Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

The very first popsicle I ever made was in the early 90s, when I was a walking bowl cut on a stick. Here is the exact recipe I followed...

  1. Pour 1 can of Sunkist Orange Soda into a ice cube tray.

  2. Cover the ice cube tray with plastic wrap and stick a toothpick into each ice cube.

  3. Freeze until solid.

  4. Enjoy while watching Pokemon with your brother.

Gosh, I loved those orange soda popsicles. I was always an orange soda kid. Grape soda was and still is disgusting. I’m not sure if I saw a kid on public access tv make them or if it was a pre-Eat Cho Food original creation. Childhood summers were so blissfully simple. My brother and I would spend our summer days at the restaurant when we were little, watching TV, flying kites in the back parking lot with my grandpa, making play dough characters, and roller blading in the dining room if there weren’t any customers around. When we got a little older we were able to stay home by ourselves. We still watched a lot of TV, made snacks, played with our backyard neighborhood friends, and made up silly game to entertain ourselves. Oh and we consumed lots of popsicles, Rita’s Ice, Mitchell’s Ice Cream, and Apple Cart soft serve! I’m going home again in August and I’m sooooo looking forward to it actually feeling like summer and eating all the ice cream.

In the meantime SF it is a consistent 65 degrees, which is that weird in between weather where it’s chilly enough to enjoy a bowl of noodle soup but also warm enough to have a popsicle in the afternoon. It’s sort of like my current outfit of shorts and a pullover sweater. I didn’t say I was a fashion blogger…

ANYWAYS. I like knowing that I have these frozen treats waiting for me in the freezer just in case a 100+ degree day pops back up again! Similar to my orange soda popsicles, these Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles are incredibly easy to make. I trust that my 6 year old self would have been able to make these! I just might have needed the help from a trusted adult to open the can of lychees.

Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food
Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles - Eat Cho Food

If you want to use fresh lychees you could totally do that. But the beauty of using canned lychee is that you already have a delicious lychee simple syrup waiting for you and you didn’t have to do anything except buy it! It’s a little too sugary sweet on it’s own for my own taste, so I dilute the syrup with a little bit of water. The popsicle molds are filled wth lychee and raspberries and if you’re using a standard popsicle mold, the fruit should stay in place due to friction. Pour the syrup mixture over the fruit, stick some popsicle sticks in and let them freeze for a few hours until they're solid. I love the color and appearance of the popsicles once they are frozen solid. The raspberry juice bleeds just a little to give the popsicles a light blush color. You could use any berry you have on hand instead of raspberries, but what I love about the combination of raspberries and lychees is that the berries are tart and bright to balance the simply sweet flavor of the lychee.

Don’t be fooled by the addition of lychee in the recipe. These popsicles are so simple and take almost no time to make. That way you have more time to go play outside, fly kites, or watch Pokemon with your sibling!


Lychee and Raspberry Popsicles

makes 10 popsicles

materials:

1 20oz can of lychees in syrup
4 oz raspberries
1 cup water

popsicle sticks

steps:

  1. Remove lychees from the syrup and set aside.

  2. Pour remaining lychee syrup into a large measuring cup. You should have about 1 1/2 cups of syrup. Add 1 cup of water to the syrup and give it a quick mix. Set aside.

  3. Add a few lychees and raspberries into your popsicle molds. Cut lychees and berries in half if needed. Fill each mold with the lychee syrup mixture. Add popsicle sticks and freeze until solid.

  4. Once solid, run the popsicle mold under hot water for a few seconds to help release. Enjoy!

Bacon, Corn, and Chive Crystal Dumplings

Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food
Corn Bacon Chive Crystal Dumplings - Eat Cho Food

I can now check “Be a Private Chef” off my bucket list! Not entirely sure that item was ever on my bucket list… but whatevs! I packed up a travel sized version of my kitchen this weekend and drove it up to Sea Ranch for a private dumpling class and dinner! Actually, Reuben drove because he is a saint and I need to figure out a way to eventually pay him for being my all-star assistant. The class was made up of a wonderful group of ladies for a bachelorette weekend and they were all so good at making dumplings. See, I told you dumplings weren’t hard to make! It was overall such a fun time! I had a minor moment of panic when I thought I was going to overheat in kitchen and cursed myself for wanting to hand whip the whipped cream for dessert, but I survived. I’ll be doing this exact same thing for a birthday party in 2 weeks and I’m only hoping that this whole workshop and dinner catering thing will get easier. Fingers crossed!

