Monday, January 24, 2011

Pork Gyoza Pot stickers

As much as I love to cook everything from scratch, there are certain ingredients that I like to buy ready made. For the plain reason, I need these ingredients to cook fast for packing Bentos and also served as a side dish to our staple of rice and noodles for lunchtime. With more emphasis on healthy eating, the manufacturers of frozen food have developed alot of new products over the years to meet the market and I am always on a look out for new and healthy ready made stuffs from my grocery shops.

Pot Sticker is basically a Chinese dumpling which is made up of rice wrappers with fillings of meat and shredded vegetables inserted. The term Pot Sticker refers to the way that it is cooked by first pan frying it on a frying pan for a few minutes and some water is then added to the hot sizzling pan to create a steam to completely cook up the dumplings. The evaporation of the liquid causes the dumpling to stick to the pan, hence Pot Stickers. Alternatively, these dumplings can be blanched in hot water to cook or deep fried.

I came across these Dumplings in my local Asian grocer, manufactured by Day-Lee Pride and made in USA. There are different varieties of chicken, pork, beef or vegetables. I got the smaller packet of pork dumplings which has about 2 dozen dumplings for the price of $4.99. Not bad, as I would have to get separate rice wrappers, minced meat and vegetables to make these dumplings, which in total costs would far exceed $4.99. I like the taste of these dumplings for the reason that the presence of ginger is not overpowering and the size is right. Moreover the rice wrappers are not thick nor thin and didn't burst during cooking. The packaging said it has no MSG and I didn't feel the need to fetch for water after eating them, and the taste was just right with the slight Umami presence and not salty.

When cooking them in a soup base dish, I recommend that they be defrosted first as they kind of burst if drop in frozen straight into hot water or soup. As they are already pre-cooked, a mere 2 mins of re-cooking will be enough. I pan fried mine for about 7 mins after defrosting as I find that way cooks more evenly than straight out from the freezer. For an authentic way of eating these pot stickers, serve them with a side plate of soy sauce with julienned ginger.

As Side Dish with Soup Based Noodles

As Bento Filler

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