Venison Pot Stickers with a Pomegranate & Ginger dipping sauce
We all struggle to come up with easy creative ideas on how to expand our wild game culinary repertoire. If you go through the cuisines of the world you can all pick out items that you enjoy. One of my favorite ways to eat is what the Spaniards call “Tapas” and the Chinese “Dim Sum” or Little Plates. It’s a great way to experience as many flavors and combinations as possible for a food consumption gathering.
One of my favorite “little foods” is the dumpling. They can be anything from potato based to ground meat or vegetables. Dumplings come in many shapes and sizes and are utilized in most cuisines around the globe.
They are also a great way to utilize a vast variety of fillings.
Pot stickers are as simple as you can get, easy to make, easy to cook and the fillings are as endless as your imagination. The wrappers are a simple flour dough cut into rounds and you can find them in Asian markets in the frozen food sections, along with won ton, egg roll and spring roll wrappers. I recommend having all of these in your freezer. Cooking pot stickers is unique as they start out being boiled in water, and then as the water evaporates, the bottoms fry and become crispy. If done properly they will not stick on the bottoms.
These tasty little dumplings can be made ahead and kept frozen until needed.
Venison Pot Stickers with cabbage and leeks
makes app. 36 pot stickers
1 lb. ground venison
1 pack pot sticker dough
3 eggs, 1 for egg wash
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. chili oil
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1⁄2 cup leeks – finely chopped (you can also use onions, scallions or Chinese chives)
1 cup green or Napa cabbage, finely chopped
4 tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
2 tsp. grated fresh ginger
1⁄2 tsp. ground red chili flakes
Kosher salt to taste
Heat the oils in a sauté pan. Add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Then add the leeks, cabbage and seasonings. Stir-fry until wilted then set aside to cool.
Place the meat, 2 eggs and cornstarch into a mixing bowl. Blend in the cooled cabbage and leeks. Mix vigorously until smooth. Adjust the seasoning. Take a small sample of the filling and cook it in a pan to confirm the seasonings.
Once you have the filling just the way you want, lay out 10 or 12 dough wraps at a time. Beat the remaining egg with a splash of water to use as the egg wash, brushing the wrappers. Place a small amount of filling in each wrapper. Fold over and secure the edges. Place the pot sticker with the edges upward on a cornstarch dusted sheet pan. When ready to cook, heat a large sauté pan with some chili and sesame oil. Arrange the pot stickers in the pan. Cover the dumplings half way with water. Cover the pan and cook over high heat. The water will evaporate and the dumplings are done when the bottoms are crispy and golden brown.
Pomegranate & Ginger Ponzu
1⁄2 cup low sodium soy
1⁄2 cup pomegranate juice
A couple of lemon slices
Pinch of fresh garlic
2 thin slices of fresh ginger
optional additions to taste – jalapeno slices, scallions, sesame seeds, cilantro
Mix all ingredients, for best results let sit overnight for flavors to develop. This is a nice balanced dipping sauce that is accented by the tart nature of pomegranate, perfect for the rich little bites of these pot stickers.
Feel free to add your own little touches to this base recipe. The filling can also be used to make meatballs or to stuff into any number of veggies or as a meatloaf Asian style. The nature of ginger and chilies match up terrifically with rich game meats. Enjoy! The extra effort in making these will be very much worth the while.