Rose Siu Mai

Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai
Pork and Shrimp Rose Siu Mai Dumplings https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/2/1/rose-siu-mai

We made it out alive! If you were following along my Instagram stories over the weekend, then you know all about the massive amounts of snow we encountered in Tahoe! It was crazy. I’ve never seen so much snow in my life. There was definitely at least 7 feet of snow outside of our Airbnb. Reuben got to ski for a hot second (chilly second?) and worked on his excellent snow beard before the storm got so bad that the lifts shut down. My friend Kate and I stayed all snuggly in the house most of the time, making soup, eating snacks, giggling, and catching up on life. We spent a big chunk of time just watching the snow fall. At some points it was a little scary because it was just SO MUCH SNOW, but most of time we were just mesmerized by the beauty. Mother Nature is so talented. By the time Sunday morning came around, the storm passed and the sun finally came out again. We made our way outside, after poor Reuben and our friend Toshi shoveled for an hour so we could get to the road, and flopped around in the snow like a bunch of silly penguins. Or maybe that was just me?? The snow was so fluffy and pillowy and all the houses looked like they were covered in fresh meringue! Now I can’t stop thinking about making meringue…

I feel like living in California for 5 years has made me soft when it comes to the cold. Correction… living in California for 5 years has MOST DEFINITELY made me soft when it comes to the cold. Since we got back from San Francisco, it’s been so chilly and I feel embarrassed that I’ve lost a little bit of my midwestern winter badassery. You know what I mean though? Growing up in Cleveland, school wouldn’t be cancelled unless it was below 0 degrees. ZERO. Now I’m complaining about it being 45 degrees in the mornings… MAN UP CHO! The plus side of it actually being a little cold is that I don’t feel as guilty being the true homebody that I am and staying in all day making dumplings or stewing something for hours on end. When it’s sunny and beautiful out I feel like I need to go frolic outside and be adventurous or whatever.

You might notice that the frequency of dumpling recipes spike during the colder months on Eat Cho Food. Dumplings are the perfect food in general and you can eat them all year long. But there is something so dreamy about making dumplings when it’s chilly outside and your kitchen is turning into a little steam room from the copious amounts of dumps you’re cooking up. Since Valentine’s Day is just a few more days away, I wanted to share an extra romantic dumpling that you can make on a cozy chilly night! Behold the Rose Siu Mai! They are filled with tender pork and shrimp and then rolled up to resemble a beautiful rose! These dumplings are crazy tasty and so lovely to look at, but I’m not going to lie to you and say that they are the easiest dumplings to make. I decided to make my own wonton wrappers for this recipe to get the pretty pink color. This wonton dough is fairly different from my traditional dumpling dough recipe, which is a lot thicker and chewier. If you want to make your life waaaaaay easier, you can just go get pre-made wonton wrappers. Making the homemade wonton wrappers were a lot of fun though and I got to bust out the pasta roller! The extra bit of work put into this recipe just means you but a bit more love into it!

Only make these dumplings for someone you really really really love. So that means your parents, committed partner, long time ride or die bff, or yourself. I highly recommend just making these for yourself. You deserve it! BUT if the man you’ve been getting ramen with for months hasn’t committed to love you even when you get cranky in the mornings, then he doesn’t deserve these dumps. Reuben actually woke me up to a steamer full of dumplings for Valentine’s Day many years ago and it was the sweetest thing!!!! I just knew he was a keeper! Who needs a bouquet of roses or chocolates when you can have a bouquet of dumpling roses?!!!! I mean…. I’ll take the chocolate and flowers too ☺️ Happy almost Valentine’s Day!


Rose Siu Mai

makes 18 large dumplings

dumpling wrapper materials:

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp beet root powder
1 egg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup water
cornstarch for dusting

** you can also use 2.5”-3” round pre-made Wonton wrappers

dumpling filling:

1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb shrimp - peeled and finely chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp shaoxing cooking wine
3 green onion stalks chopped
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 tsp sugar

make wrappers:

  1. Mix together water and egg in a small bowl. Add flour and beet root powder into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Pour in the egg mixture and mix with a fork until you have a shaggy dough. Knead for 4-5 minutes until smooth. Place dough in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow dough to rest for 1 hour.

