I absolutely loved eating pot stickers growing up. In fact, no night of Chinese take-out was complete without them in my house. And what’s not to like about them? Crispy on one side, tender on the other and bursting with a flavorful, juicy pork and shrimp filling. Yup, give me a bowl of soy or some sweet and sour dipping sauce and I was good. Then…I went away to college and simply lost all interest in these delicious dumplings.
You see, there is a brand of frozen pot stickers on the market that seems to be stocked in every grocery store on the planet. It’s highly likey that you might have eaten them yourself at one point in time. And why wouldn’t you have? They aren’t half bad when you prepare them correctly. But it was the constant consumption of these store-bought wonders by my roommates that really put me off them for a while. Do you know what it’s like to come home from a long day of classes to a house steamed up with the funky stench of industrialized cabbage wontons? Not good! Sure they were good the first couple of times, but after a while it’s just not the same as the genuine, handmade article.
So, smack-dab in the heart of Chinese New Year, I present to you a killer recipe from this month’s Fine Cooking Magazine for authentic, pork and shrimp jiao zi. Simple enough to assemble and sheer gold sitting in your freezer, this recipe has single-handedly renewed my interest in these classic Chinese dumplings. Loaded with a myriad of traditional Chinese ingredients like ginger, rice wine, napa cabbage, scallions and sesame oil, these pot stickers are leagues above your average supermarket variety and far better than the restaurant versions I’ve had in recent years. Serve them with the accompanying recipe for scallion-soy dipping sauce and you have a knockout appetizer.