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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time-Saving Double-Duty Prep: Recipes For Egg Rolls And Pot Stickers

Both of these recipes are from "The Take-Out Menu Cookbook," by Carla Snyder and Meredith Deeds.  It's one of my favorite cookbooks.  It's a good jumping-off point for dabbling in ethnic cuisines.  The recipes are easy to prepare and yield delicious results.  I've posted the recipe for Fried Rice from this cookbook before.  I recommend preparing the Egg Rolls and Pot Stickers at the same time because, one, they use many of the same ingredients so you can easily prep the ingredients for both recipes at once, and two, you can freeze the extras from both recipes to prepare later and have homemade Chinese takeout night anytime.

Don't let the long ingredient lists for these recipes deter you.  Most of the ingredients are easy to find.  Nowadays you can even find egg roll wrappers and dumpling wrappers at Walmart.  You might need to visit an Asian market for a few of the specialty ingredients, such as oyster sauce or toasted sesame oil.  Just go down the lists of ingredients for the two recipes, prepping each ingredient and portioning each into prep bowls.  Then you're ready to begin cooking.


2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 (1-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced (1 tablespoon)
1 bunch green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, minced (1/2 cup)
1 carrot, minced (1/2 cup)
10 shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced
1/2 head of napa or Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)
1 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and diced
1/2 pound ground pork
1 (16-ounce) package egg roll wrappers
1 egg, beaten
2 to 3 cups peanut or vegetable oil, for frying
Chinese mustard, plum sauce, or sweet chile sauce, for serving

Combine the oyster sauce, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet set over medium heat.  Add the ginger, garlic, green onions, celery, carrot, and mushrooms and saute for about 3 or 4 minutes, or until they soften.  Add the cabbage and saute for another minute or two.  Add the shrimp and pork and cook, tossing and stirring vigorously, for about 2 minutes, or until they are cooked through.

Add the reserved sauce and toss to incorporate.  Remove from the heat and set aside until cool to the touch.

Cover the egg roll wrappers with a piece of plastic wrap.  Place 1 wrapper on a work surface with one point facing you.  Spread 1/4 cup of the filling horizontally across the lower third of the wrapper.  Fold the bottom point over the filling, tightening the wrap over the filling, and fold in the side corners.  Brush the top corner with the egg wash and roll up the wrapper tightly, sealing the roll closed.  Transfer the rolls as they are made to a parchment-lined sheet pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Fill the rest of the wrappers in the same manner.

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

In a wide, heavy pot, heat 2 inches of oil to 360 degrees over medium heat.  Carefully add 4 egg rolls to the oil and fry, turning them with a slotted spoon after about 2 minutes as they brown on the bottom.  Fry on the second side for another 2 minutes, or until they brown.  Transfer the egg rolls to a sheet pan lined with a double thickness of paper towels.  Fry the remaining egg rolls in batches of 4.  When they are all browned, the egg rolls can be kept warm in the oven for up to 30 minutes.  (Kearby's Note:  When we prepared these, we heated 5-6 inches of oil to 360 degrees and deep fried the egg rolls.  We fried them for about 4-5 minutes, until golden brown.)

Serve hot with Chinese mustard, plum sauce, or sweet chile sauce.

MAKE AHEAD:  The egg rolls can be assembled but not cooked, covered, and refrigerated for up to 8 hours or frozen for up to 1 month.  Thaw at room temperature for 3 hours before frying.  (Kearby's Note:  We have frozen, thawed, and cooked leftover egg rolls and they were awesome!  Freeze in a single layer on the parchment-lined pan, not quite touching.  Once frozen, remove to a ziplock bag, label, and return to the freezer.)


1/2 head of napa or Chinese cabbage, finely chopped (2 cups)
1 pound ground pork
1/2 green onion, minced (2 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons minced cilantro
1 (1-inch) knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives, plus more for garnish
1 tablespoon rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon Asian toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (12-ounce) package dumpling wrappers or wonton skins, cut into rounds
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 cup chicken stock

Dipping Sauce

1/4 cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon chile oil
1 garlic clove, minced

In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, pork, green onion, soy sauce, cilantro, ginger, chives, rice wine, sesame oil, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Work the ingredients with your hands until completely mixed.  Heat a frying pan over medium heat and fry a tablespoon of the mixture to check the seasoning.  Adjust the seasoning as necessary.

Cover the dumpling wrappers with a damp towel.  Place one wrapper on a work surface.  With a finger dipped in water, dampen the edges of the wrapper to help it adhere.  Place about 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of each wrapper and fold it into a half-moon-shaped pouch.  Make 3 or 4 pleats at each edge to gather the dough around the filling, and then pinch around the top of the dumpling to seal it tightly.  Arrange the dumplings on a parchment-lined sheet pan.  Assemble the remaining dumplings in the same manner.

Heat a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat and add the oil.  When the oil is hot, add the dumplings to the pan and fry them on one side until browned, about 3 minutes.  Shake the pan to move them around during cooking and keep them from sticking.  Add the chicken stock to the pan and cover the pan tightly so that the pot stickers steam and cook through.  Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid has evaporated from the pan.

(Kearby's Note:  It's important not to overcrowd the pan during the frying/browning step.  Fry in stages if necessary, removing any stuck-on bits from the pan and adding additional oil between batches if necessary.  After all pot stickers have been fried, then return all to the pan and proceed with the steaming step.)

To make the dipping sauce:  Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl.  Let the sauce sit for at least 5 minutes to let the flavors blend.

Transfer the dumplings to a heated platter, garnish with chives, and serve with the dipping sauce.

MAKE AHEAD:  The dumplings can be frozen, uncooked, for up to 1 month and cooked directly from the freezer.  Any unused sauce should be refrigerated and discarded after 2 days.  (Kearby's Note:  Use the same instructions for freezing these as the egg rolls.)

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