August 1, 2005
Frozen Food

potstickers.jpgI'm a bit of a food snob, I admit. I take pride on the fact that most of the food in my freezer is of my own making. Soup stock, leftover moussaka, a turkey pie and some unidentifiable green stuff which I really should toss. But there are a few things that I do buy frozen. I love frozen spices. They may not be as good as the fresh stuff, but they have loads more flavor than the dried variety and keep indefinitely. English sausages also make it into the freezer compartiment: kind friends from the UK bring them over and I freeze them for a later date.

And one of the few prepared foods I buy myself are pot stickers. I'm afraid I don't know what their true name is. You know what they are I hope: those delicious little pork dumplings that you fry on one side and then steam, serving them with hot sauce. I suppose I could try to make them myself, but the shops in Belleville on the East side of Paris sell them cheaply and they are tasty.

What's more, they are the perfect food for someone who is temporarily single: just pull out enough for a meal for one and put the bag back in the freezer. I am such a person. My Critic has abandoned me for the Big Apple and the boy and I are on our own.

Before discovering the wonders of the food blogging world, I used to consult the epicurious site fairly frequently. One of the things that made me smirk was coming across one of those recipes that was, in fact, no recipe. They have a few of these on epicurious, the kind of "recipe" that is nothing more than a set of instructions along the lines of "open box, follow instructions for cooking and pour sauce over dish". They get scathing comments from other readers.

So this is kind of one of those recipes, but not entirely. I'm giving you a little more here. For one thing, if your bag of pot stickers is like mine, the directions are in Chinese.

Pot Stickers for One

Pour a tablespoon or two of vegetable oil in a frying pan. Add a tablespoon of sesame oil. Bring to a high heat, until it is almost smoking. Add seven or eight (or more, depending on your hunger) frozen pot stickers. While they are starting to brown, roughly chop about a tablespoon of ginger and slice a tablespoon of garlic. Add them to the pan. When the pot stickers are browned on one side, flip them over. Add a quarter of a cup of chicken broth and a dash of soy sauce and cover the pan.

While the pot stickers are finishing cooking, spread a layer of lettuce leaves (fresh from the balcony in my case!) on a plate with a handful of cherry tomatoes (also home-grown!). When the pot stickers are nicely steamed and hot remove them to the plate of lettuce and tomato and drizzle the remaining pan sauces over them. Serve with a nice hot pepper sauce.

Crispy on the outside, savory, salty and hot on the inside, they are the perfect remedy to the morning-after feeling of the day after a birthday party. I should have invited over some of the friends I saw at the party but I figured they were enjoying the kind of lie-in I used to have pre-baby. Oh, yeah, and it would have meant sharing...that wasn't going to happen...

Posted by Meg in Sussex at August 1, 2005 2:59 PM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

I too like to keep frozen dumplings on hand. I go through phases--it used to be potstickers, then herb ravioli, now it's Russian pelmenyi!

Posted by Amy Sherman on August 1, 2005 at 8:22 PM

Oh, dear. I make my own potstickers and freeze them.

Does that make me even more of a food snob than you, Meg? ;-)

Posted by Barbara on August 1, 2005 at 9:50 PM

Dr. Meg makes potstickers (she calls them gyoza) and they're delicious!
You can get the wonton wrappers at the supermarket.
Chicken or pork browned and food-processed to a fine level.
Ginger, and some other things that I can't remember in the middle of the night fill out the rest of the inside.
Combine in a bowl. Make a glop of it and spoon onto the wonton wrapper.
Use a spoon or your finger to wet the edges of the wrapper and fold it closed sealing it like an envelope of pork product goodness!
Pan fried, deep fried or steamed all produce different textures and the same addiction.

Posted by Bryan on August 2, 2005 at 12:35 AM

Barbara - no, that just makes you talented! ; )

Bryan - thankyouthankyouthankyou...when I was writing last night I couldn't for the life of me remember "gyozas"!!

I guess I'll have to try my hand at them some day and I'll drop you a line to ask for advice when I do! It sounds like it might be a fun project the next time my stepdaughter visits!

Posted by Meg in Paris on August 2, 2005 at 1:32 AM

Yup, we're food snobs. It's okay though, we eat really well and can bypass the crud.
Do you have any icey creams in your freezer?

Posted by Dr. Biggles on August 2, 2005 at 5:47 PM

Dr. B, we do indeed frequently have ice cream in there but strangely enough it never seems to stay for long!

We also have my beloved Donvier ice cream maker insert so that we can make home made stuff at the drop of a hat!

Posted by Meg in Paris on August 3, 2005 at 2:20 AM

hi! just stopping by- wanted to say that this is an interesting twist on the gyoza (or guo tie, as it's known in chinese, quite literally "pot sticker")! i'm chinese and i live in singapore, and i've always eaten it just with dark vinegar, ginger, and nothing else. :)

Posted by clarisse on August 3, 2005 at 10:13 AM

From Wikipedia:
Jiaozi (Traditional: 餃子; Simplified: 饺子; pinyin: jiǎozi; Wade-Giles: chiao-tzu; Cantonese IPA: /kɑu35 tsi35/, Jyutping: gaau2 zi2) or gyōza is a Chinese dumpling, widely popular in Korea and Japan as well as outside of Northeast Asia.
Chinese dumplings may be divided into various subclasses. Steamed dumplings are called zhēngjiǎo (蒸餃). Boiled dumplings are called "water dumplings" or shuǐjiǎo (水餃). Fried dumplings are called "potstickers" or guōtiē (鍋貼).
The Japanese word gyōza was derived from the reading of 餃子 (jiǎozi in Mandarin Chinese) in the Shandong Chinese dialect and is written with the same characters.
The Korean name of the dish is mandu (만두), and is more or less the same as the Japanese and Chinese versions depicted above.

Posted by MonkeyBoy on August 19, 2005 at 9:39 PM

thanks for nice recipes knowledge share..


Posted by Frozen Food on November 12, 2009 at 1:06 AM
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