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Chinese Dishes

Chinese Dumplings

These dumplings are not hard to make, but they do take about a half hour prep time. I buy the wrappers pre-made from an Asian market. Most grocery stores carry these wrappers, although Asians stores will give you a larger choice of brands. In the Asian store where I shop, I buy them frozen. They thaw within minutes. The square ones are generally a little bigger than the round ones and a bit easier to work with.

You can add more or less vegetables to the recipe (or none at all.)

One package dumpling skins

One pound premium pork Jimmy Dean Sage or Hot Sausage
4 ounces minced mushrooms
Minced green onions (2 onions)

Hand mix the minced mushrooms into the sausage. Drop about two teaspoons of the sausage/mushroom mix onto a dumpling wrap and fold the dough over, pressing along the edges. The dough won’t stick in every place, but will adhere during cooking or freezing.

Other vegetables that you can add to the sausage mix:
Minced Chinese Cabbage (2 leaves, finely minced)
Minced sweet yellow onion (1/4 cup) instead of green onions
1 finely minced Jalapeno

I would not add minced carrots. I’ve tried carrots and they impart a strong flavor and tend to take over the dish.

To cook:

Steam method
Line a bamboo steamer with Chinese Cabbage and place the dumplings on the cabbage. Steam over a pot of boiling water for twenty minutes. (The bamboo steamer should be covered during cooking.)

Stir fry method:
Heat one tablespoon olive oil in a large flat skillet. Place dumplings in the pan and cook, covered, over low heat. When the first side has lightly browned (about 5 to 7 minutes) turn and cook the other side, again, leaving the skillet covered.

Dumpling Dipping Sauce

Dumpling sauce is very easy:

1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 tsp minced ginger (I buy the kind in a jar, but ginger root is readily available in the grocery. Cut off the dark outer skin and grate the root.)
1 tsp sesame oil (Get 100 percent Sesame oil, not one that is mixed with other oils.)

Let sit at room temperture for about 15 minutes before serving.

Serve dumplings with steamed rice.
As a meal, you will need about six dumplings per person.

Freezing
Dumplings freeze well. I do not cook before freezing. Lay dumplings flat in a large freezer bag (not touching one another as much as is possible). Store frozen for up to about a month. Do not thaw before cooking. Place directly in the steamer or fry pan and cook. If the dumplings are stuck together, heat gently (a few seconds in the microwave) and peel apart.

Posted: August 6, 2006
Filed in Chinese Dishes

Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup depends heavily on the taste of the broth so if you make your own broth from bones (chicken, pork or a combo), your soup will have more flavor. This Chicken and Rice recipe includes a recipe for making your own broth.

If you are using canned broth, I highly recommend that you enhance the flavor by steeping such items as: ½ cup of cabbage, dried porcini or shitake mushrooms.

To make the soup, pour two cans of chicken broth (approximately 30 oz of broth) in a saucepan:

Add:

4 or 5 minced baby carrots
½ cup minced onion
1/3 – ½ cup minced celery with leaves
¼ – ½ cup cooked sage sausage
3 or 4 diced white mushrooms
(½ cup cabbage/two dried porcini or shitake mushrooms for flavoring)

When the vegetables are tender, remove the cabbage, porcini and/or shitake mushrooms.
Mix 2 tablespoons cornstarch with 2 tablespoons cold water and add to broth while stirring.

Scramble one egg in a bowl. Pour about half the egg into the chicken broth in a thin stream back and forth across the broth. Wait a few seconds until the egg begins to float to the top. Stir. Add remaining egg in a thin stream. Wait and then stir. Add about a tsp of sesame oil to the soup and stir well.

Kernel corn is another common addition to this soup. To make it meatless, omit the sausage, use vegetable broth and add a pinch of sage.

Want to make it even easier? Buy Lipton Chicken Noodle soup, add the veggies and cook until tender. Drizzle a scrambled egg to the soup when hot. You can use the chicken/noodles or not. .

Posted: October 13, 2006
Filed in Chinese Dishes, Soups
Tags:, ,

Mongolian Beef with Asparagus

1 pound boneless flank or sirloin steak

Marinade:

1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
4 tablespoons dry sherry
4 teaspoons sesame oil
4 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper

Other ingredients you will need:

3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 to 5 dried red chili peppers
1 or 2 bunches green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 bunch of asparagus or broccoli cut into edible pieces
Peanut oil

Partially freeze the flank steak for easier slicing. Slice into 3×1/2 inch strips, and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the soy sauce, water, sherry, sesame oil, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper.

Reserve ¼ cup marinade in small dish. Place beef in remainder of the marinade and coat well. Cover and refrigerate for four hours.

Add cornstarch to the reserve marinade and refrigerate. If more liquid is required to help the cornstarch dissolve, add two to four tablespoons of water.

When ready to cook, heat 2 tablespoons of peanut oil in a large wok over medium high heat. Place green onions, dried red chili peppers and asparagus (or broccoli) in the hot oil. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook 6 minutes, or until tender. Remove vegetables and set aside.

In the same wok, heat another 3 tablespoons of peanut oil over medium high heat. Add beef mixture and sauté for 5 minutes, or until the beef is thoroughly cooked. Return veggies to the pan and add the remaining marinade and the cornstarch mixture. Sauté for 30 seconds or until slightly thickened and heated through.

Serve over steamed rice.

Posted: July 19, 2006
Filed in Chinese Dishes

Shrimp with Vegetables

A great and healthy dish, this has multiple vegetables, including mustard greens! Mustard greens are high in vitamin K (brain nutrition), vitamin A (eyes, skin nutrition) and vitamin C (everything nutrition!). This superfood adds a wonderful flavor to just about any dish.

Shrimp with Vegetables:

12 to 14 large shrimp, peeled and cleaned

5 to 7 napa cabbage leaves (Chinese cabbage) chopped into one inch pieces (Depends on size and taste preference, but about two to three cups).
3 to 5 mustard green leaves (chopped). You can use curled, plain, purple, etc.
1 cup diced carrots
4 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 cup broccoli
large handful of snap peas
sesame seeds (optional)

¼ tsp minced ginger
2 minced garlic cloves
1 ½ tablespoons oyster sauce
3 tablespoons light soy sauce

dissolve 3 tablespoons cornstarch in 2 cups low sodium chicken stock

1/8 cup mirin (sweet rice wine) or chardonnay

In skillet, sauté (or roast if you know how to do so without burning it!) the garlic in two tablespoons olive oil.

Add carrots and sauté until cooked. Add shrimp (or scallops or both) and saute until cooked.

When the shrimp is cooked through, add remaining vegetables and mushrooms.

Add the minced ginger, oyster sauce and wine. Don’t overcook the vegetables. You don’t want them to be completely soft–just lightly cooked.

Add cornstarch/chicken stock and stir until thickened. Add soy sauce. If you wish to add imitation crab to the dish, add at this time (it is pre-cooked—adding it earlier tends to make it mushy).

Serve shrimp with vegetables over steamed rice.

Notes: Using precooked shrimp tends to make the dish lack seafood flavor. If the shrimp is precooked, you may want to add an extra half tablespoon of the oyster sauce, but be careful with this sauce. It can be very overpowering. Ginger can also be overpowering. If you don’t like ginger, sauté slices of this root with the garlic and remove the slices before adding the veggies. If you love ginger, you can double the amount of minced ginger, but be careful with it!

Enjoy!!

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