Crystal Mushroom Dumplings

Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // Eat Cho Food
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/crystal-mushroom-dumplings Gluten Free
Crystal Mushroom Dumplings // https://eatchofood.com/blog/2019/1/20/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

steps:

  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.

Instant Ramen Pasta Salad

Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad
Instant Ramen Pasta Salad

There are a lot of things in life that I am unsure about. Like where am I going to live in the next 5 years? Or do I actually enjoy mushrooms or do I just tolerate them? But there are also a handful of things in life that I am absolutely sure about. I want to live within a 7 hours drive from my family. And that Reuben is my soulmate because he tolerates my craziness and loves all the same foods that I do. AND my favorite food group is instant ramen and I could probably eat it every day for the rest of my life if I was forced to choose one thing and if sodium intake didn't really matter. I just love it so much!! I'm going to let you in on a little secret... I actually prefer instant ramen to real ramen. (GASP) Ah, I'm sorry! That makes me such a terrible foodie, right??? It's true though. I'm honestly not a fan of the really rich porky broths. It's a little too much for me. I've had ramen in a milky chicken broth and I was all about it! But a cheap 50 cent package of beef flavored ramen will always be my go-to if I need a quick and satisfying meal.

There was an intern at my office last Fall, who only ate instant ramen (oriental flavor… whatever that means!) and canned tuna on crackers for lunch. Every day. As much as her lack of vegetable intake concerned my internal grandma, I respected her lunch choices. I wish I had the courage to bring instant ramen in for lunch! But I’m pretty sure I would get judged hard by my coworkers and I’m also pretty sure I should eat more vegetables during the day.

I guess this recipe is a happy hybrid of that though! Pasta salad is my favorite type of salad because of the pasta, obviously. I like it heavy on the carbs. Light on the dressing. And the brighter the vegetables the better! I actually had ramen pasta salad before at a high school graduation party many many years ago. It was AWFUL. I remember being so excited that it existed and feeling so disappointed when I tasted it. The veggies and noodles were mushy and the dressing was so acidic it hurt. So disappointing. I’ve blocked it from my memory until now.

This pasta salad is the opposite of that dreaded Midwestern graduation pasta salad. The noodles are perfectly al dente, the dressing is something you will want to put on everything, and it’s full of the prettiest and freshest vegetables you can get your hands on. I used edamame, which you can pick up from the frozen section all year long, my beloved green onions, purple cabbage, and beautiful watermelon radishes. You could use regular radishes, but the watermelon radishes really jazz up the pasta salad and make it look like confetti! Whenever I find them at the store I pick one up to add a little hot pink to my avocado toast or the occasional salad. The beauty of this recipe, and all pasta salads really, is that it can be made in advance and it tastes better and better the longer it sits. Instant Ramen Pasta Salad is particularly quick to make because well, it’s instant!

PS. Should I change the name of this recipe to Instant Ramen Salad or keep it as Instant Ramen Pasta Salad? Tell me what to do!


Instant Ramen Pasta Salad

serves 6

Materials :

5 packages of instant ramen
1 cup blanched edamame
1 cucumber
1 watermelon radish
1 1/2 cup thinly sliced purple cabbage
2 green onions chopped - white and greens separated
 

Miso Ginger Dressing :

1 1/2 tbsp white miso paste
1 instant ramen soup mix package -  if it's a simple base like beef or chicken
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp sesame oil
2 garlic cloves
1" chunk of ginger
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp salt - use a little more if not using soup mix package

Recipes:

1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Place instant ramen noodles in the boiling water and boil or 2 minutes until the noodles are al dente. Remove noodles from hot water and immediately rinse with cold water. Drain noodles and set aside noodles in the fridge to chill.

2. Prepare all your veggies. Thinly slice a watermelon radish other on a mandolin or with a super sharp knife. Cut the cucumber into bite sized pieces. Thinly slice the purple cabbage and chop the green onion stalks. Set veggies aside.

3. Prepare your dressing by placing all the dressing ingredients in a food processor and blend for about 1 minute. If you don't have a food processor you can whisk all the liquids and seasoning together and grate in the ginger and garlic.

4. Take the noodles out of the fridge and toss the noodles with dressing so that everything is evenly coated. Mix in your veggies and enjoy!

* Salad can be made the day before and kept in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Vegetarian Turmeric Potstickers

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I made a different dumpling every weekend for a month and this is what happened.

That is the alternate title for this post. While the rest of the internet was partaking in Whole30 or dry January, I was making dumplings for a whole month. One of my New Year's resolutions was to make more food that I love. Not that I don't love all the recipes that I post on here. I just really wanted to make it priority to share recipes that turn me into the blushing/smiling emoji. That means a lot of dumplings, noodles, and cake. So I decided to spend the entire month of January creating/testing/flopping/eating dumplings leading up to Chinese New Year. Which is 1.5 weeks away! Hooray!

In case you missed any of the recent dumpling recipes, I made Crab and Mushroom Wontons in Chili Oil, Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow), Spiced Turkey Momos, and these here Vegetarian Turmeric Potstickers. My fingers are twitching just a little thinking about all the dumplings I folded in January. But there is a dumpling recipe for everyone now! So there really isn't a reason why you shouldn't be scheduling a dumpling making session in the near future.

I realized that I actually learned a lot from making a billion dumplings. Okay, I actually only made like 100. 

1. An ugly dumpling is still a delicious dumpling. I'm not going to lie to you guys. Dumpling folds are hard. Who knew there are so many dumpling folds out there?! I made things 100x difficult for myself by doing a different fold for each dumpling. With each recipe the first couple dumplings were always duds. It's sort of like pancakes. The first one is always underdone and slightly burnt at the same time. But as you continue to push through the internal stress building up in you and your fingers start to shake a little, your dumplings will eventually start to look better. It just takes time and patiences. With each fold and each pleat, your fingers will get more comfortable with the motions. Even if your whole batch looks like a bunch of oblong doughy meatballs, they will still taste amazing! Shape does not affect flavor.

