Paul and I love to eat treats! Anything small, bite-sized, warm, and savory pretty much does the trick. And the best thing about these potstickers is that they're easy to cook--really, really easy. You have to be in a bit of a crafting mood to fill them and pleat their little edges, but the cooking itself is easy-peasy.
Normally, potstickers are filled with raw pork or shrimp and cabbage, and the filling gets cooked as the dumplings steam...but I always have trouble getting the filling to cook through before the wonton wrappers become sad little soggy flaps. Using a cooked filling, such as boudin (sausage made from minced pork and rice), solves the cooking problem PLUS makes great use of local ingredients, or even leftovers. If you don't have boudin or greens, or don't like one or both of those things, use other cooked meats, seafood, or vegetables. Just make sure everything is chopped really fine before stuffing the potstickers.
These are my filling ingredients: 1 link of boudin (roughly 1/3 pound), simmered in water for about 10 minutes and removed from its casings, and about 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked mustard greens. For the greens, I simmered a few handfuls in a pot with chicken stock and garlic for about an hour, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and balsamic vinegar. I let them cool completely and then chopped them up to make sure there weren't any big pieces of stem. You can easily use canned greens, well drained, or frozen chopped greens, or substitute cabbage or any other kind of green you have sitting around and being leafy. The main thing to note here is that this filling amount, roughly 1 cup total, will fill about 20 potstickers.
The workstations: filling, a little dish of water, and round wonton wrappers. Mine look janky because I accidentally bought square wrappers and had to cut them into circles with scissors.
Working with 2 to 3 wrappers at a time, dip your finger in the water and moisten the edges completely. You can use a brush, but it takes longer.
Put just a teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper...
and fold them over, pressing the edges to seal.
To pleat the top, fold a tiny bit of the top edge backwards, then squeeze hard between your thumb and forefinger to get the pleat to hold. They don't have to be perfect.
Keep going until you have 4 to 5 pleats across the top, then press down on the potsticker to flatten the bottom and get it to stand upright, with a little pleat "mohawk" on top.
The cooking has two steps that go quickly: Saute the potstickers in oil for a few minutes to brown them slightly on the bottom,
then add a little stock, cover, and steam until they're tender. Done!
These are great as an appetizer or snack with a traditional ginger-and-soy dipping sauce, or, if you use boudin, you might want to try dipping them in Creole mustard just like you would with a plain boudin link. Or if you really want to feast, go ahead and float some of these in a big bowl of gumbo. We won't judge.
boudin and greens potstickers
- 1 link boudin sausage (about 1/3 pound), cooked according to package directions, cooled, and removed from casings
- 1/2 cup cooked and seasoned mustard greens, cooled and finely chopped
- about 20 round wonton wrappers
- 2 to 3 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1/2 to 1 cup chicken or beef stock, divided
- Creole mustard and/or soy sauce, for dipping (optional)
- Combine the boudin and greens in a small bowl. Have a small dish of water nearby.
- Working with 2 to 3 wrappers at a time, dip your finger in water and moisten the edges of the wrappers completely. Place a teaspoon of filling in the center of each wrapper and fold the edge over, pressing the wet edges together to seal.
- Put 4 to 5 pleats in the top of each potsticker by folding a tiny bit of the edge backwards and pressing firmly to make it "hold." When each wrapper is pleated, press it down slightly to flatten the bottom and make it stand upright. Repeat with all the filling and wrappers.
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place one tablespoon of oil in the pan, swirl it around, then add half the potstickers (or a third of them, depending on size of pan). Saute gently for 3 to 4 minutes, until the bottoms of the potstickers are light brown.
- Pour in about 1/3 cup of stock, cover the pan, and simmer gently until the potstickers are tender and the filling is very hot, about 4 to 5 minutes. (Make sure they don't run out of liquid in the pan or they might burn.)
- Serve hot or at room temperature with Creole mustard, soy sauce, or a combination of both for dipping. Or put them in your gumbo and be awesome.
Makes 20; serves 3 to 5 people (easily doubled or tripled)