February 11, 2013

Dumplings and Noodles

Chinese communities throughout the world honor the New Year one month after the Winter Solstice. This year, the Year of the Snake, started with a feast on the new moon, which just passed on February 9th. Try making these traditional dishes in honor of the new year!

Cabbage dumplings with pork or tofu

thanks to The Food of China by Deh-Ta Hsiung and Nina Simonds for this recipe inspiration!

To make the filling, combine:
3 cups purple or green cabbage, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a skillet, braise:
1/4 pound local ground pork or 1 10 ounce package tofu
1/2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon roasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped

Take the cabbage, squueze and drain any water, and add:
1/2 cup chives, finely chopped

Add the braised mix to the cabbage and chives. Mix to incorporate.

Get out your dumpling wrappers! You can use wheat or rice wrappers.

To make the dumplings:
Prepare a small bowl of water.
Place about 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of a wrapper.
Dip your finger in the water and wet arc the edge of the wrapper.
Fold the wrapper in half over the filling, fitting the dry edge to the wet, and seal with your fingertips.
Dip your finger in the water again and dampen the edge of the half-circle. Make a series of 6 or 7 pleats in the edge, pinching them together with your fingertips.

To cook the dumplings:
Steam them in a covered pot with a metal steamer basket.
You might have to steam them in 4 or 5 rounds.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Grease a cookie sheet with sesame oil.
Add one layer of steamed dumplings, brush the tops with a bit more sesame oil, and bake for 8 to 10 minutes, or until golden.

Repeat until you have steamed and baked all the dumplings.

Serve with ginger dipping sauce:
 In a bowl, mix:
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon scallions, minced
1/2 teaspoon red wine or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/3 cup tamari or soy sauce

Let it rest for 10 minutes, then dip away!

New Year Noodles
This delicious meal is adapted from a recipe by Food Republic

First, marinate the chicken or tofu. 
In a bowl, mix:
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, sliced
1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce

white pepper, to taste
Add 1/2 pound local chicken or 1 10-ounce package firm tofu, thinly sliced.
Mix with marinade, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. 
First, slice:
1/4 pound broccoli florets
1/4 pound baby bok choy
handful mushrooms (shitake, cremini or tree ear)
Then, in a skillet, heat:
1 tablespoon fish sauce (if desired)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon honey
1/3 cup water
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
Stir until all ingredients are incorporated. 
Add mushrooms and saute for 5 minutes on medium heat.
Add broccoli and boy choy. Saute 5 more minutes. 
Remove marinated chicken/tofu from the fridge and add to skillet. 
Saute for 5 more minutes, or until cooked.
Set aside.

As the vegetables are cooking, bring a pot of water to a boil. 
1/2 pound egg noodles
pinch salt
Boil noodles for 5 minutes, drain, and return to pot. Mix with sauce and enjoy!

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