11 March 2007


Chinese New Year is long over, but my CNY decorations are still up. I've had little time to do any proper cleaning up and tidying. The past week was tough to get through as I was down with a mean bug but still had to trudge to work. It wasn't even because I had downright evil bosses. On the contrary, they were extremely sympathetic. But I had a report to submit and a responsibility that I should not shirk from.

Thankfully though, I have a grandma who is merely a S$2.80 cab ride away from work, who would wrap me up in her many quilts and blankets, and have a bowl of warm unsweetened oats ready for me after my short nap. Ah, bliss. Bliss is also being able to rest through the entire weekend to rest and fully recuperate.

To celebrate my recovery, and break my weeklong diet of soft foods, I decided to pull out a precious stash of potstickers from the freezer. This was something that I made during one of the CNY dinners for a couple of my dad's longtime friends, alongside a couple of other Chinese dishes. As I had planned to make a ton of these, just making the potstickers alone took up a good couple of hours even using my pasta maker to trim some preparation time off.

You could say I've come very far when it comes to potstickers. The first time I tried making potstickers, I was in UK and sorely missing chinese food. I then made it again for 'Operation Stella', but with little (or no) improvement because when in UK, any kind of dumpling is better than none at all. Plus, I knew that my dear friends PJ, Fel and Stella weren't going to regurgitate the potstickers and denounce our friendship even if I had really made some really inedible ones.

But when back home, and when satiating a potsticker craving is as easy as taking a trip into Chinatown, it isn't enough to make them from scratch and have them look 'a little like' potstickers and taste 'something like' potstickers. They damn well better please the eye and the palate as the real thing. And who else to seek advice from than from one of the masters of perfection herself, J. She doesn't always post up recipes, but when she does, one can rest assured that every single step is accounted for. My experience when following her advice for making macarons is surely proof in itself.

While putting my absolute trust in her recipes and advice, I still had to put the first few potstickers I folded to the test. Most importantly, for my parents to give the go ahead. Thankfully I did so as the potstickers benefitted from a finer, more delicate skin as they would thicken slightly upon cooking.

And I just couldn't resist creating a variation of a potsticker using some crinkle cookie-cutters. Placing a mound of filling in the middle of the cut-out dough, I folded the skin into half, encasing the filling and pressed the edges together, making sure that the crinkles matched. I then pulled the two tips of the semi-circle together and pressed them together to make a dumpling that resembles a baby's bonnet. Cooking method and timing do not differ.


S said...

Your guotie look mighty impressive. I hope you're feeling better!

valentinA said...

Heyyyy, Hope you get well soon chick. I wish I could make ugly soup for you but thankfully, your grandma spoils you better than I...:)
Oh yaaa, I remember those great potstickers for Op Stella, how could I forget? I haven't eaten ANY since!!!:(

Anonymous said...

S> thank you! I'm feeling tons better, definitely. Your crinkle cookie cutters came into great use as you can see. =)

Stelllaaaaaaa> You should be in Singapore teaching French and staying with me you nimkumpoot. Why don't you try making your own then? It's not THAT difficult really, unless you can buy them there of course. But I know you have other types of dumplings there too. =)