Sticky Rice Arancini

Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food
Sticky Rice Arancini - Eat Cho Food

I’m finally back in San Francisco! Well, hopefully that’s the case because Kristina of yesterday wrote this while waiting 4 hours for her flight at the Vancouver Airport. I’m somewhat disappointed with the food options at my terminal… best options are Burger King and Tim Hortons. Oh well! We had plenty of delicious food while in Vancouver, that I can’t really complain! My goal this weekend was to take my parents to as many Asian restaurants as possible within 4 days. I think we did pretty well! 75% of the time we ate at Chinese restaurants and about 50% of the time we were in the city of Richmond lol. It was so great because my Dad did most of the ordering since so many of the restaurants were mainly Cantonese speaking. We found great dim sum, fluffy buns, some pretty decent soup dumplings, and a new favorite noodle dish! Have you had mazesoba before? It’s so good! My Mom and I are going to try recreating it on our own and then compare notes later! That’s long distance recipe development right there. I definitely want to come back, bring Reuben, and maaaaaaaaybe try some non-asian food : )

I’ll be jumping back into the Eat Cho Food Test Kitchen this week and I have so many things to cook! I have either a dumpling making class to teach or a private class/dinner to prepare for over the next month! When I jumped into food blogging (or whatever it is that I’m doing) full time, I didn’t really think these dumpling classes would be such a vital part of my business. I thought I would teach maybe 1 class a month, but it turns out people are really into dumps! I’m particularly excited for the private classes/dinners because it’s like I’m getting paid to have a dinner party with friends! That sounds like an amazing job to me!

Ideally, I’d like to teach more than dumpling making. Or maybe do some pop-up dinners. I really really really want to do a modern dim sum pop up brunch one day. I just need to practice a few of my favorite dim sum recipes some more first. There is just so much more to dim sum than har gow, siu mai, and char siu bao. I mean, those 3 dishes are the absolute trifecta of dim sum. But what about crispy turnip cakes? Chinese donuts wrapped in rice noodles? Braised beef tendon? Steamed sticky rice in a lotus leaf? Chicken feet?! If you know, you know! And if you’re a seasoned dim sum-er then you also know that the list of offerings at dim sum are pretty endless. You’ll probably see a lot more dim sum recipes on there in the near future!

I’ll kick off the modern dim sum exploration with these Sticky Rice Arancini! These crispy balls of goodness are inspired by one my favorite dim sum dishes, Lo Mai Fon. It’s similar to the version wrapped in a lotus leaf, which is called Lo Mai Gai. Lo Mai Fon is sticky rice mixed with various tasty bits like dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, green onions, and shiitake mushrooms. Whenever we order it, the rice is filled in a clear glass bowl and inverted onto a plate so you get a perfect half dome. I love sticky rice so much because it has a great chewy texture (my favorite texture if you haven’t noticed) and the flavor of plain sticky rice is just a hint sweet, which pairs so well with all the savory and aromatic additions! I’ve made Sticky Rice Stuffed Eggplant for the blog before, which I think deserves a lot more attention because it is AMAZING.

This iteration of Lo Mai Fon gets a slight Italian influence. which reminds me that I need to share our Italy trip soon! Arancini are Italian fried risotto balls. They get their name because they resemble oranges! Aran=orange in Italian. Instead of risotto (which is made with arborio rice), I formed balls of sticky rice (mixed with chinese sausage, shiitake mushrooms, and green onions) , dripped them in some egg and then breaded them in panko bread crumbs. Kikkoman is pretty much the only brand of panko bread crumbs I use and I just found out they have a whole wheat ad gluten free version too! They take a quick bath in the fryer until they are beautifully golden brown. The result is an insanely addictive appetizer or party snack that is super crispy on the outside but still soft and chewy in the middle! Gosh, it’s so good. I do need to give credit to Reuben for this recipe idea though. He randomly had the idea a few weeks ago, maybe months ago, and I’ve just been waiting until I had the courage to deep fry again. I honestly don’t fry food that often. It’s messy and makes your whole house smell like oil for a day. So when I tell you to fry something you know it’s WORTH IT. Fry some up the next time you’re having friends over or just want to treat yourself to something crispy!


