Mom's "Left Overs" Chinese Watercress Potstickers
Serves 4 as an appetizer
Dough yields about 2 pounds
2 cups sauteed vegetables (or any other savory meat and or vegetable "leftover" dish)
1 recipe hot water dough*
8 oz rice noodles
Canola oil for cooking
Hot Water Dough
2 cups water
4 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1. In a medium bowl combine the noodles with enough hot tap water to cover them by 1 inch. Allow the noodles to soften, about 8 minutes. Drain the noodles and set aside.
2. Transfer leftovers to a cutting board. With a sharp knife, mince the vegetables into small pieces. Also chop the noodles into 1" pieces. Combine vegetables and noodles in a bowl and set aside.
3. To fill the pot stickers, place about ½ tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Avoid getting filling on the edges of the wrapper, which would prevent proper sealing. Fold each wrapper in half to form a half-moon shape. Seal the top center of each dumpling by pressing between the fingers and, starting at the center, make 3 pleats, working toward the bottom right. Repeat, working toward the bottom left corner. Press the dumplings down gently on the work surface to flatten the bottoms.
4. Heat a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add the oil and swirl to coat. When the oil shimmers, add the pot stickers, flattened bottoms down, in rows of five, and cook in batches without disturbing until brown, about 6 minutes. Add about ½ cup of water and immediately cover to avoid splattering. Lift the cover and make sure about 1/8 inch of water remains in the pan; if not, add a bit more. Steam until the pot stickers are puffy yet firm and the water has evaporated, 8 to 10 minutes. If the water evaporates before the pot stickers are done, add more in ¼-cup increments. If the pot stickers seem done but water remains in the pan, drain it and return the pan to the stove top.
5. Continue to cook over high heat to allow the pot stickers to recrisp on the bottom, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pot stickers to a platter and serve with the dipping sauce.
Making the dough:
1. To make the dough, bring the water to a boil. In a large stainless-steel bowl, combine the flour and salt.
2. Slowly add the boiling water in ¼-cup increments, mixing with chopsticks until a ball is formed and the dough is no longer too hot to handle. All the water may not be needed.
3. Knead the dough on a floured work surface until it becomes smooth and elastic, 15 to 20 minutes.
4. Form the dough into a ball, return it to the bowl, and cover it with a damp cloth. Allow the dough to rest for 1 hour.