Monday, April 9, 2012

Green Chopsticks Potstickers

Fast food! Starting from scratch is seldom the easiest method and, for me at least, sometimes not the best.  A few months ago Costco had a promotion with samples of Green Chopsticks Potstickers* and dumplings.  I liked both the chicken and pork  but decided to buy  2 bags of the chicken potstickers as they were much lower in fat** than the pork ones.  I choose the potstickers over the dumplings as I preferred their filling to dough ratio.

I have made potstickers and dumplings in the past but from a traditional recipe.  The ingredients in the filling of the Green Chopsticks potstickers are an imaginative combination of chicken breast, tofu, onion, sweet potato noodle, green cabbage, green onion, leek, shitake mushroom, oyster sauce, evaporated cane juice, soy sauce, salt, garlic, ginger, and jalapeno. Nom! The potstickers contain no msg or preservatives and the chicken is noted to be hormone and antibiotic free. The dough is thin and delicate, unlike the heavier, tougher dough found in varying degrees in most other packaged potstickers or for that matter restaurant potstickers.

The package gives three cooking options: boiling, frying or microwaving.  I use a combination of two, first microwaving on high for 2 minutes per 6 -7 potstickers and then frying the potstickers in peanut oil. I use a flat bottom frying pan large enough to hold all of the potstickers, flat in one layer and heat just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. As the oil is heating I sometimes add scallions (see below for preparation) and then when the oil is hot add the potstickers.   Perhaps because the dough is thin and less sticky these are not pot stickers; in fact just gently shaking the pan will cause the potstickers to slide back and forth.  When the potstickers are lightly browned (about 3-5 minutes), remove them from the pan and use a paper towel to remove excess oil.  Serve with dipping sauce.

[UPDATE:  Right after I posted this, I called one of the larger Whole Foods in Massachusetts to check on availability as my supply is running low, and I could not find them in our local Whole Foods or Costco. When I found they were not available there either, I called  Green Chopsticks, which is located in California. I was told their products are "in the process of being introduced on the East Coast"  :-(    So references to availability at Costco and Whole Foods in the last paragraph in the above link do not currently apply in many regions.  Hopefully soon.  Stay tuned.]

DIPPING SAUCE
Although this too can be purchased ready made (bottle of one of my favorite dipping sauces at far left in photo), I usually make my own version.

Mix:
1/4 c soy sauce
1/4 c rice vinegar (I buy the Marukan sodium free, sugar free)
1/2 - 1 t red pepper flakes, to taste
1 t sugar

1/4 c scallions, thinly sliced
1 t ginger, grated

Sometimes, especially if I am going to save some of the sauce, I combine the first 4 ingredients and then add the grated ginger and scallions to the individual dipping dishes.


PREPARING THE SCALLIONS
Wash and remove the roots of the scallions (~2 scallions per person).  Thinly slice some of the green end and reserve for the dipping sauce. If the scallions are small, slice greens in rings; if larger cut in strips then slice.  Cut the rest of the scallion in half lengthwise and then in half crosswise close enough to the white end so that the pieces in each half remained joined. Dry the scallions before frying.  Even dried, the scallions contain enough moisture to cause a great deal of spattering of the hot oil.  I think they are tasty enough to warrant the mess.

* Also see Greenchopsticks website though it still appears to be under construction.

** 1.5 g/100g or 4 potstickers - no saturated or trans fat

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