I have a new cooking interest. I love the idea of having a freezer full of items I can cook up quickly – kind of like paying $6.99 for a box of hot pockets, but much much better for you.
So, my friend Giuliana Serena decided to teach me her specialty – potstickers. I’d never even had them before. The beauty is that you can make 50 at a time and freeze them for several months, in other words, with a little preparation, a fairly inexpensive dinner is half done.
1 napa cabbage
2 bunches green onions
2 packages extra firm tofu or other protein
1 red pepper
1 bunch cilantro
Dice all the vegetables as small as possible and mix into a bowl. This is the most labor intensive part. Dice the drained, pressed tofu into tiny cubes and saute in peanut oil until brown. Mix tofu into vegetables. Mix soy sauce, grated ginger, grated fresh garlic, rice vinegar and sesame oil together, using mostly soy sauce, about 1/4 vinegar and a spoonful of sesame oil. Pour about 1/2 cup over the vegetables and stir. Visit your Asian market for a dumpling press, a dangerous tool that can crush greedy fingers as needed.
Take a potsticker wrapper and place with the corn starchy side up on the press. Dampen just the edges with water. Add a small spoonful of veggie mix to the center and press. Pressing it is harder than you think, I found that using the counter for leverage helped get a tight seal.
Now the fun part – freezing them. Arrange potstickers on cookie sheets so they do not touch. Place the crease up. Cover with a dish towel and place in freezer overnight or for a few hours. Once firmly frozen, potstickers can be placed in a bag in the freezer and you can remove a dozen at a time for dinner for two with rice and or miso soup.
To cook the potstickers, heat peanut oil in a cast iron pan. When it is hot enough to sizzle, add the potstickers (not touching). Cook for two minutes. Add about 3/4 cup water very carefully to the pan, it will spit at you. Cover and cook for about 8 minutes, until water is gone and potstickers are stuck to pan. Carefully remove with spatula. Serve with remaining soy sauce mixture for dipping.
The part I like best is seeing what a box of frozen potstickers costs at the store, and adding up the fat and sodium grams. I feel like I’m sticking it to the man by making it myself.