  2. After resting, divide the dough into 4 parts. Take one piece of dough and lightly dust with cornstarch. Roll out the dough into a long rectangle, about 1/4” thick.

  3. Prepare your pasta roller. Pass the dough through the pasta roller a few times (gradually getting thinner with each pass) until it is fairly thin. I go to setting 6 on my KitchenAid attachment. If it starts to stick just lightly dust with cornstarch. Lay out the thin dough on a clean work surface and cut out 2.5” rounds using a cookie cutter. Stack wrappers on top of each other, making sure each wrapper is lightly dusted with cornstarch so they don’t stick. Repeat with remaining dough. You should be able to get about 54 wrapper out of the dough.

make dumplings:

  1. Combine all the dumpling filling ingredients in a medium mixing bowl. Cover and let marinade for 30 minutes.

  2. Arrange 3 wrappers next to each other, slightly overlapping and in a straight line. Dab the areas where the wrappers are slightly overlapping each other so the wrappers stick. Add a heaping tablespoon (about 1.5 tbsp) of dumpling filling to the center of the wrappers. Adjust the filling so that it’s equally dispersed along the centerline of the dumpling. See photos above. Fold the wrappers in half lengthwise, like a hot dog. Lightly dab the folded edge of the wrappers with water and then gently roll up the wrappers starting from the left and going right to make a rose. Place dumpling on a baking tray lightly dusted with cornstarch and repeat with remaining dumplings. Cover the made dumplings with a towel to prevent them from drying out.

  3. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Line a bamboo steamer, that’s the same diameter as the pot of boiling water, with parchment paper (with holes punched out) or cabbage leaves. Fill the steamer with dumplings. Cover the steamer with the lid and steam for 8-9 minutes. Remove the steamer from the pot and lift the lid to allow the steam to release. Once the dumplings to cool slightly, enjoy with soy sauce.

Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake

Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // Eat Cho Food
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/mini-almond-and-satsuma-orange-cake // Gluten Free

Happy Chinese New Year, friends! Gong Hay Fat Choy! We had the most wonderful CNY party this weekend and my body is still recovering from it. If you make almost 100 dumplings in one afternoon, you’ll discover a whole bunch of arm muscles you never knew existed. We had most of our friends over and they all fit! Most importantly, we had enough food and no one left hungry! There was a whole plate of noodles and maybe a few bits of roast pork left. I feel like that’s considered a success! I just love cooking for real life people so much. When I’m making food for the blog, Reuben and I will eat it as a meal if it’s savory and if it’s sweet one of us will bring it to our respective offices to share with our coworkers. I don’t really get to see people’s reactions from eating my food, unless it’s Reuben. There is just something so special when you feed people in your own home and see their eye light up and hear a bunch of loud mmmmmmmmmmmms or OMGGGGGs. It’s so rewarding and makes me so happy! I hope I can mentally and physically recover soon so we can do it all over again! Maybe that will be in 2021 lol.

The very next day I woke up with a slight exhaustion/ happiness hangover ( I was sadly too excited to eat all the food I made and only had maybe 2 drink the entire night), cleaned up the apartment and got it back to a respectable level to have a few more people over for an intimate Super Bowl party. Reuben helped too, don’t worry. I was mentally dreading having more people over after the party, but they brought a puppy over and I made mac and cheese… so it was all good! I not sure what we’re going to do tonight for actual Chinese New Year? I honestly still feel wiped out after this weekend, so maybe we will order in chinese food? That still counts!

In honor of Chinese New Year, I’m sharing this Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake! During CNY a lot of the food we eat are meant to symbol something good for the new year! Noodles for long life and dumplings for fortune and wealth. I had satsuma oranges all over our food table at the party as decoration, but also because you’re supposed to have oranges as a symbol of good luck! I’ve shared a few savory recipes this month for CNY but every celebration needs a dessert! Cake! We always need cake! This cake is deliciously moist and dense from the almond flour. Bonus points too because it’s also gluten free. The orange flavor is super bright and present in both the cake and buttercream. I love how Mother Nature was kind enough to give us great citrus during the cold and gloomy months of winter. It’s like she knows we all need a little fruity and zesty pick me up to get through the polar vortex (it doesn’t snow here, but I sympathize with you if you’re freezing).

I hope you have the chance to whip up this cute little citrus cake! I also hope you all have a wonderful and fulfilling new year : ) eat some dumplings for me!


Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake

makes a 2 layer 6” cake

cake materials:

4 eggs - yolks and whites separated
zest of 1 satsuma orange
1/2 cup sugar - divided
1 1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp almond extract

orange buttercream materials:

3/4 cup unsalted butter - softened
3 cups powdered sugar
pinch of salt
juice of 1 small satsuma orange

*double the buttercream ingredients if you wish to full coat the cake.

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line the bottom of 2 6” cake pans with parchment paper rounds.

  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks with orange zest and 1/4 cup sugar. In another bowl, whisk together almond flour, salt, and baking powder. Add to egg mixture and whisk to combine.

  3. In the bowl of your standmixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk egg whites on low for about 30 second and then increase to medium speed. While the whisk is still running, slowly add in the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar and whisk until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the egg and almond flour mixture until just combined.

  4. Pour batter in cake pans and bake for 23-25 minutes until done. Allow cake to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then invert the cakes onto a wire rack to completely cool.

  5. In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together softened butter, powdered sugar, salt, and orange juice until smooth. It might look curdled for a minute but just keep blending. Place a cake layer on a plate or cake stand. Add a plop of buttercream on top and smooth with an offset spatula. Add second layer and frost the top of the cake and the sides with a light layer of buttercream for a naked appearance. Decorate with additional buttercream or marzipan dyed to look like oranges. Cut and serve!

Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos

Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food
Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos // Eat Cho Food

Ok. T-minus 2 days until our Chinese New Year party! Did I tell you that we invited 40 people over to our apartment for Saturday? Have you seen our apartment?! I’m a little nervous that not everyone is going to be able to fit and that we won’t have enough food. The last time we had this many people over to our apartment was about 2 years ago for our infamous Pinxto Party! It wasn’t really infamous. But it was a whole lot of fun! We had maybe 30 people over that time and it was totally fine. What’s another 10 people?!

What’s a pinxto? Reuben and I first discovered pinxtos when we traveled through Spain a few years back. Pinxtos are a super popular bar snack in the Basque region where they originated. We also encountered a few spots in Barcelona and Madrid that had them too, so it seems like their popularity isn’t limited to their birthplace. Pintxos are typically composed of a slice of bread or carb topped with a whole bunch of tasty things and fastened together with a skewer. Tasty things include, but are not limited to: shrimp, croquettes, spanish tortilla, anchovies and other fish, vegetables, olives, and all the salty meats. At one bar I had a pinxto that had a mini pancake base, a slice of spanish tortilla, a tiny chorizo, and an olive and tomato speared right through the top. It was the breakfast pinxto I didn’t realize I was dreaming about! I loved them so much mainly due to the presentation. I love me some cutely composed snacks on sticks. You walk into a bar and the front counter is literally covered in hundreds of various pinxtos. Infinite combinations. It was just so much fun to explore all the different flavor combos. Plus, foods on a stick automatically taste better than if they aren’t on a stick.

When we got back home after a wonderful few weeks of jamon and pintxos we wanted to share our new found love with our closest SF friends. We invited all our friends over and requested that they only bring spanish beverages to share. We provided all the pinxtos. When I say WE, I really mean Reuben, because he literally made a million pinxtos that day. Plus a perfect spanish tortilla and homemade aioli. What was I doing? I messed up a batch of croquettes and made a few meat and cheese plates (haha). I’m speaking for Reuben here, but it is surprisingly easy to make enough pinxtos to feed 30 people! All our friends loved them and it was a wonderful Spanish night!

Spain will always have a sweet spot in my heart, because it was the first country Reuben and I traveled to together. So I was extra excited when Wines of Rioja wanted me to create a recipe to pair with their beautiful wines! I knew right away that I wanted to make a pinxto! Rioja is the most prestigious and historic wine region in Spain and we actually drove through the region while traveling from Bilbao to Barcelona. It was GORGEOUS.

