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potsticker tortellini

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Potsticker tortellini

I have only recently found this strange and wonderful name for dumplings or gyoza cooked in a skillet with and then without steam - very clever cooking method too. In my ignorance I thought you only either boiled the dumplings or deep fried them. That was actually confirmed by a Chinese friend of mine, but a bloke, so what would you expect?

It turns out that prepared dumplings, or jiaozi, or gyoza which is a Japanese loan off the Chinese from the times of the Japanese invasion of China in the late 1930s, are cooked by the fry-steam-fry method which is only just short of genius in my view. Fry them in the skillet or wok, add water for a burst of steam under a lid, then cook off the water and crispen again - what’s simpler, and what’s not to like.

Nothing, so as soon as I learned about the sticking to the pot I wanted to try it out. Make wonton skins and fill with minced pork, shrimp and cabbage? Erm - maybe not right now. A bag of filled pasta in the fridge - why, that will do just great.

And it must be said that my potsticker pasta was such a stonking success I’m having to cook it every week. Begone, boring boiled tortellini with boring pesto and cream - it’s now a Chinese-Italian fusion. Quite a bit of historical justice - after all Marco Polo allegedly stole the idea of pasta off the Chinese…

  • INGREDIENTS
  • 250g fresh prepared filled pasta (tortellini, cappeletti, ravioli etc.), with ham, cheese or your favourite filling
  • 50g (about 7 rashers) sliced pancetta, cut in 4-5cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp butter
  • ½ cup frozen peas
  • freshly grated Parmesan

Pasta, parmesan, pancetta

METHOD
Heat a pan or skillet with a fitting lid, large enough to fit the pasta in one layer, dry fry the pancetta until crisp on both sides, about 2 minutes. Remove from the pan onto paper towels, leave the fat in. Add the oil and butter to it and turn the heat up to medium-high.

Potsticker fusion
Add the pasta to the skillet, fry for a couple of minutes until golden and crispy at the bottom. Toss it about a bit, add the frozen peas with a splash of water, cover with the lid and steam for a minute, checking if the liquid has evaporated and the peas are cooked. Turn off the heat, return the pancetta to the pan and stir it in. Serve with the Parmesan.

Fiendishly...



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