Since my parents left, I tried not to make too many recipes. The main goal was to use up leftovers so we could avoid wasting anything we had in the fridge, before going back to the store. It was a lot of meals where I picked a protein in the freezer (whatever meat was available) and grabbed the vegetable that looked like it might go bad the fastest. It made for tasty meals but nothing special enough to write a full post about it.
However, I did make an exception last week after finding a fantastically well described recipe for potstickers. This blog even has a video on how to fold them in a pretty (and efficient) manner, which turned out to be extremely useful. Last time I made dumplings, I followed a recipe for the filling but had to improvise when it came time to making the actual dumpling shape. It tasted fine but didn’t necessarily look great and they tended to open or break apart as soon as I put them in the steamer. This time, with the video, it was so much easier to make and they looked so much better! I won’t lie, the first two or three looked pretty icky but as soon as I got the hang of it, it only took seconds to make each one.
As I said, we were trying to avoid buying any food until we used everything we had. And to a certain extent, I followed the rules. But I did have to buy a cabbage and a ginger root. Everything else came from somewhere in or around the house. The spring onion came from our garden, I ground the chicken breast we had in the freezer (and yes, I still find grinding my own meat very exciting), the wonton wrappers had been in the freezer for quite a while (it was about time I finally used them) and the rest was basic stuff that we always have around the house (soy sauce, carrots, sesame oil, salt & pepper).
The mixture before being mixed together.
As suggested in the video, square wrappers could be cut into circles with cookie cutters.
My biggest issue tend to be with “over-fiiling”. Shouldn’t there be more filling? No, there shouldn’t. Even the one pictured was probably a little bit too much.
The final product before cooking them. They don’t all look the same but they all tasted great in the end.
Last time I made dumplings, I chose to steam them. It took a fairly long time and was tasty but my husband suggested pan-frying them the next time. I remembered his request and decided to give it a shot. It was slightly messier and definitely not quite as healthy but oh-so worth it!
I cooked the dumplings in two batches and then threw them all back in to have them evenly warmed up.
As I finished cooking them, expecting to put a bunch of them away for the rest of the week, Jeff entered the kitchen and asked what I was doing. He didn’t agree with the idea of only having “some”. He wanted it all. Or at least have “all” being an option. Although I am usually the voice of reason in these kinds of situations, for some reason, I also wanted to eat a lot of them. They smelled so good!
Our mega-pile of potstickers
So we went to the dining room with a giant plate of dumplings to share. I was certain we’d stop at some point and realize it was too much. But we didn’t. It was so good. I did not want to stop. It seemed like an “okay, it was a lot of food but I feel fine” situation until about 15 minutes later when my tummy really started hurting. Maybe it was too much after all.
I guess this is a lesson learned. If we have them all available we’ll eat them all because they’re that good. On the other hand, if we carefully portion them, we’ll get more meals out of the batch and less bellyache.
So remember to head over to The Little Kitchen’s blog post to get the full recipe and all her tips to make the perfect chicken potstickers! Just learn from my mistakes and remember to portion it out.