I love to cook but there are many times when I cringe at the thought of turning on the stove or making a huge mess prepping ingredients. Sometimes the effort of cooking doesn’t seem to be worth the resulting dish–which even I’ll admit doesn’t always taste as good as it looks. Yesterday I had one of those moments. In fact, I almost considered grabbing some Chinese food just so I didn’t have to cook. Naturally the guilt of ordering take-out kicked in and I decided to fight my lethargy and make something anyway. I love any food that’s both fun to make and eat so if I was going to make the effort to cook, it had to be something interesting. Cue to the cute little pot sticker wrappers sitting on the grocery shelf just begging to be taken home.
I’ve never made pot stickers so I was definitely grateful for the prepared wrappers which meant I just had to figure out the filling. I found really beautiful eggplant at the market, and had lots of cabbage and scallions at home, so I decided to throw in some meaty baby bella mushrooms to add a little protein. You can put together any combination of vegetables and of course a variety of proteins (shrimp, pork, chicken) to create your desired filling. I started with what I had on hand and built from there.
Having the prepared wrappers meant that once your filling is ready all you have to do is stuff, seal and steam them. It’ll take a few tries to get the hang of folding, but once you’ve found your groove it’s lots of fun. Of course it took me about 30 dumplings before I had one that looked perfect, so if you need a little help figuring out how to seal these bad boys, check out this video or scroll through the list and try a few different methods. Gently frying your pot sticker in a lightly oiled pan gives it a crunchy yet chewy texture similar to a mini puffed empanada. My preferred method is steaming, but I encourage you to try both pan frying and steaming. The best part of making pot stickers is they freeze really well, so you can make an entire batch and freeze the rest for later. Anytime you want a light snack or meal just take them out of the freezer and straight into a steam basket. As a matter of fact, I’m eating some that I reheated and they’re perfect. I really hope you enjoy this recipe, I definitely do.
Vegetable Pot Stickers with Mushroom, Cabbage, Eggplant, and Carrot
(makes about 40 pot stickers)
1 small package (8oz) of baby bella mushroom, finely diced
2 cups cabbage, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 small eggplant, finely diced
2 scallions, chopped
2 tbsp grated ginger
2 tbsp grated garlic (about 3 cloves)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp sriracha or chili flakes (I used black bean sauce with chili)
2 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp peanut oil
1 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
1 package dumpling wrappers (be sure not to get the thick wonton wrappers)
1 egg white + 1 tbsp water = egg white wash (or just use water to make this recipe vegan)
oil for frying (optional)
1. Add the olive and peanut oils to a large pan on medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and stir for just a few seconds to mix with the oil.
2. Add mushroom and carrot and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. When the mushrooms are just beginning to get soft, add the cabbage, eggplant and sesame oil. I like to add the sesame oil later so it doesn’t overheat when mixed with the olive and peanut oils. Cook for about 2-3 minutes.
3. Add soy sauce, hoisin sauce, and sriracha or any heat element you may be using. Stir to combine and cook for another minute or so.
4. Add scallions and toss everything to combine. Remove from heat. Keep an eye on the vegetables, you want them to soften but still have a little bite to them. Be careful not to overcook.
5. Prepare the egg white wash and get your wrappers ready.
6. Begin assembling your pot stickers by laying a sheet of the dumpling wrapper on a clean surface. Place about 1 tsp of the filling in the center of the wrapper. With a pastry brush or your fingertips, brush the egg white wash along the circumference of the wrapper. Take two opposite ends of the wrapper and pressing them together. Finish crimping entire dumpling by repeating this step on all open corners.
8. If you are frying your dumplings, coat the bottom on a large pan with the vegetable oil of your choice (I used olive and coconut oils). When the oil is ready, place your dumplings in the pan but don’t go far–they will cook very quickly and you’ll want to turn them to get all the sides browned.
9. If you are steaming your pot stickers, prepare a pan/pot with a little bit of water and a steam basket. Place the prepared pot stickers in the basket and stead for about 4 minutes.
10. Serve with a dumpling dipping sauce. I added chopped scallions and chili flakes for a little extra heat. Enjoy!