Lunar New Year recipe: Nom Nom Paleo Potstickers
Kids, says Michelle Tam, the recipe developer behind the popular Nom Nom Paleo blog, meal planning app and cookbook. The Palo Alto blogger and mom uses a mixture of cassava flour and arrowroot powder to make these gluten-free bowls for her family during Chinese New Year, when dumplings are traditionally eaten to symbolize wealth in the new year.
3 large dried shiitake mushrooms
1 small head of cabbage (1 pound)
1 tablespoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, divided
1 lb. minced pork
Half a cup of chicken broth
A quarter cup of chopped green onions
1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
Half a teaspoon of ground ginger
One teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon coconut aminos (sauce-like sauce)
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
3 cups of cassava flour
Half a cup of arrowroot powder
1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
2¼ cup boiling water
A cup of avocado oil for frying, divided
2 cups boiling water for steaming, divided
Start by preparing the filling: In a bowl, soak dried shiitake mushrooms in water for at least 30 minutes or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator until completely rehydrated.
While the mushrooms are soaking, chop the Napa cabbage finely.
In a large bowl, combine finely chopped kale and 2 teaspoons kosher salt. toss well. Transfer the salted cabbage to a colander or fine-mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Leave at room temperature for at least 30 minutes or in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.
When you’re ready to make the filling, grab the soaked shiitake mushrooms and squeeze out the excess liquid. Remove and discard tough stems and chop off the caps finely.
Transfer the salted cabbage to a large piece of cheesecloth or a clean dish towel. Gather the edges and press and twist the cabbage bundle to extract as much liquid as possible. You should get 1 cup of cabbage.
In a large bowl, add ground beef and chicken broth. Use your hands to mix them until the liquid is combined with the meat. Combine drained cabbage, mushrooms, chopped scallions, minced garlic, ground ginger, white pepper, and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Add coconut acids and sesame oil. Use your hands to knead the filling until everything is well blended and starts to feel gooey and gooey.
To check for seasoning, fry a small piece of the meat mixture in a skillet and taste it. Add more salt if needed. If you’re not cooking right away, you can store the filling in a sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
To prepare dough for wrappers: In a large bowl, combine cassava flour, arrowroot, and salt. Pour about 2 cups of boiling water and stir. Once the water is cool enough to touch, use your hands to knead the dough. Keep adding boiling water a little at a time and kneading until it forms a non-sticky springy dough.
If it seems too dry, add a little more water, but be careful: you don’t want a mushy and wet dough, or you’ll have trouble working with it. If it gets too wet, knead it with a little cassava flour. When in doubt, mistake it for more sticky than dry.
Divide the ball of dough into thirds, then divide each small ball in half to make 6 balls of dough. Next, divide each of the 6 dough balls in half, then in half again and again until you have 48 evenly sized balls. Cover the dough balls with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out.
Now, it’s time to gather your friends and family to help put together the covers and
Have someone divide the fillings: Take a tablespoon of the filling and place the oval filling on a plate. Repeat until you have 48 equal, oval-shaped stakes.
Next, let’s form the wrappers. Grab a tortilla press, some crackers, a rimmed baking sheet, a damp kitchen towel, and a small bowl of water. Take one of the balls of dough and brush it with a little water if it feels dry. Then use your hands to roll it into a round ball. Place the ball of dough on a tortilla press between pieces of parchment paper and lay it flat. The resulting wrap should be very thin, about 3 inches in diameter.
Place the pre-scooped filling in the center of the shell. Make sure your fingers are clean or it will be difficult to fold properly! Fold the sides of the wrap around the filling like a taco.
Use your thumb to keep the filling in place while using your other hand to carefully fold and crimp one side of the pot label, while pressing the edges of the wrapper together to seal the filling inside. Continue to fold in only one side of the wrapper and stamp on the top of the pot label until you reach the other side. Use your fingers to seal the top of the pot label tightly, dipping a little water if the edges feel dry. The finished pot poster should have a flat bottom and form a crescent with the folds on the outside.
Place pot stickers on parchment-lined paper. Fold a baking sheet and cover it with a damp kitchen towel to prevent it from drying out. Continue making and filling the wrappers until you have 48 dumplings.
At this point, you can either freeze the uncooked pot labels (in a single layer in a food-safe freezer bag) for up to 2 months or cook them right away. You can fry them straight from the freezer when you’re ready to eat.
Heat a heavy-bottomed 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, add 1 tablespoon of the avocado oil. Lay as many pot stickers on the pan as they fit in one layer. Fry the dumplings until the bottoms are golden brown, about 2 minutes.
Carefully pour in 1/2 cup boiling water and quickly cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Reduce the heat to medium and steam the dumplings for 5 minutes (7 minutes if cooking frozen).
When the timer rings, remove the cap. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes to cook off any remaining liquid and to re-crisp the bottom of the pot stickers.
Transfer the cooked pot stickers to a plate and repeat the process until you’re done. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.
– Michelle Tam and Henry Fung, “Nom Nom Paleo: Let’s Go!” (Andrews McMeel, $35)