Easy Veggie Potstickers
As always, if you want to get straight to the chase, skim the bolded words.
By far one of the easiest and best-while-impaired cooking experiences, making delicious baked veggie potstickers is one of my all time fave things to cook on a Saturday night.
I make two varieties regularly: eggplant and mushroom.
Yes, meat stuffed stickers are popular and by-God, even customary, but for a homemade dumpling, go veggie: you won’t have to worry about drying out the filling, dinner will be far less expensive, and honestly it’s just as tasty (gotta find a way to eat your vegetables am I right?).
Let’s get cooking.
Eggplant (I prefer to use Japanese eggplant, but there’s no real difference ((that I can taste)) use 1 or 2 depending on how many people you’re feeding (if you use Japanese eggplant use double what you would for a regular eggplant). PSA: You can never have too many dumplings and they’re bomb as a lunchtime leftover… or second dinner.
Funky Mushrooms - not magical, just funky. Shiitakes are preferred but oysters work. Enoki mushrooms are a must... if you can find them – get a good amount of each.
Miso paste (white, brown, mixed… – we don’t discriminate! Whichever you have, if you have none, get a mixed shiro ((white +brown)) miso) If you can’t find miso paste, miso soup in the package (yes the dried dehydrated powder will work).
Mirin (can use a splash of sake if you’re going to spice up your night with some bottom shelf sake anyways – mirin is cooking wine after all).
Garlic powder/onion powder/salt/pepper
Pre-made potsticker wrappers (this is supposed to be an easy dinner remember)
Prep the fillings
Stuff the stickers
Make dipping sauce
Bake or fry
1. Roast your eggplant on an open fire: what this means for most of us, is your stove top. Even if you have a grill sometimes it’s just easier to stay inside. Place your washed eggplant straight up on the stove grates with the flame on medium-high. Let the skin blister and burn, rotate until eggplant is soft and burnt on the outside. -CAUTION: smoke detector may be set off.
2. Put the eggplant in the oven (you can just wrap in foil if you want, but a Pyrx will do the trick as well). Cook until soft or keep warm until you’re ready for the next step – heads up, eggplant will have natural juices come out of it.
3. While the eggplant is cooking, make your shrooms. Slice your funky mushrooms and for the enoki, slice off the root section and leave them stringy (they will separate in the pan).
4. Use your oil of preference (olive oil or grapeseed is fine) and add a drizzle of sesame oil. This is where it gets fun! You can sauté some garlic or just flop in the mushrooms with some salt and seasoning powders (like onion and garlic). Once the mushrooms are pretty cooked, add a splash of mirin. Make sure you’re tasting!
PSA: the mushrooms don’t have to be a knock out on their own, you’re going to have a dipping sauce and a potsticker wrapper to aid with flavors, so tbh mild is better.
5. Put your mushrooms into a bowl to cool, add some of the juice but not all.
6. Take the eggplant out of the oven. Scoop out the inside and chop. Avoid the seeds. It’s ok to add a bit of the skin. In a separate cup add a little bit of water and a spoonful of miso. The objective is to dilute the miso to a rub-able texture, but not to make it too juicy. Mix well and salt to taste ( a splash of rice vinegar can be nice too). WARNING: miso is already salty and you’ll also be adding soy sauce to the final product so it doesn’t have to be crazy seasoned, a little salt goes a long way.
7. Line a few baking sheets with parchment paper – flour is not necessary with the pre-made wrappers. Start with the mushrooms so you still have time to let the eggplant cool. Add a spoonful of filling to the center of the wrapper wet your finger (in a bowl of oil ((sesame and olive)) or water) rub the edge of the potsticker wrapper, and fold. The water or oil will act as a binder to seal the potsticker. Using an egg wash is unnecessary. Repeat. Repeat with eggplant. Eggplant will be juicy and some filling might spill out from the edges. Try to add the least wet filling or it will leak through the wrapper and be kind of a mess (not to mention it will mess with the texture).
8. Brush the top of the dumplings with oil (sesame and basic oil mixture – this means mostly (olive, canola, or grapeseed oil and a drizzle of sesame oil). Place in a heated oven. Let cook until golden brown.
9. In a small dipping bowl add 2 parts soy sauce, 1 part rice vinegar and a drizzle of sesame oil. Stir. That’s your yummy dipping sauce.
10. Hopefully by now you’ve managed to pull your cripsy yummy potstickers out of the oven without burning yourself. Well done!