Thursday, February 18, 2010

Kuo Tien Replenishment


Kuo Tien, also known as Jiao Tse or Potstickers, are in steady freezer supply at my house.  Every so often I will sit down and wrap about a few trays of them.  They go into the freezer on the tray and once frozen, into zip lock bags for an easy snack, appetizer or meal.  I buy the ground pork from Uwajimaya.  They carry two types, one they call 'premium' and the other just ground pork.  The difference looks to be the premium has less fat.  From my countless sessions of kuo tien making, I've found a combo of the two is best.  I made the pork filling yesterday and let it set overnight.  For the 3 packages of pork I purchased, 2 regular, 1 premium, I grated about a 1 inch piece of ginger, finely minced 4 or 5 green onions, then added soy sauce, cooking wine, sugar, sesame oil and water.  The water addition is key as it helps make the pork, once cooked, tender and moist.  I usually make the marinade and add the pork in and then continue to add water until the mixture is quite soft and moist.  
When my parents owned their restaurant, they used to make the wraps from scratch rolling out each individually.  The pace at which my dad would roll one into a round was perfectly timed with how long it took my mom to wrap one up.  Their hands were like precision machines.  I cannot match that, so I go with a ready made wrap.   I've tried many brands, but my favorite is one that is found in the frozen section.  The label is pictured above.  It's the proper thickness and cooks up more like the home made version.  
I can't describe how to wrap the kuo tien.  But done the way pictured above, they stand up on their own when you cook them and their bottoms crisp up nicely.  If you pan fry them, they are called Kuo Tien, if you boil them, they are Jiao Tse.  Either way, they are delightful and never let you down.  

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