Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Daring Cooks Challenge-Potstickers

I'm sure most of you have heard of Daring Bakers. If you haven't, they are a group of ridiculously talented food bloggers who are brave enough to participate in baking challenges once a month. That is not me. Yes, I do bake but my baking skill level is fine, definitely not "daring." Daring Cooks on the other hand? Count me in! I recently joined The Daring Kitchen and was thrilled when Jen from Use Real Butter announced our June challenge...Potstickers. I have posted about potstickers before and make them often. However, I always use premade wrappers and in this challenge we had to make our own. Cool. I also usually make my potstickers with ground pork but I loved Jen's shrimp and pork potstickers so I went with that. Good choice on my part, the combination is fantastic. Just to change things up a bit I decided to steam some of the potstickers and deep fry a batch. They were both delicious but the deep fried potstickers looked like little flowers or purses so they win just because.

I'm so happy to be a part of The Daring Kitchen and this challenge was so much fun. I highly doubt I'll ever go back to using premade wrappers again. I was a little concerned about the whole pleating process but after a little practice it's not that difficult. Okay, so mine certainly don't look uber professional but I did it, they all stayed together while cooking and in my world, that equals success! A couple of things to note when making your own wrappers I found is they have to be rolled as thinly as possible. Also, the initial "pinch" is the most important part of pleating. Make sure that first pinch stays together and you're good to go. Finally, don't overfill the wrappers and trust me, you'll want to. Especially when you're getting close to using up all of your filling you will get excited but resist the temptation to overfill. You'll thank me later. With the first challenge down, I can't wait to hear what the next one will involve. Thanks for the inspiration Jen!

Recipe inspired by Use Real Butter: (Jen has a great tutorial on Use Real Butter so click here if you get confused)

Dough: (I had leftover dough which I froze for later use, otherwise simply double the filling recipe.)
2 cups flour
1/2 cup water

Place flour in a mixing bowl. Slowly add the water stirring with a wooden spoon until the dough comes into a ball. You may need to use more or less water so start with less. Once the dough forms a ball, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for about 2 minutes. The dough should be firm and sticky. Cover the dough and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut the dough into 4 pieces. Roll the dough into 1 1/4" strips. Then, cut off 1" pieces of the dough. Shape the pieces into discs and flatten with your hands. Roll the dough into circles, about 3" around. Place about 1 teaspoon of your filling into the center of your dough. Now, if you haven't already, definitely click here to see the pleating process. There is no way I could explain it better :)

10 shrimp, raw, deveined
1/4 lb ground pork
3 tablespoons chives, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sweet chili sauce
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mince shrimp very finely. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. I like to refrigerate the mixture for about an hour but it's not necessary. After all of your potstickers are made, heat your pan to medium heat with about 3 tablespoons oil, such as grapeseed or canola. Place your potstickers into the hot oil making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry the potstickers for about 5 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Once browned, VERY carefully add 1/2 cup water water to the pan. Cover the pan and steam the potstickers for about 10 minutes (the water should be bubbling the entire time.) When the water has evaporated, remove the lid and allow the potstickers to fry another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and serve. I like to serve the pan fried potstickers with a mixture of soy sauce and rice vinegar with a side of sambal chili sauce.

Alternately, if you want to deep fry the potstickers, heat 3" of grapeseed or canola oil to 350 degrees in a heavy bottom deep skillet or deep fryer. Place the gyoza into the hot oil. Fry on one side for about 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Flip the potstickers and fry another 8-10 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towel. Serve with sweet chili sauce.

Makes about 20 potstickers.


Lisa said...

Welcome to Daring Kitchen and what a lovely job you did on your dumplings! They look gorgeous and so delicious! Kudos on a first challenge well done!

Margie said...

Your potstickers look professional to me. If only I had known that the first pinch was critical!

Jen Yu said...

What a total trooper you are and a gorgeous job there on your first challenge. I am really impressed! Welcome to the Daring Cooks :)

LittleRed said...

They look beautiful in both presentations! Great job!

Audax said...

Two ways of pleating excellent work and this is your 1st challenge - barvo and kudos to you from Audax.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think your dumplings look very professional. Congrats on a wonderful job!

Laura said...

Your dumplings look great! The deep-fried purses are so cute. Great job!

Chris said...

Love the deep fried version - they do look like little purses!
And I'm gonna have to say - I agree with buying pre-made wrappers. Fun to do once, but I'd rather focus on the filling. :)

Olga said...

Completely agree with you on how fun this challenge was!

Andrea Meyers said...

Oh they look great! I bet those deep fried dumplings were delightfully crispy.

Delicious Dishings said...

Great job on this challenge! Your potstickers look sooo crispy and delicious!

Mary Bergfeld said...

You did a wonderful job with your dumplings. Kudos.

Madeline said...

Wow, thank you every one for such kind words and lovely support! You all have made me even happier to be a part of Daring Cooks :) I had so much fun with this challenge. Boo for store bought wrappers. Never again!

Anonymous said...

Yum! Deep fried dumplings, I can find very little wrong with that delicious concept. Welcome to daring cooks, I can already tell you are a cooking force to be reckoned with. You should know that the photo of the poached egg on the header of your blog practically made me drool!

Simones Kitchen said...

Congratulations on your first challenge! You did a great job! You're one of the first people I read about that are actually continuing with selfmade rather then going back to the storebought wrappers.... Guess we're all too lazy.. :)

Rose said...

Great job!!!!!! Your potstickers look marvelous :)

We Are Not Martha said...

Ooh I don't know how daring I am, but ehse look awesome. Maybe I will be daring enough to try :) :)


ice tea: sugar high said...

Great job on your first challenge. Those dumplings look fantastic

Evan said...

Impressive. The deep-fried ones look particularly good.

Madeline said...

Thanks for such a nice comment Frenchitbd!

Thanks Junglefrog :) I just think they taste so much better. I like the texture better as well. I make homemade perogies and when I do, I take a day and make a huge batch and freeze them so that's what I'll do with potstickers too.

Thanks Rose, Evan, Sues and Ice Tea!

Oh, and Sues, I've seen some of things you girls come up with, these will be a cinch for you ;)

Anonymous said...

These turned out great! I too cheat and use store bought wonton wrappers - I may have to give this one a go!

Madeline said...

Thanks Biz319! I highly recommend you try making your own wrappers. While it is more work, it really is worth it :) Let me know if you try them.

Unknown said...

You should try grilling your potstickers on the BBQ - AMAZING!

So glad to find your blog.

Imageglow Candles

Madeline said...

Hi Linda, I would have never thought of potstickers on the BBQ. I'll have to give that a try. I'm glad you found my blog too! :)

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