Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chinese Pork and Cabbage Pot Stickers / Pan Fried Dumpings

I love pot stickers (also known as pan fried dumplings). They're so crunchy on the outside, and tasty on the inside.
And making the pot stickers makes a fun afternoon activity too!

I definitely will make these again sometime soon.
I chose to make pork and cabbage dumplings because they are very basic ingredients, and it's very hard to go wrong. It was my first time making these, and I didn't have any recipe or guidance to help me out, so I was very nervous.

But now that I have made the dumplings with a very successful and delicious outcome, I will definately make more dumplings and switch up the ingredients. Ingredients that I will definitely use in the future are: chicken, shrimp, chinese chives, green onions... what else?

Chinese Pork and Cabbage Pot Stickers

- 2 pounds of ground pork
- 1.5- 2 cups of cabbage, finely shredded and chopped (this is the hard part!). amount of cabbage depends on how much veggie to pork ratio you want. (i joked around that I was making cabbage dumplings with an essence of pork. hehe!)
- 1 tsp salt
- 4-5 tsp of soy sauce
- 1- 2 tsp pepper (white or black, your choice)
- 2 tsp tapioca or corn starch
- 2 - 3 tsp of minced garlic
- Extra flour to coat the pans for dumpling storage.
- 2 packets of store-bought dumpling wrappers/skin. (You can make the skin yourself too, but I'm not thaat patient.)

1. Chop the cabbage.

2. Mix in the salt into the cabbage and let sit for 10 minutes. Then squeeze out the excess water (i used a paper towel to get the water out).

3. Mix all the ingredients together (except the excess flour and dumpling wrappers). Stir until thoroughly mixed.

4. Lightly flour some cookie sheets.

5. Get the dumpling wrappers and fill it with enough meat mixture, making sure that you don't put in too much that it oozes out when you close up the dumpling.

6. Use a little bit of water to wet the edge of the dumpling, so when you close up the dumpling, it stays closed (like an envelope!)

7. When closing the dumping, bend the edges so it has a scalloped look.

8. Continue until all dumping wrappers are used. For me, I prepared the perfect amount of meat mixture with the perfect number of dumpling wrappers!

9. Set the made dumplings onto the floured cookie sheet.

Pan Fry the Dumplings:

9. Generously oil a nonstick pan or wok, and heat oil up on high.

10. Place dumplings into the pan, standing up.

11. When dumplings turn golden on the bottom, cover the dumplings 1/3 to 1/2 way up with water, and cover the pan. Turn heat on medium.

12. Let the dumplings cook in the boiling water and steam until almost all the water is gone.

13. Remove lid, turn heat to High, until all water evaporates.

14. EAT!

Pinto Bean Bacon Soup

a warm, hearty, filling soup

Pinto Bean Bacon Soup

- 1 cup of pinto beans, dry
- 4 cups of water
- 1 tbsp of salt to taste
- 4 -6 strips of bacon
- some chicken or pork bones to make broth.

1. To decrease cooking time, soak pinto beans over night. Not a requirement, but who has the time to sit around at the stove all day?
2. Set bones and 4 cups of water to boil then simmer for about 30 minutes to make the broth.
3. Add the soaked pinto beans. Cook for about an hour.
4. Fry up bacon, and break into small pieces.
5. Drain bacon and add bacon to the soup.
6. Add salt to soup.
7. Cook for about 45 minutes or until beans are soft and cooked thoroughly.