Last weekend David over at New York Food Journal and his lovely wife, gave us a tour of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, home to one of the largest Chinatowns in New York. We started with a dim sum breakfast at East Harbor Food Seafood Palace and when we entered the restaurant, my nerves trembled most pleasantly as the hostess put a little E for English next to my number so they knew not to call it out in Cantonese with all the other announcements radiating from the speaker above my head. The carts of dim sum being wheeled past me sent a shiver down my spine. I was excited to try all of it, maybe even the chicken feet. When they called our number after a few minutes, we sat down sharing a table with a family of four and spent the morning pointing to whatever we wanted off the carts and trying a bit of everything. After having our fill of shrimp rice, wonton soup, various pates, stuffed and steamed rice cakes, dumplings and peppers, meats, egg rolls, bean curd skins, scallion pancakes and much more we ended up passing on the chicken feet this time and lumbered over to the grocery store desperate to be able to recreate this experience in our homes.
At the grocery store, David pulled out a shopping cart and a basket. I asked him if he planned on buying that much stuff and he said, “The cart is for you.” I walked in, trying to make myself less of an obstacle in the heavy traffic and just like that David was off, leaving me among the durians, lotus roots and bitter melons as he disappeared into different aisles piling into my cart all sorts of beans, fermented pastes, roots, chilis, dumpling wrappers, fresh noodles, cooking wines, hot sauces, flowering herbs, spices and whatever else he believed I would need for my Asian culinary adventures. I got lost among the vegetables dreaming up ways to cook these beautiful and oddly shaped creatures. New York Food Journal, has a wealth of wonderful recipes to try and so it was only fitting that I would adapt one of theirs for my spoils.
Dumplings/pot-stickers are pretty durable during the cooking process. I needed something that would be forgiving because when I’m cooking I’m a mess. Things are balanced in precarious positions, if at least one curse doesn’t come out of my mouth or I don’t drop something, then I guarantee you it won’t taste as good. The dumpling skins withstand the manhandling and movement needed to seal them and remain pretty elastic, even if they rip a bit when you’re trying to unstick them. Steaming hot on the inside they demand fully vested eating attention as you hunch over the plate slurping the dripping, infused sauces and overflowing filling. These will surely become a staple on my table.
Chicken and Chive Dumplings Adapted from New York Food Journal’s Pork and Chive Dumplings
For the Dumplings
- 1 lb ground chicken
- 1 package circular dumpling wrappers
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- 1 bunch green onions (scallions), chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 inch piece of ginger, finely chopped
- 1 thai chilis, chopped (optional)
- 1 tsp corn starch
For the Sauce
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/8 cup rice vinegar
- a splash of sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sriracha
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon scallions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon chives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sesame seeds (optional)
- a touch of honey (optional)
For the Dumplings
Combine garlic, ginger, scallions chives and chilis (if you’re using them) with the chicken in the mixing bowl and gently mix, seasoning with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl combine 1 tsp corn starch with some water. With your hands or a spoon, scoop out a small amount of the chicken mixture and place it in the middle of a circular dumpling wrapper. Dip a finger in the corn starch and water mixture and trace your finger around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the edges towards each other like a half moon and press the edges together. There are ways to pleat these things, but I was unsuccessful. As long as they stay closed, which they did with the cornstarch trick, you should be golden.
When you’ve made all the dumplings, heat a pan large enough to fit the dumplings to medium-high heat. Add sesame oil to the pan. When the pan gets fairly hot, carefully add the dumplings to the pan. Cook for about 2 minutes until the bottom side of the dumplings get crispy (I opted to make mine more steamed so I didn’t let them get too crispy). Meanwhile, fill a measuring cup with 1/2-2/3 of a cup of water. When the dumplings are browned, add the water to the pan and immediately cover. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the water evaporates. Carefully remove the dumplings to a plate.
For the ginger chili soy dip, whisk all of the ingredients together. Serve the potstickers hot with the dip on the side.
Thank you! So good!
Hell yeah. It’s dumpling season. Pot stickers rule!!
Yeah baby. Dim sum. Good stuff. I want to try that place you wrote about. Yum!
