Potstickers, Jiaozi, Gyoza, Mandu, I don't care what it's called I like it. I always have to get an order when I get food from the local Chinese place and even if I sit at a counter for sushi, I usually get an order of gyoza from the kitchen.
Trader Joe's has some great bags of frozen potstickers. When you are busy (when are we not?) they make a great, quick meal. Just pop them in the microwave and you have a snack, or in our case, dinner. Yes, you can deep fry them or cook them by frying first and then steaming, but in a pinch, I usually just microwave them.
You can buy some packages of potstickers that have a packet of sauce included. And while that sauce is okay, that's just it...they are just okay. I've made my own potsticker sauce before but I never had the correct combination of ingredients and that too, just turned out okay.
When I saw this simple recipe in the Martin Yan Quick and Easy cookbook, i figured it was a great excuse to go buy a bag of potstickers and indulge. So off I went to buy the sauce ingredients.
Chinese black vinegar? Couldn't find it at a regular grocery store so when I was near the Chinese market I stopped in to see if I could find it. It's a nice big market with tons of things I wanted to try. I searched up and down the isles looking for black vinegar. I went up and down the Chinese vinegar section. I checked the Japanese section. I checked the Korean section. No luck. I asked a clerk. No luck. The clerk went and got the owner/manager. The owner came smiling. I asked for 'Chinese Black Vinegar'. He looked at me like I was crazy gaijin messing in his Chinese market. Black vinegar? Yes. And then feeling like I had to explain my craziness, I volunteered in a small little voice "Really. Chinese Black Vinegar. It's from a recipe in a Martin Yan cookbook". The owner/manager still looked at me like I was crazy. He and the clerk looked at all the vinegars (seriously, there had to be at least 50 kinds in the Chinese section alone) and then shrugged and apologized, he had none. I ended up using balsamic vinegar which Martin Yan said was an okay substitute.
This tasted really really good. I will never use the packet stuff again since this was so quick and easy to make and the ingredients are pantry staples. The recipe mentions that this could also be used on white rice (which was a great idea) or spring rolls. This recipe made way more sauce than was needed for one package of potstickers. This was so easy to make and tasted so good that it will definitely be the go to sauce when I need it.
This is my entry into the Weekend Cookbook Challenge being hosted by Sara. The challenge was to use a recipe from a cookbook that had 5 ingredients or less.
SPICY SOY DIPPING SAUCE
6 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Chinese black vinegar or balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir until combined. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator; it will keep for up to 3 weeks. Makes about 3/4 cup.
Note: I used good balsamic vinegar
Note: I am still on the hunt for Chinese Black Vinegar