If you see these little Chinese dumplings on a menu, order them. Even in their worst iteration (like the oily pan-fried version many restaurants serve as appetizers), they trump 90 percent of the other items in the appetizer section. Luckily, making them at home is a 10-minute project, and it allows you to cut calories and boost nutrition by spiking the dish with mushrooms and snap peas. This works great as an appetizer for four, but you can also cut the recipe down and make it a lean meal for one.
Nutrition: 200 calories, 9 g fat (2 g saturated), 520 mg sodium
24 frozen pot stickers (chicken, pork, or vegetable)
1 Tbsp sesame or peanut oil
4 oz mushrooms (preferably shiitake), stems removed, sliced
2 cups sugar snap or snow peas, tough ends removed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
Sriracha to taste
Sesame seeds (optional) (Sesame seeds are a top source of magnesium, which help reduce stress and fight high blood pressure.)
Sliced scallions (optional)
How to Make It
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Drop in the pot stickers, and cook for a few minutes until tender but not gummy. Drain.
- Heat the oil a large nonstick skillet or sauté pan over medium heat.
- Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly browned.
- Add the cooked potstickers to the pan and cook, undisturbed, until crispy and brown on the bottom, about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- In the last minute of cooking, toss in the snap peas and warm through.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the soy sauce, vinegar, and sriracha.
- Divide among 4 bowls, and garnish with sesame seeds and scallions (if using).
Eat This Tip
You could go through the trouble of rolling out dough, making the filling, and pinching these little pockets of joy together by hand, but why bother when the frozen variety is perfectly delicious and usually quite healthy? Keep a bag or two on hand for quick weeknight dinners (either steamed or boiled, then pan-fried with fresh vegetables) or crowd-pleasing starters for your next dinner party. Our favorite version hails from Trader Joe's, but most markets carry a reliable rendition.