When it comes to using leftovers, I love a recipe with a twist. Today’s pot stickers have that going for them. They’re fun and tasty little packages of pot stickers (dumplings) stuffed with leftover turkey and vegetables. To top it off, the pot stickers are served with a sweet and spicy Asian dipping sauce. Most Asian-style dipping sauces get their sweetness from sweet chile sauce or granulated sugar. Their spicy kick comes from sriracha or sambal oelek (ground fresh chili paste).
With these pot stickers, you can pair the turkey with any vegetable. I used ginger, carrots and green onions. The key is making sure the mixture is finely minced. It’s held together by oyster sauce (you can use hoisin if you like) and an egg white. Once filled and shaped, the pot stickers are fried in a small amount of oil so the bottoms become crispy and browned. When the bottoms are brown, you add broth or water to the skillet, and cover and steam them. These cook rather quickly, but do require a bit of time to fill and shape.
For today’s recipe I used the small wonton squares, which are about 2 inches by 2 inches. You can also use the round wrappers. Both hold no more than 2 teaspoons filling. Once you put the dollop of filling on the wonton, there are several ways to shape them.
For a triangle, brush the edges with a little water and fold it over the filling from one opposite point to another. Pinch and seal the edges tightly. To make them into a different shape, just pull the two corners of the triangle down so one overlaps the other, pinch and seal with water. To make them so they look like little pouches, place a wrapper in the palm of your hand. Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center. Brush the edges with water and bring up to encase the filling and twist. With any of these shapes, be sure they are sealed, otherwise they will pop open when you fry and then steam them.
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My preference is the pouch shape because they are easy to eat on their own or you can add them to a steamy broth. These work great as an appetizer or served with additional stir-fried vegetables along with the dipping sauce.
The sauce gets its saltiness from fish sauce. It’s a common condiment in many southeast Asian cuisines. Nam pla (nahm-PLAH) is Thai fish sauce and nuoc mam (noo-AHK NAHM) is Vietnamese fish sauce. You can use them interchangeably.
Fish sauce is made of fermented anchovies or other fish. Take a whiff and you’ll notice its very pungent odor. But that odor dissipates once it’s cooked or blended with other ingredients. Fish sauce has a dark color that resembles soy sauce, but its consistency is thinner. Because of its saltiness, a little fish sauce goes a long way. You’ll find several brands in the ethnic aisle of most grocery stores. Prices vary, but one of the most notable and higher end fish sauces is Red Boat.
PAN-FRIED TURKEY POT STICKERS WITH ASIAN DIPPING SAUCE
Preparation time 40 minutes, total time 1 hour.
1/2 pound finely chopped leftover cooked turkey
2 tablespoons finely minced carrots
2 tablespoons finely minced green onions
1 teaspoon fresh minced ginger
1 egg white beaten
2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 / 4 teaspoon sesame oil
36 wonton skins
1 / 2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce (at least 50 percent less sodium)
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or white vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili paste (sambal oelek) or to taste
1 / 2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth or water, divided
Sliced green onions
In a medium bowl, combine the turkey, carrots, green onions, ginger, egg white, oyster sauce and sesame oil.
Have ready a small bowl of water and a brush. Working with six wontons at a time, set out the squares on a work surface. Place about 2 teaspoons of the turkey mixture just slightly above the center of the wonton. Moisten all the corners. Fold over in a triangle, sealing the edges. Grab the two corners at the long edge and bottom and turn them toward the center to meet. Or place a wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand, add the filling and moisten the edges. Bring the sides up over the filling and twist, forming a little pouch.
In a small saucepan, combine all the sauce ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and keep warm. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings to your desired level of spiciness.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat a small amount of canola oil over medium heat. Working in batches, add half of the wontons and cook until the bottoms are slightly browned. Add 1 / 2 cup of chicken broth, cover with a lid and cook 8 minutes. Remove to a platter, cover to keep them warm. Repeat with remaining wontons.
Using a shallow bowl or serving plate, pool desired amount of sauce on the bottom and place the wontons in the sauce. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.
Makes about 36 (4 servings).