Pot Stickers Two Ways for Chinese New Year!

This week, it’s all about Chinese New Year and the art of the pot sticker!

In my honest opinion dumplings are the ultimate comfort food. Along with scallion pancakes, they were one of the first things I learned how to cook. There’s something about the tender meat, gooey perfectly cooked dumpling that provides the ultimate bite. I mean you get all food groups in one bite- protein, carbohydrate and fat- what could be better? All things aside, I also think dumplings are one of the most fun ways to mix up flavor profiles and provide a great canvas for playing with flavor combinations.  

Today, in honor of the upcoming Chinese New Year and Super Bowl, I’m sharing not one but two fantastic pot sticker recipes. The first is your more standard Chicken Pot Sticker filled with the aromatic trifecta- garlic, ginger and scallions. The second is a fun twist, Salmon and Tarragon Pot Stickers. Packed with flavor, these pot stickers provide a bright flavor and nice texture variance with the apples. Make one or both, for the best combination of food holidays- Chinese New Year and the Super Bowl. 

Chinese New Year is a true celebration of food and family. One of the first plates served are pot stickers. Did you know that the shape resembles ingots of gold that were used during the Ming Dynasty, meant to provide wealth in the New Year? In fact, in some parts of China, coins are placed in the center of the dumpling and whoever bites into the one with the coin will be graced with an exceptionally lucky year. 

While traditionally you can use the hot water dough as the wrapper for dumplings, here I’ve gone ahead and used store bought wrappers for ease and time. When making the pleats, use your pointer finger and thumb from one hand to seal while your pointer finger from your other hand creates the indent. Practice on a few, once you get the hang of it you’ll be a pro! Each of the fillings here are not just packed with flavor, but as always are good for you too. Both are high in protein and hit the three food components-protein, carbohydrate and fat. I’ll let Becca, my PR/Marketing guru and Registered Dietitian take it from here and explain why these components are so important. 

Notes from Becca
Thanks Chef! Not only are these pot stickers delicious, they great little packages of good nutrition. In the chicken pot sticker, you have great flavor from the aromatics and the dark chicken meat. I love the addition of the cabbage, it not only provides a good crunch, but is a great source of both vitamin K and C. Plus the use of soy sauce instead of seasoning with salt helps give a healthy dose of umami flavor without the extra sodium. I love how unique the salmon pot sticker is. The flavor profile is so bright with the addition of the apples. The salmon provide a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids, which is important for reducing inflammation. That being said, besides being great nutrition packages, you truly hit the big three- good source of fat, protein and carbohydrate meaning these are a great way to get in good for you nutrients while keeping you full and satisfied. 

Eat Well with Ming: Norwegian salmon is not just delicious, but it’s incredibly good for you. Norwegian Seafood is a company that farms sustainable salmon. The salmon taste so incredible because they are fed an all-natural diet (fish oil, fishmeal from wild fish, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants). Did you know that salmon are not just great protein sources, but are rich in vitamin A, D and B12, high in antioxidants and omega 3 fatty acids? While vitamin B12 is important for brain health, omega 3 fatty acids are essential because we cannot make them ourselves. We need them to maintain cell structure, help make hormones, aid in anti-inflammatory processes and protect our artery walls.  I think those are pretty good selling points to eat more salmon, but in the off chance I can’t convince you with those, try both pot stickers below and then we can chat :)

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Chicken Pot Stickers

Makes 16-18 pot stickers

1 pound naturally fed ground dark chicken
1 heaping tablespoon minced ginger
1 heaping tablespoon minced garlic
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced, reserve ½ the greens for garnish
1 packed cup shredded white cabbage
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoons sesame oil
1 package round wonton wrappers
Canola or grapeseed oil for cooking

 1.    In a bowl placed within a larger bowl of ice, mix together the chicken, scallions whites, scallion greens, ginger, garlic, cabbage, soy sauce and sesame oil. Do not over mix. Take a small sample and pan sear or microwave to taste for seasoning. 
2.    To fill the pot stickers, place about 1 teaspoon 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. 
3.    Heat a large non-stick 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, 6-8 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. 
4.    Continue to cook over high heat to allow the pot stickers to re-crisp on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the pot stickers to a platter garnish with scallion greens and serve with the dipping sauce in individual small bowls. 

Dim Sum Dipper
Makes about 1 cup

2 tablespoons sambal
½ cup rice wine vinegar
½ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil  

1.    In a small bowl, combine the sambal, vinegar, soy sauce, and sesame oil. 
2.    Mix until well incorporated, use or store in the refrigerator for later use.  

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Salmon Pot Stickers
Makes 16-18 Pot Stickers

1 pound Norwegian salmon, ½ inch dice
2 eggs
Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
1 tablespoon minced tarragon
1 granny smith apple, finely diced
1 heaping tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and minced
Juice from ½ lemon
1 jalapeno, finely minced
Freshly ground black pepper to taste 

1.    Add salmon to a food processor and buzz to start pureeing. Add the eggs, salt and white pepper to taste and minced tarragon. 
2.    To fill the pot stickers, place about 1 teaspoon 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. 
3.    Heat a large non-stick 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, 6-8 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. 
4.    Continue to cook over high heat to allow the pot stickers to re-crisp on the bottom, 2-3 minutes. Transfer the pot stickers to a platter. 
5.   Make the salsa by mixing the diced apples, minced ginger, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste and minced jalapeno together. Garnish the pot stickers with the apple salsa and serve immediately. 

 

Rebecca Noren