Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chicken Pot Stickers

As of late when I have had a hankering for chinese food, and let me tell you that it happens often, I have been ordering special won ton soup (it’s my favorite!) and I might allow myself one eggroll if even one. But let’s face it, it is positively torturous to go to a chinese restaurant and only eat soup (although as I said above, I do love me some special won ton soup), I would much rather have lo mein noodles or crab puffs, oh or fried pot stickers. That is where this recipe comes in.

I would tell you that I intend to make special won ton soup but the little restaurant that is so conveniently located on my way in from work sells a massive amount of the liquid gold for way cheaper than it would cost me to make it. It is chalked full of dumplings, leeks, shrimp, pork, chicken, bamboo shoots, all kinds of good stuff. So instead I am going to focus on making the worst offenders healthier. And thanks to, once again, the Cook This Not That cookbook I am starting now.

I did have trouble finding a bag of frozen pot stickers, or dumplings as I’ve also heard them called, but I finally found little boxes of them in asian section of frozen foods. I did have to buy 4 boxes to get to 24 of the pot stickers. Let me tell you, it took a lot of willpower not to toss in a box of egg rolls while I was at it. Although I should have just went crazy with the caloric faux pas I had. Let me explain...

I followed the recipe to a tee only it wasn't working. For starters it wasn't enough oil so I added more and then more to make the pot stickers un-stick, and then after the wontons where cooked and I added the soy sauce and rice vinegar it didn't make near enough sauce. I read and re-read the recipe. I followed it exactly to no avail. The pot stickers came with dipping sauce so I opened three of them and used them in the end. The only problem is that it raised the calorie count by a ton. However, it tasted really good.

Chicken Pot Stickers
adapted from the Cook This Not That cookbook, pg. 90

24 frozen pot stickers (chicken, pork, or vegetable)
1 tablespoon sesame or peanut oil
4 ounces mushrooms (preferably shiitake), stems removed, sliced
2 cups sugar snap or snow peas, tough ends removed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
3 dipping sauce packets from the pot stickers boxes
2 scallions, sliced (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the pot stickers and cook for a few minutes until tender but not gummy. Drain.

Heat the oil a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add the cooked pot stickers to the pan and cook, undisturbed, until crispy and brown on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the pot stickers to a plate. Pour in the dipping sauce and bring to a simmer, toss in the snap peas and warm through.

Garnish with scallions (if using).

Now let me share what we thought of these little meat filled gems- simply put, Amazing! I could totally eat these instead of the fried resturant version for the rest of my life and never miss them although with my adaptations it really isn't any better for you.

By the book calories: ¼ of the skillet, 6 pot stickers and 1/4 cup of sauce with peas and mushrooms equals 202 calories.

Adapted calorie count: 1/4 of the skillet, 6 pot stickers and 1/4 cup of sauce with peas and mushrooms equals 465 calories. (I am ashames to say I ate 2 servings before I realized how many calories the sauce alone caused it to rise. That's a whopping 930 calories in 1 meal! Bad, very bad.)

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