Dumplings are still on the mind though because I have another public workshop this Sunday! If you’ve been wanting to attend one of my workshops, I still have plenty of spots available for my Crystal Dumpling Workshop on July 14th! You can grab your ticket here. I’m especially excited for that class because I love crystal dumplings so much! Crystal dumplings are those semi-translucent chewy wrappers you see for Har Gow or shrimp dumplings. Instead of wheat flour, the wrappers are actually made using wheat starch or a blend of that with tapioca starch. I like to use a blend of wheat starch and tapioca starch because it lends itself to a softer and chewier texture. Despite the name “wheat starch”, these dumplings are actually inherently gluten free. I made these for my gluten free friends during our Chinese New Year party and they all loved it! Dim Sum spots don’t typically advertise these types of dumplings as being gluten free because they probably still use soy sauce or oyster sauce in the filling. Whether you’re staying away from gluten or all about the gluten life, you’re still going to love these dumplings!

These particular dumplings are filled with sweet fresh corn, smokey bacon, and garlicky Chinese chives. It tastes like a summer cookout in a dumpling! These were also inspired by a small blip of a memory from when my grandma made crystal dumplings filled with sweet corn and ground pork. She only ever made those once but I remember not being able to stop myself from eating them. Garlic chives or sometimes called Chinese chives have a sweet, fresh, and mild garlic flavor. I used to not really like them growing up, but I’ve recently grown to love and even crave their fresh and aromatic flavor. If you can find the flowering garlic chives, they make for an extra pretty garnish too! The corn and chives are cooked in the bacon fat and then tossed with the bits of crispy bacon to really soak up all that rich and smokey bacon flavor. Are you drooling yet?

If you’re wondering how I got that lovely yellow color in the wrapper, the answer is Turmeric! The spice provides a really vibrant color but doesn’t impart too much flavor into the dough. I also recently tried smoked paprika in the dough and got a really gorgeous orange color if you don’t have turmeric on hand. If you don’t feel like adding any spices or color into your crystal wrappers, that is totally fine too! I’m just on the pursuit of rainbow dumplings, so excuse me while I experiment with all the spices and powders and in my cabinet!

You may find that these wrappers are very different to work with compared to regular wheat wrappers. Crystal wrappers don’t really stretch because they don’t have any gluten structure. So as you’re working with this dough, be a little more gentle with the dough. You can still do all the sample pleats and folds as with wheat wrappers, but handle them with care. If a small hole or tear develops, don’t worry! Even though the wrappers are delicate they are also super forgiving once you steam them! I will admit that the dumplings prior to steaming are a bit on the fuggly side, but once you lift the lid of the steamer you’ll feel like something magical just happened! The color (if you added any) will deepen and all those folds you thought were too clunky somehow look all smooth and perfect. It’s such a good feeling. Like dumpling magic. Don’t forget to eat them though because that’s for sure the best feeling!


Bacon, Corn, and Chive Crystal Dumplings

makes 32 dumplings

steps:

  1. Cut the corn kernels off the cob with a sharp knife. Place the kernels in a medium bowl with the chopped garlic chives.

  2. Cook the bacon in a skillet over medium high heat until crispy. Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel lined plate. Cook the corn and the chives in the bacon fat over medium high heat for 4-5 minutes until the corn is cooked and bright yellow, stirring frequently. Season with salt, white pepper, and soy sauce. Remove the pan from the heat and place corn mixture in a bowl. Chop up the bacon into small pieces and add to the corn mixture. Add in cornstarch and give the filling a good mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Allow the filling to cool.

  3. To make the dough, add wheat starch, tapioca starch, turmeric, 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 pleat the dumpling into the desired shape. 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 a boil. Line a bamboo steamer (same width as your pot) with perforated parchment paper 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 or chili oil.

mushroom filling :

2 ears of corn
3/4 cup chopped garlic chives or scallions
4 stripes of bacon
1/2 tsp salt
dash of white pepper
1 tbsp of soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp cornstarch

crystal dumpling wrapper:

3/4 cup wheat starch
3/4 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp turmeric powder
pinch of salt
1 cup just boiled water
3 tsp olive oil


Notes:

  1. Dumplings can be frozen raw. Place pleated dumplings on a baking tray and freeze until solid. Place dumplings in a ziplock bag and keep in the freezer for up to 3 months. When cooking, prepare as the recipe states but steam for an additional 3 minutes until cooked through.

Scallion Pesto Pancakes

Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food
Scallion Pesto Pancakes - Eat Cho Food

After this long weekend I think I am officially part girl, part dumpling, part hot dog, and part cheeseburger. Isn’t that the point of 3 days weekends that encourage you to frolic outside with all the grilled meats and mayo-y salads within arms reach?

