Treat yourself to a hearty and heart warming meal of pot stickers one night this winter. Empower yourself by making nourishing dumplings. Flavour them with farm fresh, sustainably grown veggies and herbs, grass fed, free range meat, pastured eggs and coconut oil. This recipe does take a bit more love and attention so set aside a couple of hours to play with it and reward yourself with pipping hot bowl of crispy pot stickers at the end of it.
500g good quality grass fed mince*
1/2 head of napa cabbage (finely shred)**
1/4 cup coriander leaves, chopped
1 cup carrots, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 large egg
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp chinese rice wine or any cooking white wine
3 tsp soy sauce
Spelt dumpling dough:
2 cups wholegrain spelt flour
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp Miso
2-3 tsp Tahini
1/2 tbsp Tamari or soy sauce
3 tbsp water
Spring onions, chopped finely
Combine all and serve on the side with pot stickers and Carrot Kraut.
For the spelt dumpling dough:
Mix the flour and water together. Stir it together with a wooden spoon first. If dough seems dry, add 1 tbsp of water at a time, stirring constantly.
Dust the working surface with more flour and pour the dough onto it. Knead for 15-20 mins or until the dough is soft and springs back to your touch. Divide the dough in half and roll them into long cylinders and set aside. Cover with a wet towel while you prepare the filling.
After years of rolling out every dumpling skin individually, I thought I’d try using a pasta machine for a change. My thoughts on it? Chinese roll their dumpling skins out individually for good reason; it’s a whole lot faster and requires less hands.
For the meat filling:
In a large mixing bowl, combine everything together. To make sure that the seasoning is balanced and taste yummy, cook up a small amount in a skillet to taste before filling the pot stickers. Adjust the seasoning to taste and proceed on.
Rolling out the dumpling skin:
Here comes the fun part of making the skin, take heart that this is the most time consuming part of the recipe and let go of the perfectionist in you. Practise makes perfect applies especially to pleating dumplings. I have been making dumplings every now and then for 7 years and am still working on making a uniform consistent pleat. Have fun here. As long as the dough is sealed and keeps the filling within itself, move on.
To prepare the skin, cut the cylinders into the small 1/4 inch sections. Take each small section and flatten with a rolling pin till it becomes a round skin.
To make the pot stickers, place the flatten dough on your palm. Spoon 1 tsp of the filling onto the skin.
Dab a little water with your finger and circle the edge of the skin. Fold both edges of the dough and pinch to secure the edges. Shape the dumpling so that it has a flat bottom.
Once completed, place the dumpling on a parchment lined baking tray and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat the same with the rest. (if in doubt on how to pleat the pot stickers, this is a great guide on how to perfect it.)
Cooking the pot stickers:
Once ready to cook, heat a large fry pan with 1 tbsp of coconut oil over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, place dumplings into pan with its flat side down. Make sure not to let them touch and not to over fill the pan.
Allow to pan fry for a couple of minutes until the bottom is slightly crispy and golden brown. Pour 1/2 cup of water or stock into the pan and cover it with a lid.
Lower the heat to medium and allow the pot stickers to steam for 5 mins. Remove the lid and allow the remaining liquid to evaporate, turning the heat to low.
Cut through the pot stickers to make sure they are thoroughly cooked. If they are still raw in the middle, return to pan and add another 1/4 cup of water and cover with lid. Allow to steam for another 5 mins.
Once cooked, serve up pipping hot with Carrot Kraut and miso dipping sauce.
*I like to use both beef and pork, but only if you can find good quality pork*
** feel free to add in more or different veggies that may tickle your fancy. There are times I add in diced up shiitake mushrooms, grated zucchini, sweet potatoes, kale, spring onions etc. You can even make it a vegan friendly meal by using a vegetarian filling.
A couple of times a year, I will usually set aside a dumpling making day. By doubling or even quadrupling this recipe, I am rest assured that my freezer always have a supply of dumplings whenever the craving strikes. Freeze the pot stickers by the tray till they harden. Transfer them into a freezer bag and keep them in the freezer. Perfect way of making slow food as quick as fast food. Just with a little planning ahead and yes, a couple of delightful company with extra hands and great music does help.