The base of this pinxto is a mini grilled cheese filled with manchego, mahon, sliced apples and honey. It’s topped with a delicate slice of serrano ham and a piece of fire roasted bell pepper and all held together with a cute and colorful skewer! It is so good when you get a bite of everything all together. It’s rich from the olive oil, salty from the ham and cheese, sweet from the honey, and crisp from the apple. You see the sweet and salty action going on? They pair perfectly with the 2012 Bozeto de Exopto, a deep red wine with subtle floral touches and notes of red fruit. The balanced acidity and minerality of the wine is rounded out by the richness and creaminess from the cheese. The sweetness from the honey really emphasizes the flavors of cranberry and strawberry in each sip. Ah, so good! Take me back to Spain! In the meantime, I’ll just keep picking up my favorite Spanish wines!

Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxto // Eat Cho Food

Apple and Honey Grilled Cheese Pinxtos

Makes 6 pinxtos - can be scaled infinitely

Materials:

12 - slices of baguette or small round loaf of bread
6 slices of manchego cheese
6 slices of Mahón cheese - muenster cheese also works
12 thin slices of apple
honey
3 thin slices of Serrano Ham - divided into 6 pieces
6 strips of fire roasted bell peppers or piquillo peppers
Olive oil for cooking

Steps:

  1. Heat 2 tsp of olive oil in a pan (with a fitted lid) over medium heat. Swirl the pan so that the oil evenly coats the pan. Place bread in the pan and toast until golden brown. Flip over. Cover half the bread with sliced manchego and the other bread halves with Mahón cheese. Cover with a lid and allow the bread to toast and cheese to melt.

  2. Remove bread from pan and place on a clean work surface. Place 2 thin apple slices in each mini grilled cheese and drizzle with honey before closing up the grilled cheese.

  3. Skewer the red bell pepper, then the serrano ham, and stick into the mini grilled cheese.

  4. Enjoy warm and with a glass of wine!

Thank you, Rioja Wines for sponsoring this post!

Crystal Mushroom Dumplings

Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free

Eeeeeeek! Our Chinese New Year party is this weekend! Are you inviting over your whole neighborhood for a feast? Or maybe just going over to your parents’ house for dinner? I love Chinese New Year so much and I always get a little sentimental around this time of year. Who am I kidding… I’m always sentimental. When I think of CNY I think of my family, a table filled with food, hopeful spirits, and hearts overflowing with generosity. Everything that I love. I start to feel a little blue though because I actually haven’t been able to spend CNY with my family in like 5 years. San Francisco can feel SO FAR from Cleveland sometimes. In order to prevent myself from becoming a leaking soup dumpling, I try to make sure we celebrate this wonderful holiday with some friends each year!

In years past, we’ve either gone out for dinner with a group of pals for an easy peasy celebration or pull off a Thanksgiving caliber cooking production and make big feast with all the classics. There are always dumplings, noodles, and a giant pot of steamed rice involved. You may also find a beautiful steamed fish, some juicy roast duck, or a crispy pork belly on the table. Oh, and probably a plate of Chinese broccoli or pea shoots tossed in oyster sauce for HEALTH. This year, our dinner celebration will be a little different, because we weren’t keeping track of how many people we invited… at this point about 40 people are coming over. OMG. I unfortunately do not have a 100 foot long dining table… yet. So we’re going to take a different approach with the food this year and make everything a little more party friendly!

Here is my tentative menu below:

Asian Crudité Platter with Sesame Dipping Sauce and/or Charred Scallion Ranch Dip

Medley of Asian Snacks from my childhood - think shrimp chips and all the rice crackers

Chili Oil Popcorn

Build Your Own Bao Station - Steamed baos with an assortment of fillings like cucumbers, kimchi, fried tofu, and tasty sauces

A Chop Shop - where Reuben will be chopping bits of roast duck and pork for people to munch on or tuck into their bao

BBQ buns - I’m going to cheat and get these from Good Luck Dim Sum haha

Garlic Noodles - this recipe x1000000

Charred Veggie Glass Noodles - I’m working on making this recipe for a blog post!

Cho Family’s Classic Potstickers - not sharing this recipe until I get a book deal : )))))

These here Crystal Mushroom Dumplings!

Chocolate and Oolong Tea Petite Fours - experimenting with this as a blog recipe. Serving my test batches that are napping in the freezer right now

Persimmons and Whipped Cream

Maybe some Marco Polo gelato if Alex pulls through for me!

Do you think that’s enough food? I hope it’s enough food. We can order some pizzas if people are still hungry.

