How do you make Pad Thai even better? Put it in a potsticker.
Pad Thai is a street vendor style noodle dish from (you guessed it!) Thailand. Rice noodles are stir fried along with eggs, tofu, and often shrimp or chicken, and then it all gets a kick of flavor from tamarind and fish sauce. Usually, Pad Thai also includes bean sprouts, roasted peanuts, green onion, cilantro, and various additional little goodies that, all together, happen to make it one of my favorite foreign comfort foods in the whole wide world.
But what if we replaced the noodl– I know! I know! Just hear me out– I said what if we replaced the noodles with wrappers? Not just any wrappers, but potsticker wrappers, which would be browned on the bottom and then steamed to cook through. Crisp below, chewy on top, and chock full of Pad Thai tastiness. Oh yes.
That Pad Thai tastiness is achieved by pulsing the ingredients in a food processor to finely mince them and get them to a moldable consistency. You don’t want the filling to be mushy, but you want it to hold together well enough that there aren’t any big airy gaps in your potstickers. Maximum filling, guys.
Then you just spoon it onto the wrappers, wet the edges, and fold over into a half-circle to create your dumplings. I crease the edges of mine by continuously folding pinches of wrapper inwards from the middle to the wrapper to the outer edges, but you can fold them dozens of different ways.
Once they’re all sealed up, they’re ready for cookin’. You don’t need anything fancy here, just a pot with a lid, some oil, and some water. It really is that easy.
About 8 minutes later, you’ve got hot and delicious dumplings that you’re going to want to show off to a crowd.
Speaking of showing off, if you make these Pad Thai Potstickers, be sure to share a photo on Instagram and tag #hostthetoast!
- 1 tablespoon tamarind paste (seedless)
- 2 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- Salt & pepper
- 8 oz extra firm tofu, cubed, drain and blotted dry
- 8 oz cooked salad shrimp, thawed
- 2 thai chilies, seeded and roughly chopped, plus more to garnish
- 1 handful roasted peanuts, plus more to garnish
- 2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
- 1 handful bean sprouts
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions, plus more to garnish
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
- 40 round gyoza or wonton wrappers
- 2 tablespoons canola oil per batch
- Ginger peanut sauce, to dip, optional
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tamarind paste, fish sauce, and sugar until the sugar dissolves. Add in the egg, salt, and pepper, and set aside.
- Place the tofu, shrimp, chilies, peanuts, garlic, bean sprouts, scallions, and cilantro in a food processor. Pulse until chopped, then pour over the tamarind egg mixture and continue to pulse until finely minced and moldable.
- Pour a bit of cold water in a shallow bowl and set on your work station. Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of the filling in the center of a potsticker round. Use your finger to paint the edges of the wrappers with water. Fold the wrapper over the filling to create a half-circle shape, and pinch or fold the edges to seal. Cover with a kitchen towel and repeat until all of the wrappers have been filled. At this point, you can freeze them if you’d like and save them for later.
- To cook, heat the canola oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Working in batches, place the dumplings in the skillet and fry until golden brown on the bottom, about 3-4 minutes.
- Once the bottoms are golden, pour in 1/4 cup of water carefully (the oil may splatter a bit) and cover immediately with a lid. Cooking until all of the water has evaporated. about 5-6 minutes more. Remove the pot stickers to a plate and repeat until all of the potstickers have been cooked.
- Garnish with scallions, roasted peanuts, and sliced thai chilis. Serve with ginger peanut sauce.
If you’d like to curl the scallions like I do, thinly slice them vertically, and submerge them in ice water at least 5 minutes before garnishing.