Wild Oyster Mushroom Potstickers Recipe (Gyoza)
Paddling in the river last weekend I spotted lots of large birds - herons, bald eagles, osprey, egrets - which don’t allow a human to get close before flapping off in elegant annoyance. In a still and quiet swampy area there was a particularly gorgeous Great Blue Heron not too far away that I felt compelled to stare at for a while. The scene was like a Monet painting with yellow pond lilies, rippling reflections of willow trees, and a Carolina blue sky with perfect wisps of clouds.
I suddenly realized that the bird was standing next to a beautiful flush of wild oyster mushrooms, Pleurotus ostreatus. I slowly paddled closer and the heron slowly walked deeper into the swamp, but never taking its eye off me nor getting very far away. The oysters were perfectly mature! And since they were growing on a dead tree coming out of the water there were none of the usual bugs I find in oysters. I was so excited for this treasure, and honored that this magical bird in a magical place had invited me to pick them.
I find the flavor of wild oyster mushrooms to be richer and nuttier than cultivated varieties. Potstickers were an easy choice to showcase and enhance their flavor with a few simple ingredients.
4 c. sliced wild oyster mushrooms
1/2 c. raw walnuts
1/3 c. yellow onion, minced
1 c. savoy cabbage, chopped small
3 cloves garlic, minced
1” piece of ginger, minced
3 green onions, white and green parts sliced
salt to taste
30-40 round dumpling wrappers (Japanese gyoza skins or Korean wrappers)
good quality cooking oil
dark sesame oil
Heat a cast iron pan on medium heat. Add sliced oyster mushrooms to the pan in a single layer, and stir every couple of minutes until they release most of their water and brown just a bit. You’ll probably have several batches to cook.
Place the cooked mushrooms and walnuts in a food processor and pulse a few times to form a loose paste. Transfer to a large bowl.
Sauté the onion in a tablespoon of oil on medium low heat until softened. Add the cabbage and continue to sauté until it’s bright green - softened just a bit but not soggy, about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste when you have about a minute left.
Add onion and cabbage mixture to the oysters and walnuts. Add the garlic, ginger, and green onions, and mix everything together well. I use my hands to lightly mush the ingredients evenly.
Fill your dumpling wrappers with 1/2 to 3/4 tablespoon of filling in each. Here’s a video to show you how to do it.
To cook the potstickers, preheat a 12” cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes. When hot, add a tablespoon of sesame oil and make sure it covers the bottom of the pan.
Add the potstickers in neat rows in a single layer with the seam side up. Once the pan is full, fry them for 10 more seconds, then add 2/3 c. of water and cover the skillet.
Cook with the lid on for about 4-5 minutes until there is little or no water remaining.
Uncover the skillet and drizzle another tablespoon of sesame oil over the potstickers. Cook for one more minute. They should look glossy and the skins should be thoroughly cooked.
Use a thin spatula to transfer the potstickers to a serving plate. Serve with dipping sauce. I like gyoza sauce with a little green onion and red pepper flakes.
Featured font: Courgette
And that gorgeous bowl? Covington Pottery