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!

Chili Garlic Noodles

Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food
Chili Garlic Noodles - Eat Cho Food

Ciao from Rome! We’re currently slowly waking up from our daily nap and figuring out what we want for dinner. Pasta? Pizza? More Pasta? 20489384 scoops of pistachio gelato? I think we might get pizza… It’s only been 2.5 days in Italy and we’ve already developed our daily rhythm of waking up super early, grabbing an espresso and some form of carb for breakfast, walking a million miles, poking our heads into a gorgeous church, gazing at some ruins or classical art, eating an afternoon mortadella sandwich, walking another million miles, stoping for a drink and apertivo, napping at the airbnb, mustering up enough energy to find dinner, getting a scoop of gelato, and then passing out hard to repeat again the next day. My feet feel like they are going to fall off but it’s all worth it!

I’ll be keeping this short and week because I feel like I need to nap just a little bit more… I was actually going to share Reuben’s Pizza recipe today but Squarespace is failing me and all the drool worthy photos of pizza are not loading! I was frowning a lot this morning and then I remember we are in Rome and I shouldn’t be frowning at all. It will just have to wait 2 more weeks until we are home to share. No worries though, because I have this noodle double feature to share instead! One post back you’ll find a recipe for the greatest and chewiest homemade Chinese egg noodles! They are so good and addicting, you’ll find it hard to ever go back to dried pasta ever again! This recipe dresses up the fresh noodles in a ton of garlic, a healthy amount of butter, and just the right amount of chili oil. It’s simply a spicy version of my San Francisco Style Garlic Noodles. One of the best things on Eat Cho Food!

Despite how red and fiery these noodles look, they actually aren’t super spicy. The butter and the garlic really balance out and mellow the chili oil. I’m normally a wimp when it come spicy food, but I was able to polish off a whole plate without any assistant from a glass of milk! These noodles are perfect as is but would also be pretty spectacular with a side of your favorite seafood or protein!


Chili Garlic Noodles

serves 2-4

Materials:

1 pound of fresh Chinese egg noodles
5 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 heaping tbsp chili oil - more for garnish
2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt to taste
dash of white pepper
chopped parsley for garnish 
sesame seeds for garnish

Steps:

  1. Boil your noodles until al dente. When cooking fresh Chinese egg noodles it should only take about 4 minutes. Rinse with cold water and set aside to drain.

  2. Heat a large skillet on low heat. Add 5 tbsp butter to the skillet and allow it to slowly melt. Once the butter has melted, add in minced garlic and cook on low heat for 4 to 5 minutes. The garlic shouldn't brown too much. You are really trying to infuse the butter with garlic flavor.

  3. Turn up the heat of the skillet to medium high. Add oyster sauce, chili oil, sugar, pinch of salt, and dash of white pepper. Add in egg noodles and toss the noodles so that everything is evenly coated and mixed. Leave the noodles alone for 3 minute and then toss. Repeat this until the noodles are lightly crisped.

  4. Garnish with parsley, sesame seeds, and some extra chili oil if you wish. Enjoy!

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 186equal 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!