Sunday, June 28, 2009

Chinese dumplings/potstickers

I've always wanted to try to make potstickers but never had the courage to try...
When I joined Daring Kitchens earlier this month, their May challenge was Chinese dumplings but I was too late signing up to participate. I decided that I'll try to make them anyway... My husband is Chinese and he grew up on these. We always have a bag of them in our freezer but as somebody pointed out they are just not the same as the home made version. This recipe makes a lot of dumplings, so unless you have a large group of people over for dinner, you can freeze them for future use. Enjoy!

This recipe is from

(double this for the amount of filling, but easier to make it in 2 batches - or just halve the filling recipe) 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour 1/2 cup (113g) warm water flour for work surface

Make the dough: Place the flour in the work bowl of a food processor with the dough blade. Run the processor and pour the warm water in until incorporated. Pour the contents into a sturdy bowl or onto a work surface and knead until uniform and smooth. The dough should be firm and silky to the touch and not sticky.[Note: it’s better to have a moist dough and have to incorporate more flour than to have a dry and pilling dough and have to incorporate more water).


pork filling:

1 lb (450g) ground pork 4 large napa cabbage leaves, minced 3 stalks green onions, minced 7 shitake mushrooms, minced (if dried - re hydrated and rinsed carefully) 1/2 cup (75g) bamboo shoots, minced 1/4 (55g) cup ginger root, minced 3 tbsp (40g) soy sauce 2 tbsp (28g) sesame oil 2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

Shrimp filling:

1/2 lb (225g) raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped 1/2 lb (225g) ground pork 3 stalks green onions, minced 1/4 cup (55g) ginger root, minced 1 cup (142g) water chestnuts, minced 1 tsp (5g) salt 3 tbsp (40g) sesame oil 2 tbsp (16g) corn starch

Combine all filling ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly (I mix by clean hand). Cover and refrigerate until ready to use (up to a day, but preferably within an hour or two).

dipping sauce:

2 parts soy sauce 1 part vinegar (red wine or black) a few drops of sesame oil chili garlic paste (optional) minced ginger (optional) minced garlic (optional) minced green onion (optional) sugar (optional)

In the mood for Indian anyone? Chilli Tofu with Beans and Bok Choy

I was browsing the web for some inspiration and boy, did I find it. I have a stack of recipes to try in the next few weeks. This one is from Meena ( I love Indian food but was always intimidated by it. Meena's recipes are super easy and quick, and the best part is that I had all the ingredients on hand.

1 block of firm tofu, cubed
2 large bunches of bok choy, chopped: green and white parts separated
a big handful of green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 small tomato, finely chopped
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp light cooking oil
salt, to taste

Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a deep non-stick wok, and fry cubed tofu till slightly golden all over. Set aside.

Add in remaining oil in the pan and saute garlic and onions till soft and lightly browned. Add in spices and fry for a few seconds.

Throw in chopped tomatoes, season with salt and fry for a few minutes. Add in tomato paste and tamarind extract, and continue to fry, breaking up tomatoes till it starts to dry out and give out oil from the sides.

Add in beans and tofu, and stir fry till beans are cooked but still crisp. Add in bok choy, and stir fry till it starts to wilt. Serve warm.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Vegetarian Bao (Chinese Buns)

These are one of my husband's favorites. You can only get them in Asian bakery or Asian supermarket, but they are not always available...So I've decided to give them a try myself, how hard could it be, right? Turned out not as hard as I thought... Here is the outcome of my BAO experiment...


2 TBSP of sugar
1 Package of dry yeast
3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP of warm water (100-110'F)
1 tsp of sesame oil
2 3/4 cup of AP flour

Dissolve sugar and yest in 3/4 cup plus 2 TBSP of warm water, add 2 TBSP of sugar and let it stand for 5 minutes. Add 1 tsp of sesame oil and 2 1/2 cups of AP flour. Kneed the dough adding more flour as needed 1 TBSP at the time. Dough is going to be sticky. Knead for dough 10 minutes till smooth. Spray the surface of the dough with cooking spray, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. After dough rests, cut it in 8 equal pieces and roll it out into circles. Dough should be thinner at the edges and slightly thicker in the center.


2TBSP of vegetable oil
1/2 head of cabbage shredded
12 shittake mushrooms, cut in small pieces
1 squares of soy bean cake or bake tofu, you can find it in Asian market, cut in bite sized pieces
1 tsp on sesame oil
3 TBSP of soy sauce
1 tsp of Worchestershire Sauce
salt & pepper to taste

Note: These buns can be filled with many different savory fillings.

Head oil in a pan and add cabbage,mushrooms and baked tofu and saute till soft, add soy sauce & Worchestershire sauce, and cook till soft. Season to taste with salt and pepper and add sesame oil at the end of cooking. Cool the filling.

After the filling is cooled, assemble the buns. Take the dough rounds, fill them with 2 TBSP of filling, bring up the sides to cover the filling, twist and pinched to seal. Buns will be very full.

You can steam them immediately or put them in the fridge to rest for couple of hours, making sure that they are not sticking together (they will rise in the fridge so I put some wax paper in between them, so they do not stick and tear)

Steam for 10-18 minutes & ENJOY!!!