 30 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each ball with a rolling pin that has been lightly dusted with flour into 3-inch rounds, rolling from the center to the edges, making the center slightly thicker and the edges thinner. Cover all unused dough with a slightly damp cloth. (I rolled them out like I would to make biscuits, a little thinner, and cut the rounds out with the top of a glass).
Pork Pot Stickers by Ming Tsai for epicurious.com
- 1/4 small head Napa cabbage, finely chopped (about 2 cups; 7 ounces)
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon for seasoning
- 1/3 pound ground pork (not too lean)
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (from 1/2-inch knob)
- 1 small carrot, coarsely shredded (about 2 tablespoons)
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
- 1/2 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup canola oil
In large bowl, toss together cabbage and 3/4 teaspoon salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Transfer to clean dish towel or cheesecloth, gather ends together, and twist to squeeze out as much water as possible. Wipe bowl clean, then return cabbage to it. Add pork, ginger, carrots, scallions, and garlic and stir to combine.
In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg, then stir into cabbage-pork mixture. Stir in pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.
On dry surface, lay out 1 wrapper, keeping remaining wrappers covered with dampened cloth or paper towel. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into center, then moisten halfway around edge with wet finger. Fold moisture-free half of wrapper over moistened half to form open half-moon shape. To seal, using thumb and forefinger of one hand, form 6 tiny pleats along unmoistened edge of wrapper, pressing pleats against moistened border to enclose filling. Moistened border will stay smooth and will automatically curve in semicircle. Stand dumpling, seam-side up, on baking sheet and gently press to flatten bottom. Cover loosely with dampened cloth or paper towel. Form remaining dumplings in same manner.
In 10-inch, lidded, non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking, then remove from heat and arrange pot stickers in tight circular pattern standing up in oil (they should touch one another). Cook, uncovered, until bottoms are pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, tilting skillet to distribute, then cover tightly with lid and cook until liquid has evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons more water if skillet looks dry before bottoms are browned. Remove lid and cook, shaking skillet to loosen pot stickers, until steam dissipates, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert large plate with rim over skillet. Using pot holders, hold plate and skillet together and invert skillet. Remove skillet and serve pot stickers warm.
Dim Sum Dipper by Ming Tsai for epicurious.com
- 2 tablespoons sambal
- 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
In a small bowl, combine the sambal, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Mix and use or store.