I don’t know about you, but I could eat snacks all day long. In lieu of actual meals.
I love little bites of this or that, grazing throughout the day, rather than sitting down to a big, often overfilling meal. Cheese and crackers have served as my dinner more times than I can count. It happens at least once a week (well, maybe less so now that I have a child I need to feed each night). I adore the eating style of Spanish tapas and love attending parties that have a fun food spread of different munchies. Is it any surprise that I get most excited about the food at a party?! Probably not.
Sports gatherings also are a great time for snacking. With the Super Bowl coming up in a couple weeks, I’m in total snack mode around here. I’ve been testing and re-testing different munchies to share with you guys. And I don’t hate it. I’ve already got a festive menu planned for the big game. Nothing over the top or fancy (because, let’s be real, we’re watching football), but yummy FUN snacks that are easy to pop in your mouth will definitely be in short order.
We’ll likely have something buffalo chicken flavored because, well, duh. And maybe these potato skins! Or this dip! The possibilities are endless. One thing I know for sure: these pot stickers will definitely be making an appearance.
I love a good pot sticker. There’s something about the flavors, of course, but the textures too! The soft, pillowy gyoza wrapper that is crisped up on the bottom. The first bite where the tender filling kind of bursts out into your mouth, full of savory-sweet deliciousness. They are so, so fantastic. My dad loves them. My husband loves them. I love them.
Because of this, I figured out how to make them at home a few years ago. Much to my pleasant surprise, they were easier than I thought. Now, I’m not going to pitch these as a 10-minute snack that you can just whip together in one big bowl and serve. No. These DO take some time and prep, but the actual PROCESS and STEPS are simple. As I always say, if I can do it, you definitely can.
You start with your filling. Pork pot stickers are my personal fave, so ground pork is what I went with here. I flavored it up with some Asian flavor staples: onion, garlic, ginger, and soy sauce. Certainly delicious all on their own. But then I upped the ante with some kimchi! Kimchi is a delightful Korean pickle that you can probably find in the produce section of your grocery store. It’s usually pickled cabbage that has some nice tang and spice to it. I looooooove the stuff and am always looking for fun ways to incorporate it more into our daily lives, like in this insane fried rice recipe (DROOL).
The good news is that it worked perfectly here in pot sticker form. The tangy spice that it lends is the best compliment to the rich pork and savory-salty flavorings. I did a happy dance when I tasted the first cooked pot sticker. It was everything I had hoped for.
The thing that’s so great about making pot stickers at home is that you can assemble them ahead, keep them in the fridge or freezer, and then fry them up fresh when you’re ready to eat. You can customize exactly how many you want to make in each batch, too. For instance, with this batch, the filling recipe makes A LOT of filling. More filling than I was interested in wrapping up in gyoza at the time. So I put the leftover filling in a sealed container and kept it in the fridge. Then, when my husband got home later in the day, I took it out, filled a few wrappers, and we had freshly cooked pot stickers in a matter of minutes. Back in to the fridge it went. Fresh pot stickers were a regular occurrence that whole week, which was a good “problem” to have.
If you were doing these for a large party, I recommend forming all the pot stickers ahead of time and keeping them lightly covered on a baking sheet in your fridge. Crisp them up once your guests arrive. They’re actually just as good at room temperature, so you don’t have to worry about serving them all piping hot. Plus, I think it’s kind of fun to have people see how these are made.
Bonus: people are IMPRESSED when you bring out a tray of these. You’ll get a lot of “you MADE these?!” or “Oh my gosh, these taste just like the ones from that restaurant!” People love ’em.
It’s one of those foods people only think to order when out, but I promise you, they’re totally doable at home.
For the Filling:
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or grated
- 1 cup kimchi, drained and finely chopped
- ¼ cup of the kimchi pickling liquid
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- ½ cup scallions, finely diced
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 lb ground lean pork
For the Dipping Sauce:
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 4 scallions, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 package (50 count) round dumpling (gyoza) wrappers
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
For the Filling:
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened. Add in the garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.
- Add in the kimchi, pickling liquid, and soy sauce. Cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- Once cooled, combine the kimchi mixture with the ground pork in a large bowl. Add in the chopped scallions and stir to incorporate. Chill in fridge for at least 20 minutes (keep cold until ready to use).
For the Dipping Sauce:
- Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.
- To form the pot stickers, place wrappers on flat working surface and lightly brush edges with egg wash. Place ½ tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper and fold over in half, sealing the edges with fingers by making small pleats. Gently press the pot stickers down on the work surface to flatten the bottoms so they stand upright. Place formed pot stickers on a parchment-lined baking sheet until ready to cook (They also can be frozen at this point on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Once frozen, store them in plastic bags).
- Wipe out the same skillet used to cook the filling mixture and add canola oil to coat the bottom. Heat over medium-high. Working in batches, place the pot stickers, flattened side down, in the oil and cook for 3 minutes (do not touch them during this time – this will create a crispy bottom).
- Add ¼ cup of water and immediately cover pan to avoid any splattering. Steam until the pot stickers are puffy yet firm and all the water has evaporated, about 5-7 minutes. Remove lid and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes so that the bottoms can retain their crispiness. Transfer to a serving platter and continue with the remaining pot stickers. Serve warm with the dipping sauce.