Posts tagged tofu
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!

Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food
Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls - Eat Cho Food

I don't think I encountered a single vegetable this past weekend. Okay, there were some magical ramps on a pizza Reuben made on Sunday and I may have made a basic salad to accompany the pizza so we wouldn't die. Do mixed greens out of bag even count as a vegetable though? We had a very indulgent weekend of dumplings, pizza, mochi cake, beer, and park snacks. Every once in a awhile Reuben and I will break out of our homebody comfy clothes and actually go outside to a park to socialIzen’s with other people. There were even strangers there! GASP. Despite our tendency to grumble like we are 80 years old on the drive over to the park full of young people on blankets, we had a wonderful sunny time catching up with old friends and coworkers that I see everyday! 

Oh! Oh! I also want to tell you that I'm hosting my very first dumpling workshop! It's going to be a blast! If you also live in the Bay Area or really love dumplings and are willing to travel for them, you can grab yourself a seat at my workshop under the shop tab of this website! It's going to be sort of intimate since it will be my first time teaching, so hurry up and get a spot while they last! I was practicing my pleats again this weekend and thinking through how I would explain all the steps and intricacies of making dumplings to a real life human. I think I have a good plan though! This blog, Instagram, and the internet in general is fun or whatever, but what I really really really love is feeding people in real life. I just can't wait to make enough dumplings to feed an army with some new friends!

Alright, enough dumpling talk. Let's talk noods! And vegetables because I desperately need those back in my life. A variation of this noodle bowl is on constant rotation in our house. It's so quick and easy to make. Plus you can literally throw in whatever vegetable or protein you have on hand. The overall flavor guidelines of this bowl are inspired by Vietnamese Vermicelli Bowls or Bun Bo Xao. So think salty, sour, sweet, and a little funky. Don't be afraid of fish sauce! It adds such wonderful flavor. Both the tofu and cabbage are crisped up in the oven together. The tofu gets a nice crunchy texture with the help of some draining beforehand and a much needed flip in the middle of the baking process. Red cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables at the moment. It's so versatile and lasts a super long time in the refrigerator. You can eat it raw in a slaw or quickly sautéed it in a pan, but my absolute favorite way to cook it is by cutting thick slices of cabbage and roasting them in the oven at a high heat. The cabbage caramelizes and crisps in the oven and it's the most wonderful thing! 

What really ties this whole bowl of freshness and goodness together is the dressing! It's a blend of fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, rice vinegar, and Brightland Awake Olive Oil. The Awake olive oil is delicious and has a really unique flavor in my opinion. When tasting it on it's own it starts off fruity and then you get a really strong and almost peppery flavor, which works beautifully with the sour, sweet, and funky flavors from the other dressing ingredients! Brightland Olive Oil has some of the most beautiful packaging too! Like, just look at that bottle! You'll want to display it on your counter all the time. I also love that their oil is sourced all in California (probably not that far from me actually) and they value pure and honest food production. You know you’re getting the good stuff!

Enjoy the rest of your week and enjoy the fresh noods!


Crispy Tofu and Cabbage Noodle Bowls

serves 2

materials:

1 block firm tofu
½ head of red cabbage
8oz rice noodles
Brightland Awake Olive Oil
1 tsp sesame oil
Salt + Pepper
1 large carrot - peeled into ribbons or shredded
Crushed cashews or peanuts - optional
Sesame seeds - optional
Thai basil leaves - optional
Lime wedges - for garnish

dressing Materials:

Juice of 2 limes
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup Brightland Awake Olive Oil
Pinch of salt

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tofu into small pieces, about 1” cubes. Place tofu on a baking tray lined with paper towels and cover the top of the tofu with more paper towels. Press down on the tofu and allow the tofu to drain for at least 15 minutes. This extra step will help insure an extra crispy texture!

  2. Cut red cabbage into 3/4” slices, try to keep each slice intact. Brush a baking tray with 2 tsp of olive oil. Place cabbage on the oiled tray and season with ½ tsp of salt, few cracks of black pepper, sesame oil, and another 2 tsp of olive oil. Rub all the seasonings into the tops of the cabbage slices. Set aside.

  3. Remove tofu from tray and discard paper towels. Brush baking tray with 2 tsp of olive oil. Place tofu on the oiled tray and season with ½ tsp salt, few cracks of black pepper, and another 2 tsp of olive oil. Place tray of tofu and cabbage in the oven and bake for 38-45 minutes. Flip the tofu halfway through. The cabbage will caramelize and the tofu will crisp up.

  4. While the tofu and cabbage are baking, prepare your rice noodles according to the package directions. Once cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Set noodles aside.

  5. To make dressing, whisk together lime juice, fish sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, olive oil, and salt in a small bowl or jar. Set aside.

  6. To assemble, place a bundle of noodles in a bowl and top with tofu, cabbage, carrots, cashews, sesame seeds, and a few basil leaves. Squeeze a lime wedge over the noodles, add dressing, and give everything a good mix. Enjoy!