Sticky Rice Arancini

makes 15-18 arancini

materials:

1 1/2 cup glutinous sticky rice
2 1/4 cup water
3 Chinese sausages
1/2 cup chopped green onions
8 shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
2 - 3 eggs
1 - 1 1/2cup panko breadcrumbs
canola oil for frying

  1. Wash rice 2-3 times until the water runs somewhat clear. Drain rinsing water. Cook rice in a rice cooker with 2 1/4 cups of water until done. Fluffy up the rice with a spoon and allow to cool slightly.

  2. Dice up shiitake mushrooms into 1/2” cubes, including stems, and set aside. Slice the Chinese sausage into 1/4” cubes and set aside.

  3. Heat up 1 tbsp of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Once hot add in the Chinese sausages and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the fat starts to render. Add in the shiitake mushrooms. Season with a bit of salt and a light dash of white pepper. Continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place Chinese sausage and mushroom mixture in a large bowl.

  4. Add the cooked sticky rice to the bowl. Season with 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp white pepper, and 2 tbsp oyster sauce. Give it a good mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Set aside.

  5. Heat up at least 4” of canola oil in a heavy bottom pot until 370 degrees.

  6. Wet your hands so the rice doesn’t stick. Take about 2 tbsp of filling and roll tightly into a ball. Place formed ball on a baking tray. Repeated until all the rice balls have been formed.

  7. Add panko breadcrumbs to a dish or shallow bowl. Whip eggs in a bowl and set aside. Take 1 ball and dip it into the egg mixture, shake off any excess egg, and roll in the panko breadcrumbs until evenly coated. Gently drop the rice ball in the fryer and fry until the panko is golden brown, takes just a few minutes. Repeat with remaining balls.

  8. Enjoy warm with your choice of sauce! Like Sriracha or a sweet soy glaze!

Sesame Chicken Gua Bao

Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food
Sesame Chicken Gua Bao - Eat Cho Food

I’ve been on this super random tour of North America the past week. Geneva, NY last weekend, then Cleveland for a few days, and now I’m on my last leg in Vancouver with the parental unit. We’ve only been in Vancouver for less than 24 hours and I’m already questioning why we haven’t moved here yet. My goal for this mini vacation is to take my parents to as many Asian restaurants as possible and find all their favorite foods! Why didn’t anyone tell me that Vancouver/Richmond has the best collection of Asian food?! We immediately drove to the town of Richmond from the airport and got our fix of noodle soup and roast duck. I think it satisfied my parents’ longing for Hong Kong food. Did you know this town is 75% Asian?! Amazing. So far the highlight of our first 24 hours (to me at least) has been T&T Supermarket. When I travel I love visiting local supermarkets. I think this one is heaven on Earth. I almost cried when I walked in. It was so bright and big. Filled to the brim with every single thing you would need from an Asian Supermarket. I could have spent hours starring at the steamed bun and bakery sections. I’ve also never seen so much oyster sauce in my entire life. I’m going to try and sneak in another trip there before we leave on Monday!

I took about a billion photos of all the various steamed buns and baked breads I haven’t seen before and I’m determined to recreate every single one of them! Brown Sugar Bao? Penguin Buns??!!!! So many good carbs. I feel like my recipe development calendar goes through waves where I only focus on dumplings for a few weeks and then it’s either noodle or baking time. I think when I’m finally back home I’m going to dive back into the deep world of steamed and baked bao! I love making freshly steamed buns. If you also had a serious aversion to bread crust in your youth then I’m sure you appreciate the soft and squishy crustless qualities of steamed buns! Just for the record, I’m an adult that eats crusts now. I’ll probably pick a freshly steamed gua bao over any sandwich bread though.

