Pho Pot Stickers
- For the Pho Spice Blend:
- 1 star anise pod, broken into 8 points
- 1 whole clove
- 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 5 black peppercorns
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- For the Dumplings:
- 2 teaspoons peeled and minced ginger
- 1 Fresno or jalapeño chili, seeded and finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh Thai basil, cilantro or mint
- 1/3 cup finely chopped scallions, white and green parts
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth or water
- 3 1/2 tablespoons canola or other neutral oil, plus more as needed
- 8 ounces ground meat, such as beef chuck, dark-meat chicken or lamb
- 1 1/4 teaspoons cornstarch, as needed
- 24 round dumpling wrappers (labeled “pot sticker” or “gyoza skins”)
- All-purpose flour, for work surface
- For the Dipping Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned Japanese rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons water
- 5 thin slices seeded jalapeño chili (optional)
Adapted from wsj.com
Make Pho Spice Blend:
In a small skillet over medium heat, toast star anise, clove, fennel seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns until fragrant and slightly darkened, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool. Once cool, finely grind spices in a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Add cinnamon and pulse 3 times to combine.
In a bowl, stir together ginger, chilies, basil, scallions, pepper, salt, 1 teaspoon pho spice blend, broth and 1½ tablespoons oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add ground meat to bowl. Use a fork to vigorously stir until liquid is incorporated. If meat mixture feels too soft to handle, stir in cornstarch. Cover and set aside 20 minutes or refrigerate up to 2 days before using.
Meanwhile, make sauce: In a bowl, stir to combine soy sauce, vinegar, water and chilies, if using. Set aside.
Make Pot Stickers:
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly dust with flour. Working with 6 at a time, place wrappers on work surface, then brush edges of wrappers with water. To assemble each pot sticker, hold a wrapper in a slightly cupped hand. Use a knife to place 2-3 teaspoons filling on wrapper, slightly off-center, toward upper half of wrapper. (Amount of filling used depends on wrapper size.) Shape filling into a flat mound, leaving a ¾–inch border all around. Fold bottom half of wrapper up over filling to create a half-moon shape. Use your thumb and forefinger to crimp edges, sealing pot sticker. Place on prepared baking sheet, and cover with a dry kitchen towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling, preventing pot stickers from touching as you arrange them on baking sheet.
Heat remaining oil in a lidded, large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add dumplings in a circular pattern, allowing them to touch. Fry until golden or light brown, 1-2 minutes. Use a measuring cup to add ¼-inch water to pan, holding a lid close to the skillet as a shield. Cover and decrease heat to medium. Let cook until water has mostly evaporated, 4-6 minutes. After about 3 minutes, slide lid ajar for venting. Once most of water is gone, continue to fry dumplings, uncovered, without flipping, to crisp bottoms, 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat.
Once sizzling stops, use a spatula to transfer dumplings to serving plate, crisp bottoms facing up. (If the dumplings have stuck together in a mass, invert onto serving plate.) Serve with dipping sauce.