Ever since spring has come around, I’ve been dying to get my hands on a few of the elusive ramps. I had never cooked with them before, but heard about their magical flavors and how they are worth waiting those few short weeks in April/May for them to show up. I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them and this recipe for chicken and ramp potstickers was at the top of my list.
After weeks and weeks of stalking Whole Foods, I finally found them. My mom was with me in the store and as soon as we turned the corner into the produce section I spotted them out of the corner of my eye. I must have looked crazy because I pretty much grabbed my mom’s hand and dragged her over to them, practically giddy because of it. I got a little carried away and snatched up a ton, and since they were $20/lb (a little expensive, but trust me, SO worth it) we decided on only getting 3/4/lb.
While we were weighing the ramps to see how much to get (I was so excited I think I grabbed about 2 lbs worth to begin with…), the farmer who had brought the ramps in asked me what I was going to make with them. He said he could see the excitement in my face (was I really that obvious? Yes.) and liked to see other people enjoy them. He wanted to know what I was doing with them so I told him about a few of my ideas and mentioned the potstickers; he seemed pleased with my choices, so I was happy that he was on board with what I wanted to do – he grew them after all!
If you’ve never experienced ramps, then you are truly missing out. The best way to describe them is a cross between a green onion and a garlic clove. They are garlicky and onion-y and so incredibly delicious. I’ve made a few other things with them and hope to feature them on here in the future. Ramp butter is one of the things I have made (I used Plugra and ramps) and that can keep in the freezer for up to 6 months, so I can enjoy them well into the fall. Try to get your hands on some, but if you just can’t find them, green onions or leeks will substitute just fine. You won’t get the full flavor from the actual ramps, but I’m sure they’ll be just as good.
Chicken and Ramp Potstickers
3 chicken breasts (about 1/2 lb)
1/2 cup ramps, minced (can also substitute green onions)
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 egg white
Salt and pepper, to taste
25-30 wonton wrappers
Oil, for frying
For the dipping sauce:
1 Tbsp hoisin
1/4 cup tamari (or low sodium soy sauce)
1 tsp sesame oil
1-2 ramps, chopped (or green onions)
Begin by placing the chicken breasts in a food processor and pulsing until finely minced (you can also buy ground chicken for this recipe). Place in a bowl. Add the ramps, ginger, garlic, sesame oil, tamari, egg white, and salt and pepper and mix well. To test the filling for seasoning, take a small amount of the mixture and cook in a pan over medium-high heat. Season rest of the mixture accordingly.
On a sheet pan, dust with cornstarch. Take one wonton wrapper and place in the center about a tablespoon of the filling. Using a bowl of water, dip your finger in it and rub the water over the edges of the wrapper. Pick up the opposite corners and seal by pressing the edges, then take the other corners and do the same thing, checking for air bubbles. Place on sheet tray and repeat with the rest of the filling and wrappers. Place in the freezer for about 15-30 minutes (you can also go ahead and freeze these to make later, just place in an airtight bag or container and use when desired).
Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce. Mix the hoisin, tamari, sesame oil, and ramps. Set in the fridge while cooking the potstickers.
In a large skillet over medium high heat, add a little oil. Place the postickers in (flat side down) and cook for about 3-4 minutes until the bottoms are browned. Then place about 1/4-1/2 cup of water in the bottom of the skillet and cover with a lid immediately. Allow the potstickers to cook for another 4-5 minutes or until chicken has been cooked through. Repeat with remaining potstickers. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.