Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings

Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings // Eat Cho Food

I burned some donuts. Made some excellent muffins. Had a minor panic attack. Went to a suburban Target for the first time in months. Attempted to go to the library for actual library work. Forgot that spring break was a thing and couldn't get into said library. Frowned. Decided to eat my feelings in Chinese baked goods. Made homemade noodles. Spiced up the noods. Researched cute camera bags for the millionth time. Ate bacon for breakfast two days in a row.

So I would say that my weekend was okay...

I swear that whenever I plan to go on vacation the universe decides to throw every important task or project at me and I have negative days to do them. It feels great to have a lot to do. You know me, I like to stay busy. But I'm also just tired, ya know? 

Let me remind you that I'm not a full time blogger! I still work 40 hours a week at my day job and then spend as many hours as I can on the blog and other freelance projects. Lately, I've been struggling with how to give 100% of my energy to every project while also maintaining my relationships. I wish I could spend each night on the couch with Reuben watching all of Law & Order: SVU. I mean, I try to do that as much as I can but there's always a constant nagging feeling at the back of my head remembering there's a recipe to write, photos to edit, or emails to get sent out. Omg, my taxes. Remind me to do my taxes before I leave for Italy!! I wish I could effortlessly say, "Yes, I can totally hang out on Saturday! I have nothing planned!" That's never the case because my weekends are spent testing and photographing recipes or working on project #149742786. It's a lot of sacrifice. Most friends understand and don't hate me when I keep saying "We'll hang out eventually!!!" 

I've been side hustling for the last 2-3 years - painting, lettering, cooking, writing, doing lots of things. Reub and I met 5 years ago and obviously didn't live together. Those first 2 years in SF were spent getting to know each other and discovering we loved all the same foods! Except olives and blue cheese… yuck. Reuben and I would spend the weekends exploring the Bay Area and eating out all the time. We didn't really have a great kitchen for us to cook together in, which was sort of a bummer. But I think it was a perfect time for all that exploration! Once we moved in together 3 years ago, I finally felt a bit of stability. I actually had a kitchen and a space to work on all my projects! No craigslist roommates to get in my way!! Although, I do love my Big Green House roommies 4EVER <3 Anyways, that’s the story of how I became a workaholic.

Whoa, sorry to rant about work! I think I just need a vacation... I'm really fine! Dramatic but fine… what else is new? Although, an insurance commercial made me bawl my eyes out the other night... so maybe I'm just extra emotional? Thankfully we're heading to Italy in less than 2 weeks! I'm so ready to get out of the country for a little bit, to explore a brand new country, and to eat ALL THE CARBS. I'm hoping to come back inspired, semi-rested, and full of motivation to keep tackling this hustle! 

Let’s chit chat about these dumplings! I love dreaming up of new ways to manipulate dumpling wrappers! It’s literally edible playdough or maybe edible origami? What I like to do is somehow have the exterior of the dumpling hint at whats happening on the inside. Think of a purple dumpling that’s filled with purple cabbage! Or a dumpling filled with bok choy that also looks like bok choy! Whoa. Mind blown! I was pleased as punch with how these cute little dumplings came out! The filling is light and fresh from the bok choy and shramps (that’s how we text shrimps to each other…). The pleating on this dumping is as easy as it can get! I like to call it the “smoosh” technique! You literally smoosh or pinch together the middle portion of the dough together and you get a bunch of adorable bok choy dumps!

I’m going to admit that in order to achieve this look you use double the amount of wrapper for each dumpling. So it’s filling. But I don’t really mind the extra wrapper because in my opinion, the wrapper is the best part of the dumpling! Specifically the part of the dumpling where all the dough is concentrated and pinched together. If that’s also your favorite part then this dumpling is for you! Don’t forget to dip it in some soy sauce and chili oil, you won’t regret the extra carbs!


Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings

makes 36 large dumplings

plain dough:

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

spinach dough:

10 oz (slightly less than 2 cups) all-purpose flour
pinch of salt
5 oz spinach
1/2 cup water

dumpling filling:

1 1/2 lb shrimp - cleaned and finely chopped
4 heads of bok choy - shredded
4 green onion stalks - chopped
3 large cloves garlic - mince
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Sriracha
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp cornstarch

olive oil for cooking

to make plain 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.

to make spinach dough:

  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Add spinach and cook until spinach has wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Puree the spinach and water in a blender or immersion blender.

