Pot Sticker Update

Recently my pot stickers have been bothering me. It was a texture problem. The filling tasted right, but was not solid enough. Ideally the filling of each dumpling is an independent little meatball that just happens to be sitting inside the doughy skin. Mine were not like this, they were sandy and insubstantial. Clearly I had to ask my mom what was going on.

So when my parents visited over Christmas this year, we investigated my methods, going over each step of the process. It turned out that the problem is outlined in my original post on this subject, here:

7. Put some cabbage into cheese cloth and squeeeeze as much liquid out of it as you can. This is critical. Keep the juice in a bowl. Salting the cabbage a bit will draw out the moisture and make this easier. Repeat this until you have worked through all the chopped cabbage.

When you have all the cabbage squozed, and you are ready to start filling, start mixing the cabbage into the pork. The mixture will dry up a bit. Add a couple of tablespoons of the cabbage juice back into the pork.

We had been chopping the cabbage too small, but that was not the main issue. The main issue was adding the cabbage juice and the cabbage at the same time. You don’t want to do this because the liquid will not have time to be absorbed by the meat and the filling will be too wet. You want to add the cabbage juice to the original soy sauce marinade and then make sure the pork sits long enough to soak it up. Let it sit in the fridge this way for a while, at least half an hour or so. If you do this, then the pork will not be too wet when you fill the dumplings and will hold together better after cooking.

Using less cabbage and cooking the meat a bit longer also helps. But we tend to prefer more cabbage than less. So it’s a tradeoff.

Happy new year.