Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Bringing back an old favorite

When I first got back in the kitchen I wanted to make use of the items I already had on hand. Because the induction was unexpected, when I went into the hospital we already had a fully stocked fridge. A fully stocked fridge which the inlaws refused to make use of and continued to bring over new ingredients every night.

One of the "uncooked" items in my freezer was ground pork. I used about half of it to make the meatloaf Thatboy enjoyed for many lunches in the first couple weeks. The other half sat waiting to be turned into.....well, see, now I can't remember. So when I went to use it I turned to my old standby with leftovers - ma po tofu.

I always have all the ingredients on hand for this dish and it is one of my all time favorite uses for leftover ground meat.

To make it "special" I decided to turn this classic standby into a dumpling. Thatboy looked at me with fear in his eyes - "I think you're taking too much on, that's going to be really hard." Which I didn't understand at the time. And as I was stuffing the potstickers, he came over and peered over my shoulder. "Wow - those look really good! My mom and I tried to make potstickers one time when I was little and it was a disaster. It took forever and we made a mess everywhere. Yours look professional." Which explained his earlier comment. But I'll share with you my secret. The hardest part of making potstickers is the stuffing. Sealing them so they don't pop open and creating a beautiful little pocket. Elizabeth has the best most fabulous video to show how to fold and seal these suckers and it makes anyone look like a professional.

Ma Po Potstickers
1 (1-pound) package reduced-fat firm tofu, cut into 6 slices
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce (such as Lee Kum Kee)
4 ounces lean ground pork
1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
3 garlic cloves, minced
won ton wrappers
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 cup water

  1. Place tofu slices on several layers of paper towels; cover with additional paper towels. Place a dinner plate on top of covered tofu; let stand 30 minutes. Remove plate; discard paper towels. Cut tofu slices into 1/2-inch cubes.
  2. Combine broth, cornstarch, soy sauce, oyster sauce, and chili garlic sauce, stirring with a whisk.

  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork; cook 4 minutes or until done, stirring to crumble.

  4. Add ginger and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.

  5. Add tofu; cook 4 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.

  6. Add broth mixture to pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

  7. Place mixture in a food processor and pulse a couple times to break down the mixture.
  8. Spoon a scant tablespoon of the mixture into center of each won ton wrapper. Moisten edges of skin with water. Fold in half, pinching edges together to seal.
  9. Heat peanut oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Arrange potstickers in pan in a single layer; cook 1 minute or until browned on bottom.
  10. Add 1 cup water to pan; cover and steam 3 minutes.
  11. Uncover and cook another 2 minutes or until the water evaporates.


  1. I haven't made pot stickers in far too long!

  2. I love that you came home from the hospital...and made potstickers. A woman after my own heart.

  3. Yum - I want to make pot stickers!

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  5. Your potstickers do look professional. Mine always explode. I will need to watch that video. I love the flavors. PS ... making potstickers, back to running, Halloween out you are making the rest of us look bad!

  6. Oh my - those do look so good. Mine always pop open. Will check out the video so I can be a potsticker-professional.

  7. Thanks for the video! I always worry about screwing up the stuffing part. I haven't made my own dumplings in a while--there's this amazing dumpling place in my neighborhood that makes it hard to justify the effort, but really should soon!

  8. These look spectacular. I love ethnic food - particularly Asian and have begun to master a thing or two - but not these. And, you were in the hospital? I knwo I have been negligent - away in Italy - and really consumed this entire past year with silly stuff, but I do try to get around to you... I hope you are well and doing fine now.