Ravioli turns east
You can find versions of filled pasta from Italy (ravioli) to China (won tons and their kin), with Eastern Europe (pirohi) in between. This is a flavorful strict fast version of Asian “pot stickers”. In China they’re usually served as a side dish with dipping sauces, but there’s no reason you can’t make a meal of them, by themselves or perhaps mixed with some cooked vegetables. As always, the proportions in the filling are flexible and subject to your own tastes.
Wraps: round wonton wraps, available in the “ethnic” or natural food section of many supermarkets. The brand I bought (Nasoya) comes in packages of about 50; this recipe makes about 24 “stickers”.
- About 2 cups cabbage, finely shredded (Napa or plain green cabbage)
- About 1 cup grated carrot
- At least 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
- 3 or 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- a bunch of scallions (green onions), chopped; use the green stalks as well as the white onion part.
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 2 Tbsp sesame oil
- Red pepper flakes (you can substitute chili powder)
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
Heat the sesame oil in a large skillet with a generous pinch of red pepper flakes. Add all the chopped vegetables along with the soy sauce. Saute, stirring regularly, until they’ve softened and cooked down a bit. Remove from heat. Stir in the peanut butter. Allow to cool.
Lay out the wraps and put about a teaspoon of filling in the center of each one. To fold, dip your finger in a bowl of water, run it all the way around the edge of the wrap to wet it. Fold the wrap over into a half-moon shape and pinch it closed.
(At this point the dumplings can be bagged up and refrigerated or frozen for later)
To cook, heat some oil in a large skillet. Cook the dumplings in batches so that they don’t touch one another — about six to a batch. Brown them on both sides, then pour in about 1/4 to 1/2 cup water and put a lid on the skillet to let the dumplings steam for a couple of minutes. Repeat this procedure for each batch until done.