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Chinese Potstickers

Potstickers are Chinese dumplings that are steamed and then fried. The combination of steaming and pan-frying the potstickers gives the dumpling wrappers an irresistible balance between smooth and noodlelike on top, and crispy and caramelized on the bottom. Potstickers, despite the name, shouldn’t actually stick to your wok, though.

Preparation time: 1 hour

Cooking time: About 30 minutes

Yield: 30 potstickers

8 dried black mushrooms

1 napa cabbage

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 pound ground pork, chicken, or beef

4 green onions

Fresh ginger

2 tablespoons oyster-flavored sauce

2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

30 potsticker wrappers

3 tablespoons cooking oil

1 cup chicken broth

  1. Soak the mushrooms in warm water until softened, about 20 minutes.

    Be sure to completely cover the mushrooms with the water.

  2. Drain the mushrooms, discard the stems, and mince the caps.

  3. Shred the napa cabbage.

  4. In a large bowl, toss 4 cups of the cabbage with the salt; squeeze to remove the excess liquid.

  5. Chop the green onions and mince the ginger.

  6. Combine the mushrooms, napa cabbage, ground pork, green onions, oyster-flavored sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, cornstarch, white pepper, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of the minced ginger in a bowl; mix well.

  7. Place a heaping teaspoon of the filling in the center of a potsticker wrapper.

    Keep the remaining wrappers covered to prevent drying.

  8. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water.

  9. Fold the wrapper in half, crimping one side, to form a semicircle.

  10. Pinch the edges together to seal.

  11. Set the potsticker, seam side up, in a baking pan.

    Cover the potstickers with a wet towel to prevent drying.

  12. Place a wide frying pan over medium heat until hot.

  13. Add 1 tablespoon of the cooking oil.

  14. Add 10 potstickers, seam side up.

  15. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, about 3 minutes.

  16. Add 1/3 cup chicken broth.

  17. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 4 to 5 minutes.

  18. Remove the potstickers from the pan.

  19. Repeat with the remaining potstickers, cooking oil, and chicken broth.

Tip: Most potsticker wrappers come in 1-pound packages. The number of actual wrappers in a 1-pound package varies, depending on the wrapper thickness. Because potsticker wrappers should be thick to survive pan-frying without tearing, scope out those packages that appear to have fewer, thicker wrappers.

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