Sesame Pot-Stickers & Puppies

  February has basically been like a parade of gorgeous April days around here! I'm headed to the beach as soon as I finish writing this post. The beach! In cover up my confusion (like laughing instead of commenting on an anecdote an acquaintance wails at you from across a crowded room because you have zero idea what was just said), I'm giving you a recipe for sesame-seed-sprinkled pot-stickers! If you've never had a pot-sticker, the easiest way to explain it as that it's like a more accessible egg-roll. A savory filling of ground turkey, mushrooms, water-chestnuts, ginger, and more all tucked into a chubby little won-ton wrapper, folded like an origami puppy, and pan-fried in sesame oil. The aroma that fills the kitchen just from prepping the filling is enough to make anybody the time you've pan-fried them into crispy little golden purses you're ready to devour them standing up by the stove. The testing stage for this recipe may or may not have developed expressly because of this urge.

Can you smell it yet? I can. Or maybe that's just because I have some leftover in the kitchen. And that's the beauty of this recipe. Since it makes forty-eight darling little pot-stickers you've got endless options: throw a party, eat them all yourself, pan-fry half and freeze the other half. I'm telling you, this is the best little most helpful little, most delicious little recipe I have in my arsenal. The folding process is deceptively easy! You could google how to fold an origami puppy or you could simply place a dollop of the (raw) filling inside the won-ton wrapper, wet one edge, fold the top left corner to the bottom right corner, then fold the triangular ends down and the very bottom point up. Here is a visual if you're still confused!

I was also a lucky woman and had leftover Chinese takeout from the night before so guess who really won here? My recipe is adapted from the one that can be found at Damn Delicious, tweaked according to my taste and presented to you here! Enjoy the recipe - I can't think of anything yummier than sitting down to a late dinner of pot-stickers and stir-fry in front of a vintage movie.

Sesame Pot-Stickers
(makes 48)
1 pound ground turkey
3 ounces shiitake mushrooms, diced, wrung out in tea towel
3 ounces water chestnuts, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed
2 Tablespoons ginger, minced
2 green onions, sliced
2 Tablespoons soy sauce or coconut aminos
4 Tablespoons sesame oil, divided
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon black or white pepper, ground
1 package won-ton wrappers (36-48, usually)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds for topping
Soy sauce or coconut aminos for serving
  1. In a large bowl, use hands to mix together ground turkey, mushrooms, water chestnuts, garlic, ginger, green onions, soy sauce, 1 Tablespoon sesame oil, rice vinegar, and pepper until well-combined.
  2. Spoon a generous teaspoon of filling into each wrapper and fold as desired or as described above. I prefer the puppy method because who doesn't want a cute puppy pot-sticker? Fold all pot-stickers. If cooking all of them, proceed to next step. If freezing some, spread pot-stickers in single layer on wax-paper covered tray and freeze overnight, then store in a ziplock bag.
  3. Heat remaining sesame oil in large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Cook pot-stickers in single layer for about two minutes on each side, flipping once. They will be done when both sides are golden and crispy. Feel free to lower heat if the outsides are cooking too quickly. Test the first pot-sticker to see how your stove is cooking.
  4. Set finished pot-stickers on paper-towels to absorb excess oil, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve immediately. Dip in soy sauce or other sauce of choice.
These babies make me think of P.F. Chang's, though I've never had pot-stickers there. Where did you get the best "Chinese food" you've ever eaten? I'm always on the lookout for suggestions!


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