Cooking during the growing season is always fun. In the winter, I usually cook any old thing that I feel like. Admittedly, that’s not a very good “sustainable” practice, but I also don’t tend to buy things that are wildly out of season.
In the summertime though… there’s all sorts of fresh things to use. And you have to use them quickly, or they’ll go bad. There’s the usual culprits… stir fries and parmesans. Or…. you can go totally off the regular path on a wild hair and make potstickers.
I read Hungry Monkey recently… a story/cookbook about a Dad cooking for his daughter. She loves potstickers and he talks about making them in there. I started getting a yen for them (and the Engineer loves them) so I looked at several different recipes and came up with this one. I wanted to adapt it to some of the local produce and the ingredients we already had, and I think it worked well. Next time I want to try it with buffalo. We’re also thinking that it could be interesting to try a Mexican/fajita version with red pepper, marinated buffalo, and lime juice.
For this batch though, we used the free range beef that is in our freezer, bok choy and leeks from farmers market, some ginger that I had hanging around, garlic that might be from around here, and wonton wrappers that are decidedly NOT from anywhere except some factory that makes them. Pot stickers were on the menu two nights in a row… the second night we supplemented it with in-season, local veggie stir fry, which alleviated my local-guilt a little bit.
If I were to make this exact recipe again I would add more garlic. Then again, we’re garlic fiends around here. Also, make sure that your ginger is very finely diced or crushed and mixed well. Otherwise you end up getting ginger “hot spots.” I found this to be fun, others might not. I also thought that a little more ginger might be in order – but then again I really like that flavor too.
This recipe made a BUNCH of potstickers. We put a bunch of uncooked ones in a covered container in the fridge and cooked them the next day. They tasted fine, although the wrappers had gotten slightly soggy and the stickers stuck together when we pulled them out of the fridge. I also think that they would freeze well (although you’d still face the slightly soggy issue) and the next time we make them I’m planning to freeze some for future (easy) meals.
Enjoy! And if you try them, let me know how it goes![recipe title=”Homemade Beef Potstickers” servings=”8-10″ time=”varies” difficulty=”easy”]
- 1 lb ground beef
- ½ cup chopped leeks
- ½ cup chopped bok choy
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce (I used Tamari)
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 2 teaspoons finally crushed/diced fresh ginger root
- 1 egg
- 1 pkg. Wonton wrappers
- 1/3 cup chicken broth per 8 potstickers
- Vegetable Oil for frying
1. Chop the leeks, bok choy and crush your garlic and ginger root. Add first 9 ingredients to a large bowl and mix. I used a pastry blender for this part and found it worked wonderfully.
2. Lay out your wrappers on a clean, hard surface and make sure you have a little cup or bowl of water nearby. You’ll need it to seal the wrappers. Using a spoon, scoop out about ½ Tablespoon of your meat mixture and settle it in the middle of the wrapper. (If they’re square wrappers, put the mix on the diagonal – corner to corner.) I used the right hand to scoop, and the left hand to shape the meat… you’ll want the meat to be more like a long meatloaf shape than a round ball in order to efficiently seal the wrapper.
3. Dip your (clean) finger in water and wet two (continuous) edges of the wrapper. Fold the dry edges of the wrapper over onto the wet edges, and pinch together. Repeat until you have 8.
4. Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a frying pan on medium-high. Wait until the oil is hot, and add your pot stickers. Cook for 2 to 2.5 minutes. Pour in 1/3 cup chicken broth and immediately cover the pan with a lid to trap the steam. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 2 – 2.5 minutes. Uncover and serve![/recipe]