Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Low-Carb Potstickers

Can we take a moment for the Potsticker?  I don't think I have ever met someone who disliked them and many times they are just as good, if not better when made at home rather than in a restaurant.  They are so savory with that great umami flavor that Asian food is so wonderful at achieving.  The problems start to arise when one is trying to maintain a low-carb lifestyle.  Because of this, I had to find an alternative to the wanton wrapper, which I was able to do with cabbage leaves.  They have a very low-key flavor profile and the texture works really well with the Asian flavors in this recipe.  I use ground pork seasoned with soy sauce, sesame oil, and fresh herbs and form it into little patties for the inside of the potstiker, but ground turkey or quinoa would be fantastic too.  Once the patties are formed, I pan fry them and then wrap them in the boiled cabbage leaves, like a little burrito and dip them in soy sauce or my Sweet and Spicy dipping sauce.  They are the perfect little finger food for an appetizer or work perfectly as a fun low-carb dinner.  There is very little prep and even though there several steps to this recipe, everything is incredibly easy with minimal ingredients.  Once you make this dish, you will want to make it over and over.

This is what you need:

1 lb Ground Pork (turkey or quinoa would be great too)
1 head of Cabbage
3 Green Onions - chopped
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Fresh Ginger - minced or grated
2 cloves Garlic - minced
1/8 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
Cilantro for Garnish (optional)

Sweet and Spicy Dipping Sauce (optional)
2 tbsp Honey
2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce or Siracha

This is what you do:
Cut the cabbage in half and remove the core.  Cut each half in half again.  Remove 15-20 leaves and place in boiling water for 2-3 minutes.  Remove and place on paper towels to drain and set aside.  Then, put the pork, green onions, ginger, garlic, 2 tsp Sesame Oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper in a bowl and use your hands to mix well.  Form into little oval patties, about 2 inches long.  Cook in a frying pan over medium high heat 4-5 minutes a side.  Take a few leaves of cilantro and place on a cabbage leaf, then the cooked pork.  Roll into a little package and dip in the Sweet and Spicy Sauce or another sauce of your choice.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Makes 15-20 Potsickers

First thing to do is get a large pot of water boiling.  Then cut the cabbage in half and remove the core by cutting a triangle piece out of the bottom.  Cut each half in half again and remove the outer leaves until you have 15-20 triangle shaped pieces.

Save the remaining cabbage for a later use and when the water is boiling, drop the cabbage leaves in it.  Using tongs, move the leaves around every 30 seconds or so.  Boil for about 2 minutes, until the leaves turn a brighter shade of green and the texture becomes more pliable.  Remove from the water and set on paper towels to drain.

Now the hard part is over!  Next, get the green onions, garlic and fresh ginger ready.
If you do not have fresh ginger you can use 1/4 tsp ground ginger and it will be fabulous.

In a bowl, mix the ground pork, onions, ginger, garlic, 2 tsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1/8 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper with your hands.  Then form it into little oval shapes about 2 inches long and 1 inch wide.  You should end up with 15-20 little patties. 
 The hands are getting in it with this recipe.
Ready to fry.

Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat and add the pork patties.  If you are using pork, you do not have to add any additional oil to the pan.  If using turkey, add 1 tbsp oil to the pan.  Heat 4-5 minutes per side to get a nice crust and cook through.  
These smell and look so good it is hard to eat them at this stage. 

Now it is time to assemble the potsticker.  Take a cooked cabbage leaf and add some cilantro leaves if you are using it.  On top of that, add the pork patty and then roll it like a taquito or burrito.  You can secure it with a toothpick if you like, but I usuall just leave mine as is.  
How cute is this?

Keep rolling until you have finished and you are ready to serve!  These are fantastic dipped in soy sauce or sweet chili sauce, but I always make my Sweet and Spicy Sauce for them.  Here is the recipe:
Mix 2 tbsp Honey with 2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce with 1 tbsp Chili Garlic Sauce (or Siracha).  Taste and adjust to your liking.
So easy and good and such a great compliment to the potstickers.  
 We are really into Soy Sauce in my house.

I serve these all together on a plate with the dipping sauce and some fresh limes.  These little guys go super fast at any event and make a great dinner for two or three people.  They are healthy and incredibly flavorful with all the fresh herbs.  You will not miss the wanton wrapper!

I hope you enjoy these as much as we do!