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Did you eat enough hot dogs or buy a new home appliance? Reuben and I spent the week like the hermits that we are. We ate a lot of good food, watched Season 7 of SVU, and went to the gym so the transition into part cheeseburger was a little less awkward. We did have a friend over for dinner and I practiced my dumpling teaching skills on her! I still have a few kinks to work out, but I have a couple more days until it’s showtime. The dumplings we made were excellent though and that’s all that really matters! Oh, oh, oh! The most exciting upgrade just happened to our apartment… no we don’t have a dishwasher or in-unit laundry… BUT we started a window planter with some wee bundles of thyme, oregano, and rosemary! They are SO CUTE. Plus we planted some really hot pepper plants, which I probably won’t be able to consume without a gallon of vanilla ice cream on standby. I’m so excited to be able to snip my own fresh herbs without even leaving the kitchen : )

Working on our micro urban garden, grilling all the edible things, and the super long days (it’s still light out at 8pm!) are making me so excited for Summer and all the foods that come with it. One of my favorite things to make during the summer is fresh pesto because the basil is so delicious and bountiful! The smell of fresh basil just makes me so happy. Unfortunately we didn’t get any basil to plant because the lighting options in our apartment wouldn’t be great for it. One day we will have a yard and it will be full of basil. Hopefully some Thai basil too!

The Magic of Scallion Pesto

These Scallion Pesto Pancakes are a great way to use up some of this season’s best aromatics! I think if you put basil, garlic, and scallions on anything it would taste good. A typical scallion pancake consists of a similar dough to dumpling wrappers, rolled out extra thin, brushed with sesame oil, and sprinkled with chopped scallions and a bit of five spice. It’s rolled up, twisted, and flattened into a disc and then cooked to flakey, crispy, and slightly doughy perfection. Instead of the classic filling, I added a swirl of scallion pesto. You’ll notice that I use pistachios in my pesto. You can use pinenuts, almonds, or even walnuts if you prefer. Pistachio is just our house nut, we always have some in the house so snacks or to add crunchiness to our salads. The recipe below will make a bit more pesto than you need for the pancakes, but extra pesto is not a bad problem to have. You can add the extra pesto to some pasta, chicken, vegetables, or a piece of toast. It’s so good! I do have to warm you though that the pesto is pretty garlicky and oniony so maybe don’t eat one of these before going on a first day.

Let’s talk about the anatomy of these pancakes for minutes. Different people have different scallion pancake preferences. Some really like them really thin and crunchy, some people like them thick and doughy, and some people like them light and flakey. In my world, the ideal scallion pancake is light and flakey on the outer rings and then get progressively doughier and chewier towards the center. It’s the best of all worlds! It’s hard to pick a favorite part, but if I had to choose it might be the very center nub. So chewy! Dipping the center of pancake into some chili oil is literally one of the best flavor combos ever! I highly encourage you just eat these with your hands and pull apart all the flakey layers in search of your part! Another way I like to eat these pancakes is with a fried egg and some hot sauce, sort of like a breakfast taco situation. Lots of tasty options!


Scallion Pesto Pancakes

makes 6 pancakes

scallion pesto materials:

4 scallion stalks - cut into 1” pieces
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup toasted pistachios or pinenuts
1/2 cup fresh basil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/4 cup olive oil

dough material:

2 1/4 cups all purpose flour + more for dusting
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 warm water

olive oil for greasing and cooking

to make scallion pesto:

  1. Add scallions, garlic cloves, pistachios, basil, fresh basil, and sesame oil in a food processor. Pulse for 20 seconds until mixture is crumbly and the basil has broken down. While the food processor is still running, slowly pour in olive oil. Blend until pesto is mostly smooth but with a few chunks. Store pesto in a jar and top with a bit of oil and store in the fridge until ready to use. This recipe makes a bit more pesto than you need for the pancakes. Add the extra pesto to pasta, vegetables, or toast!

to make pancakes:

  1. Whisk flour and salt in a medium bowl. Slowly pour in the warm water and mix everything together with a spoon until the water has been absorbed. Dump the shaggy dough onto a clean work surface and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Dough may be a bit sticky. Dust with a bit more flour if too sticky. Lightly grease a bowl with olive oil and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.

  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Lightly brush a clean work surface with olive oil so the dough doesn’t stick. Roll out one piece of dough into a thin roughly 6”x12” rectangle. Scoop 2 tbsp of pesto and spread a thin layer of pesto over the dough, leaving about 1.5” clear around the edges. Starting along the long edge of the dough, gently roll up the dough into a rope. Take the rope and roll into a coil. Take a small rolling pin and roll out the coil into a 4” diameter disc. A few of the layers will break and some pesto will squirt out, that’s okay! If its difficult to roll out the pancake on a stone work surface, try rolling out on a greased wooden cutting board. Place rolled out pancake on parchment lined baking tray dusted with a bit of flour. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

  3. To cook pancakes, heat up up 1 tsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Once hot, add a pancake to the pan and flatten the dough a bit with a spatula. Cook on one side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown and crispy. Flip and cook the other side for another 2-3 minutes. Place cooked pancake on a wire rack. Repeat with remaining pancakes.

  4. Eat immediately with soy sauce or chili oil.