Matcha Beignets

Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food

Is anyone else sluggishly crawling out of bed after the long and awkwardly disjointed weekend? Our July 4th was pretty low-key. We went over to a friend’s house to consume our obligatory hot dog and meet a new adorable puppy, which has a striking resemblance to a lamb. We promptly left before the fog got too chilly and got home with enough time to watch 4 episodes of Stranger Things. I’m going to let you in on a secret… we ordered Dominos for dinner that night and had no regrets! It brought back major 90s/early 00s pizza and movie nights at home nostalgia, minus the paper plates my mom only used for pizza night.

Friday and Saturday were technically work days for me. I was prepping for another private workshop and dinner, so I spent most of my time chopping vegetables to the beat of the Jonas Brothers and painting up some cute menus. After I finished plating the last dish for their dinner, I swiftly packed up my things and had Reuben take me to go get ice cream, which has become a new post workshop tradition! I love it. I got Jeni’s obviously. We ate said ice cream and finished watching the remainder of Stranger Things. SO MANY EMOTIONS.

Finally, Sunday felt like a real weekend for me. So what did we do? We drove to the suburbs! lolololol I’ve been in search of the perfect small size, not awful or too trendy looking bedside lamps, so we drove out to the suburban Home Goods and Target to see what was out there in the world. NOTHING. But we did find a brand spanking new Target that was bright and shiny and the aisles were wide enough for 3 carts to pass though. 3 CARTS WIDE, people!! We were ridiculously happy leaving that Target, despite failing to find a new unnecessary addition to our bedroom. I think it’s just a sign that we probably need to get out of the city more.

Sorry if that all sounded incredibly boring to you. BUT! I’m noticing a little pattern in my recount of this past weekend. And it’s that I think I’m a little basic. Is being considered basic still a relevant thing? Is it still an insult? Or are we all finally allowed to just be our normal Jonas Brothers-Dominmo’s Pizza-Vanilla Latte-Riverdale-Suburban Target loving selves?! I sure hope so because I’m not changing and the new Jonas' Brothers album is excellent. Have I mentioned the Jonas Brothers enough in one blog post?

Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food
Matcha Beignets - Eat Cho Food

Anyways! I was recently talking to someone who said Matcha is considered basic and played out… what?! People have literally been drinking matcha for a thousand years… and only became majorly popular in 2014/2015. So I don’t think it’s going anywhere. Maybe it’s because Green Tea Lattes are so readily available in every Starbucks and Trader Joe’s makes Matcha flavored everything that we feel an over saturation of matcha things. To be honest though, I’m all for it. I’ve loved matcha forever and I’m still going to love it, even if it makes me basic.

Okay, basic rant over! There isn’t actually any matcha in the beignet dough. The matcha powder is mixed into powdered sugar to make the easiest and prettiest flavored sugar! You could use the matcha powdered sugar on so many things! Brownies, donuts, pies, cakes, churros! Endless options! I used the matcha powdered sugar to top these pillowy soft beignets. I’ve been wanting to try my hand at making beignets for the longest time because my Mom always brings them up whenever I’m home. “Maybe we should make beignets?”has been uttered so many times. I’ll have to finally make these with her when I’m home next month!

I briefly spent a few days in New Orleans many many years ago and remember how amazingly soft the beignets were and how you have to time your breathing with each bite. DON’T EXHALE MID BITE. I most likely had a cup of chicory coffee to sip on while enjoying them too! The recipe for these beignets are fairly traditional and based on this great Joy the Baker recipe. I halved the recipe because beignets are best eaten fresh and I didn’t want to temp myself with all that fried dough being so close to me. I also replace some of the flour with mochiko or glutinous rice flour! When I was testing the recipe, I had some mochiko flour sitting on the counter leftover from baking some mochi muffins and I was like, “why not?!” The result is a magically soft and fluffy dough with the most beautiful and slightly chewy texture. I was hooked. If you don’t have mochiko flour, don’t sweat it! You can just use 2 whole cups of all-purpose flour instead.

Gosh, just writing about these beignets make we wish I had a plate full of them and a warm matcha latte sitting next to me!

Thanks, Aiya Matcha for sponsoring this post!


Matcha Beignets

makes about 18 beignets

beignet materials:

3/4 teaspoons active dry yeast 
2 tbsp white sugar + 1 pinch
⅓ cup warm water
¼ cup whole milk
1 large egg
1 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
¼  teaspoon salt
1 ½ cup AP flour, plus more for dusting
½ cup mochiko flour
Vegetable oil, for greasing the bowl and deep-frying

matcha powdered sugar materials:

½ cup powdered sugar
1 tsp Aiya Culinary Grade Matcha Powder

steps:

  1. In the bowl of you your stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add yeast, pinch of sugar, and warm water. Give it a quick stir and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy. In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, egg, butter, salt, and 2 tbsp of sugar. Add the milk mixture to the yeast. Stir the yeast mixture on low speed while gradually adding the flour and mochiko flour. Increase speed to medium and beat for 4-5 minutes, until the dough is smooth. Dough will still be a little sticky.

