Thursday, March 18, 2010

Shrimp Fried Rice and Ginger Pork Potstickers

I love Asian food because of its unique flavors, healthful ingredients and variety, but I rarely make it at home. "Why do I relegate this fabulous food category to little white take out boxes," I wondered. No longer! Last night I tackled two of my favorite Asian foods- fried rice and potstickers. Now fried rice is something that I enjoy but don't order from restaurants too often because it is so unhealthy. But guess what! Make it at home and fried rice can actually be good for you, filled with veggies, fresh shrimp and protein-packed eggs. But alas, my recipe is not total health food, as I upped the deliciousness factor by incorporating tons of smokey bacon. And the bacon was key- along with the eggs, it truly made the dish. As for potstickers, I love these little pillows of delicious ingredients that you can pop into your mouth. But making them at home? Never before had I attempted this feat. But I have to say, it was fun and even easier than I imagined. And after doing it once I know exactly what I'll have to do next time to make them perfect- and lucky for you the recipe below includes these tweaks, so yours will likely be perfect the first time! Score! Now toss those take-out menus and enjoy this Asian feast!

Shrimp Fried Rice
A tantalizing array of Asian flavors without leaving your own kitchen!
Serves 4

1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1/2 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 teaspoon sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons soy sauce
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 head broccoli, florets and stalks cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4 cups cooked long-grain white rice
1/4 cup chicken broth
4 eggs
1/4 c. chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
1/4 c. green onions, green parts sliced into 1/4-inch pieces, white parts diced
Extra soy sauce and chili sauce, for serving (optional)

Place a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and bacon and stir-fry for a minute until it begins to get golden and crisp. Add shrimp and cook for 2 minutes until just pink on each side. Sprinkle in the sugar and toss. Add 1/4 teaspoon soy sauce and continue to stir-fry until the shrimp and bacon are glazed, about 30 seconds. Transfer the bacon and shrimp to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Add the garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes to the drippings in the pan and stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli and cook until crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the cooked rice, the remaining 2 teaspoons soy sauce, the broth, green onions, glazed shrimp and bacon. Toss to heat through.

Push the fried rice mixture to one side of the pan, crack the eggs into the other side and scramble until set, about 1 minute (see picture). Mix the eggs into the rice and stir in the cilantro. 

Divide among bowls and serve with mustard or chili sauce, if desired.

                                           Scrambling the egg into the fried rice

Ginger Pork Potstickers
Tasty pillows of Asian flavors! 
Makes 12

6 ounces ground pork
1/4 cup diced white onion
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 tablespoon minced garlic
4 tablespoons diced green onion
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil (or any oil you have on hand)
Pinch salt and pepper
12 potsticker wrappers
1 teaspoon canola oil

In a skillet saute the pork, onions, ginger and garlic until the pork is just cooked through, about 4 minutes. Set aside in medium bowl to cool, about 10 minutes. Once cool add the green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix together until thoroughly combined.                                                                     

In a medium stock pot, boil 2 quarts of water.

Place 1 tablespoon of the mixture in the middle of a wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with a little water and fold in half by bringing opposite corners to meet in the middle. Pinch to close. Repeat with the remaining wrappers. (See picture)

Place wrappers in boiling water for 1 minute, remove, and cool individually on cooling rack. Do NOT allow them to touch while cooling as they will stick together and have to be ripped apart.

When ready for service, heat saute pan with 1 teaspoon oil, and saute on medium heat until the skin of the wrapper is browned. Serve with soy or sesame sauce for dipping.

Potstickers after being cooked

Recipes adapted from

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