Tag Archives: chinese

mooshu3

Moo Shu Pork with Homemade Pancakes

Recipe for The Daring Kitchen

The October Daring Cooks’ Challenge was hosted by Shelley of C Mom Cook and her sister Ruth of The Crafts of Mommyhood. They challenged us to bring a taste of the East into our home kitchens by making our own Moo Shu, including thin pancakes, stir fry and sauce.

I’m totally mad for moo shu and I think that what does it is the inclusion of the awful sounding (but awfully addictively good) tree fungus. Tender pork, spicy ginger and matchsticks of bamboo shoots all solidify the greatness, but it’s the ebony slivers of the tree fungus that make me crazy with delight over this one. I’m known to pitch an actual fit over my chinese takeout if the moo shu order comes with white button mushrooms as a substitute. Blech. Not cool. Continue reading

Pan Fried Pork Dumplings © Spice or Die

Pan-Fried Pork and Chive Dumplings (Jiao Zi)

The pork and chive dumplings you get in Chinatown here in NYC usually involve the thin skinned wrappers and garlic chives, a flat, milder flavored variety.  Because these can be hard to come by, I’ve modified this recipe to use a small amount of regular chives, some cilantro and a couple bunches of scallions. I use a traditional jiao zi wrapper made out of a cold water dough, making these heartier and more robust that the usual pork and chive dumplings.

Jiao Zi © Spice or Die

For something a little lighter, use thinner pre-made dumpling wrappers (found in Asian Supermarkets) and cook like traditional potstickers. Basically, you steam the dumplings in a covered skillet with 1/4 to a 1/2 c. of water and a few drops of oil until the water evaporates and the bottoms crisp up.  Hence the name “potstickers” – I know, sometimes the world just makes a whole lot of sense, doesn’t it?  For a great potsticker recipe from start to finish, check out my good friend Chef Tim Ma’s Pan Fried Pork and Chive Potstickers.

The best part of this recipe, and all homemade dumplings, is that the quality is much higher than what you’ll find at restaurants and dumpling joints.  You control exactly what is added to the little delicacies, and you still end up keeping the price down.  Fresh ingredients at a low price is a hard thing to come by these days, so definitely celebrate a little when you tuck into a plate of these bad boys.

Pan-Fried Pork and Chive Jiao Zi

4 c. of flour
1 1/4 c. of ice water
1/2 tsp. of salt

3/4 lbs. of ground pork
2-3 raw shrimp, minced (optional)
1/4 c. of water
1/2 in. of ginger, minced
1 tsp. of cornstarch
2 tbs. of soy sauce
2 tsp. of sherry
2 tsp. of sesame oil
1/2 tsp. of salt
4 tsp. of sugar
3 bunches of scallions, finely chopped
1 small bunch of cilantro (10-15 stems with leaves), minced
1 small bunch of chives (the plastic pack from the store is fine)

Start by making the dough for the wrappers.  Add the four cups of flour to a bowl along with the salt.  Slowly stream in water, stirring as you go and making sure not to put any actual ice cubes in the mixture.  Add only enough water to get the dough to hold together – if it gets too sticky, add a bit more flour.  Knead dough until silky and elastic (about 5-8 minutes) and then wrap with plastic and let chill in the fridge.

Mix all ingredients (except for scallions, cilantro, chives and water) until smooth and a little stringy, making sure to stir all in the same direction.  Next, stream your water into the mixture in small amounts, stirring in between each addition.  Lastly, add the scallions, cilantro and chives and stir again.  Set aside.

Break out your dough and pinch a chunk off the size of a clementine.  Run the dough through a pasta roller or roll out by hand to about 1/4 in. thick.  Cut out 3-4 in. circles using a cookie cutter or the mouth of a large cup (I use one of my hubby’s beer steins).  Place a heaping teaspoon of filling onto the wrapper and pleat the edges to close.  Set aside on a floured cookie sheet.  Continue to fill the dumplings until you run out of filling or dough – whichever comes first.

Fill a large pot with water and set to boil.  When the water is ready, plunk in about 8-12 dumplings and watch the water go from a boil to a simmer.  Let the water come back to a boil and then pour in a rough cup and a half of cold water.  Let the water come to a boil again and then add cold water a second time.  Let the pot come to a boil one last time and then remove dumplings from the water with a slotted spoon.  Repeat until you’ve cooked all of the dumplings that you could possibly eat in one sitting.

Serve with Sweet Soy Dipping Sauce.

Note

For a different taste, pick up the thin, round pre-made dumpling wrappers from your local asian market.  You can even use the wonton wrappers found in the deli aisle of the regular grocery store, and cut the squares into rounds with a ring mold.  Fill your dumplings and set aside on a floured cookie sheet.  Add 3-4 tbs. of cooking oil to a skillet and turn on high.  As the pan warms up, place the dumplings, seam side up, in the pan one next to another.  When the pan is super hot and the oil starts to sizzle (a few minutes), add about 1/2 c. of water to your pan.  Immediately cover to trap the whaft of steam that arises when you add the water to the hot pan.  Cook until the water has evaporated and the bottoms of the dumplings crisp up.

Boiled Pork Dumplings (Jiao Zi)

Jiao Zi (Boiled Pork Dumplings)

Kitty Yum Yum’s Dumpling Emporium

I admit that I’m a bit of a fussy pants about collecting the best version of a recipe possible, to the point of years of trial and error to get things just right.  I believe in a specific set of credos of the kitchen, and won’t accept any substitutions for particular dishes that my palette is craving a certain way.  Was it Anthony Bourdain that said that people that refuse to peel garlic (by way of pre-chopped jarred garlic) don’t deserve to eat it?  I watch Sandra Lee cook out of seasoning packets and processed piles of ingredients, and it reminds me of why I enjoy spending a little extra time in the kitchen getting things just right.  It’s so worth it when the stars align and the recipe you’re working from just works. Continue reading