Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread

Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food
Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread - Eat Cho Food

I’ve never ran a marathon before and I don’t really see myself completing one EVER. But after a month of constant workshops I think I can imagine what running one would feel like. Okay maybe a half marathon. At least a 10k! Each weekend for the last month I’ve been practicing my public speaking skills and praying to the dumpling gods that my dough was going to be workable that day. We went up all the way to Sea Ranch and back into the city, lugging bins and SO MANY tote bags filled with essentially a pop up dumpling restaurant. I haven’t had a gym membership since I left my full time job, but I’ve been making up for it by carrying that damn cooler everywhere and standing for hours. I can’t tell if that’s why my back hurts or if I’m finally transitioning into my grandma self.

I’m now on a little dumpling hiatus. My next workshop is not until August 10th, but you should totally buy your tickets now! It’s going to be a wonton party! In the meantime I’m going to spend some quality time with bread dough and work on some easy week night meals! My pleating fingers could use a break and our freezer is literally bursting at the seams with dumplings from recipe testing and workshop leftovers. Someone come over and help me eat all of them! Oh, yeah! Reuben’s parent’s are coming into town this week! So I’ll have some extra taste testers and bellies to fill with dumplings!

I better get working on their welcome treat! Should it be bread???! Milk bread is without a doubt my favorite bread. It probably was before and I never officially declared it until now. Close second is an excellent sourdough, but I could eat milk bread all day everyday. There is something so lovely about it’s airiness and softness that other breads just don’t compare. Challah? Brioche? Maybe. Those breads are like cousins to the milk bread. I haven’t done a side by side comparison… yet. But I’m pretty sure MB would come out on top!

There are a whole bunch of ways to make milk bread. There is the tangzhong method, which requires you to create a quick started by cooking flour and water into a paste. I used in this recipe. And some people like to use dry milk powder in place of some of the actual dairy - planning on trying out that method soon! I’ve grown super fond of the recipe I’m sharing today because you literally throw all the dough ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer, walk away for 15 minutes while it does all the work for you, and that’s pretty much it! Easy peasy. Flavor-wise, it’s pretty comparable to other methods I’ve tried. However, the key to a better bread flavor is to allow your dough to rest longer. You can either let the dough rest at room temperature for 1-2 hours or pop it in the fridge overnight for it to cold ferment. The result is a bread that tastes less yeasty and has a softer and fluffier texture.

Once you’ve mastered the art of milk bread, the world of flavor combinations is limitless! Today I’m sharing a version filled with cheese and spicy sambal. Are you drooling yet?! Cheese and sambal sound like an unlikely couple, but if you think about it, sambal is just a spicy chili and garlic paste that’s quite similar to Calabrian chilis. Italians pair Calabrian chilis with cheese and carbs all the time! So it’s not surprising that when you roll milk bread dough up with cheese and sambal it ends up tasting like an amazing spicy pizza bread. I’m obsessed with it. The best part is tearing off a chunk while it’s still warm and slathering on some salted butter. OMG. I want to make another one now! Imagine an avocado toast or and egg in a hole using this bread! WOW. I wish I thought of that sooner! Hurry! Bake a loaf and test those carby ideas for me : )


Cheesy Sambal Milk Bread

makes 2 loaves

materials:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup cornstarch
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups bread flour
1 package of instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup sambal
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese + more for topping

to make the buns:

  1. Combine heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cornstarch, flours, yeast, and salt in the bowl of your standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix at medium speed (speed setting 4 for KitchenAid) for 15 minutes until a smooth and slightly sticky dough is formed. Stop to scrape down the sides every few minutes. Once dough is form, place in a large bowl lightly greased with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 2 hours or in the fridge overnight, until the dough has doubled.

  2. Line 2 loaf pans with parchment paper.

  3. Scrape out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 8 equal pieces. Take one piece of dough and roll it out into a roughly 5”x7” rectangle. Spread 1 tablespoon of sambal on the dough, keeping a 1/2” clean border around the edges. Sprinkle some cheese on the sambal. Fold both the 7” long edges over towards the center and roll the dough into a log. See photos above. Place log in the loaf pan. Repeat process with remaining pieces of dough until each loaf pan is fill with 4 logs. Cover loaves with a damp kitchen towel and allow to proof one last time for 1 hour.

  4. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the tops of the loaves with milk and sprinkle on or grate a bit of cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the tops are deeply golden brown.

  5. Remove the loaves from the oven. Allow to cool in the pans for 10 minutes and then remove to allow to fully cool on a wire rack.

  6. Enjoy with a slice of butter or plain as is!

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!

