Mariel here. Many moons ago, my husband and I spent an incredible year living in Hong Kong. We were in our mid-20s, unmarried and unmoored from all those wonderful anchors of adulthood. Feeling restless and in search of adventure, we both decided to part with our jobs and experience life away from the east coast, so we bought plane tickets and booked a hotel room in Causeway Bay…for 3 nights. I’m not exaggerating when I say that’s the extent of our pre-departure plan-making. It turned out to be one of the best years of our entire lives and later, after returning to New York, we flew back to Hong Kong to get engaged. For me, it’s a magical place. It’s the place where I finally became what I wanted to be – a writer - I shacked up with the love of my life, and I reconnected with my past love, horseback riding.
It’s also the place where I cultivated a deep and abiding love for dumplings. Romantic…I know.
You can’t throw a stone in Hong Kong without hitting a delicious dim sum dive; there is no visiting this sparkling city without partaking in some sort of dumplinged lunch, brunch or dinner. A feast so insanely gluttonous – for us expats anyway – that you walkway shamefully pulling your shirt over the top of your pants so no one knows they’re unbuttoned.
It’s been six years since we’ve been back in New York, but my passion for potstickers hasn’t subsided, so when this month’s installment of Secret Recipe Club led me to Juanita’s Cocina and I came across her recipe for these little mounds of heaven, I didn’t think twice. Juanita’s recipe called for shrimp and pork, but I was feeling cheap so I cut the shellfish and stuck to pig. I also added a dash of curry, having been inspired by Steamy Kitchen‘s recent post on Curried Beef Potstickers. I also poached and lightly adapted a dipping sauce from Good Cheap Eats.
The result of all this tinkering was a sensational, flavorful, pan-Asian potsticker that will undoubtedly become a staple in my repertoire. Are they fresh-from-the-far-east authentic? No. Are they far better than what you’ll find at any local takeout joint? Absolutely.
Ingredients for the Potstickers:
12oz ground pork – $3.50
½-cup thinly sliced red cabbage, chopped finely – $0.99
2 green onions, chopped into thin rounds – $1.29
2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger – $0.15
1 teaspoon Mirin – stock
½ teaspoon sesame oil – stock
¼ teaspoon curry powder – stock
½ teaspoon salt – stock
Pinch of black pepper – stock
25-30 wonton or potsticker wrappers (find them in your grocer’s produce section) – $3.29
Canola oil for pan-frying – stock
Water for pressing/crimping the wonton wrappers
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $8.23
Cost per potsticker: $0.27
Ingredients for the Dipping Sauce:
3 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced – stock
1 Tablespoon fresh minced ginger – $0.30
1 Tablespoon sesame oil – stock
1/3-cup low sodium soy sauce – stock
¼-cup rice vinegar – stock
¼-teaspoon black pepper – stock
2 Tablespoons sugar – stock
Grand total assuming “well-stocked” kitchen: $0.30
Directions for the Potstickers:
1. Combine the pork, cabbage, green onions, ginger, mirin, sesame oil, curry, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Mix well incorporating all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. After 30 minutes, assemble the potstickers. Place a heaping teaspoonful of filling on the center of the wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and moisten the edges of the wrapper. Press the edges of the dough to seal and crimp with the tines of a fork.
3. Once all potstickers are assembled, heat 1 Tablespoon of canola oil in a large skillet over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-high and place as many potstickers in the pan as you can without overcrowding (you’ll have to cook in batches). Brown the potstickers on both sides until golden and crispy – this happens rather quickly. Keep the flame on med-high, then add just enough water to coat the bottom of the skillet and cover with a lid. Steam the potstickers for 3-5 minutes or until the water has evaporated. Place on a cookie sheet and repeat until all potstickers are cooked.
Directions for the Dipping Sauce:
1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan and heat over a low flame until sugar has dissolved. Serve with potstickers.