  2. Add flour and salt into a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour and slowly pour in spinach puree. Mix dough together with your finger tips or a wooden spoon. Mix until puree is absorbed and the dough is just combine. Knead for 2-3 minutes until dough is round, smooth, and evenly green. 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 garlic and bok choy. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5-6 minutes until bok choy is tender. Scoop in a large bowl and set aside to cool.

  2. Add finely chopped shrimp, chopped green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha, white pepper, oyster sauce, and cornstarch to the bowl of bok choy. Give it a good stir until everything is evenly combined. Allow the filling to rest in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

  3. To prepare your wrappers, lightly flour your work surface. Take the plain dough and cut it in half. Roll out one half of the plain dough into a 1” thick rope. Take the spinach dough and cut in half. Roll out one half of the spinach dough into a rectangle large enough to wrap around the plain dough. Place the plain dough in the center of the spinach dough. Roll up the dough and pinch the seams of the spinach dough to seal. Give the rope a quick roll to smooth out. Repeat with other half of dough.

  4. Cut each rope of dough into 18 equal pieces, giving you 36 pieces of dough total. Place the piece of dough cut side up on your work surface and gently press it down with the palm of your hand to form a flat disc. Roll out each piece of dough into a 4”-5” round circle. If you want to roll out all the dough at once, you can stack the wrappers with a light dusting of flour between each one. Lightly cover the prepared wrappers with plastic wrap or a towel to avoid drying out.

  5. Take one wrapper and fill with 1 tbsp of filling. “Smoosh” or pinch the middle portion of the wrapper (the space between the filling and the outer edge of the wrapper) together to get the bok choy look. Repeat with remaining dumplings.

  6. Set up your steaming meathod. My method: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Line a bamboo steamer, that’s the same diameter as the pot of boiling water, with perforated parchment paper 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. Allow the dumplings to cool slightly, enjoy with soy sauce!

Notes:

  1. The spinach dough is speckled from the bits of spinach leaves. I liked this look! But if you prefer a more pure color you can press the pureed spinach through a fine mesh sieve. Just make sure you have a total of 3/4 cup of liquid. Add a bit more water if you need.

  2. This recipe makes double the amount of dough that’s typically used in my other dumpling recipes. This was done to achieve the leafy bok choy look. Plus the wrapper is the best part of dumplings in my opinion!

  3. To freeze, place dumplings on a baking tray and stick in the freezer until frozen solid. Store frozen dumplings in a ziplock bag. When steaming from frozen, do not defrost, and stream for 15-17 minutes.

Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns

Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns
Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns

It has been a very bun-filled month on Eat Cho Food. It’s also be raining constantly in San Francisco and I feel like rain and chilly weather only kicks up my craving for the fluffiest and most pillow-like of carbs. We finally had a sunny day yesterday and it was glorious! I always forget how dependent I am on the Sun until spring forward happens. I’m very much a Leo and the longer days and warmer weather make my happiness meter go off the charts!

You know what also makes my happiness meter go off the charts? Love : ))))))) sorry if this blog gets too cheesy and mushy for you… you should probably find another blog to read. Reuben and I celebrated 5 years together on Saturday! So this past weekend was a wonderful and slow weekend of enjoying each other’s company, eating really really really good food at Mister Jiu’s, planning for Italy some more, and taking pretty pictures of pizza! I’m so excited, guys. Reuben has finally agreed to let me document and share one of his pizza recipes! I know that 99.9999999999% of you have never had a slice of his pizza before, but it is seriously the best pizza in the universe. We’ve been together for 5 years and he’s been perfecting his hydration ratios and technique for almost as long. There’s about 24783748374983275983658937489374019274 reasons why I love Reuben, but his pizza ranks at about #3. I just had a slice of it cold out of the fridge and it’s still better than anything I can get on the West Coast.

One day, I hope we can open up a Pizza/Dumpling/Bakery/Beer Hall + Coffeeshop place. It would essentially be serving all the foods we eat in our regular day lives, but YOU would be able to have some too! Reuben would be slinging the best pizza in the universe and pouring you a taste of some ultra rare sour beer brewed with heirloom peaches that he’s been aging for the last 10 years. I would be bopping around the shop decorating cakes and pleating dumplings. We would both be constantly covered in flour, but so happy. Doesn’t that just sound like the most carb heavy dream ever? Ugh. ONE DAY.

