Ever since I was little, I loved potstickers. In Korea, they're called "mandoo". During the holidays, we would all gather around and literally make hundreds of them. I have a fond memories of making them. They're probably one of my favorite things to eat.
They're good to eat all year around but I especially enjoy having them in the Winter when it's cold and rainy outside. I use them in a nice clean vegetable broth and make what we call "mandoo kook" (soup) and eat them with nicely fermented radish or cabbage kimchi. When I was growing up, I learned how to make potstickers using either ground pork or beef as the main ingredient. I used this method until about 2 1/2 years ago when I started eating whole food plant-based. Since then, I have found a way to make them totally vegan, and they're more delicious and healthier than ever.
For the past two years, I've tried making the mandoo wrappers from scratch using pasta machine. The recipe for the wrappers is pretty simple but the amount of time it takes to make them, in my opinion, is not worth it. It's probably healthier to make your own but when you're making 100 plus wrappers at a time, it can be pretty time consuming. Besides, you can find them pretty much at any grocery stores now, not just at Asian markets. I'm all about making things fresh and from scratch, but when it comes to the mandoo wrappers, I'm making exceptions and buying them at the store. It's so cheap and easy, you can't beat it.
I usually make about 100 at a time and freeze them. They come in handy when I run out of things to cook for dinner or don't have time to cook. You can have delicious and healthy potstickers in just about 15 minutes.
Total prep time for making 100 potstickers is about 1 1/2 hours. I know it sounds like a lot of work but it's totally worth it. We hardly ever run out of them at our house because they're so good!
2 mandoo wrappers (approximately 50 in each package)
1 head of green cabbage (quartered and separated)
2 - 3 stalks green onion (chopped into small pieces)
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
4-5 large Shitake mushrooms
2-3 Oyster mushrooms (optional)
1 large carrot (use the food processor to chop)
1 tsp of grated ginger
1/2 block of firm tofu (wrap a paper towel to dry)
1 small bag of bean sprouts (optional)
4 g of glass noodles (optional) - you can find these in korean markets
1 Tbs of sesame oil
1 Tbs of salt
1/2 Tbs of black pepper
any 1 egg replacer (e.g. 1Tbs of flax seed + 3 Tbs of water)
1 Tbs of soy sauce
1/2 Tbs of rice vinegar
1/2 tsp of red pepper powder (found in asian markets. It's not the same thing as paprika)
Before starting anything, you need to do two things. First, mix 1 Tbs of flax seed with 3 Tbs of water and let it sit until you're ready to use. Second, put the tofu on a plate and then put another plate on top of the tofu to hold a heavy object ( I use a large melon, bunch of bananas, or even a large rock) on top to release the water. Dryer the tofu, the better. Let it sit for about half an hour.
Boil enough water in a large pot to cook the cabbage.
Once the water is boiling, put the separated cabbage and boil until the cabbage is soft but don't overcook them probably no longer than 10 min. Move the cabbages around in a pot while boiling to cook them evenly.
Remove the cabbage from the heat and rinse them with cold water.
Transfer the cooked cabbages, batch at a time, to the food processor to chop. You want them finely chopped but not blended so I recommend using the pulse button. If you don't have a food processor, you can chop them by hand. Once they're all chopped, take them in your hands to squeeze the water out. You can use your hands to do this or use either a cheesecloth or milk bag.
Put the cabbages in a large mixing bowl
Rinse the bean sprouts in cold water and put them in a pot with about 1 cup of water. Cover and steam for about 10 min. Drain and let them sit to cool or rinse them in cold water to speed up the cooling process.
Put the bean sprouts in a food processor to chop (or chop them by hand) as you did with the cabbages. Squeeze the water out.
Put the bean sprouts in the mixing bowl with the cabbages
Use the same pot you used to boil bean sprouts and boil about 4 cups of water
Once the water is boiling, put the dry noodles and cook for about 6 minutes or according to the instruction.
Once cooked, rinse in cold water and drain completely.
Put the noodles in the food processor and pulse two or three times until the noodles are short.
Move them to the mixing bowl
Chop the mushrooms in a food processor until they resemble ground meat
Move them to the mixing bowl
After letting it sit for about half an hour under a heavy object, wrap the tofu in a paper towel to remove excess water. Break the tofu by hand into 3 or 4 large pieces and place them in the food processor to mash. Move it to the mixing bowl with other ingredients.
Green onions (chop into small pieces by hand), garlic, grated ginger, shredded carrots (easier & faster to use the food processor), sesame oil, salt, black pepper, flax seed egg replacement
Add the rest of these ingredients to the mixing bowl
Mixing the ingredients:
Mix everything well. I usually use my hands (I wear disposable gloves) to mix everything together. After mixing well for about 5 minutes, pat the stuffing down to bind the ingredients together.
Making the potstickers:
Open one of the wrappers. Don't open the second one until you're ready to use. They'll dry out.
Prepare a large tray or a baking sheet to put the finish potstickers so they're ready for the freezer. Line the tray with a parchment paper so the potstickers don't stick to the tray while in the freezer. You can add second, third, or even a fourth layer of potstickers on top of one another but be sure to line them with parchment paper if you're stacking them. Otherwise, they're going to stick to one another and you'll end up with a large batch of potstickers all stuck together. You also need to be sure to separate each potstickers in a row and not overlap them. Overlapping them will cause them to stick to each other and once frozen, it's not possible to separate them.
Take one wrapper at a time and use water to wet the outer edges of the wrapper. This will help the wrapper close better.
Using a spoon, spoon out some stuffing and put it in the center of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper halfway and firmly press the outer edges to close.
Line the potstickers on the tray with the parchment paper you have prepared.
To freeze, put them in the freezer for about 8 - 10 hours. Be sure the potstickers are not touching each other.
Once they're completely frozen, you can move them to a freezer safe container or a ziploc freezer bag to store.
When ready to use, cook them directly from the freezer. Don't let them sit out too long. They will thaw and will begin to stick to each other and break apart.
If you're avoiding oil and want a healthier version, you can easily boil or steam them. They'll still be declicious.
Pan-frying them is one of our favorite ways to eat them.
Use a large, non-sticking frying pan and add about 1/2Tbs spoon of oil.
Heat at a low-medium heat until the pan is hot. Add the potstickers separate from each other.
Pan fry for about 2 minutes and then add 1/8 cup of water. Adding water will make the potstickers softer, like steaming. It also helps to use less oil.
Cover & fry them for about 5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
Mix the soy sauce, rice vinegar & red pepper