Happy Lunar New Year to all of you! In many parts of Asia, today marks the advent of the Year of the Snake. Though the Thai New Year (Songkran) falls in April, the Chinese New Year as it's often called is a pretty big deal here, particularly among the Thai-Chinese community of which there are many in Bangkok. While we didn't make it to Chinatown to check out the festivities (too much work!), I decided to try my hand at making potstickers for the first time to mark the occasion.
Dumplings are known as jiaozi in Chinese, and the pan-fried version is often referred to as potstickers in North America. The traditional filling is either ground meat (typically pork or beef) or thinly julienned vegetables. Apparently jiaozi are a typical food eaten on Chinese New Year, though I had no idea about that when I made these (thanks, Wikipedia!). Instead of vegetables, I tried to replicate the meat version by using dried and rehydrated soy crumbles cooked with onion, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sriracha sauce and sesame oil.
Makes 40 potstickers
In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons sugar, 1 tablespoon water, 1-2 chopped scallions and hot chili flakes, to taste. All quantities are approximate and you can adjust to your taste. Set aside.
3/4 cup soy crumbles (dried or frozen)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 white onion, chopped fine (1/2 cup chopped)
2 garlic cloves, chopped fine
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped scallions
Pack of gyoza skins
Egg wash or water mixed with a bit of cornstarch, for sealing
2 tablespoons (or more) canola oil
1/2 cup vegetable or mushroom broth
1. If using dried soy crumbles, soak them in water for 5-10 minutes. Drain, squeeze out any excess water and set aside.
2. In a wide pan, warm the canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and saute until just beginning to turn golden.
3. Add the soy crumbles and mix well. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
4. Mix in the soy sauce and sriracha sauce, stir well and cook for an additional 5 minutes or until the soy crumbles are cooked.
5. Turn off the heat. Add the sesame oil and the chopped scallions and stir well. Remove the mixture from heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
6. To form your potstickers, work with one gyoza skin at a time (keeping the others covered with a damp towel). Place about 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture onto the center of each skin. Fold to close and seal the edges with egg wash or water-cornstarch mixture. Crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat with remainng gyoza skins.
7. Warm canola oil in wide pan. Place as many potstickers as will comfortably fit into the pan. Fry for about 2-3 minutes until golden and then flip and do the same for the other side. Remove from pan and place on a plate lined with paper towels (to soak up any excess towels). Repeat until all of your potstickers are cooked.
8. Place all of the potstickers back into the pan and cover with the broth. Cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Remove the potstickers and serve on a pretty serving plate or platter with the dipping sauce.