Monday, September 21, 2009

Pot Stickers and Sticky Rice

I spent a few weeks in Thailand several years ago whilst my brother and sis-in-law were doing a study-abroad. It was such an amazing experience. There were several dishes I absolutely fell in love with and ended up practically living off of for the time I was there. 1)Rottis. Which I'll have to try and post at some point. I've attempted them once and it worked out okay. 2) banana shakes (which I've discussed previously on here) and 3) Mangoes and Sticky Rice.
Last night I decided we'd try some pot stickers and have mangoes and sticky rice as the "Side/dessert".
I had bought and boiled a VERY large pack of chicken (with bone/skin) Saturday evening in preparation for making several more freezer meals; not realizing the recipe for the pot stickers called for ground meat. So we finely chopped the chicken. No biggie.
NOW, I will forewarn you, these little bites of goodness were kind of labor-intensive. Worth it in deliciousness and would work well if you could make a HUGE batch (like triple the recipe) and freeze the rest for later (which we did)...but they're not for the faint of heart or those crunched for time...they were pefect for a rainy, lazy Sunday evening. It took some effort.
Here are my versions of both recipes:
30-45 wonton wrappers (I found them in the produce section of Kroger, small square ones)
4 c green cabbage, shredded
2-3 carrots, shredded
1/2 c water
1.5-2 c chicken, cooked, finely, FINELY chopped-almost ground meat like
1 c green onions, finely chopped
1.25 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
2 tsp sesame oil (do not substitute)
2 egg whites (or 3)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cornstarch
4-6 tsp oil (veggie is fine)
1 c water

Chop cabbage, carrots; mix together. In a separate bowl mix together chicken, green onions, ginger, salt, sesame oil, egg whites, garlic.
In a large non-stick skillet heat 2-3 tsp oil over med-hi heat. Add cabbage/carrot mixture and cook til lightly browning (9-12 min); add 1 Tbsp water as needed to prevent sticking.

Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cooled, add to chicken mixture and mix it all together really well. It will smell very asian.
Set up your assembly line (the more hands to help, the better)--wontons, chicken mixture, plate with cup of water next to it and then cookie sheet sprinkled with cornstarch--have a small towel nearby as well.
Keep your wontons in the wrapper and covered with a moist papertowel. Take out one, place a tsp to 1.5 tsp of chicken mixture in middle of wonton. dip fingers in water and rub down the edges of the wonton, fold opposite corners together and press to seal (we did ours like the ravioli fold shown on back of wonton wrapper). Set on cookie sheet and cover with towel so it doesn't dry out.
When you're done with all the wrappers and chicken mixture you can do 1 of 2 things:
1. FREEZE the extra ones (we each ate 7-8 and it was enough I think), leave them on the cookie sheet and place it in the freezer til they're frozen then transfer them to a ziplock bag for later! When you're ready, follow the nezt step to cook. (thaw first of course, but not entirely necessary)
2. IF you want to EAT them, heat 2-3 tsp of oil again in your skillet over med-hi, place a single layer of wontons in the skillet and cook 3 min or so (until lightly browning on bottom)--I flipped mine once and cooked them a bit more. Just preference. Then add 1/2 c water, cover and cook til water is gone. Voila. If you have more to cook, wipe out your skillet and repeat. Serve with soy sauce.

Mangoes and Sticky Rice:
1/2 c rice (You're supposed to use high gluten thai sticky rice but it's HARD to find so I sub'd jasmine rice..which I should've soaked for a few hours in water...oh well)
1 c water
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
1-2 Tbsp coconut milk
(we used a little 4 oz can for this)
1/2 bag frozen mango chunks (or more)-thawed; set aside

1. Soak rice.
2. In a med sauce pan, mix the ingrdients together, bring to light boil, reduce heat to LOW and cover loosely with lid, cook for 15-20 min, stir a few times.
3. When done-remove from heat, COVER tightly with lid and "steam" for 15 min or so.

Remaining can of coconut milk
1-2 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cornstarch
1 Tbsp water
1. Mix water and cornstarch, set aside.
2. In a small sauce pan, over low heat mix coconut milk, sugar and vanilla. Heat through, stirring often; when it begins to thicken slightly add cornstarch mixture and con't stirring til liquid is thickened to runny pudding consistency. (coats the sides of pan or back of spoon). DO NOT LET IT BOIL!

To serve, divide rice among serving dishes. Pour coconut sauce over rice (be as generous as you like--it's so delicious!) and then top with mango. Enjoy it!
I would recommend fresh mango, but they're not reliable and hard to find very often here in the US; so I have found the frozen works quite nicely in its place.

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