Gua Bao is a steamed bun that’s been purposefully formed/folded like a slider bun, destined to be filled with infinite tasty things! I’ve filled them with Chik-fil-a inspired fried chicken and my Mom’s beef roast. For this recipe, I channeled one of my favorite Chinese takeout dishes. Sesame Chicken! It’s hard to beat my Mom’s beef roast stuffed in a bun, but I think this Sesame Chicken Gua Bao is my new favorite bun! Chicken thighs are lightly breaded, fried, and tossed in a very sesame forward sauce using La Tourangelle Toast Sesame Oil. It’s so toasty and nutty! All of their oils are so delicious! I drizzle their walnut oil on vegetables and they magically taste incredible with minimal effort! Oh, I can’t forget about this crazy easy slaw. It’s shredded cabbage tossed in La Tourangelle Sesame and Tamari Vinaigrette. I normally don’t buy salad dressing and prefer to make my own whenever a salad pops up in the kitchen, but their dressing already tastes exactly like something I would make on my own! The slaw is crunchy and tangy, which works so well with the savory and sweet sesame chicken. The gua bao acts a neutral cloud for everything to live in sesame harmony : )

These are so fun to make and even more fun to eat! Hope you give them a try and share them with all your friends! Or hoard them for yourself… I won’t tell anyone!

Thank you so much, La Tourangelle, for sponsoring this post!


Sesame Chicken Gua Bao

Serves 4

Materials:

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs - cut in half
¼ cup cornstarch
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp La Tourangelle Toasted Sesame Oil
3 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
¼ cup flour
canola oil - for frying
8 Gua Bao Buns - Homemade or Store Bought
Sesame Seeds - for garnish
Chopped scallions - for garnish

Sesame Sauce:

2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp cornstarch
⅓ cup white sugar
1 tbsp La Tourangelle Sesame Oil
2 tbsp soy sauce

Slaw:
3 cups shredded cabbage
2 tbsp La Tourangelle Sesame and Tamari Vinaigrette


Steps :

  1. Whisk together rice vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, sesame oil, and soy sauce until combined. Set aside.

  2. Combine chicken thighs, cornstarch, salt, white pepper, sesame oil, and olive oil in bowl and mix until chicken is evenly coated. Allow the chicken to marinate for 15 minutes in the fridge. Take the chicken and add the egg and flour. Mix again until the chicken is evenly coated with a light batter.

  3. Heat about ½” of canola oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the chicken in batches. Fry the chicken on one side for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Flip the chicken and fry the other side for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken from the oil and place on a paper towel lined plate. Repeat frying with remaining chicken thighs.

  4. Drain the oil from the skillet or grab a clean skillet. Heat pan over medium heat. Add in the sesame sauce. While stirring continuously, cook for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened. Turn off the heat and toss the fried chicken into the sesame sauce.

  5. To make the cabbage slaw, toss shredded cabbage with La Tourangelle Sesame and Tamari Vinaigrette. Set aside.

  6. To assemble the gua bao, place one piece of sesame chicken and a bit of cabbage slaw inside the gua bao. Sprinkle on sesame seeds and chopped scallions. Enjoy!

Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt and Sambal

Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries-24.jpg
Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt Sambal and Scallaions - Eat Cho Food

Hello from the great city of Cleveland! Reuben and I just wrapped up an eventful weekend in Geneva, NY celebrating his 10-year college reunion! He’s such an old man. It was a wonderful few days seeing old friends (well for me it was meeting lots of new peeps) from his college days. Since we were in upstate New York we gathered around many tables filled with glasses of chilled Rieslings, boxes of gooey pizza, and baskets of buffalo wings. Now I’m spending a few days in Cleveland to catch up with family and eat ALL DA FOOD. Is there any other way you’re supposed to catch up with people you love though???

Reunions are always great opportunities to seek out all the best feel good foods. When you have 5 of your best friends around, you don’t feel quite as guilty ordering cheese on every single dish.

Wait, did someone say cheese? I’m sharing this super fun and shareable recipe for Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt and Sambal! This recipe was inspired by the very moment 5 of my friends and I felt liberated enough to order cheese on everything when we visited the Tillamook Creamery last Fall! For Thanksgiving last year, we decided to travel up to Portland, Oregon to spend the holiday with my best friend, Katie, and some friends I hadn’t seen in ages! Ah such wonderful people. I’ve always been a fan of Tillamook and would pick up the blocks of glorious cheddar whenever it would present itself at our local markets or the tubs of ice cream for a sweet treat after dinner. But you don’t really experience the full magic of Tillamook until you’re in unofficial “Tillamook Country”. It’s just everywhere in Portland! I’m really jealous actually. There was probably a touch of Tillamook in every one of our Thanksgiving dishes that year. There was definitely at least a pad of their butter in everything! Oh, and the vanilla ice cream for our pecan pie! Mmmmmmm.

