As a vegetarian, I always feel like I get the short-end of the potsticker stick. One of the things I miss from my meat eating days (childhood, really, since I haven’t eaten meat since I am 12) is wonton soup. It isn’t so much the taste of the soup but the texture of the wontons that I miss. To me, wontons, dumplings, and potstickers are all in the same boat. I find it especially hard to find vegetarian versions and even when I do find some on a restaurant menu, my meat-eating company never really wants to get them. And so, I have resorted to making them at home.
The first time that I made anything dumpling-esque, it was a bit of a disaster. I used wonton wrapper (mistake #1) and it was simply the biggest pain in the world to make. The wrappers were so frustratingly finicky: they kept ripping, resulting in exploding dumplings and countless wrappers that had to be thrown out. However, after taking Smitten Kitchen’s advice and using dumpling wrappers, the game has changed. Since then, all of my attempts at dumpling/potsticker making has been successful thanks to these hard-learned leassons:
1- It’s worth repeating: DO NOT use wonton wrappers. They rip and are difficult to handle. Dumpling wrappers are the way to go!
2- Use a combination of water and cornstarch to help seal your potstickers. They will NOT explode in the pan that way.
3- Make sure to drain your mixture to ensure that your filling isn’t too wet. This helps it stay together and gives it a nice texture.
4- Don’t overstuff your dumplings. Use a tablespoon to measure out your filling and don’t bother putting any more than that! It will be difficult to fold and your filling will just squirt out everywhere.
5- Many recipes call for frying and steaming your potstickers in the same pan. While I’m sure this is the traditional way of doing it, it is done by pouring water into an oil filled pan, resulting in madly spattering oil, making potsticker-cooking a dangerous activity. I prefer to pan fry them in one pan and transfer them into another one to steam to avoid this problem.
If you follow all of these rules, I can guarantee that your dumpling making will be fairly enjoyable, if a long process. Even though it takes some time to put these together, your efforts are worth it. Personally, I find it pretty pointless to make dumplings in small batches. Even though it may take an couple of hours, you are left with FIFTY lovely dumplings that are just waiting in your freezer to be eaten as a wonderfully satisfying appetizer. As I suggested with the bagels, you can even put on a dumpling party (I know it seems like I just like to pawn off the work for intensive recipes on my friends… but I swear, it’s a lot of fun), many hands make light work.
These dumplings are perfectly satisfying and great to keep in the freezer. All you need is an extra couple of minutes in the pan and they taste like they are perfectly fresh. You can mix up the vegetables and use peas or asparagus (like Smitten Kitchen suggests) in the filling. If you swap spinach for the swiss chard, make sure to wring out the excess water that spinach has. The chewy dumpling wrapper, crunchy browned bottom, and delicate filling is everything that I want in a potsticker, I hope you get to enjoy them soon!
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
In a large pan, heat up olive oil and saute garlic and spring onions until they start to turn golden brown and soften.
Add fava beans, swiss chard, tofu, sesame oil, and salt. Saute until the fava beans are cooked through and the swiss chard is wilted down. Stir in rice wine vinegar.
Pour mixture from pan into a colander and let sit for 10-15 minutes, letting the mixture cool down and any extra moisture drain out.
In a food processor, pulse until the mixture is still textured but evenly chopped. The vegetable pieces should be roughly the size of small peas. Taste and re-season.
Line a large baking tray with parchment paper.
In a small bowl combine water and cornstarch, this will be the 'glue' to keep your potstickers together.
Lay out dumpling wrappers on parchment paper.
Measure out 1 tablespoon of vegetable mixture (it's best to use a measuring spoon) and place in the middle of a dumpling wrapper.
Dip your finger into water/cornstarch mixture and run it around the entire edge of the dumpling wrapper.
Stick the wrapper together, folding and pressing to seal tighly and make sure there are no air pockets.
Repeat process until you have used up all of your mixture/dumpling wrappers.
If you are freezing your dumplings, keep them on the baking sheet, evenly spaced (and not touching each other), and place in freezer for about 20 minutes, until frozen. Transfer to a freezer bag.
While you can easily cook your potstickers in one pan, I prefer to do it in two separate pans to avoid sputtering oil.
In one pan, on high heat, heat up about 1 tablespoon of canola oil (to 6-8 potstickers).
Also prepare a smaller pan on high heat (that has a lid) with about 1/2 cup of water.
Place your potstickers in the pan with the oil, letting them brown and develop a crust (about 3 minutes).
Once your potstickers have a nice brown base, transfer to the pan with water (that should be boiling at this point), cover and cook for about 3 minutes (5 minutes if you are doing this from frozen).
Remove from pan and enjoy with dipping sauce!
Mix all ingredients together.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Vegetarian green potstickers Recipe was last modified: October 2, 2013 by