Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sausage and cabbage pot stickers

Remember that blog called Budget Bytes, which I mentioned when I posted about enjoying good food while saving money? Well I finally got around to trying one of her recipes and I am super excited that I pulled this off with only spending around $7. I made pot stickers!
These little guys happen to be one of those Asian foods that I refused to eat as a kid but now absolutely love. But man do they cost a lot. And, wow, are they easy to mess up. I think the last time I had edible pot stickers was a few years ago at an upscale Chinese restaurant in Florida.
So, I decided to try and make them myself. This recipe is super easy, it just takes a while. Not something you want to do when you are really hungry. So without further ado, here goes (with more photos after the recipe):

Sausage and Cabbage Pot Stickers
I modified the recipe to fit what I had and my time constraints. Feel free to use the original recipe for Ginger and Pork Pot Stickers from Budget Bytes.

1/4 onion, chopped
2 Tbsp of minced garlic
1/4 head of cabbage, sliced thinly
4 links of Italian sausage (I picked this protein cause I had some leftover from a cookout. The meat in pot stickers is supposed to be uncooked, but these were already grilled and they worked perfectly and added a alight smoky flavor. If you want to use raw meat, just refer to the Budget Bytes version because I skipped steps you need to follow for the raw meat).
Approx. 2 Tbsp cumin
soy sauce (no measurement here. It's kind of up to your taste buds)
Approx. 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Approx. 1 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 package of won ton wrappers
1 bowl of cold water (to use as glue for wrappers)
  1. Saute onions and garlic in a pan with oil of your choice over medium heat. As these are cooking, slice cabbage and chop up sausage.
  2. Season onions with spices, brown sugar and soy sauce (The sugar adds a lovely teriyaki flavor to the sauce). After onions have softened and turned translucent, add cabbage. Add more soy sauce (to assist in steaming) to taste. Cook until cabbage is translucent and soft.
  3. Add sausage. Cook Just until flavors are incorporated. Remove from heat and transfer filling to a bowl. You will need the pan later, so don't clean out the yummy flavors just yet.
  4. Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Add 1 cup of broth (we had frozen leftover stock from last week's corned beef and cabbage) OR season the water with salt.
  5. As the water is coming to a boil, set up your won ton station. You'll need a bowl of water, a place to fold your won tons and a place to put them when they are done boiling. Place a 1/2 of Tbsp of filling on each wrapper. Fold into a triangle, and then fold the outer tips together, as if the pot sticker is hugging itself (aww! I think I said "That's so cute!" every time I folded one. Seriously.)
  6. Place folded pot stickers into the boiling water. Cook for about five minutes (Remember, our meat was already cooked, so we were really just cooking the wrappers and further meshing the filling flavors). As the first batch is bowling (we did about 7 - 10 pot stickers at a time), put a little more oil in the pan that you cooked the filling in and put it over medium-high heat.
  7. Pull cooked pot stickers out and place on a grate over a cookie sheet to drain the excess water. I even dried the super soggy ones with a paper towel. **This is a crucial step. If you just dump the sopping wet pot stickers into the frying pan it will turn into a sausage and cabbage stir fry with gooey won ton wrappers all over the place. Not so awesome.**
  8. Place pot stickers into the pan, fold side down and cook for about 7 - 9 minutes, or until the bottom gets a gorgeous golden brown crust that is slightly crispy. Don't let the pot stickers touch each other, or they will stick together. This means you can really only cook 6 - 8 in the pan at a time, depending on the size of your pan.
  9. Serve with more soy sauce. Eat with chop sticks. Watch an old Jackie Chan movie and enjoy life.

A note on using grilled Italian Sausage in my pot stickers: I know it is not traditional. That being said, the light smoky flavor was awesome with the teriyaki-inspired sauce. When it comes to having good food on a budget, you have to be willing to compromise the "traditional" aspects of a recipe with what you can afford. Why not tweak a classic based on what you have on hand and what might add a delicious twist? People who yell about me not using plain raw meat can go spend $10 on 5 pot stickers at their Chinese restaurant. I'll stick to these, which cost somewhere around $7, made 48 pot stickers and taste better than almost any other pot sticker I've had. Alright, there's my rant.

One last note. My won ton wrappers were not perfectly square. So, when I folded them to make a triangle there was extra wrapper hanging off. The good thing is the second fold (to make the "hug") pretty much seals the extra wrapper off and helps keep the yummy package together. Also: If they do happen to get little holes in them, don't sweat it. These will taste great no matter what they look like.

Easy, right? A little time consuming, but wow, these are totally worth the wait.
I'd have a picture of the final product, but I got hungry and started eating instead of taking photos. Looks like you caught me!
Have you ever tried to make something that seemed too complicated to be worth the effort? What is your favorite pot sticker filling, or do you just hate pot stickers (don't be afraid to admit it. My 6-year-old self is encouraging your irrational hatred)?

1 comment:

  1. Tamales. My nemesis... They are so damn tasty when other people make them - I thought I'd try it for myself. Three hours and one completely scorched pot later I decided I better leave it to the professionals.
    The masa dough took no time at all. Making the filling was easy as pie. But wrapping them up in soaking/ripping corn husks took forever (and smelled horrible). Then I steamed them, which was relatively uneventful. For my first attempt it wasn't bad - but the dough was too thick and they were a little gummy.

    Then, after the smoke detectors went off I realized I had forgotten to turn the heat down, and I boiled all of the water out of my (borrowed) pot - completely burning the bottom with some nasty, crunchy black stuff. Maybe I’ll attempt it again someday… but not any time soon.