Savory Pork Potstickers are simple, authentic Asian appetizer that anyone can make.
Dumplings, pot stickers, or even stuffed wontons: I have heard all of these names to describe this savory Asian masterpiece. When I first met Jackie, we would spend hours a night on the phone talking about everything: our favorite colors, our favorite TV shows, and of course our favorite foods. It was a great way of getting to know each other. I can still remember the conversation when Jackie first told me about her favorite dumpling shop in New York. It was across the street from her apartment, and although I remember it as “Rickshaw Ricks”, it was actually called Rickshaw.
Jackie’s dumpling shop was a fast food style joint that had a limited menu of tiny Asian “dumplings”, which I always knew to be called “potstickers” (I wasn’t even sure at first if we were talking about the same food). It wasn’t until she took me to Rickshaw and I tried these wonderful pockets of goodness that I realized that a “dumpling” and “potsticker” are in fact the very same thing. These delicious masterpieces were filled with sweet, yet savory fillings and came in five different varieties, each one better than the next. Our favorite was the classic pork, which I have carefully been working on re-creating for Superman Cooks. I chose to use ground pork, cabbage, cilantro, ginger and fresh local ramps for our Savory Pork Potstickers, and I opted to pan fry them so that they would be slightly crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside.
Jackie, serving as official dumpling expert and connoisseur, tells me that our Savory Pork Dumplings are “a very close match”, or “even better” she says, than the original. This is one reason I love her; she always thinks my creations are amazing. It’s a good thing she likes them, since our favorite little shop has since closed its doors, much to our chagrin. The look of the empty storefront still saddens us, since this shop was always a convenient way of getting this flavor in a quick minute when the cravings hit. It’s a good thing I have figured out how to make them myself.
- 8 ounces ground pork
- ½ C finely chopped cabbage
- ½ C chopped cilantro
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped carrots
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped ramps (can substitute 1 tsp chopped garlic)
- ¼ C finely chopped green onion
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tsp fresh chopped garlic
- 2 dozen wonton wrappers (we used 3" x 3")
- For the dipping sauce:
- ¼ C rice vinegar
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp chopped green onions
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp sesame seeds
- To make the mix for the dumpling:
- In a medium mixing bowl, add ground pork, cabbage, carrots, ramps, green onion, and cilantro and mix thoroughly.
- Add sesame oil and chopped garlic and mix.
- The key to stuffing the wontons is to not overstuff them. They can split and not cook so a tsp of mix is plenty.
- As diagrammed in photo, place a tsp of mix in center and with finger dipped in water coat edge of wonton and fold over and seal. Then fold the two points of wonton together.
- Continue until all dumplings are stuffed.
- To cook them:
- Using a large non stick sauté pan add 2 tbsp vegetable oil and heat over medium heat.
- Once hot place half of the dumplings in the oil and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
- Turn over and cook an additional minute.
- Add ¼ warm tap water to pan and cover immediatelly and allow to "steam for 4-5 minutes.
- This will assure the filling is cooked completely.
- Remove from pan and repeat with remaining dumplings.
- To make the dipping sauce:
- Combine vinegar, soy sauce, green onions, sugar, garlic powder and sesame seeds until sugar is dissolved.
- Dip dumplings in sauce and enjoy.