Tag Archives: Dumplings

Broccoli potstickers

Sometimes I have to scrape and scrabble for recipe inspiration. And sometimes the ideas just float by uninvited. This was one of the easy ones: I was sitting around on a lazy Saturday, minding my own business, when two words suddenly popped up and took hold in my mind. Broccoli. Potstickers.

It’s hard to resist a sudden inspiration like that, and I didn’t even try. I already had a half-used package of wonton wrappers left over from making ravioli, and some broccoli that needed to get used. Riffing off of my turkey potstickers from Christmas, I steamed the broccoli and pulsed it in the food processor with scallions, ginger, garlic, and a mishmash of tried-and-true flavorings. Once again, folding and pleating the potstickers was slow, sticky work, and about halfway through I wondered why I’d gotten myself into this. But the payoff, unsurprisingly, was huge.

These suckers are addictive. There’s the familiar greenness of broccoli, mixed with the hot spark of fresh ginger and the soothing saltiness of hoisin and soy, all in one crispy-soft bite. I’m a broccoli fiend anyway, so these hit the spot with me, but even those who are suspicious of broccoli will very likely enjoy these. With the wonton wrappers, the potstickers came out bite-sized, perfect for dunking and munching one after the other after the other. Because there’s no meat or tofu to weigh these down, they feel almost insubstantial, which makes them effortless to eat. I was going to freeze half my batch for later, but I never got the chance, because Sam and I ate them all.

As far as dipping sauce options, anything light and soy-based would do terrifically here. My favorite dipping sauce–the one in the photo below–is just equal parts soy sauce and rice vinegar. I pinched a little of the chopped scallion from making the filling, added it to the sauce, then let the whole thing sit aside and mingle while the potstickers cooked. It was perfect. Highly recommended.

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Turkey potstickers

Things I learned while making potstickers for the first time:

  1. Homemade potstickers are totally worth it–if you’re patient.
  2. If the ground pork at the supermarket looks questionable, ground turkey makes a fine dumpling substitute.
  3. Supermarket round dumpling wrappers are convenient, but finicky as hell. They will tear at the least provocation. Be gentle, or go to an Asian grocery store for honest-to-goodness potsticker wrappers.
  4. Don’t do this on a weeknight. Make a stir-fry or something instead. Otherwise you will be lonely, exhausted, and cornstarch-covered at 11 PM.
  5. Don’t do this alone. Enlist your friends. Have a potsticker-pleating party. Save the wine for afterward.
  6. Speaking of pleats: they don’t have to be flawless. The goal is to seal the filling in and create a flat bottom for the pan, not to replicate the greasy perfection of your favorite Chinese restaurant. If you can pleat the perfect crescent dumpling, you are more impressive than I.
  7. Overstuffing is death. Think torn wrappers, gummy fingers, and raw meat everywhere. Don’t be like me–measure your filling.
  8. You can freeze the dumplings before cooking, using the old baking sheet-to-zip-top bag trick. If you’re cooking the potstickers straight from the freezer, be warned: they will spit and spatter something fierce. Act accordingly.
  9. The secret to great homemade potstickers? A nonstick pan. Who’da thunk.
  10. As with so many things in life, these are best fresh from the pan. Soft on top, juicy in the middle, crusty and dark on the bottom. I believe the verdict from my dinner guests was “addictive.”
  11. My friends will eat as many potstickers as I can put in front of them. There is no limit. See point 10.

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