Quick Bite: Pot Luck
Red Orchid’s owners, Kelly and Tony Chu, share a classic Chinese dish
Pot stickers are a symbol of good luck served during Chinese New Year (coming up on February 10) and family celebrations. But at Red Orchid’s China Bistro, every day is lucky for diners, as a team of chefs churn out five dumplings per minute. “In Chinese culture, making them is a family project that you start to join in on as a child,” says owner Kelly Chu. She is quick to point out to would-be pot sticker-makers that crafting these delicious treats can take a lifetime of practice. “Don’t expect your pot stickers to look perfect the first time. Just keep trying.”
Chu knows a thing or two about determination. She was born in China, moved to Brazil with her family, then arrived in Charleston when she was 16. After learning English and graduating from the University of Maryland, Chu and her husband, Tony, decided food was their passion. They opened Red Orchid’s nine years ago, and their pan-fried pot stickers have been an enduring favorite.
To serve them at home, Chu suggests a shortcut. “Don’t make the dough yourself—it’s too hard. Buy Twin Dragon brand at the grocery,” she says. For the filling, make a simple blend of pork or beef with onion, cabbage, and oyster and soy sauces. Fill each dough wrapper with a quarter-size ball of filling. Gently fold the dough like an accordion, brush egg wash onto the seam, and seal it into a half moon. In a wok, fry them in soybean oil, then steam them for a tricky but delicious dish.
1 cup ground pork or beef
2 Tbs. oyster sauce
1 Tbs. soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbs. Chinese rice wine
1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper, to taste
2 Tbs. sesame oil
1/2 cup green onion, finely minced
1 1/2 cups finely shredded Napa cabbage
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger, finely minced
1 package dumpling dough, Twin Dragon recommended
Egg wash (see below)
1 Tbs. soybean oil
1 cup water
Blend first 10 ingredients together. Lay one wrapper on plate. Place a teaspoon of meat mixture in middle of wrapper. Brush egg wash on rim. Fold wrapper across meatball and meet the opposite rim. Press rims together, sealing the dumpling. Heat a wok until very hot. Add soybean oil, tilting wok to coat sides. Place dumplings in a single layer in wok and fry on medium for two minutes. Add water. Cover and cook until water is absorbed. Repeat.
For the egg wash:
1 Tbs. water
Whisk egg with water until smooth.