JOURNAL: PotstickersFebruary 8, 2008
My dear mother wanted to make my potsticker dumplings for a family dinner while I was visiting Vermont. Annoyed that I couldn’t give her a recipe more precise than a grocery list, she stuck out a measuring cup every time I reached to add a fistful, pinch, splash or squirt to the mixing bowl, and then carefully recorded the recipe.
In transcribing the recipe, it hit me that traditional potstickers are steamed and then fried, but I fry mine first and then braise them. I have no idea how or why I began cooking them this way, but as far back as I can remember, I have filled wantons with raw ingredients, fried them to crisp the wrappers, then poured in broth and cooked them until the liquid was reduced by about 80%.
Actually 80% is a guess. Like my lack of measurements in this dish, I also don’t time the cooking or go by sight to determine doneness. I think it bothered my mom a bit when she asked me when they would be done and I told her she didn’t need to lift the lid because I would be able to hear when they were ready. The best way I can describe it is to say that when the bubbling noise first turns to a sizzle sound, they are perfectly cooked and ready to be served.
If nothing else, my process saves time and dirty dishes, because it all happens in one pan without removing the dumplings.