#LetsLunch It’s Spring Time…Potstickers Anyone?
Makes perfect sense, right? Spring…potstickers? Sure, why not?!
Okay, maybe traditional Chinese dumplings and Springtime don’t exactly go hand-in-hand, but maybe they should. As the weather gets warm (after what felt like an eternity), the earth once again starts to provide a delicious bounty of greens, asparagus, spring onions, and peas. Of course, that’s just a warm up act for all of summer’s amazing produce. But that’s a different post for a different time.
For now…back to potstickers. Why do I think they are perfect for Spring? The rule of thumb when cooking produce, especially fresh produce picked at the height of the growing season, is not get in the product’s way. There’s no reason to drown freshly picked asparagus in butter, dress fresh greens in heavy dressing, etc. etc. On the other hand, a lot of your Spring vegetables aren’t fantastic raw. (Yes, I’ve seen people serve raw asparagus on Top Chef and I just shudder a litte…) So the idea is to minimally cook the vegetables in a way that preserves and accentuates their flavor.
And what are one of my top 2 favorite spring veggies? Peas!
In my experience, if you do it right, lightly boiling peas will preserve their flavor. Then, taking those peas, adding complementary flavors (in this case: mint and a thin shaving of ham), and wrapping them up as a potsticker is a great way to accentuate them and make a fine spring appetizer.
Pea, Mint, and Ham Potstickers
You will need:
- 1 cup peas
- 4 leaves mint, thinly sliced
- 2 ounces smoked ham, finely minced
- 20 wonton wrappers
- 1 egg
For the dipping sauce:
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 green onion green, sliced
Add the peas into a pot of water and enough salt so that the water tastes like you would expect sea water to taste. Bring the water to a boil and cook the peas until they are tender.
Drain and put the peas back into the pot. Add the mint and the very finely minced ham. (Note the double emphasis on the finely minced? You want little hints of ham throughout, not huge chunks.) Mash the peas with a fork and mix all of the ingredients. Taste and check for salt.
Next lay out the wonton wraps. Beat the egg with one tablespoon of water to make an egg wash.
Brush egg wash on two adjoining sides of the wonton wrap and add a teaspoon of filling. Fold in half and crimp the edges to make a potsticker. Repeat for all wonton wraps.
Bring another pot of water to boil and add the potstickers 5-7 at a time. Boil them until the wonton wrap lightens in color and is cooked all the way through.
While the potstickers are boiling, bring the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and sugar to boil. Once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to low and add the green onions. Finally, finish cooking any remaining pot stickers.