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How to Steam Up Delicious Pot Stickers

Pot Stickers

I grew up in Asia and pot stickers (dumplings, jianzi, gyoza, wonton as they are also called) were and still are my staple food. Pot stickers are party favorites and they are available in frozen packs ready to be steamed, pan fried or baked depending on how you like it. These delicious mouth watering appertizers are available today from most city supermarkets, although my favorite place to shop for them are Trader Joes and Vietnamese grocery stores as they are better and cheaper in price. They come with vegetarian filling or chicken, pork, shrimp fillings or any combination. Over the year, this highly popular Pan American dish has evolved quite a bit and today many Asian fusion restaurants will serve them with any variety of sauces you could possibly fancy, going as far as Chinese hot mustard or horseradish besides the traditional sweet dipping sauce.

Steaming pot stickers may sound simple but often they can turn out to be overcooked or too crunchy if you follow the instructions on the package. The dipping sauce provided is never quite as tasty as you like. In this article, I share with readers how I prepare these delicious appetizers and my recipe for the sweet and hot dipping sauce I prepare fresh from scratch. It is quick and easy and they are ready in less than 10-20 minutes. They are all time favorite at my dinner parties and everyone asks for my recipe.

So, here they are:

Ingredients: (serve 2, they are wonderful as snack for two)

(double all ingredients if you are making them as hors deurves for a small party of 5-6 people)

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1 package of frozen pot stickers (15-20 pieces per package). Keep frozen until ready to use.

3 leafy green scallions, wash well, chop all into tiny pieces, separate into two equal portions.

Sweet Spicy Dipping sauce:

2 tablespoons of Thai sweet and hot sauce (from TJs, Vietnamese grocery stores and most regular supermarkets in the Asian food section)

1/2 teaspoon of fine sugar (I prefer white sugar over brown sugar which tends to make it too sweet)

1 tablespoon of light soy sauce

1/2 teaspoon of garlic chili sauce or red chilli oil

Mix the above ingredients well in a sauce dish. Sauce should not be too pasty. If necessary add 1/2 tablespoon of warm water

Cooking Instructions:

Put frozen pot stickers in shallow microwave dish, spread them well. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of olive oil over the pot stickers followed by 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cold water. Do not mix or turn the pot stickers at this stage, Finally, sprinkle half of chopped green scallions to dish. Cover with saran plastic wrap well and microwave at high heat for 5 minutes.

Remove from microwave, use a pair chopsticks (or small wooden ladle) and gently mix the pot stickers coating them with the juice from olive oil, soy sauce and cooked scallions. Be careful not break the delicate skins as the pot stickers will be nearly cooked at this stage and the skin will look a little translucent. Add 1 tablespoon of the dipping sauce to pot stickers, again mix gently. Cover the dish with saran wrap again but this time do not seal the dish completely.

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Microwave again for another 3 minutes. The pot stickers should be a tad crunchy and lightly browned on the edges. Remove from microwave, garnish with remaining chopped green scallions.

Pot stickers taste best if you eat with chopsticks. Yes, do not use fork if you can help it, so as to not puncture the delicate skins and let all the goodness escape before you savor them in your mouth.

Serve steaming hot with the sweet and hot dipping sauce. They go extremely well with chilled light beer, a glass of merlot or chardonnay if you insist on white

Bon appetit and salute.