Posts tagged chinese new year
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake
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 // // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // // Gluten Free
Mini Almond and Satsuma Orange Cake // // Gluten Free
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.


  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!

Crystal Mushroom Dumplings
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Gluten Free
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


  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.

Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

Happy Chinese New Year Eve! Gong Hay Fat Choy! Chinese New Year is tomorrow and I hope all of you find a way to celebrate. Whether you celebrate by getting some Chinese take out or by going out for a 12 dish meal with your friends and family, Saturday is a day to share good food with good people. My favorite activity!

Since I've been living in San Francisco for the last 3 years I haven't actually been able to spend Chinese New Year with my family for a while. Oh, how I miss Cho family and my grandma's insanely delicious fried sticky pork dumplings, she only makes them this time of year, bah!. I try to overcome my intense homesickness by inviting a bunch of friends for a Chinese feast and by eating my weight in dumplings. 

If there is anytime to make your own dumplings it is Chinese New Year. Homemade dumplings are not weeknight dinners, unless you want to eat at 1am. You make dumplings for special occasions, if you have an anniversary, if your eldest child and only daughter comes home after a long stint away. My dad makes potstickers just the way I like them, thick skinned and doughy. Let's be honest, the wrapper just subtly flavored by the filling is the best part of dumpling! When I was little I would only eat the skin and pass the meatball filling to my mom or grandpa, my favorite are the Har Gow skins mmmmmmmmmmm. Even when I made these dumplings last weekend, I begged Reuben to just to give me a bite of his wrapper if the dumpling fell apart. I'm not really sure what's going to happen once I have a mini-me that will most likely only want to eat the dumpling skin too... hopefully she will be a better person than me.

Alright, before you start to judge my dumpling forming skills, I just want to state that I am by no means a dumpling making expert. I'm an expert dumpling eater and I know what a great dumpling tastes like. My DPM (dumpling per minute) is not very fast and fancy shapes are still a little beyond me. One day I will be as fast and precise as the people at Din Tai Fung. Until then, I am working on it! I took this experience to experiment with different forming techniques: Half-Moons (first photo), Mo Mo Style (second photo), pleated Half-Moons, and Wanton style. Not every dumpling is ready for their picture to be taken, but even if they were ugly they tasted great and we ate them the second they came out of the steamer. For your first time, try making the half moons so you get comfortable with the texture of the dough and the motion of forming.

These pork and cabbage dumplings are super classic and relatively easy to make. It just takes a bit of time and patience. So get all your ingredients, put on some Motown, and get rolling! Happy Weekend!

Steamed Pork and Cabbage Dumplings

makes 24 large dumplings or 36 small dumplings

Dough :

2 C all-purpose flour

3/4 C just boiled water

Filling : 

2 C chopped Napa Cabbage ( about 6-8 whole leaves)

1/2 tsp salt + 1/2 tsp salt for cabbage

1 1/2 inch piece of minced fresh ginger

1/2 C chopped scallions ( whites and greens)

1  LB ground pork

1/4 tsp of black pepper

1/4 C water

2 Tbsp soy sauce ( light not dark )

1 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 Tbsp sesame oil

Make the filling :

  1. Salt the chopped cabbage with 1/2 tsp of salt and let sit for 15 minutes, the salt will help bring any moisture out of the cabbage. After 15 minutes, rinse under water and squeeze out any excess moisture in paper towels or a cheese cloth.
  2. In a large bowl, place ground pork, ginger, scallions, and cabbage. Use a large fork or your hands to mix until it starts to come together.
  3. In a small bowl, stir in your remaining salt, black pepper, water, soy sauce, rice wine, olive oil, and sesame oil. Whisk together and pour into pork mixture. Mix your filling until it becomes cohesive and your ingredients look evenly disrupted. Let stand at room temperature for 30 mins to allow the flavors to develop. This can be made 1 day ahead.

Make the Dough/Dumpling :

  1. In a large bowl, place flour and make a well in the middle. Pour just barely boiled water into the middle and mix with a wooden spoon. The hot water will help make your dough more pliable and easier to work with. Mix with a spoon until all the moisture has been incorporated. Your dough will still seem a little crumbly. Put your dough on a lightly floured surface, knead for 2-4 minutes until it becomes a smooth-ish round ball. Place in a ziplock bag and let rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes and up to 2 hours.
  2. Once your dough has rested, take out of the ziplock bag and knead your dough again for 10 seconds. Divide the dough in half. Keep 1 half in the ziplock bag so it doesn't dry out.
  3. Roll out the other half into a 1" think rope. Divide the rope into 12 equal pieces for large dumplings or 18 for smaller dumplings.
  4. With a small rolling pin, roll out each piece into 3" discs. If the dough starts to stick just sprinkle some flour on your surface and the rolling pin.
  5. Place 1 Tbsp of filling (you can adjust based on the size of your wrappers) in the middle of the wrapper, fold in half to form a half-moon and pinch the edges to close. Repeat with each wrapper.
  6. Repeats steps 3-5 with the other half of dough. If you have leftover filling, save it because it's really delicious pan fried and with rice!
  7. Once all your dumplings have been made, you can either boil them or steam them. If you're going to boil, boil dumplings for 4-5 minutes until they float. If you're going to steam, line your steamers with cabbage leaves and arrange your dumplings on top and steam for 8-10 minutes. Tips on how to setup your bamboo steamer.
  8. Let your dumplings cool for a few minutes and then enjoy with some soy sauce and red chili flakes!