Wish Upon A Dish: Kung Pao and Pot Stickers - an Asian feast updated

March 21, 2011

Kung Pao and Pot Stickers - an Asian feast updated

Since The Nudge insisted on grilling sausages yesterday I had to move my Kung Pao Chicken dish to today with the Japanese Dumplings I had also planned for today. We will eat both, that's all, and give my neighbor half of the dumplings. The husband has never had pot tickers...imagine that?.

First I will make my dumplings (sort of an appetizer before dinner) then make the Kung Pao.

My Shop-Rite did not have Gyoza skins so I had to buy Wonton Wrappers and cut them with a round cookie cutter. The whole idea of making them was to give me practice in the pleating technique used. I am tired of simply folding them into triangles.

I will start with something simple and then move ahead finally ending with making dumpling dough from scratch. I am having a hard time locating wheat starch and Glutinous sweet rice flour so I will google and see what I can find.

After a few tries on Google, I found a site for the starches and the resources section in the cookbook led me to a site for a company in San Francisco.

I went to IndianFoodsCo.com and ordered all the starches and wokshop.com for a great 10" hand hammered wok, spatula and skimmer plus an 8" bamboo steamer set.

I can start making my dough by next week. The book says using a tortilla press is a great way to make dumpling skins but I have a pasta roller and that is just as good.

Today will be a trial run.

Japanese Pork and Shrimp Pot Stickers
Adapted from Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen

....The Japanese love pot stickers, ordering them at ramen noodle shoppes, patronizing gyoza restaurants and visiting the Gyoza Stadium food theme park in Tokyo. They consider the dumplings essential to their cuisine, despite the fact that gyoza were popularized only after WWII, when Japanese soldiers returning form China brought back their taste and knack for making Chinese dumplings.

* 2 cups lightly packed chopped napa cabbage (I am using leftover regular cabbage from St. Pat's Day)
* 1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp salt
* 2 cloves of garlic, minced and crushed into a paste
* 2 tbls chopped chives or scallions
* 1 tsp grated fresh ginger, or 1 tbls finely minced ginger
* 6 ounces ground pork
* 1/3 pound med shrimp, shelled, deveined and chopped (4 1/2 ounces net weight)
* Scant 1/4 tsp sugar
* Generous 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 1 1/2 tbls light soy sauce
* 1 tbls sake
* 1 tbls sesame oil

I had to use a 3" cookie cutter to make my wontons round. Have a dish of water and a pastry brush handy and a teaspoon for the filling. Took me a while to figure out the pleating part but once I did they went quickly.

Hold the skin in your left hand (if right handed) and take one teaspoon of the filling and place it into the middle of the skin.
Brush the entire rim of the skin with water, fold in half, pinch at the top and make 2 small pleats on each side. This allows them to stand straight up instead of on it's side.

I a non-stick fry pan, place 2-3 tsp of canola oil and line up the dumplings like the petals on a daisy. They can touch each other. Fry until the bottoms are a really golden brown but not burnt. Once they are all crusted on the bottom, take 1/3 cup water, throw it into the pan and slam the lid on top. Do not remove the lid until you hear sizzling (not steaming)....sizzling.
When you hear that it means the water has evaporated, the dumplings are perfectly steamed and are ready to be eaten.

Dipping Sauce
makes about 1 cup
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
* 1 tsp sesame oil
* 1 tablespoon honey or agave
* 1 minced scallion, green and white parts
* 2 tsp grated fresh ginger
* 1 tsp plum sauce (optional)

Now for the recipe for a wonderful Kung Pao sauce. I love that this can be used not only with chicken but pork or any shellfish.

Kung Pao Sauce
makes about 2 1/2 cups
* 3 tbls minced garlic
* 2 tbls minced ginger
* 2 tbls sambal oelek
* 1 cup Tamari
* 3 tbls sugar
* 1/2 cup naturally brewed rice vinegar
* 1 tbls cornstarch
* 1 tbls water for a slurry
Grapeseed oil or canola oil for cooking.

In a wok or saute pan coasted lightly with oil over high heat, add garlic & ginger and saute for 1 minute, just to soften.
Add sambal, taking care not to inhale the chile, and saute until well-blended.
Add soy to deglaze, then sugar and rice vinegar.
Bring to a boil and slowly whisk in slurry to thicken.
Keep warm to use or cool and store in refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Chop 2 chicken breasts into 1"x 1/2" strips and marinade in an egg white while you chop the rest of the vegetables.
1 large carrot and green pepper, julienned, 4-5 button mushrooms and 1/4 sweet onion, sliced. You could add any other vegetables you want. Broccoli is a good choice and even bok choy would work well. Best to choose vegetables that remain tender-crunchy.
I sliced 2 scallions on the diagonal as a garnish.

In a plastic bag scoop 1/4 cup cornstarch and your chicken pieces. Shake vigorously to coat all the pieces. In a stainless steel frying pan, heat 2 tsp of canola oil till smoking hot (if you have a wok, use that). Place about 1/2 the chicken in the pan and stir to break them up.
Let them sit to get a slight crust on them, then stir again. Continue until they are just cooked and remove. Repeat with the last half,

Another tsp of oil and saute all the vegetables. When they are crunchy tender, spoon in 1 cup Kung Pao sauce and simmer for 1 minute. Add the chicken and stir to coat.
Simmer to incorporate the the flavors and thoroughly cook the chicken. DO NOT overcook the chicken.

Make some Basmati rice and garnish with the chopped scallions and peanuts.


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