The gravitational pull of the gorgeous Oregon coast was tugging on us, so we packed up the car with some road snacks and ventured out to in search of beaches for agate hunting, some sour beer tasting, and of course cheese! We first arrived at the Creamery and it was just as glorious as I imagined it to be! We went straight to the cheese samples obviously. Then took some time to study the process of cheese making. We grew quickly hungry and headed over to their dining area for a casual feast! There was cheese on EVERYTHING. We ordered cheese pizza, tempura cheese curds (WOW), cheese fries, mac and cheese, grilled cheese, and I think a shrimp salad for health. Everything was so good!

Food just has a way of bringing friends together for a great time. That only gets better when you include cheese, especially Tillamook Cheese. I look back fondly on that Thanksgiving and have given it the unofficial name of our “Tillamook Thanksgiving”. It goes without saying that all their cheeses, ice creams, and other dairy products are straight up delicious. But what I love about Tillamook is that they provide you with all the ingredients for creating a meaningful and flavorful reason to get together with people that you love. You can’t quite say that about… I don’t know… granola??

When Tillamook asked me to create a recipe sharing my Tillamook story, I knew it had to be something comforting, cheesy, and shareable! Cheese fries seemed like the next logical step! For this recipe I ask that you deep fry… but it’s worth it I swear! You could also grab some frozen sweet potato fries and bake them in the oven. I won’t tell anyone. The toppings are what really make this dish sing!

  1. Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese -  Essential in cheese fries. Their thick cut shredded cheddar creates really melty pockets of cheese and make for a satisfying snack when you need to sprinkle some cheese in your mouth why the fries take a hot oil bath.

  2. Lime Yogurt Sauce - I have 3 whole tubs of Tillamook Plain and Simple Greek Yogurt right now and it’s a dream come true. The yogurt sauce is made with their tangy and thick greek yogurt, lime juice, and a splash of water. It’s so quick and simple to make but adds such a necessary bright and acidic foil to the fries.

  3. Sambal - This comes a little out of left field, but trust me on this one. The cheese fries we had at the Creamery had a simple and delicious cheese sauce, but I just wanted to add an extra spicy kick. Sambal is spicy, garlicky, and a little sour. Again a great compliment to the richness and saltiness of the fries. The yogurt sauce also helps tame the heat of the sambal if you’re worried about spicing yourself out.

It may seem like there is a whole lot going on, but all the different flavors play so well together and make for a super fun and tasty dish to share with your friends! Give it a fry : )

Tillamook made this wonderful documentary, “Try It And You’ll Get It.” about their biggest fans and I love all the stories so much! You can watch it here! If you have a Tillamook story I would love for you the share it in the comments below!

Thanks, Tillamook, for sponsoring this recipe!!


Sweet Potato Cheese Fries with Lime Yogurt and Sambal

Serves 2-4

Yogurt Sauce:

Juice of ½ a lime
½ cup Tillamook Plain and Simple Greek Yogurt
2 tbsp water

Sweet Potato Fries:

2 large sweet potatoes
½ cup Tillamook Farmstyle Thick Cut Shredded Triple Cheddar Cheese
1-2 tbsp Sambal
Salt
Chopped Scallions

Canola Oil for frying



Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Make the lime yogurt sauce by mixing together lime juice, greek yogurt, and water. Set aside.

  3. Heat 2” of canola oil in a heavy pot to 370 degrees. While the oil is heating up, cut sweet potatoes into thin fries, about ¾” square thickness. Fry the sweet potatoes in batches for 3-4 minutes until crisp. Remove fries from the oil and place on a wire rack and immediately sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Repeat frying with remaining batches of sweet potatoes.

  4. Place sweet potatoes on a baking tray. Sprinkle on shredded cheese and place in the oven for a few minutes, until the cheese is melty. Take the fries out of the oven and top the cheese fries with the lime yogurt sauce, a few dollops of sambal, and chopped scallions. Enjoy immediately!

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