Until then, I’m just going to be over here in my tiny kitchen perfecting all my dough recipes and pleating skills. These Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns would most definitely be on the menu! I would grab 1 or 2 in the morning with a coconut milk matcha latte and be set for the day! I actually stop at the dim sum shop around the corner from our apartment about 1 once a week for breakfast. I get 1 order of har gow and 1 order of pork siu mai to go. I can typically eat all 6 dumplings within the time it takes me to walk to the bus stop. Have I ever told you that I LOVE to walk and eat? It’s weird and I can’t explain why I enjoy it so much. Anyways! One morning I decided to mix it up a bit and get an order of har gow plus just 1 steamed chicken bun. I just want to say that I LOVE Good Luck Dim Sum. It’s my favorite dim sum in San Francisco. But this chicken bun was real bad. The dough was fine - fluffy and slightly sweet. The filling was horrible. The texture was way too tough and not tender or juicy at all. I took one bite and was super disappointed the remainder of my walk to the bus. I really dislike bad food… as most people would be. But after I eat something like that, it’s hard for me to shake off the feeling of “I can make this better!”

After that unfortunate morning, I was set on making the best chicken bun I could! I think I’m pretty close with this one. As soon as they were cool enough to eat without burning my entire mouth, I ate about 3 of them without even blinking. They are so good, so fluffy, so tender, and so springy! The leeks add a touch of springtime freshness that I’m so ready for more of! The filling is light but tender and juicy. I learned a little trick from my friend, Paul, for making a super soft and tender ground chicken filling… melk! I mean milk. Sorry, I’m from Ohio, where we say melk. The addition of a little bit of milk works some magic on what would typically be pretty dry and lean ground chicken. The richness from the milk also adds a bit of fat and richness that siu mai typically gets from pork. If you live a dairy free life, you can just replace the milk with water instead.

I’m sure in the future I’ll continue to develop a lot more chicken buns recipes. BBQ Chicken Buns. Teriyaki Chicken Buns. Five Spice Chicken Buns. All the chicken buns. But for now, these are my favorite chicken buns in all the land! I can’t stop thinking about reheating the ones I’ve safely packed away in our freezer for a rainy day. Ah! I think it’s going to rain tomorrow…


Chicken and Leek Steamed Buns

makes 12 steamed buns

dough recipe adapted from Red House Spice’s excellent bao guide!

bun dough:

250g (~1 3/4 cups) AP flour
50g (~1/3cup) cornstarch
2tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
1 cup warm water + 1/4 cup more if dough is dry

filling:

1 leek
3 cloves minced garlic
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp cornstarch


make dough:

  1. Combine flour, cornstarch, sugar, and instant yeast in the bowl of your standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Give it a quick mix to evenly incorporate everything. Begin to stir on medium speed. Slowly pour in 1 cup warm water and continue to knead for 8 minutes. Scrape out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and continue to knead for another 5 minutes until you get a smooth ball. If the dough feels a little too dry during the hand kneading process add a little bit more water, no more than an extra 1/4 cup. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow dough to rest in a warm place for 1 hour to 1.5 hours until doubled in size.

  2. While the dough is resting, prepare your filling. Peel the tough outer layers of the leek. Cut off the top green portion of the leek and discard. Slice the leek in half lengthwise and then thinly slice each half. Quickly run the thinly sliced leeks under water to rinse off any dirty or sand. Dry off with a paper towel and set aside.

  3. Heat up 2 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, add in garlic and leeks. Sauté for 5-7 mins until aromatic and slightly golden around the edges. Remove garlic and leeks from the pan and place in a large bowl.

  4. Add chicken to the bowl of garlic and leeks. Add in salt, white pepper, oyster sauce, soy sauce, milk, and cornstarch to the bowl. Give it a good mix with chopsticks or a wooden spoon until just combined. Set aside and let the flavors develop for at least 15 minutes or up to 1 day covered in the fridge.

  5. To form the buns, divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll out each portion of dough into a 4” diameter circle. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the wrapper and pleat close, or pinch close if you wish. Place formed buns on a baking tray dusted with flour and cover with a damp kitchen towel. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes.

  6. Set up a bamboo steamer over a wok or pot filled with boiling water. Steam for 15 minutes. Allow for buns to cool and then enjoy with soy sauce, chili oil, or plain!

notes:

  1. Steamed buns can be frozen after they have been fully cooked. You can either reheat in the microwave by microwaving for 3 minutes while wrapped in a damp paper towel, or steamed in a bamboo steamer for 12-15 minutes.

  2. Milk can be swapped out for water if you prefer a dairy free option.

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.

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 18 equal 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!