I’ve been thinking a lot about escape lately: daydreaming about hideaways like this one; booking flights to places I’ve never heard of; wondering whether I’d like to work in Malawi for 16 months, that sort of thing.
Not so much escaping from, but escaping to. I want to go to the edges, the wild places. To get lost in unfamiliar cities, eat unfamiliar food. The kind where you aren’t 100% sure what the words on the menu mean, and you have to fervently hope they won’t turn out to have been “tripe” or “sauteed brain”. That kind.
I suppose if someone else had made them, potstickers would be quite good mystery food. You can put pretty much anything inside them, after all. I go for minced turkey, and bright flavours like coriander, ginger. No tripe.
Recipe after the jump.
Makes around 25. They aren’t so nice cold, but could be improved by a quick blast in the oven to reheat.
For the wrappers:
2 cups / 260g flour
1/2 cup / 125ml boiling water
1/2 cup / 125ml cold water
For the filling:
450g minced chicken or turkey
5 cloves garlic
2tbsp fresh ginger
1 large bunch coriander, leaves and stalks
1 bunch spring onions or chives
2tsp Sichuan (or standard) peppercorns, ground
1tbsp sesame oil
2tbsp soy sauce
6tbsp groundnut or other odourless oil, for frying
To make the wrappers:
Put the flour and salt in a medium bowl, and stir in the boiling water. Gradually add the cold water until the mixture is the consistency of bread dough, not too sticky to the touch. You might not need all the water. Knead until the mixture is smooth, and put to one side while you make the filling.
To make the filling:
Blitz the garlic, ginger, coriander and spring onions to a rough paste in a food processor, and mix with the salt, pepper and chicken. Add the egg, oil, soy sauce and cornflour and mix well.
Take a tablespoon-sized piece of the dough and roll out (on a well-floured side!) to a 3-4in round. Take a tablespoon-sized piece of the filling, place in the middle of your dough circle and bring the sides up to the middle. Crimp or pinch together however you like, making sure they’re sealed well. Put onto a well-floured plate while you make the rest, ensuring you don’t leave them touching one another.
Put a large pan of water on to boil, and heat 2tbsp oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat.
Put around 10 dumplings in the water (depending on the size of your pans) and boil for 4 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the frying pan, flat side down – stand back, it will splatter – and fry for around 4 minutes until the bottoms are crispy and golden brown. Repeat with the rest of the dumplings.
Serve with some kind of shredded slaw, or alternatively just eat ten straight from the pan.