Pumpkin Curry Dumplings

Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Pumpkin Curry Dumplings // Eat Cho Food

Hello, hello, hello! It’s been a while since our last chat hasn’t it? What have you been up to the last 2 weeks? Did you have a happy and bountiful Thanksgiving????? Let’s see… what has life been like? I made a random pitstop in Bakersfield, California for a few days and it ended up being a super inspiring and weird 36 hours hours. I’ve spent the last 10 months or so designing and transforming a food truck into a mobile design center! It’s a fun little project I got to participate on with my office. We’re calling it the Food For Thought Truck! The plan was to drive it all across America and bring good creative vibes to communities that might need a little design spark! For this first leg, the stops are just within California, mainly because we are not convinced it will make it any further lol. Bakersfield was the farthest the FFTT has ever traveled to and it was definitely well worth it. Within a very jam packed week, we installed a beautiful floor graphic in the parking lot our truck called home, engaged with a huge chunk of the Bakersfield community, designed and built some public furniture, and made lots of new friends! Did I tell you that we stayed in a Frank Lloyd Wright house too? In theory it should have been a dream come true for someone who studied architecture… but it was just plain creepy. I felt like I was sleeping in a old dusty museum where all the furniture is hexagon shaped and oddly cultish. Despite the house giving me the heebie-geebies, the city of Bakersfield made my heart burst wide open. It reminded me so much of the midwest. Everyone was so unbelievably KIND. Like, “I’ll help you in a second without you even asking me” kind. My midwestern heart love it so much. I didn’t realized how much I missed having a community of people who genuinely supported each other. I mean, we have a great community of friends here in San Francisco. But I would say that the creative community here is not so warm… and feels much more competitive that supportive. In Bakersfield everyone was honestly so interested and supportive of everyone’s dreams and passion. Gosh it was such a lovely town.

After my quick 36 hours in Bakersfield, I flew right back to San Francisco and went straight to work after hopping off the plane. STRAIGHT TO WORK. Ugh. It was crazy. The days following felt like the last days of each semester of architecture school. We called it “Hell Week”. I’m sure you get the picture. It was long days working away in the studio and little sleep riddled with anxiety. Thankfully, our deadline was right before Thanksgiving, and as soon as our presentation was over on Tuesday my brain totally forgot that I even had a job and I was set into Turkey mode! We flew out to Portland for Thanksgiving and spend a nice long weekend with some great friends! We ate all the classic turkey day dishes, watched football, drank beer, waited in line for rare beer, visited the Tillamook cheese factory, ate all the cheese, and hunted for agates! It was a great time and now I’m regretting not moving to Portland years ago.

Now that I’m back home, I’m trying to enjoy the relaxing-ish week at work post deadline and attempting a cleanse after all the turkey, cheese, and beer. I had a chocolate chip cookie tonight though… so, yeah. I’m itching to get back into the kitchen to work on all the holiday goodies I’ve been dreaming about! That means cookies, cakes, and dumplings… obviously. These dumplings are inspired by one of my favorite cold weather takeout dishes! These dumplings are just as comforting as a warm bowl of thai pumpkin curry over rice on a chilly fall or winter day. The kabocha squash mixed with coconut milk and curry paste make the most dreamy and creamy filling. They are spicy but not burn your head off spicy, but if you’re heart and tastes buds feel like you need an extra tablespoon of curry paste then by all means add it! Just have a cup of milk ready on standby. The pan fried/steam methods results in a tender but crispy dumpling. The best kind of dumpling in my opinion!

Happy Dumpling making!


Pumpkin Curry Dumplings

makes 24 dumplings

dumpling dough:

10 oz (2 cups) all purpose flour
3/4 cup just boiled water
pinch of salt

pumpkin curry filling:

1 3lb kabocha squash
1 tbsp red curry paste
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

coconut curry dipping sauce:

1 1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp fish sauce
juice of half a lime
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper

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. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Cut the kabocha squash in half. Place cut side down on a baking tray and bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes until fork tender. Allow squash halves to cool for 15-20 minutes until they are safe to handle.

  2. Scoop out the seeds and discard or save for roasting later. Scoop out the flesh and place in a medium bowl. You can scoop right up to the outer skin layer.

  3. Mash squash with a potato masher. Add curry paste, coconut milk, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Mash or mix until smooth. 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 12 equal pieces. Place pieces of dough in the ziplock bag to prevent drying out. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 3 1/2” - 4” disc with a small rolling pin or a tortilla press if you have one. Place a heaping tablespoon of filling in the center of your round dumpling wrapper. Fold in half so you have a half circle, making sure to firmly pinch and seal the edges. Hold the dumpling in the palm of your less dominant hand and use the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand to crimp the edges into a braid. If the braid isn’t sticking, try dabbing water around the edge of the dumpling before crimping. Place folded dumpling on a light floured baking tray. Repeat with remaining dough.

  5. To make your sauce, combine all the sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan and cook over medium heat. Whisk until the curry paste and sugar has dissolved. Cook over heat for medium heat for 4-5 minutes until thickened. Set aside until ready to heat.

  6. 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 one 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. Remove the lid and allow any remaining liquid to cook off. Remove the dumplings or add a bit more oil to the pan and flip the dumplings over to sear the other side for 2 minutes. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

  7. Serve dumplings immediately with coconut curry dipping sauce and enjoy!