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Asian Chicken Pot Stickers

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I read cookbooks for fun and bookmark recipes in my mind that I really want to try. This particular one had been floating around in my mind for quite a while before I actually decided to make it - and that was only because I had a leftover package of wonton wrappers in the fridge! Dumplings of any kind just seemed rather complicated, or at least too complicated for the usual mad rush between 4 and 7 pm that occurs in our household.

I made them last week with a red curry sauce, and they were so easy and delicious that I made them again this week, with a peanut sauce! The red curry sauce was definitely more to my liking, but the texture of the dumplings remained the same with both, which is what I loved.

You have to give these a try! Once you've made them, you'll keep doing them. I served them with steamed brown rice and sautéed rapini with garlic and chilis. It's flexible, so do whatever you feel like!

Asian Chicken Pot Stickers

Makes 35 dumplings

Ingredients: 1 lb ground chicken (I used beef, because that's what I had); 1 egg white; 1 tbsp cornstarch; 1 tbsp soy sauce; 1 tsp sesame oil; 1/4 tsp salt; 1/2 cup chopped cooked spinach, squeezed very dry (I left it out, because I didn't have any); 1 small carrot, finely chopped or grated; 2 green onions, chopped; 1 tsp chopped fresh ginger root; 1/4 tsp hot Asian chili paste; 35 Chinese dumpling wrappers; 1 tbsp vegetable oil, divided

Curried Tomato Sauce: 1/3 cup pureed tomatoes; 1/3 cup water; 1 tbsp sherry (I used red wine); 1 tbsp oyster or hoisin sauce; 1 tbsp curry powder or paste; 1 tsp granulated sugar

Garnish: 1 tsp sesame seeds, toasted; 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or chives



1. In a large bowl, combine ground chicken, egg white, cornstarch, soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Stir in spinach, carrot, green onions, ginger, and chili paste. Mix well.

2. Place a few wrappers on work surface in a single layer. Place a teaspoon of filling in centre of each wrapper. Place one dumpling in palm of your hand and bring up sides of wrappers to cover filling, leaving top slightly open. Squeeze slightly around middle to give each dumping a "waist." Flatten filling that is exposed on top. Place dumplings, open side up, on a baking sheet lined with waxed paper and brushed with a little vegetable oil. Continue until all filling is used.

3. To prepare sauce, combine all ingredients in a small bowl.

4. Heat remaining oil in a large, deep skillet on medium-high heat. Arrange dumplings, open side up, in skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned on bottom.

5. Spoon sauce over and between dumplings, and cover pan. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes, or until tops feel firm and cooked through. Shake pan gently to prevent sticking.

6. Toss dumplings gently and sprinkle with sesame seeds and cilantro.

[This recipe comes from Bonnie Stern's "Heart Smart" cookbook.]

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Friday, March 16, 2012