These Crystal Mushroom Dumplings were created for my vegetarian and also gluten free friends! I love crystal dumplings so much because they have such a great chewy texture. Something that I love so much! Plus the wrappers are naturally gluten free, which I think also makes you feel like you can fit a million more dumplings in your belly. Mushrooms are probably my favorite vegetarian dumpling filling. They still taste meaty and have a texture that holds up in the dumpling. When you read the recipe you will notice that there are cashews in there. If you think that’s weird, it’s not. All sorts of nuts are really common ingredients in Chinese dumplings, especially in vegetarian dumplings. They add a bit of protein and a nice crunch to the otherwise chewy dumpling. If you’re allergic nuts, just omit them and maybe add a few more mushrooms in the filling to compensate. Or even crispy fried garlic would be a great flavor and texture substitute!

Alright, friends. I need to start prepping and getting ready for the big day! I’m very grateful for freezers right now. HAPPY ALMOST CHINESE NEW YEAR! Invite all your friends over for dinner! Any maybe that person you want to be friends with too! There is always room at the table during Chinese New Year!


Crystal Mushroom Dumplings

makes 32 dumplings

mushroom filling :

1lb mushrooms (I used a blend of shiitakes and oyster mushrooms)
3 green onions - chopped
3 garlic cloves - minced
1/2 tsp salt
heavy dash of white pepper
2tbsp butter
1 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup finely chopped cashews
2 tsp dark soy
1/2 tsp sesame oil

crystal dumpling wrapper:

1 1/2 cup wheat starch
pinch of salt
1 cup just boiled water
3 tsp olive oil

steps:

  1. To make your filling, start by washing and cleaning your mushrooms. Roughly chop the mushrooms into 1/2” to 1” pieces. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and melt your butter. Add in mushrooms, minced garlic cloves, the whites of the green onions, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 7-8 minutes. At first a lot of liquid will cook out of the mushrooms, but after 7-8 minutes the water should have mostly evaporated and the mushrooms are a little caramelized. Remove mushrooms from the pan and place in a bowl to cool.

  2. Once mushrooms have cooled to room temperature. Add in cornstarch, dark soy, sesame, cashews, and the greens of the green onions. Mix until combined. Taste and season with a bit more salt or pepper if necessary. Set filling aside.

  3. Start by making your dough. Add wheat starch 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 fold the dumpling like a taco in the form of a half circle. Pinch the seam tightly to seal. 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 boil. Line a bamboo steamer (same width as your pot) with parchment paper (punched with holes) 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.

Cumin Lamb Dumplings

Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings
Cumin Lamb Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/12/cumin-lamb-dumplings

Is it just me, or does every day this (work) week feel like the worst of the worst Mondays? Maybe it’s because we had a nice long weekend full of cooking, cleaning, hawaiian food eating, and a minor almost breakdown in the home goods section of Target (I don’t want to talk about… I was EXTREMELY hangry). Or maybe it’s because Reuben and I are going up to Tahoe this weekend and I can’t wait to just sit and admire the snowy nature while Reuben glides all over it. What I do know is that I. AM. SO. OVER. THIS. WEEK. and all the annoying “design comments” I’m receiving at work. I’m trying to be as productive as I can be and squeeze out every last bit of motivation and design inspiration that no longer exists. But every once in a while I take a little mental break when a funny recipe idea pops into my head and I immediately scribble it down in my note book. Today I jotted down sweet potato oreos, sticky rice WAFFLES, chili oil popcorn, bok choy dumplings that look like little heads of bok choy, and lemon cupcakes topped with a toasted meringue flower piped on. That last one needs a catchier name, but we will work that out. But, OMG, doesn’t that all sound so good?!!!!! I just dream of the day when I can cook all day everyday without being homeless and the only people I have to verbally communicate with is Reuben and my mom. I’ll talk to you too if you drop by and help me eat the million of lemon meringue cupcakes I just whipped up. Oh that name works. ONE DAY.

Anyways, you didn’t come here to listen to me whine about my lack of interest at work. You came here for dumps! Or doomps, as Reuben and I typically refer to them! These Cumin Lamb Dumplings might have just taken the crown as THE BEST DUMPLING TO HAVE COME OUT OF CHO KITCHEN. They were so juicy, tender, perfectly fatty, spicy, earthy, and chewy. A near perfect dumpling. What would make it perfect is if I didn’t have to make them and they would just keep reappearing in my freezer when I wasn’t looking.

