I took a few days off from work to get grounded. If we run around taking in too much, doing too much, being too much; we inevitably will fall back, or Mama Universe will knock us back. I don’t wait for her to take charge of my life. I got me. I refuse to fall into any traps of self destruction.
Cooking is my therapy. The kitchen is my couch.
I brainstormed an Asian feast yesterday while I was cleaning the pantry to make room for groceries. It started there with some won ton strips. I thought of egg drop soup. I also knew there was leftover sausage from a meatloaf, and some chicken and rice lingering as well. Easy enough to see how I was inspired, besides the fact that we love any Eastern cuisine.
This appetizer was the main event, and it took a lot of prep work, assembly, and then two cooking steps; once steamed, and then pan fried. They turned out damn good.
I had to improvise by putting together a steamer. I’ll tell you more about that below. I want to get the recipe finished up so I can chill with the fellas.
Give yourself time for this. It makes a lot of pieces, and I could only cook 5-6 at a time. It takes a good 12 minutes per batch to ensure the sausage gets cooked in the steaming step. You can steam and sauté side by side, but I was doing a lot of other stuff, so I steamed all of them and then did the pan fry. They held well in the oven while I finished the egg drop soup and stir fry. In retrospect, we will probably just enjoy a plate of these and some soup next time. This meal was the equivalent to a date night at Yen King. Leftovers galore.
Make sure your wraps are fresh. If they are too dry, they won’t stick. Also, if they rip, don’t stress. They will stay together, and there are so many, you’re bound to get a batch of beauties.
What You Need:
1 lb ground meat (I use pork sausage)
1 c grated cabbage or coleslaw mix
1/3 c shiitake mushrooms, minced
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tsp garlic powder
Tbsp hoisin or any Asian sauce, really
1 T freshly grated ginger, or 1 tsp ground
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha*, or more, to taste
1/4 tsp white pepper
36 won ton wrappers
What You Do:
You might as well make your sauce ahead of time. Once you get moving on this project, you’ll forget about it, and it tastes better the longer it incorporates.
All of the ingredients, with the exception of the wrappers and sauce, go into a food processor.
Pulse all of this until well mixed.
Lay the wrappers out and use a 1/2 Tbsp scoop to lay sausage mix on wrappers.
You’ll need a small bowl of water to dip your fingers in, then pinch and seal the edges.
Now we get to the complicated part. If you have access to banana leaves or a steamer, use that shit!! I do not, so I had to rig myself up a steam pot. The steam basket won’t work because the pastry will stick to it, plus we want them to sit in sesame oil while they steam.
What I did was ball up tin foil, added water to the pan and placed a plate on the foil balls. I know, but hey, sometimes ya gotta improv to get shit done. Here’s what it looks like. For the record, I snapped this pic after a few batches, so there is grease in the water.
Then you get a small saucer and place it on the foil balls using tongs. I’m glad I kept these old ceramic plates around. Be sure it is ceramic or something that can withstand the heat.
Drizzle plate with sesame oil.
Place some of the potstickers on the plate, and cover with pot top.
Let them steam 6 minutes, then flip and allow 6 additional minutes to cook.
Remove with tongs into a parchment lined sheet pan.
You’ll need to lift the plate out and add water between batches. It’s a bitch. I won’t lie. Is it worth the inconvenience?? Every bit. Long as you have the time.
When all the potstickers are steamed, add 1 teaspoon of frying oil to a sauté pan.
Fry each side for just 1 minute. They will get golden and toasty.
Now, you get to enjoy!!
Be careful. These are highly addictive.
Have a good weekend, Cookers. I’ll get at you with the other recipes from tonight real soon.