a dumpling by any other name…

I love dumplings. From the Polish pierogi, to the Japaneze gyoza, or the Chinese jiaozi, I eat ’em all.

Dumplings are little parcels of dough and can either have a sweet or savory filling. Every culture in the world has their own version as well as their own way of preparing these tiny treats. Steamed, boiled, baked, or fried, no matter how they’re made, they taste great.

Sometimes, especially if I had a late lunch, I like to have appetizers for dinner. Tonight was one of those nights and potstickers were my appy of choice.

A couple of weeks ago, I made a batch of Chinese dumplings and froze them. These are great for when I come home tired and don’t feel like a big meal or ordering take out.  I simply put them in a shallow pan, covered halfway with water and a tablespoon of oil. They are steamed/boiled until all liquid has evaporated, then they are pan fried.

They are called “potstickers” for the obvious reason: they stick to the pan. The result is a contrasting texture of crunchy and chewy. A staple in every Chinese restaurant, especially for dim sum, I almost always order these for appetizers.

I prefer to make homemade dumplings because I can control what goes in them as well as knowing whatgoes in. They are easy and inexpensive to make. Plus, they freeze wonderfully and can be prepared in less than 15 minutes. With seemingly endless combinations to chose from, these particular ones were made with chicken and leeks—one of my favorites.

Chicken thighs (with the fat trimmed) were ground in the food processor. Then I added chopped leeks, cilantro, scallions, sesame oil, and seasonings. The wrappers I used where purchased from a local Asian market.

For dipping, I made a sweet-spicy ginger-soy sauce. Although my intent was to have a “light” meal, I ended up eating all 12 pieces.

What a pig!


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