Saturday, July 3, 2010

Cooking: Potstickers & Thai Salad

This Tuesday I'll be hosting a dinner party but I needed to practice the recipes before serving them to guests. I always tend to pick new recipes to try when I cook for other people which isn't always smart because I don't know how the dishes will turn out. I planned on making Potstickers, Thai Cabbage Salad, Jasmine Scented Rice & Grilled Lemongrass Chicken.

I grabbed a generic Potsticker recipe and tweaked it. The recipe called for chopping half a Napa cabbage and squeezing the water out. That didn't make sense to me because there's no way you can squeeze water out of cabbage without salting it first. When I used to help my mom make potstickers, she would add salt to the chopped cabbage to draw the water out before squeezing it dry. I then added that to half a pound of ground pork, chopped green onions, ginger, sesame seed oil, soy sauce & pepper. I didn't add any additional salt to the mixture since the cabbage was already pretty salty. I took a shortcut by using premade potsticker skins. They turned out pretty damn good for my first time. They were definitely no where near as good as my mom's but I was pretty proud of myself.

The rice was something I had actually made before and it's super easy. I just prepared the rice as normal and added a couple splashes of coconut milk before popping it in the rice cooker.

As for the Thai Cabbage Salad, it was just a lot of prep work cutting up all the veggies & herbs and making the sauce. I chopped up the other half of the Napa cabbage from the Potsticker mixture and added julienned red bell pepper, carrot and cucumber. I actually bought a mandolin just for this salad but it was a crappy cheap one so it didn't work all that well. I also intended for this to be a green papaya salad but the mandolin botched that up. Oh well. I chopped up some mint, Thai basil & cilantro as well. For the sauce I combined Sriracha, lime juice, palm sugar, fish sauce, soy suace, grated garlic & peanut oil. I topped the salad off with some honey roasted peanuts. It turned out really complex with all the different things going on but I think I need to work on the dressing a little more before it'll be perfect.

I didn't get a good picture of the chicken but that was just some drumsticks marinated in peanut oil, lime juice, lime zest, green onions, cilantro, garlic, ginger, soy sauce & fish sauce.

Wish me luck this Tuesday! I hope it all turns out good :D