Venison Potstickers

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Thanks to the generosity of a friend and neighbor who recently shared a few packets of venison (mixed with 15% beef) with us. We are game (no pun intended) to use the venison for just about anything (especially since it’s mixed with beef), but I’ve been in the mood for pot stickers. Must be because of the recent Chinese New Year, but most likely because it’s been a long time since we’ve made a batch. And a homemade batch of pot stickers is so much better than any store-bought, and just about any restaurants (most of which are not made in-house.)

Shocking, I know.

While they are not difficult and they are no mystery ingredients required, these little morsels of yummy goodness are time consuming to put together.

However, they are easy enough to assemble that even a child can assemble them. And, once that child assembles them, even though that child has requested “Mom, please no cabbage in my pot stickers!” they are so good that she can’t stop eating them!

You will need:

  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger (I used freeze-dried)
  • 2 to 4 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 large egg (for filling)
  • a total of 1 pound of venison, either straight or mixed with some beef or pork
  • 1 package dumpling wrappers, or wonton skins
  • 1 egg white, or whole egg for sealing the dumplings
  •  About 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, for cooking

1. Place the shredded cabbage into a small bowl. Springkle with 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and toss well. Let sit for 1 hour. After 1 hour, place cabbage in a clean kitchen towel, and wring well to remove all water. You will be surprised at how much water comes out!
2. Using a small hand chopper, a small food processor or a very sharp knife, finely mince the garlic, the ginger, and the cabbage. Place in a medium size mixing bowl.
3. Add the venison, the egg, and the soy sauce. Mix well using your hands, making sure that all of the egg and cabbage mixture is well-incorporated.
4. Lay out 4 to 6 wrappers at one time. Brush a small amount of egg white on the edges. Drop a teaspoonful of mix in the center. Draw up the center and seal the top, then pleat the sides together. Make sure that it is sealed well. Lay them on a tray and cover with a lightly damp (very light!) towel to keep them from drying out.
5. Cook at once, or freeze on the tray and transfer to a container once frozen and cook as needed.
6. Note: There are certainly more ingredients that could be added, more spices and such. However, this simple mix of flavors is a great place to start for the first time.

To cook:  Place about 1 teaspoon of vegetale oil in a good skillet.  Let skillet get very hot on  medium heat (not high). Lay potstickers in.  Let sear for a minute or two on the bottom.   As the bottom sears, the meat inside will cook and you will notice that the dumpling filling will actually ball up, much as a burger will.  This is the proteins tightening up as the heat cooks the meat.  Flip the dumplings over (not necessary, but I like to flip them), for another 30 seconds.  Add about 2 tablespoons of water if you are only cooking 3 or 4, or up to 1/4 cup of water if you are using a larger pan, and thus cooking more. Cover with a lid so that the water will steam the dumpling skins to finish the cooking process. This will take less than 1 minute.

Remove to a plate.  Keep warm in the oven if you are cooking a bunch.

Serve with a dipping sauce:  https://icookforleftovers.wordpress.com/2013/01/07/potsticker-dipping-sauce

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