Jovina Coughlin said:
These potstickers look fabulous. I admire your ability to make them. I love chinese food but it is difficult to get really good food where I live.I should try making these to satisfy my craving.
Thanks jovina! If I could do it so can you. If you can do Italian meatballs you can do these. You just need the wrappers. 🙂 I’ve been obsessed with Chinese lately.
Chica Andaluza said:
They look AMAZING! Yes, I was shouting, sorry, got a bit excited 😉
Jaja aw! I’m so proud of them. Next time I’m going to aim for crispy ones.
Wow, these dumplings are mouth-watering, Amanda ! Those flavors are so perfect together, and isn’t it satisfying to think “I made these myself”? You should try making the wrappers some day, it is a bit of work, but soooo easy! And I find it is quite a therapeutic activity: rolling, shaping, rolling, shaping… 🙂
Chicken feet… I recently found a wonderful Chinese restaurant in Paris, and went there with a friend from Côte d’Ivoire, and she ordered chicken feet! I tasted some from her plate and they were ok (not something I would order myself though). It felt like eating chicken bones+crispy skin minus the meat!
Wow, Darya! It is satisfying to know I made them. You make your own wrappers? I’m all over that. I think you’ll need to post a recipe. I didn’t end up having the feet because my friend said the consistency was a little odd for my tastes. Next time maybe. They sell them in the stores around here but I may have found my culinary limitation. You really found an authentic place! Thanks as always for your comment!
Your dumplings look BEAUTIFUL! I am so proud to have been part of your Chinese eating and cooking adventures. It was such a great time.
Thanks, David! This past is all you. Having you to talk about food and eating and cooking with has been such an unexpected inspiration.
Maria Dernikos said:
This looks delicious and I will be trying it.
Thanks, Maria. You will love them!
Mad Dog said:
Fantastic – I bet you’d have guessed that chicken feet are one of my favourites, though it’s the sauce and flavouring that do it for me 😉
I am not surprised. I kind of love your adventurous stomach and nerves of steel.
Mad Dog said:
Well it might get the better of me one day…
Oh but until that… the joy 🙂
What an absolutely inspiring post Amanda. This is something I would never think to take on, yet I love them and after seeing your post I am feeling encouraged. Your photograph is stunning and your sauce is fabulous! Very fun read too. 🙂
Thank you so much. Your comments are always so thoughtful and encouraging. These really are not hard. You should give it a try. You can make a ton then freeze then for a night you really want a break.
susan frieman said:
My mouth is watering Amanda!
Aw. Thank you. I would love to share the with you sometime soon.
Wow, what a gorgeous blog…. I can only hope my blog about The Glen House reaches this standard one day!!
You are too sweet. It took about a year of tweaking and is still a work in progress. I’ll come check yours out.
Fae's Twist & Tango said:
What do I think? Well Amanda, this post is GREAT!!! Wow, you must have a superb camera, I want to grab the food in the photos. Potstickers look and i’m sure taste fabulous. And of course, the sauce that complement is the key to make it complete. Bravo!
Thanks, Fae! You’ve made quite a stir with your ice paradise dessert, which I plan on replicating as well 🙂
Jody and Ken said:
Great story, recipe, photos and wok technique. I’ve got a son in Brooklyn, so the next time I visit I’m going to have to check this place out. Really like the idea of searing the ps’s first, then finishing with steam. Sweet! Ken
Thanks, Ken! Oh you guys will love it. When I get that desire for Chinese it hits hard!
Amanda, these look amazing! They are demanding my “fully vested eating attention” (I love your way with words :))
Aw you are so sweet. Thanks so much.
Este si que es un gran post…..muy buena pinta.
Aww muchas gracias! Un besito xox
Allison (Spontaneous Tomato) said:
Yummm. These look awesome. I am such a fan of dumplings, especially homemade (because then you get to eat a ton of them!), but I don’t make them often enough because they are so much work…
Your dipping sauce sounds divine!
Thank you. Dumplings are a bit of work but I’ve learned so many easy Asian recipes from your blog so I can alternate!
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