Wednesday 1 August 2018

chicken and mushroom potstikcers

Potstickers. Quite possibly the best snack. Ever. 

In our house we've made them a meal, one giant bowl of chilli spiked, crisp bottomed deliciousness. I always make loads, planning to virtuously freeze half, ready to whip out at a later date, smug smile on my face. Never happens, we eat them all, every time. My son had a few friends over for his birthday last year, I made 120 as an entrée, they ate them all too.

My love for home made dumplings was sparked last year, at a private dumpling workshop in a friend's gorgeous studio kitchen. We had a riotous afternoon, the patient Vanessa sharing her dumpling knowhow. It's a lovely, in my case slow, process. The dough and filling are simple to make, rolling and shaping the dumplings, a little trickier. I've tried to explain the process below, it may be worth googling the technique, or attending one of Vanessa's workshops!

This recipe makes 48, if it's your first time making them, or you're a bit slow like me, pop the first half in the fridge while you make the rest. If you do plan to freeze any, put the tray of dumplings, uncovered, in the freezer for 15 minutes then transfer them to a ziplock bag or freezer container, store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. The dumplings can be cooked from frozen, just add a little extra water and steam them for 8 minutes not 4. You will need a non stick pan with a tightly fitting lid, I use a large 34cm pan to cook mine, the pan in the images is just for presentation, it looks so pretty! 

Big thanks to the lovely Aimee from Twigg Studios who spent an afternoon making these dumplings with me, sharing her styling and editing tricks, "thanks so much Aimee" I love these shots. As much as I love dumplings? Maybe...

Chicken and Mushroom Potstickers

dumpling wrappers

450g plain flour
200ml boiling water
100ml cold water

• tip the flour into a large bowl, add the boiling water and mix together, you're looking for a crumbly texture
• add the cold water, keep mixing until you have a shaggy dough, then continue kneading with your hands until the dough comes together as a ball
• turn out onto your bench and knead for around 8 minutes, the dough should be smooth, and spring back slowly when lightly pressed
• return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling wrap and stand for 20 minutes


400g chicken mince
250g assorted mushrooms, chopped finely
2 tsp peanut oil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp cornflour
1 tbs shaoxing wine
2 tbsp soy
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
40g shallots

vegetable oil for frying
cold water for steaming
ground szechuan pepper corns, if you can find them

• heat the peanut oil until just smoking, add the mushrooms, fry until golden then add the garlic, continue to cook until soft, and all moisture has evaporated, set aside to cool
• in a large bowl combine all the filling ingredients, including the mushrooms, mix well, the filling should come together as a single mass (?) the mince will no longer look like mince, more of a paste

• line a baking with tray with baking paper, dust lightly with flour
• uncover the dough, divide in quarters, work with one quarter, keeping the remaining dough covered
roll the dough into a sausage, cut into 12 pieces and dust with flour 
• working with one wrapper at a time, keep the other pieces covered, roll the dough piece into a ball, squash with your palm to flatten, then use a thin rolling pin to roll the wrapper into a rough circle, roll the wrapper from the inside out, turning with your other hand as you roll, the wrapper should be slightly thinner around the edge, and roughly 8cm across
• place a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of the dumpling wrapper, fold in half so the edges meet in a semi circle, pinch together at the corner to seal, then form little pleats in one edge of the dumpling, squeeze the pleat against the other edge to seal; continue until you reach the other side, make sure the pleats are sealed and there are no gaps, place the dumpling on the baking sheet, gently flattening the bottom, cover with a damp cloth, and repeat with the remaining wrappers.

• heat a tablespoon of oil in a non stick pan, quickly fill with dumplings, flat side down (my large pan will fit 24 dumplings in 2 concentric circles) fry for 2-3 mins until golden, add 1/3 cup cold water, immediately clamp on the lid, leave to steam for 3-4 mins, remove the lid, allow the water to evaporate completely then let the dumplings fry again for a minute or so, serve immediately, sprinkled with ground szechuan pepper and a generous bowl of dipping sauce!

dipping sauce

2 tbsp soy
2 tbsp black vinegar
1 tbsp chiu chow chilli oil
splash sesame oil

• combine well, share between dipping bowls; recipe can be doubled/tripled and so on for sauce lovers!

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