How to Make Fried Pot Stickers (Vegetarian Potsticker Recipe)
I made vegetarian fried pot stickers today. I filled them with fresh water chestnuts, mung bean paste, shiitake mushrooms and fresh soy bean paste (packed with protein). Folding pot stickers is a little tricky, and I think it's the biggest challenge the first time you try. The key is to ensure that it is well sealed so the filling doesn't leak while frying. With a little practice it gets really easy.
I usually serve them as appetizers. Even the meat eaters like them because soy bean paste has a similar texture to ground chicken. Also, who doesn't like fried food?
Yields: 8 servings1 (16-ounce) package fresh pot sticker wraps
5 ounces fresh water chestnuts
¼ cup mung beans
2 cups peanut oil (or regular vegetable oil), as needed
½ cup fresh soy bean paste (see tips)
10 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
2 teaspoons mushroom seasoning salt (or regular salt)
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly cracked using a mortar and pestle
1 tablespoon dried crispy fried garlic, store-bought
1-½ teaspoons sesame seeds, slightly toasted
1 teaspoon sesame oil (optional)
2 shallots, finely chopped
3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
3 tablespoons green onions, thinly sliced
2 egg whites (optional), lightly beaten
How to make mung bean paste:
Place the mung beans in a small saucepan, barely cover with water, then slowly cook for about 30 minutes. It will form a dry paste. Set aside.
How to cook water chestnuts:
Wash the chestnuts in cold water and then soak them in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes. With a paring knife, make a small criss-cross cut at the root of each water chestnut. Make sure the incision is not too deep so as not to cut the flesh of the chestnut.
Place the chestnuts in a pot and cover them with water. Bring to a gentle boil and cook for 30 minutes.
Allow to cool. As soon as they are not too hot to handle, shell the water chestnuts, then slice, cut into small matchsticks and finely chop them.
Making pot sticker filling: In a pan, add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots; cook until fragrant. Add the soy bean paste. Separate into small lumps using a spatula, then add the chopped mushrooms. Cook over high heat for 2-3 minutes, then add the water chestnuts. Make sure the temperature is high so the filling doesn't become watery. Turn off the heat. Season with fried garlic, mushroom seasoning salt and pepper. Allow to cool a little. Add the mung bean paste, sesame seeds, sesame oil, green onions and cilantro. Mix well. Check the seasoning. Add more mushroom seasoning if necessary.
How to wrap pot stickers:
This is one method; there are a million other ways of forming these dumplings. Brush the edge of a pot sticker round with the egg whites (if used). Place about 1-½ teaspoons of the filling. Fold over in half, in a half-moon shape. Seal the pot sticker by forming small pleats along the edge and pinching firmly. Repeat until all the ingredients are used.
Frying pot stickers:
Layer a cooling rack, previously lined with paper towels if you like, on top of a baking sheet (for easy clean-up of the drained oil).
In a large Dutch oven (or any regular deep-fryer), heat the oil for about 2-3 minutes over high heat. There should be at least a 2-inch-high level of oil. Wait until the oil is slightly bubbly (but not too hot).
Place one pot sticker at a time in the hot oil. Fry in batches. Place up to 6 pot stickers per batch. Make sure they don't touch each other. Lower the heat to medium for even cooking and to prevent them from browning too fast. Deep fry for about 3 minutes per side. The pot sticker will form a golden crust. Flip each piece using a spider skimmer and cook for about 2 minutes until golden on both sides. Carefully lift each pot sticker, draining as much oil as possible and transfer them onto the cooling rack. Continue with the remaining pot stickers.
Serve immediately with Sriracha or plum dipping sauce on the side (see tip section for the recipe).
I find making vegetarian filling so much easier than using meat filling. The filling is already pre-cooked prior to frying; it's a much safer bet than adding ground chicken or other meat, plus they're just as delicious.
I used water chestnuts for a crisp, crunchy contrast with the mung bean paste. You can find fresh water chestnuts in most Asian stores.
Mushroom seasoning salt brings a very distinct, earthy flavor to the broth. You can find it at gourmet specialty stores or in most Korean stores. I buy mine at Marina Foods -10122 Bandley Drive -Cupertino, CA 95014.
I bought soy bean paste at a Korean store. Soy bean paste, also known as okara, is the solid remnants from squeezing freshly-made soy milk. It's fairly easy and fun to make but it's time-consuming (I'll try to post the recipe soon). Soy bean paste is a great substitute for meat and it's very nutritious.
I buy dried crispy fried garlic at the Asian store. It's sold in 14-ounce containers. It's crunchy and very strong in flavor. Adding this ingredient helps absorb the moisture from the filling to guarantee crunchy, non-soggy pot stickers. You can also make your own if you like, by frying small chunks of fresh garlic.
You can find pot sticker wraps in the fresh section of Asian stores. They're slightly thicker than wonton wraps and they're round. My favorite brand is New Hong Kong Noodle Company (they carry all sorts of for noodle dough products).
For optimum results when heating the frying oil, the thermometer should register 345°F to 360°F. Heat the oil over medium to high heat (for a nice golden color). The other method (usually when I make the meat version) is to pan-fry them, then once they're golden on one side, I add water, cover them with a lid and cook until the water evaporates. But this is another recipe; I'll make it soon.
One of the most common condiments to serve with fried pot stickers is Sriracha sauce. It's the red chili sauce with the green cap.
Easy recipe for pot sticker sauce: Combine 3/4 cup plum sauce, 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 1-½ tablespoons rice vinegar, 1-½ tablespoons of garlic-infused oil, ½ teaspoon of Sriracha and 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger in an immersion blender attachment (and the attachment measuring cup) or a mini-prep until the mixture becomes thick and smooth. Add a little water if necessary.Published By: on January 27, 2011.