The flavors of these dumplings brought me straight back to the summer of 2013, when I was living and bopping around in Beijing. Work was fun and I spent most of my free time and money tasting all the weird and new Chinese food I had never had before. I ate a scorpion! My family is from Hong Kong, so we ate primarily Cantonese food, which isn’t typically spicy. It focuses more on salty soy sauce or oyster sauce and sticky sweet glazes. Lots of dim sum and rice. However, when I got to Beijing I learned that a lot of people had never had dim sum! WHAT?!!!!! Is there a life without dim sum?! And it turns out that Northern China focuses more on noodles than rice. A lot of the meals I had there did not automatically come with a bowl of rice. Very different than what I was used to. I discovered a whole new world of Islamic Chinese food and quickly fell in love with it. That meant food that was heavy on the lamb, beef, cumin, thick noodles, and funky vegetables. I don’t know how many nights I spent eating lamb skewers heavily encrusted in red chili flakes and cumin in a narrow alley somewhere with motor bikes barely missing me as they sped by. I definitely burned my tongue slurping down a big bowl of soup mixed with pickled vegetables, beef, and hand torn noodles on a bunch of occasions. Ah good times.

If you haven’t been to Northern China before, these dumplings might not transport you straight to Beijing, but they will definitely make your tastes buds super happy and you might want to buy a plane ticket to China! The style of this dumpling fold is called a “braided dumpling”. I ended up watching one of Lisa Lin’s tutorials about a million times. You can also watch this video to get an idea of how to get the braided look, go to 1:55. No matter how you fold it though, it’s still going to taste good! An ugly dumpling is still a tasty dumpling! And don’t forget that Chinese New Year is a little less than 2 weeks away, which is plenty of time to work on your folding!


Cumin Lamb Dumplings

makes 32 small dumplings

dough materials:

10 oz AP flour
pinch of salt
3/4 cup just boiled water

filling materials:

1/2 cup red onion - finely chopped
2 carrots - finely chopped
4 cloves garlic - minced
1 lb ground lamb
1 tbsp whole cumin (ground cumin works too)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp red chili flake
1 egg
1 tsp dark soy
2 tsp oil

oil for cooking
water for cooking

make dumpling dough:

  1. Add flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour in just boiled water. Mix dough together with your finger tips or a wooden spoon if the mixture feels too hot. Mix until water is absorbed and the dough is just combine. Knead for 2-3 minutes until dough is round and smooth. Place dough in a medium ziplock bag, seal, and allow to rest and hydrate for at least 30 minutes. Dough can rest for up to 2 hours before being used.

make dumplings:

  1. Heat about 2 tsp of oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add in red onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 4-5 minutes until vegetables are slightly tender and fragrant. Scoop in a bowl and set aside to cool.

  2. Lightly grind the whole cumin seeds to help release the flavors. Finely ground cumin works too, but I prefer the flavor of whole cumin seeds.

  3. In a large bowl, combine ground lamb, cumin, salt, white pepper, red chili flake, egg, dark soy, and oil until combined. You can either use your hands or a large spoon or spatula. Set filling aside.

  4. Lightly flour your work surface. Remove dough from the ziplock bag. Cut dough in half and keep one half in the bag. Roll out one half of your dough into a 1” thick rope. Cut into 186equal pieces. Place pieces of dough in the ziplock bag to prevent drying out. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 3”-3.5” disc with a small rolling pin or a tortilla press if you have one. Place a scant tablespoon of filling in the center of your round dumpling wrapper, avoid over filling. Fold according to desired shape. For the braided dumpling shown, watch this video a million times. Repeat with remaining dumplings and place dumplings on a lightly floured baking tray until ready to be cooked.

  5. To cook your dumplings, add 1 tbsp of olive oil to a skillet and heat over medium high heat. Add a single layer of dumplings, about 6-8 depending on how large your pan is. Sear on the flat side for 3 minutes until the side is toasted and golden brown. Add 3-4 tbsp of water to the pan and cover with a lid. Allow to cook until the water has evaporated, about 4-5 minutes. Add a bit more water if the water evaporates before the time is up. Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid to cook off and for the bottoms to crisp up again. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

  6. Serve immediately with chili oil and/or soy sauce!