Pot-Stickers at May Garden in Bedford, Nova Scotia
Pot-Stickers, or Pan-fried Jiaozi style dumplings are to be found on almost every Dim Sum menu these days and there is a tremendous amount of variety both in terms if filling and quality. The version offered at the May Garden Restaurant in Bedford, Nova Scotia , which you see pictured above, were simple, tasty, and better than many others offered in other restaurants.
The Pot-Stickers at May Garden appeared on the menu as ‘Pan Fried Shanghai Dumplings’ in English, and上海煎鍋貼 in Chinese characters. The last three characters translate as ‘pan-fried Pot-stickers’, which is a bit of a redundancy, while the first two characters do indicate Shanghai as being the place of origin. After sampling these, I am still at a loss as to why they are associated with Shanghai especially, as the dumpling style originates in Northern China and there is nothing about the filling in particular that differentiates them from Pot-stickers all over China, and elsewhere.
The wrappers were fairly thick, more like the thickness usually used for boiled dumplings, but they were well fried, as well as steamed by the water added to the fry pan in the traditional way of making Pot-stickers. Accordingly, they remained just nicely chewy, without being overly so.
The filling was ground pork, which had been correctly processed by being stirred repeatedly to make a ‘springy’ texture, and the other ingredient was cabbage. There was actually very little cabbage included, and it was hard to see, but the flavor was there as a background note. The seasoning was very simple, just a little salt and pepper, I think, and, overall, it was very tasty.
The dish was served with a little saucer of Chinese Red Vinegar for dipping but this didn’t really go very well. The restaurant makes their own Red Oil, or Chili Oil, and I used some of this instead. It provided a nice little sparkle and was a better accompaniment than the rather insipid Vinegar. All in all, I can’t say I have ever made better Pot-stickers than these, and they were certainly better than some of the ones I have been served in other establishments.