Cooking for Champions with Natalie Coughlin

Svelte swimmer and Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin knows that good food and great performance are inextricably linked. She's also a foodie who loves to cook and has penned an informal cookbook of energy-packed recipes for her teammates on the UC Berkeley swim team. Some of her mouth-watering and engine-firing results are below.

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Pre-Event Meal

Boiled white rice and two scrambled eggs

Natalie adds a bit of soy sauce to this nostalgic pre-race meal which her Mom first prepared for her as a grade school swimmer.

Post Race Meal

Bowl of old-fashioned oatmeal: topped with dried cherries, brown sugar, milk, and vanilla extract.

Snack Time

This recipe for potstickers comes from Natalie’s friend San Francisco Bay Area chef Kellie Joe.

Peking Style Potstickers
Makes approximately 60 potstickers

You can make these ahead of time and freeze. After you place on floured baking pan, just place them in the freezer. When you want them, defrost and cook according to recipe.

60 Sho Mai/potsticker wrappers
1/4 cup peanut oil for frying


• 4 cups Napa cabbage, chopped (pea size)
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 pound coarsely ground pork butt or lean pork
• 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
• 1/4 cup green and white scallions thinly chopped
• 1 tablespoon soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon dry sherry
• 1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 tablespoon rice vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon hot chili oil
• Pinch of sugar

Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over cabbage and toss. Let sit for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the excess water. Whisk ingredients together for dipping sauce. In large bowl combine the cabbage and the rest of the filling. Mix thoroughly and squeeze together. (Sorry, you have to use your hands.) Flour a large baking sheet to hold the potstickers. Get a teaspoon of water for gluing edges. Fill potstickers & pleat. Then place potstickers on baking sheet after they’re filled. Heat a 12″ frying pan on medium-high heat. Add enough oil to lightly coat the pan. Place about six potstickers at a time on the pan. Cook until bottoms are brown. Add enough water to come up halfway up the sides of potstickers. Cover and steam. About seven minutes in, check to see if water has been absorbed. When water is absorbed, use spatula to remove and check to see if bottom is crispy. If not, cook until it is.

Repeat! Serve with dipping sauce.

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