Cooking log 44 : Chicken & Cilantro Pot Stickers

Whenever i have excessive cilantro need to be used up quick, chicken meat ball is my go to recipe. This time i decided to take it one step further and treat myself with juicy pot stickers.

Pot sticker(锅贴) is a China cuisine that was believed to have its beginning during the Song dynasty around 900 A.D., where leftover soup dumplings were reheated by pan grilling. In present day, different types of pot stickers vary in filling, seasoning and shape are eaten throughout China and other countries which got it through cultural exchange or immigration.

Growing up i learned how to make pot sticker from my mum who is from Taiwan. We would make them together, grill and eat it whenever we made enough for a pot, then make the next batch. Pot sticker in my family shaped like a crescent with 4 folds on one side, and need to be capable of standing on its own for the grilling. Took me a while to get the hang of it. For the filling back home, we usually start with cabbage, minced pork and fish paste, then added in fragrant vegetables such as spring onions or chinese chive depends on availability.

This time i went with chicken mince of half thigh-half breast, cabbage and cilantro. Seasoning the mince was the crucial step and should be done before adding vegetable. I used salt, soy sauce, black pepper, Syoko liquor(a type of wheat liquor used in Chinese cooking), and ginger puree, the family recipe.

The steps after season are very important for good pot stickers(at least i believe so). Mixed everything together with HAND. Use all finger and go stirring clock wise in the mixing bowl, ensure the liquid seasonings are thoroughly absorbed by the meat, keep stirring until the meat feel sticky. Rest the filling in the fridge for around 20mins before wrapping.

During this time, cilantro and cabbage were finely chopped and only the cabbage need to go through light pickle process with salt to remove water from it. After the vegetable were stirred in, wrapping started. I used store bought dough this time as making it from scratch was slightly too much work. I ended up with 16 big pot stickers as i had 16 pieces fo dough, and some left over filling which i used to make something else on the side.

As they were big, i grilled 6 only for dinner and froze the rest. Grilling they was simple using a frying pan with lid. Heat it up and pour in some oil, then line up the pot stickers. To achieve the crispy bottom, my trick was adding some corn starch into the water that will be poured in next. The pan should immediately sizzled as the starch water was poured, and lid on! Cook until all the water evaporated and the pot sticker’s bottom nice and crispy.

It looked cool when served on the plate upside down showing the crispy bits. I like to eat them with dipping made from fresh ginger, soy sauce, vinegar and sesame oil, the same taste i grew up on. In Japan using chili oil instead of sesame oil and with no ginger is main stream while i heard in Shanghai dipping is ginger with vinegar only. Well as long as it tastes great, choose your own poison.

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