- 3 ounces crabmeat (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 ounces cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced green onion
- Freshly ground white pepper
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 1 package round potsticker wraps (may be labeled gyoza or sue gow wraps)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons oil
- Nuoc Cham (recipe follows), or simply set out soy sauce, chile oil, and seasoned rice vinegar for do-it-yourself dipping sauces
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 50 min
Combine the filling ingredients and season to taste. For each dumpling, place a generous teaspoon of filling off center on a wrapper. Moisten the edge of the wrapper lightly and fold it in half over the filling, pinching the layers together opposite the fold. Grab a bit of the near side of the wrapper and pleat it toward the center, then pinch the pleat together with the far (flat) side. Repeat with 2 or 3 pleats toward the center and an equal number on the opposite side. The dumpling will curve away from the pleated side in the process, which is intentional.
Set the finished dumplings on a dry plate or sheet pan, pleats up, and keep them covered with a towel to prevent drying out while you make the rest.
Choose a nonstick skillet with a very flat bottom and a tight-fitting lid. Have ready 1/3 cup of water for a 10-inch skillet, 1/2 cup for a 12-inch. Coat the pan with a light layer of oil and heat over medium-high heat until the oil gets noticeably thinner. Add the dumplings flat side down, at least 1/8 inch apart. Cook until the bottoms are golden brown, then add the water (watch out for splattering) and immediately cover the pan. Cook until the water is nearly gone and the dumpling skins are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Uncover and continue cooking until the liquid is gone and the bottoms become crisp in the remaining oil. Remove with a spatula, arrange on a serving platter or individual plates, and serve immediately, with dipping sauce.
Makes about 18 (4 to 6 appetizer servings)
Good to know
While most older Asian-Americans turn up their noses at cheese (and dairy products in general), their kids have grown up with it, and a few cheese-based dishes like this one have become standard items in restaurants where East meets West.
Which beer should I drink with this?
Pilsner or hefeweizen.
1. This makes more gyoza than you can cook in one pan; figure about a dozen at a time in a 10-inch skillet, 16 to 18 in a 12-inch one.
2. A little cream cheese give a luscious texture to the crab filling for the traditional browned and steamed dumplings known as potstickers in Chinese restaurants and gyoza in Japanese. For a dipping sauce, you could use the traditional potsticker condiments of soy sauce, vinegar, and chile oil, but I like to use a Vietnamese-style nuoc cham.
Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce)
Ingredients: makes about 1 cup
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small red or green chile
- 6 tablespoons best-quality fish sauce
- 2 tablespoons lime or lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup hot water
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile paste or Sriracha paste
- Finely mince the garlic and chile, or pound together in a mortar. Combine with the remaining ingredients. Adjust the flavors to taste.
The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook
From The Microbrew Lover’s Cookbook, Copyright © 2002 by Jay Harlow. Used by arrangement with Jay Harlow.
Photo: ZUMA Press