  2. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl. Toss dough ball in the oil so that it is completely coated. Cover the dough in plastic wrap or a damp paper towel. Allow dough to rest at room temperature for 2-3 hours or in the refrigerator overnight. Dough should double in size.

  3. Heat 1”-2” of oil in a heavy bottom pot or cast iron skillet over medium heat. 

  4. Dust a clean work surface with flour. Place dough on the surface and sprinkle a bit of flour over the dough so it doesn’t stick. Roll out the dough until it’s about ¼” thick. Cut into 2” square pieces.

  5. Once the oil is hot, at 360 degrees or test heat with a scrap piece of dough, fry the beignets in batches. Fry on one side for 60-90 seconds, until golden brown. Flip and fry the other side for another 60 seconds. Transfer beignets onto a wire rack set on a baking tray and allow to cool slightly. Repeat with remaining dough.

  6. Whisk/sift together powdered sugar and matcha powder. Dust the warm beignets with matcha powdered sugar and enjoy!

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

The very first popsicle I ever made was in the early 90s, when I was a walking bowl cut on a stick. Here is the exact recipe I followed...

  1. Pour 1 can of Sunkist Orange Soda into a ice cube tray.

  2. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and stick a toothpick into each ice cube.

  3. Freeze until solid.

  4. Enjoy while watching Pokemon with your brother.

Gosh, I loved those orange soda popsicles. I was always an orange soda kid. Grape soda was and still is disgusting. I’m not sure if I saw a kid on public access tv make them or if it was a pre-Eat Cho Food original creation. Childhood summers were so blissfully simple. My brother and I would spend our summer days at the restaurant when we were little, watching TV, flying kites in the back parking lot with my grandpa, making play dough characters, and roller blading in the dining room if there weren’t any customers around. When we got a little older we were able to stay home by ourselves. We still watched a lot of TV, made snacks, played with our backyard neighborhood friends, and made up silly game to entertain ourselves. Oh and we consumed lots of popsicles, Rita’s Ice, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and Apple Cart soft serve! I’m going home again in August and I’m sooooo looking forward to it actually feeling like summer and eating all the ice cream.

In the meantime SF it is a consistent 65 degrees, which is that weird in between weather where it’s chilly enough to enjoy a bowl of noodle soup but also warm enough to have a popsicle in the afternoon. It’s sort of like my current outfit of shorts and a pullover sweater. I didn’t say I was a fashion blogger…

ANYWAYS. I like knowing that I have these frozen treats waiting for me in the freezer just in case a 100+ degree day pops back up again! Similar to my orange soda popsicles, these Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles are incredibly easy to make. I trust that my 6 year old self would have been able to make these! I just might have needed the help from a trusted adult to open the can of lychees.

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

If you want to use fresh lychees you could totally do that. But the beauty of using canned lychee is that you already have a delicious lychee simple syrup waiting for you and you didn’t have to do anything except buy it! It’s a little too sugary sweet on it’s own for my own taste, so I dilute the syrup with a little bit of water. The popsicle molds are filled wth lychee and raspberries and if you’re using a standard popsicle mold, the fruit should stay in place due to friction. Pour the syrup mixture over the fruit, stick some popsicle sticks in and let them freeze for a few hours until they're solid. I love the color and appearance of the popsicles once they are frozen solid. The raspberry juice bleeds just a little to give the popsicles a light blush color. You could use any berry you have on hand instead of raspberries, but what I love about the combination of raspberries and lychees is that the berries are tart and bright to balance the simply sweet flavor of the lychee.

Don’t be fooled by the addition of lychee in the recipe. These popsicles are so simple and take almost no time to make. That way you have more time to go play outside, fly kites, or watch Pokemon with your sibling!


Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

makes 10 popsicles

materials:

1 20oz can of lychees in syrup
4 oz raspberries
1 cup water

popsicle sticks

steps:

  1. Remove lychees from the syrup and set aside.

  2. Pour remaining lychee syrup into a large measuring cup. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Add 1 cup of water to the syrup and give it a quick mix. Set aside.

  3. Add a few lychees and raspberries into your popsicle molds. Cut lychees and berries in half if needed. Fill each mold with the lychee syrup mixture. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until solid.

  4. Once solid, run the popsicle mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Enjoy!

Bacon, Corn, and Chive Crystal Dumplings

Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

I can now check “Be a Private Chef” off my bucket list! Not entirely sure that item was ever on my bucket list… but whatevs! I packed up a travel sized version of my kitchen this weekend and drove it up to Sea Ranch for a private dumpling class and dinner! Actually, Reuben drove because he is a saint and I need to figure out a way to eventually pay him for being my all-star assistant. The class was made up of a wonderful group of ladies for a bachelorette weekend and they were all so good at making dumplings. See, I told you dumplings weren’t hard to make! It was overall such a fun time! I had a minor moment of panic when I thought I was going to overheat in kitchen and cursed myself for wanting to hand whip the whipped cream for dessert, but I survived. I’ll be doing this exact same thing for a birthday party in 2 weeks and I’m only hoping that this whole workshop and dinner catering thing will get easier. Fingers crossed!

