Home Cooking 8

Now I know why they're called pot stickers.

Pantagruel | Sep 12, 200504:50 PM

On a show about how to make them, Jacques Pépin used supermarket wonton wrappers and cooked them in a skillet with a coating of oil and about half a cup of water. The dumplings browned and steamed on one side for a couple of minutes; then he turned them over effortlessly and they cooked on the other side.

He must have been using a non-stick pan. I tried to replicate his method first with an iron skillet, then an aluminum one, and the dumplings stuck so that they were almost impossible to turn over or extract without ruining them. The iron pan was an almost total disaster; the stainless steel worked better.

The main thing is, the dough when it gets wet turns to paste. That's why it's easy to fuse two rounds or squares together. But what makes one part of the process easy makes the other part hard. Is there a way to use this method with a conventional skillet, or do I have to go with Teflon?

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