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America's Test Kitchen 7x12

Not Your Average Stir-Fry

We wanted a complex dish with carefully balanced flavors—without an extensive list of hard-to-find ingredients and hours in the kitchen.

Thai-style stir-fries are a refreshing alternative to Chinese stir-fries. Spicy, sweet, sour, and salty, the flavors are well-balanced and complex. But who has the ingredients often required, such as shrimp paste, tamarind pulp, galangal, and palm sugar? And while the more familiar Chinese stir-fry is fairly quick to prepare, a Thai stir-fry can take hours. For our starting point, we looked to a restaurant favorite—Thai chile beef—and set out to streamline this dish without compromising its interesting combination of flavors. Potstickers are another Asian favorite we wanted to enjoy at home. At their best, potstickers are light dumplings filled with a well-seasoned mix of pork and cabbage. Dunked into a soy dipping sauce, they make a terrific start to a meal. Unfortunately, we’ve eaten more than our share of truly awful potstickers—leaden balls of pasty meat in a doughy wrapper. All it took was one bite for us to put our chopsticks down. We wanted to find out the secret to making great potstickers—the right filling, the right wrapper, and a method of assembly that wasn’t overly complicated and didn’t take all day. Most of all we wanted these potstickers to be so good, we’d rather make them ourselves than call for our favorite takeout.

Recipes:

Stir-Fried Thai-Style Beef with Chiles and Shallots

Potstickers

Scallion Dipping Sauce

Equipment Center: Nonstick Skillets, Update

America’s Test Kitchen: 7×12
Mar. 24, 2007

America's Test Kitchen season 7