Curry Pork, Enoki Mushroom and Purple Basil Potstickers with Porcini, Shiro, Sake, Brown Rice Vinegar Reduction
I never get sick. Maybe it's my Super Vegan Immune System or the 2+ bottles of Kombucha I drink daily, but illness does not cramp my style. Well, last week I had to change my "never" to "sometimes". For whatever reason, I fell terribly ill with the flu the day after Thanksgiving. For three days, I was bed-ridden, booger-crusted and just plain crabby. I blame it on one of two things, because I refuse to blame myself for lack of personal upkeep:
A) The ridiculous amount of Thanksgiving cooking I did for 10 people.
B) The fact that it actually feels like winter in Los Angeles, and it's FUCKING COLD.
Okay, it's not "Bitter East Coast Winter" cold, but it's damn near chilly for this part of the USA. At least I can bust out my plaid scarves.
In any event, I ate lots of soup, couldn't cook to save my life, and whined like a little bitch, and now I'm feeling much better.
I did make one terrible mistake in hopes of keeping myself occupied, though. I purchased The Sims 3. I've never divulged my former addiction to the EA Games phenomenon, but I was heavily hooked on The Sims in high school. It all started because my best friend's dad is somewhat of a computer program hacking pro. He had two computers in his office, and hooked us both up with a version of the game on each computer. It started as innocent fun, and quickly turned to a need for a 12 step group to help us de-value our virtual relationships with our Sims.
Instead of interacting with actual human beings on a Friday night, Amy and I would get stoned silly and play The Sims for hours on end. We'd exchange maybe 10 words, and demolish gigantic bags of Sour Patch Kids. Eventually, there was an intervention, and we were able to step away from the screen.
I thought I'd stepped away from the world of RPG games, scoffing at the World of Warcraft addicts. Well, I've fallen off the wagon. Not only will I Sim with a vengeance, but I've also taken quite a liking to FarmVille and Restaurant City on Facebook.
Let's just hope I find a job sooner than later.
Porcini, Shiro, Sake, Brown Rice Vinegar Reduction
For the Potstickers...
- 1 batch Vegan Pork, cut into 2-3 inch pieces
- 3.5 oz Enoki Mushrooms, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 1 tightly packedcup of Purple Basil Leaves, finely chopped
- 2 cups of Green Cabbage, shredded
- 1/2 TBSP Salt
- 1/4 cup Scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 Leek, top removed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 2 TBSP Vegetable Oil
- 1 TBSP Tamari
- 1 TBSP Curry Powder
- 1 TBSP Mirin
- 2 cloves Garlic, finely grated
- 1 tsp fresh Ginger, finely grated
- 1 tsp Dark Sesame Oil
- 2 TBSP Chives, minced
- Touch of Salt and Pepper, to taste (optional)
- 1 package of Vegan Potsticker Wrappers
- Vegetable Oil, enough for fry potstickers
- 1/2 cup Hot No Chicken Broth (alternatively Vegetable Broth or Water), divided in half.
Once the vegan pork has cooking, remove it from the pot with a slotted spoon instead of draining off all the broth. Immediately place the pieces of pork seitan into a food processor, then pour 1 TBSP of the broth inside the food processor. Grind to the texture of ground beef, then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
Take your chopped cabbage, and place it in a large bowl. Sprinkle a 1/2 TBSP of salt over top, then let it stand for 1/2 hour while you prep the rest of your ingredients. After the cabbage has sat for 1/2 hour, use a cheesecloth, dishtowel or paper towels to drain as much liquid from the cabbage as possible. Set the drained cabbage aside to dry further.
Once the vegan pork is ground and all the ingredients are prepped, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Add the vegan ground pork, enoki mushrooms, leek and scallions to the skillet, and saute for 3-4 minutes until the leeks are soft and translucent. Turn the heat down to medium low, then add cabbage and stir to combine. Add curry powder, tamari, garlic and ginger and ginger to the pan, stir will, then saute another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat, transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and allow it to cool to room temperature.
Once cooled, add the purple basil, chives and sesame oil, then use your hands to combine completely. Taste for salt and pepper.
To assemble the potstickers, prepare a small bowl of water for moistening the wrappers. Take each wrapper, and lay it out on a flat surface. Place a small spoonful of the filling in the center of the wrapper....
Dip your finger in the bowl of water, then run your finger around the outside edge of HALF of the wrapper. Making sure that the wet and dry side don't meet yet, carefully fold the wrapper in half like a taco.
Start at one end, and carefully pinch the sides together. Work your way around to the other end, making sure the potsticker is completely airtight so that the filling remains inside. Repeat with each potsticker, then set aside with the "fold" side up so that the bottom becomes flat. Let sit until you're ready to cook them.
You can cook the potstickers one of several ways. I used the steam/pan fry method, but you can also feel free to use other methods:
1. Steam/Pan Fry:
Using a large skillet with a lid, pour in enough vegetable oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil over high heat until it's shining, then place enough potstickers in the pan so that it is filled, but not over crowded.
Add 1/4 cup of the No Chicken Broth (or veggie stock or water) to the pan, reduce the heat to medium, then cover with a lid. Allow them to cook for 4 minutes, then remove the lid and add an additional 1/4 cup of broth. Let the potstickers cook until the water fully evaporates. Once the water is evaporate, cool an additional minute, then remove from the pan and serve.
Repeat the process until all of the potstickers are cooked.
2. Deep Fry
Heat several inches of oil in a large stock pot or deep fryer until it registers 350 degrees F. Carefully drop the potstickers in the heated oil, then fry until golden brown (about 5-7 minutes). Carefully remove them with a mesh strainer or slotted spoon, then place on a towel to drain and cool. Serve.
Using a rice cooker with a steamer basket, place about 2-3 cups of water (depending on the width of the pot) in the bottom of the rice cooker. Place the steamer basket over top of the water, then place enough potstickers in the basket so that it is full but the potstickers do not overlap. Turn the rice cooker to the "cook" setting, and let the potstickers steam for about 10-12 minutes, until cooked through. Be careful that the water doesn't fully evaporate.
Once the potstickers are done steaming, carefully remove the steamer basket then pour the remaining liquid in the cooking pot over top of them to help unstick.
For the Porcini, Shoyu and Sake Reduction
- 1 handful of Dried Porcini Mushrooms
- 1 cup Hot Water
- 1/2 cup Shoyu
- 1/2 cup Sake
- 1/4 cup Brown Rice Vinegar
- 1/2 cup Mirin
Place the dried porcinis in a deep bowl, then the hot water over top of them. Use a heavy object to ensure that the porcinis are submerged in the hot water. Let the porcinis soak in the hot water for 1/2 hour.
Using a mesh strainer, place a bowl in your sink to catch the soaking liquid. Pour the porcinis over the strainer so that the soaking liquid pour into the bowl. You can save the porcinis for another recipe, or discard them.
Place the porcini soaking liquid, shoyu, sake, brown rice vinegar and mirin in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring the mixture to a boil, and allow it to boil until the mixture reduces by 2/3rds. Serve as a dipping sauce or drizzle over potstickers.