Here’s a wee nosh perfect for the start of the holiday season. Kind of cocktail hour appropriate, and a perfect match for drinks while trimming the tree.
PORK POT STICKERS
Makes 30 potstickers
1/4 small head Napa cabbage, finely chopped (about 2 cups; 7 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus 1/8 teaspoon for seasoning
1/3 pound ground pork (not too lean)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced (from 1/2-inch knob)
1 small carrot, coarsely shredded (about 2 tablespoons)
2 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons Asian (toasted) sesame oil
1/2 egg, lightly beaten
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
30 gyoza (pot sticker) wrappers, from 1 (14-ounce) package*
1/4 cup canola oil
In large bowl, toss together cabbage and 3/4 teaspoon salt and set aside for 30 minutes. Transfer to clean dish towel or cheesecloth, gather ends together, and twist to squeeze out as much water as possible. Wipe bowl clean, then return cabbage to it. Add pork, ginger, carrots, scallions, and garlic and stir to combine.
In small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, sesame oil, and egg, then stir into cabbage-pork mixture. Stir in pepper and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt.
On dry surface, lay out 1 gyoza wrapper, keeping remaining wrappers covered with dampened cloth or paper towel. Spoon 1 1/2 teaspoons filling into center, then moisten halfway around edge with wet finger. Fold moisture-free half of wrapper over moistened half to form open half-moon shape. To seal, using thumb and forefinger of one hand, form 6 tiny pleats along unmoistened edge of wrapper, pressing pleats against moistened border to enclose filling. Moistened border will stay smooth and will automatically curve in semicircle. Stand dumpling, seam-side up, on baking sheet and gently press to flatten bottom. Cover loosely with dampened cloth or paper towel. Form remaining dumplings in same manner.
In 10-inch, lidded, non-stick skillet over moderately high heat, heat oil until hot but not smoking, then remove from heat and arrange pot stickers in tight circular pattern standing up in oil (they should touch one another). Cook, uncovered, until bottoms are pale golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water, tilting skillet to distribute, then cover tightly with lid and cook until liquid has evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons more water if skillet looks dry before bottoms are browned. Remove lid and cook, shaking skillet to loosen pot stickers, until steam dissipates, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert large plate with rim over skillet. Using pot holders, hold plate and skillet together and invert skillet. Remove skillet and serve pot stickers warm.
from Ming Tsai, Blue Ginger
1/2 large red onion, sliced
1 1/2 teaspoons minced ginger
1/2 cup dried cranberries, such as Craisins
Zest and juice of 1/2 orange
1/2 cup naturally brewed soy sauce
1 cup cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil for cooking
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
In a saucepan coated lightly with oil over high heat, sauté the onions, ginger and dried cranberries until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the orange zest and juice, naturally brewed soy sauce, cranberry juice, and sugar and bring to a simmer. Reduce by 50 percent over low heat, about 10 to 15 minutes. Check for flavor. Immediately, transfer to a blender and blend until almost smooth (with small bits is preferable), drizzling in oil. Do not blend until super smooth. Check for flavor and adjust seasonings. Let come to room temperature, then transfer to a glass jar, seal and store in fridge for up to two weeks.
TURKEY DUMPLINGS WITH CRANBERRY SOY DIP
1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil
1/4 lb (125 g) lean ground turkey
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) minced ginger
1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
3/4 cup (175 mL) shredded Savoy or Napa cabbage
1/2 cup (125 mL) shredded carrot
1/4 cup (50 mL) green onions
32 round dumpling or square wonton wrappers
Cornstarch for dusting
1 cup (250 mL) Ocean Spray® Jellied Cranberry Sauce
2 tbsp (30 mL) sodium-reduced soy sauce
1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced ginger
2 tbsp (30 mL) thinly sliced green onion
Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium-high heat. Crumble in turkey and brown well. Add the carrot, cabbage, green onions, ginger, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cabbage is wilted. Remove from heat; cool to room temperature. Moisten two edges of each wonton wrapper with a little water. Place a rounded spoonful of the filling in the centre of each; fold to enclose, pressing to seal. Place on a baking sheet dusted with cornstarch to keep wontons from sticking. Cover with a damp towel.
Heat 1 tsp (5 mL) vegetable oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add a single layer of the wontons. Cook, without turning, for 2 minutes or until just golden on the bottom. Add 1/2 cup (125 mL) of water to the skillet. Cover and steam for 6 minutes or until all the water is evaporated and dumplings are tender throughout. Repeat with remaining dumplings, adding more oil to the pan as needed.
Sauce: Meanwhile, whisk the cranberry sauce with the soy sauce in a small saucepan; set over medium heat. Cook, stirring often until the sauce comes to a boil and is smooth and glossy. Cool slightly; stir in the ginger and green onions.
Makes 32 wontons.
Jennifer 8 Lee’s version here involves ground turkey, half a head of shredded lettuce, 1/2 cup soy sauce, some chopped scallions, sesame oil, vinegar, shredded veggies, a bit of salt and sugar. She adds egg but you don’t have to.