Crab-Filled Pot Stickers with Honey-Ginger Dipping Sauce

Pot stickers are just plain fun to eat. Many of us reserve these treats for a night out at an Asian restaurant, but they are easy to make at home. Using wonton wrappers, either fresh or frozen, cuts way down on the hassle. Anything can become a pot sticker; this recipe is just a good place to start. Try adding chopped cooked shrimp, or go really upscale and mix the crab meat with some finely minced duck confit. The dipping sauce is a variation on the most common dipping sauce for pot stickers. You can make them in advance up to the cooking stage and refrigerate for 1 day or freeze for 1 week. Don’t bother to defrost frozen pot stickers before cooking them. Simply add a bit more water and a few extra minutes to the steaming time. Wonton wrappers and toasted sesame oil can be found in Asian markets and some large supermarkets.

Honey-Ginger Dipping Sauce

  • 2 T tamari or other low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 T honey
  • 1 1/2 t Dijon mustard
  • 1 T water
  • 1 t unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1/2 t peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 t toasted sesame oil
  • 1 t chopped fresh chives

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and set aside. [I found whisking worked best to mix. I could not find “toasted sesame oil” at the Asian market, so we used one labeled “pure sesame oil.” We thought it was probably made from toasted sesame seeds since it was dark brown.]

Pot Stickers

  • 2 scallions (white and green parts), chopped
  • 2 T sesame seeds, toasted (see below*)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 1/2 t peeled and finely minced fresh ginger
  • 1 lb crab meat, lump blue or Dungeness preferred, picked over for shells and cartilage (see below **) [We used backfin meat from blue crabs.]
  • 24 wonton wrappers
  • 2 T cornstarch
  • 2 to 3 T canola oil
  • 1/2 cup water

1. Combine the scallions, sesame seeds, egg whites, and ginger in a large mixing bowl. [We use a microplane to grate the ginger, which works great for us.] Gently fold in the crab meat, taking care to keep the lumps as big as possible.

2. Place 12 of the wonton wrappers on a dry counter. Brush the edges with water. Place 1 T of the crab mixture in the center of each wrapper. Pull each wrapper up around the filling, crimping the dough, but do not cover the top; the filling should come to the top of the wrapper. Sprinkle the cornstarch on a plate and set each pot sticker in the cornstarch. Repeat with the remaining 12 wrappers. [I found I could not do this fast enough for the water not to dry out before I got to all 12, so I did 6 at a time. When reading the crimping directions, I could not figure out what it meant about the filling coming to the top, and sealed the wrappers as shown in the pictures. After I had done this, Gray came up and said maybe the recipe meant to pinch like a Crab Rangoon, which we decided was probably correct. However, we thought it didn’t really matter. I used too much cornstarch and it made cooking messy, so don’t overdo it with that! I am going to try sifting it over the plate next time.]

3. Heat the canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers but hasn’t started to smoke. Working in batches to avoid crowding, place the pot stickers cornstarch side down in the skillet and fry until golden brown, which will take only about 1 minute. Carefully add the water down the side of the pan, cover, reduce the heat to low, and steam for about 2 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook until the water has evaporated.

4. Place 6 pot stickers on each serving plate and serve with the dipping sauce.

Yield: 4 servings

From Crazy for Crab

*To toast sesame seeds, place them in a dry small skillet over medium heat and toast until fragrant and lightly browned.

**How to find shells and cartilage in crab meat. First, preheat your broiler. Spread the crab meat on a baking sheet, then place the sheet under the broiler for a minute or two. The shells and cartilage will turn white and pearl-like, making them easy to spot for removal. [This worked great! It needed 1 1/2-2 minutes under the broiler.]

Katie: This was a great recipe! I found that although I like other pot sticker fillings better than crab, that I enjoyed the crab filling as well. The dipping sauce was absolutely delicious, although I figured out I made a mistake in it while typing the recipe. When I was reading through the recipes, some ingredients were in both the sauce and the dumplings. So I was trying to measure and get them in each bowl while I had the ingredients out. I measured out the sesame seeds to toast, and when they were done, was putting them in the mixing bowl for the dumplings. Gray asked if any went in the dipping sauce, I scanned down the ingredient list and thought it said 1/4 t sesame seeds. I decided to take 1/4 t out of the 2 T I had measured for the dumplings, so my dumplings didn’t have quite 2 T, and my sauce had toasted sesame seeds that the recipe didn’t call for. However, this seemed to have been a good mistake because the dipping sauce was the best I have ever had! I personally think that the dipping sauce absorbed the flavor from the toasted seeds as it rested while I made the dumplings. It was so good! I also found that I made another mistake when cooking. I did not turn down the heat when steaming. I somehow didn’t read that any of the times I read the recipe, so didn’t do it. The dumplings turned out fine except that the edges had gotten a little hard, but we think it was because we placed them in the oven to keep warm while we made the rest.

Gray:  This was a fun recipe, and the pot stickers weren’t nearly as hard to make as we had thought.  I made a yummy Asian ginger salad dressing to accompany the pot stickers, so it was a fairly simple but fun meal.  For the salad dressing, don’t be deceived by seeing it in a salad dressing cruet.  The whole recipe will NOT fit! Mix in a bowl and then pour into a cruet if desired.  I love this cookbook.  Fred Thompson has flair for making  complex recipes simple by leading you through the difficult parts.

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