Dumplings are still on the mind though because I have another public workshop this Sunday! If you’ve been wanting to attend one of my workshops, I still have plenty of spots available for my Crystal Dumpling Workshop on July 14th! You can grab your ticket here. I’m especially excited for that class because I love crystal dumplings so much! Crystal dumplings are those semi-translucent chewy wrappers you see for Har Gow or shrimp dumplings. Instead of wheat flour, the wrappers are actually made using wheat starch or a blend of that with tapioca starch. I like to use a blend of wheat starch and tapioca starch because it lends itself to a softer and chewier texture. Despite the name “wheat starch”, these dumplings are actually inherently gluten free. I made these for my gluten free friends during our Chinese New Year party and they all loved it! Dim Sum spots don’t typically advertise these types of dumplings as being gluten free because they probably still use soy sauce or oyster sauce in the filling. Whether you’re staying away from gluten or all about the gluten life, you’re still going to love these dumplings!

These particular dumplings are filled with sweet fresh corn, smokey bacon, and garlicky Chinese chives. It tastes like a summer cookout in a dumpling! These were also inspired by a small blip of a memory from when my grandma made crystal dumplings filled with sweet corn and ground pork. She only ever made those once but I remember not being able to stop myself from eating them. Garlic chives or sometimes called Chinese chives have a sweet, fresh, and mild garlic flavor. I used to not really like them growing up, but I’ve recently grown to love and even crave their fresh and aromatic flavor. If you can find the flowering garlic chives, they make for an extra pretty garnish too! The corn and chives are cooked in the bacon fat and then tossed with the bits of crispy bacon to really soak up all that rich and smokey bacon flavor. Are you drooling yet?

If you’re wondering how I got that lovely yellow color in the wrapper, the answer is Turmeric! The spice provides a really vibrant color but doesn’t impart too much flavor into the dough. I also recently tried smoked paprika in the dough and got a really gorgeous orange color if you don’t have turmeric on hand. If you don’t feel like adding any spices or color into your crystal wrappers, that is totally fine too! I’m just on the pursuit of rainbow dumplings, so excuse me while I experiment with all the spices and powders and in my cabinet!

You may find that these wrappers are very different to work with compared to regular wheat wrappers. Crystal wrappers don’t really stretch because they don’t have any gluten structure. So as you’re working with this dough, be a little more gentle with the dough. You can still do all the sample pleats and folds as with wheat wrappers, but handle them with care. If a small hole or tear develops, don’t worry! Even though the wrappers are delicate they are also super forgiving once you steam them! I will admit that the dumplings prior to steaming are a bit on the fuggly side, but once you lift the lid of the steamer you’ll feel like something magical just happened! The color (if you added any) will deepen and all those folds you thought were too clunky somehow look all smooth and perfect. It’s such a good feeling. Like dumpling magic. Don’t forget to eat them though because that’s for sure the best feeling!


Bacon, Corn, and Chive Crystal Dumplings

makes 32 dumplings

steps:

  1. Cut the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Place the kernels in a medium bowl with the chopped garlic chives.

  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Cook the corn and the chives in the bacon fat over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes until the corn is cooked and bright yellow, stirring frequently. Season with salt, white pepper, and soy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and place corn mixture in a bowl. Chop up the bacon into small pieces and add to the corn mixture. Add in cornstarch and give the filling a good mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Allow the filling to cool.

  3. To make the dough, add wheat starch, tapioca starch, turmeric, and salt into a large bowl. Give it a quick mix. Make a well in the middle of the wheat starch. Slowly pour in the just boiled water and gently mixed in the wheat starch with a wooden spoon until the water is absorbed. It will still look dry and crumbly. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the wheat starch to steam for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add in olive oil and start to knead the dough with your hands. Knead for a few minutes until you get a smooth dough. It will resemble playdough! If the dough feels a little dry add another teaspoon of olive oil. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for at least 10 minutes.

  4. Divide the dough in half. Roll out half the dough into a 1” coil and cut into 16 equal pieces. Do the same with the second half. Take 1 portion of dough and roll out into a 3” circle. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling into the wrapper. Carefully pleat the dumpling into the desired shape. The dough feels fragile, but it’s also forgiving once steamed. Don’t worry if you have a few holes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings and place on a baking tray. Dust the tray with a bit of cornstarch to help them from sticking. Cover dumplings with a clean kitchen towel so they don’t dry out.

  5. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Line a bamboo steamer (same width as your pot) with perforated parchment paper or cabbage leaves. Place a few dumplings in the steamer. Dumpling should not be touching. Place the steamer with lid on top of the pot and steam for 6-7 minutes. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

  6. Eat immediately and enjoy with soy sauce or chili oil.

mushroom filling :

2 ears of corn
3/4 cup chopped garlic chives or scallions
4 stripes of bacon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of white pepper
1 tbsp of soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp cornstarch

crystal dumpling wrapper:

3/4 cup wheat starch
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of salt
1 cup just boiled water
3 tsp olive oil


Notes:

  1. Dumplings can be frozen raw. Place pleated dumplings on a baking tray and freeze until solid. Place dumplings in a ziplock bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When cooking, prepare as the recipe states but steam for an additional 3 minutes until cooked through.