Posts tagged dim sum
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

Hi, from my parent’s couch! This is my fancy new office for the week. It’s actually not that bad because Food Network, TLC, or the local news is constantly on and my Mom is around to bring me snacks so I don’t have to worry about properly feeding myself for the next week! I swear that I’m 28 years old and not actually 16…

Reuben and I flew into Cleveland for a dear friend’s wedding! We danced, ate giant steaks, got overly excited by the french fry bar, and somehow avoided getting eaten up by mosquitos. Reub is back to real life in San Francisco right now and I’m staying an extra week to fit in some family Ohio time. Unlike past trips back home, where I’m in vacation mode and somehow always revert back to my 16 year old tendencies, I have to squeeze in time to actually work! Working for yourself doesn’t come with paid time off unfortunately. My goals for the week are to make pineapple buns (check!), make cocktail buns, learn how to make my grandma’s fried pork dumplings, catch up on some writing, answer all the emails, and eat apple cart ice cream at least twice before I fly home! So far, I’m on track to accomplish all of these things.

I might also treat my family to a private Eat Cho Food dumpling workshop! We will see how that goes… I have a feeling that my grandma is just going to ignore me and find my techniques and flavors completely absurd. Or maybe she will be super impressed with my pleating skills?!

Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

These Shishito and Tofu Dumplings are definitely not traditional. If I made these for dinner everyone would be wondering where the meat went… we eat tofu with a side of meat around here. This recipe was inspired by a pasta dish we had at Flour + Water for Reuben’s birthday last month. They were blistered shishito rolled pastas in a pork sugo (like a tomato and pork ragu). It was mindblowing-y good! Shishitos are a little bitter, a little peppery, and sometimes very hot if you pick a spicy one out of the bunch! When the peppers are combined with the savory and slightly sweet pork sauce you get a very unlikely but very dynamic power couple!

I guess I’ve been living in California for too long or Reuben’s vegetarian tendencies are rubbing off on me, but I’ve been wanting to creating more and more vegetarian friendly versions of my favorite foods. The nice thing about not working with meat is that you don’t have to worry about disinfecting every square inch of our work surface in fear of meat cooties. Plus you can sort of eat more dumplings because tofu isn’t quite as filling as meat, which is definitely not a bad thing!

Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

How To Make Homemade Spinach Dumpling Wrappers

I first experimented with making green dumpling wrappers with these bok choy dumplings. They look very different because I didn’t strain the spinach puree out and I also cooked the spinach in the hot water. At the time I was making those dumplings I was happy with the color and actually liked the speckled look of the spinach pulp. I like speckled things! But ever since then I’ve been dreaming of bright green dumpling wrappers that wouldn’t fade after steaming. So I took to the internet and researched a few more different methods. Straight up pureeing a lot of fresh spinach with hot water seemed like the most straightforward method to me.

I packed in a lot of spinach (2 cups to be exact!) into the cup of my immersion blender. I wanted these guys to be bright! Pour in 3/4 cup of just boiled water so the heat could wilt the spinach a little without dulling the color. I then blended everything for about 45 seconds until I got a smooth puree. Next you need strain the puree through a fine mesh sieve to separate the spinach pulp. Help the liquid separate from the pulp by gently pushing the puree through the sieve using a spoon or rubber spatula. Once you have 3/4 cup of deep green spinach water you’re good to go!

Now at this point you use the spinach water just as you would regular water in my dumpling wrapper recipe. Make sure the water is still very warm. If it has cooled a bit, just pop it into the microwave for a few minutes. Pour the spinach water into a bowl of Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour (10oz or 2 cups) and a pinch of salt. Mix together using a spoon or rubber spatula until all the liquid has been absorbed. Then knead the dough for 2-3 minutes until you have a smoothish ball. Use some muscle, the dough can handle it! Once the dough is smoothish, wrapper it in plastic wrap or stick in a ziplock bag to rest for at least 15 minutes or up to 2 hours. This step is key because the warm from the spinach water will help steam and hydrate the dough, which makes it so easy to work with!

Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

Shishito Pepper and Tofu Vegetarian Dumpling Filling

The filling is just as important as the dumpling wrapper! As I mentioned earlier, this filling was inspired by a spicy pork and blistered shishito pasta we had last month. Instead of pork I subbed in tofu. When you crumble up firm tofu and flavor it with things like dark soy, Sriracha, and sugar, you get the texture and savory flavor of finely ground meat… sort of! It’s definitely still tofu!

You start by slicing the shishito peppers into thing slices, about 1/4”-1/2” thick. Throw out those stems. Heat up some oil in a skillet, cast iron is great if you have one. Add the peppers and cook them for a few minutes until the edges are starting to blister. Add in the tofu and seasonings. Break up the tofu with your spatula, but be mindful that the tofu with continue to crumble as you toss and stir the filling. Cook the filling for 5-7 minutes, until all the moisture has cooked off. We don’t want soggy dumplings. Remove the filling from the heat and place in a bowl to completely cool until you’re ready to wrap the dumplings.

Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

I honestly can’t stop staring at these dumplings. They are like emerald little gems! You can fold the dumplings in any shape that you like! I folded these like soup dumplings, but any shape works. These were also just simply steamed, but frying these up potsticker style wouldn’t be a bad idea either! I wold just avoid boiling them because if the tops aren’t completely sealed they might burst in the boiling water.

These Shishito Peppers and Tofu Dumplings bring back memories of that inspirational pasta dish. The dumpling dough is supple but perfectly chewy. The tofu is salty, earthy, and just slightly sweet from a pinch of sugar. You can taste the slight blistered char on the peppers - my favorite part of the dumpling! Once you add some chili oil and soy sauce to these bad boys they pretty much disappear from your plate in a matter of seconds!

Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Shishito and Tofu Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

Shishito and Tofu Dumplings

makes 32 dumplings

spinach dumpling dough:

2 cups packed spinach
3/4 cup just boiled water
10 oz (2 cups) Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Flour
pinch of salt

shishito and tofu dumpling filling:

1 block firm tofu
8 oz  shishito peppers
2 tbsp olive oil
¾  tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tbsp Sriracha
2 tbsp dark soy
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp cornstarch


to make spinach dumpling dough:

  1. Place spinach in the cup of an immersion blender or regular blender. Pour just boiled water over the spinach and blend for 45 seconds until smooth.

  2. Strain spinach puree through a fine mesh sieve and into a glass measuring cup. Push the puree through the mesh using a rubber spatula until you have 3/4 cup of bright green liquid.

  3. Place flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the spinach water into the center. Mix with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until you have a clumpy dough. Begin kneading the dough for 2-3 minutes until you have a smoothish dough ball. Place dough in a ziplock bag and allow the dough to rest for at least 15 minute or up to 2 hours.

to make dumpling filling:

  1. chop the shishito peppers into 1/4” - 1/2” slices. Discard the stems. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sliced shishito peppers into the pan and sauté while stirring frequently for 5 minutes or until the edges are slightly blistered.

  2. Cut up the tofu into chunks and add to the pan. Season with salt, white pepper, Sriracha, dark soy, and sugar. Use a spatula to break the tofu into smaller crumbles. The tofu will continue to crumble as you sauté. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, until all the moisture has cooked of. Place dumpling filling in a bowl. Mix in cornstarch and allow the dumpling filling to completely cool, either on the counter or in the fridge.

to assemble dumplings:

  1. 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 16 equally sized pieces. Place pieces of dough in the ziplock bag to prevent drying out. Roll out 1 piece of dough into a 3.5” disc with a small rolling pin. Place a scant tablespoon of filling in the center of your round dumpling wrapper, avoid over filling. Fold according to desired shape. This round pleat and my simple dumpling pleat can found on my Instagram Highlights! Repeat process with remaining dumplings and place dumplings on a lightly floured baking tray until ready to be cooked.

  2. To steam dumplings, 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. Make sure the dumplings are not touching. Cover the steamer with the lid and steam for 6-7 minutes. Remove the steamer from the pot and lift the lid to allow the steam to release. Allow the dumplings to cool slightly.

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

Thanks, Bob’s Red Mill, for sponsoring this post!

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!

Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings
Bok Choy and Shrimp Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
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.