Potstickers refer to Chinese dumplings which have been steamed on one side, and fried on the other side. To achieve this effect, the dumplings are first fried on the bottom, and then water is added so that the top of the dumplings are steamed. To ensure that the bottom come out crispy, the water is slowly reduced to nothing over high heat. At the end of this process, the bottoms tend to stick to the cooking surface, which is why they are referred to as poststickers. There is something about the contrast between the steamed and fried parts of the potstickers that make them irresistible. Beef potstickers are a perennial favorite.
Ingredients for dough:
All purpose flour, 4 cups
Hot water, approximately 80° C, 1.5 cups
Water, room temperature, 0.5 cup
Ingredients for filling:
Szechuan pepper, 1 teaspoon
Water, 3 cups
Beef, 4 cups
Green onion, 1 cup
Cooking wine, 1 teaspoon
Soy sauce, 1 tablespoon
Salt, 2 teaspoons
MSG, 0.5 teaspoon
Chicken bouillon powder, 0.5 teaspoon
Sesame oil, 1 tablespoon
Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoon
Instructions for dough:
1. Mix the flour and the hot water. Then, add the room temperature water, and mix again until the dough is a smooth ball.
2. Cover the dough with a parafilm, and let stand for at least 10 minutes.
Instructions for filling:
1. Boil 3 cups of water. Add Szechuan pepper and continue to boil for 10 min, then place the pot of water in cold water to cool it down to room temperature.
2. To prepare the fillings, add beef, salt, soy sauce, and pepper water to a large bowl and mix. Then, add MSG, chicken bouillon powder, sesame oil, vegetable oil, and chopped green onion. Mix well and allow the filling to rest.
3. While the filling is resting, roll out the dough into wrappers. In order to get a crispy dumpling skin later, the dough should be on the thin side.
4. Wrap the fillings with the wrappers. It is not necessary to completely seal the dumpling. Just pinch the middle of the dumpling together, leaving the sides open so that the oil can seep into the filling.
5. Heat a large pan containing a little vegetable oil.
6. When the oil is hot, add the wrapped potstickers bottom side down.
7. When the bottom has turned golden brown, add a thin layer of water to the pan, cover the lid, and cook for another 5 minutes. The steam that rises from the water will cook the top of the dumplings. The lid must be used, otherwise the tops of the dumplings will not be properly steamed.
8. After 5 minutes, uncover the lid. When the water has completely evaporated, unstick the dumplings from the pan and serve on a plate. The bottoms of the potstickers should be crisp while the top remain moist.
Beef potstickers are a common and popular dish. They are usually the first things to be polished off when I serve them at parties. Celery also goes very well with beef, so a variation of this recipe can be done with celery substituting for green onion.