2. Enjoy the monotony. When I make dumplings with my family it tends to go by pretty quickly. Mainly because there are at least 3 or 4 of us folding together. In my little SF kitchen there is just me. Reuben helps out more with the cooking aspect. So I find myself alone folding most of the time. I really don't mind it though. It is meditative in a weird way. It feels really great to not have to think about anything other than the little motions of folding a dumpling. I think it is because Monday through Friday, I am constantly trying to solve problems or trying to convince contractors to do things for me. So it feels great for the brain when the only real problem at the moment is trying to get a tight seal on your pleats. And a dumpling doesn't talk back at you and tell you can't move something to where you want to move it.

3. It is okay to use store bought wrappers. It hurts me to say that. Only because I LOVE a thick and doughy dumpling wrapper. My dad's potsticker wrappers are the absolute best and it is because the dough is just so good. You really can't recreate that texture with store bough wrappers. It's just different. Not bad. Just different. I ended up making my own dough for all my recipes, with the exception being the wontons. It is definitely worth it if you have the time and patience to make your own dough. But I realized that sometimes, you just ain't got the time! My day job has been getting more and more hectic, so I've been appreciating any shortcut I can get in the dumpling department. Jumping back to lesson #1, it is still going to taste good!

I'll be taking a little break from making dumplings for a while. I didn't say eating dumplings though. Still eating them on a weekly basis! Before I move on to more noodles and cakes, let me talk about these vegetarian friendly potstickers! The dough is spiced with a bit of turmeric to give it that pretty golden color. It doesn't affect the flavor too much, but you probably get an itty bitty amount of the health benefits from turmeric. The filling is packed with carrots, cabbage, zucchini, and cellophane noodles. The veggies add health, texture, and much needed moister and body to the filling. Cellophane noodles are a traditional filler used in vegetarian dumplings. You might also know them as bean thread noodles. They take like no time to cook and absorb a ton of flavor! You can find them at your local asian market packaged in little bundles. You can fold the potstickers in whatever fold you feel comfortable with. I folded these in a two directional crescent fold, which makes them look like little moons. Link to a helpful video below. The dumplings get a nice sear in a skillet for that characteristic crunchy bottom and then steam for a few minutes in the pan to get everything else all cooked and ready for optimal deliciousness. It seems contradictory, but trust me. It works. You'll have yourself a potsticker!

Oh! I literally just realized that these potstickers are vegan too!! Double health points! Ok, I give you permission to eat as many of these as you want.


Vegetarian Turmeric Potstickers

makes 24 dumplings

for the dumpling dough:

2 cups all purpose flour
2/3 cup just boiled water
2 tsp turmeric

for the filling:

1 bundle of dried cellophane/bean thread noodles
1 large carrot finely chopped
1 zucchini finely chopped
1 cup finely chopped cabbage
1/4 cup chopped green onions (whites + greens)
2 garlic cloves finely minced
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil

olive oil
1/4 cup water

filling:

Place one bundle of dried cellophane/bean thread in a heat proof bowl. Pour boiling water over the noodles until the noodles are submerged. Steep the noodles in the hot water for 5 minutes. Drain and rinse noodles under cold water. Place noodles back in a dry mixing bowl. Cut up the noodles into smaller pieces with kitchen scissors or a knife.

Finely chop the carrot, zucchini and cabbage. Alternatively, you can process all the vegetables in a food processor to get nice consistent sizes and save loads of time.

Add the vegetables, green onions, garlic, oyster sauce, salt, white pepper, and sesame oil to the bowl of noodles. Give everything a good mix and allow the filling to sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

dough:

To prepare your dough, place flour and turmeric in a large bowl. Give it a good mix. Create a well in center and slowly pour in the just boiled water. Stir the water into the flour with a wooden spoon. Once all the water has been absorbed, start kneading by hand. Knead either in the bowl or on a lightly floured surface for 4 minutes until you get a smooth and consistent ball of dough. Place dough ball in a ziplock bag and allow to rest for at least 15 minutes. The dough will slightly steam in the bag and make it easier to work with.

assemble:

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.

Roll out the other half into a 1" think rope. Divide the rope into 12 equal pieces. With a small rolling pin, roll out each piece into 3" to 3 1/2" discs. If the dough starts to stick just sprinkle some flour on your surface and the rolling pin. Alternatively, you could use a tortilla press to make your wrappers. I find that you still have to using the rolling pin a little to get it thin enough.

Place a heaping teaspoon of filling (you can adjust based on the size of your wrappers) in the middle of the wrapper. The noodles can get a little fussy but just be patient and try to make tight bundles. Fold the dumpling by creating pleats on one side of the dumpling. Firming pinching each pleat for a tight seal. Here is a helpful folding video! These dumplings are the two directional crescent fold at the end of the video.

Place folded dumplings on a flour dusted baking sheet and cover with a kitchen towel while you fold the rest.

cook:

Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet (with fitted lid) over medium high heat. Arrange dumplings in the skillet with the flat side down. Sear the bottoms of the dumplings for 2 minutes. Do not tough them. Add in 1/4 cup water and cover the skillet with the lid. Allow the dumplings to steam for 5 minutes, until all the water has evaporated. Remove the lid and let the dumplings sear in the pan for another minute. The bottoms of the dumplings should be golden brown and crispy.

Remove from pan and allow to slightly cool before eating. Serve with dark soy and hot sauce.

Enjoy!