dumplings

Sichuan-style wontons

Simplicity and modesty are the two virtues that are close to my heart. It’s what inspired me in my everyday cooking and in the coming weeks, I hope you will see it translate onto my blog.  There is no greater joy in life than cooking for our loved ones and friends.  Some of my greatest relationships have been forged over a good home cooked meal and I hope it could help do the same for you.

For those who actually read my blog, you must’ve noticed my style of writing hasn't much to be desired.  English has never been my strong suit and as a result, it’s very hard for me to convey how I truly feel from pen to paper.  But I do hope that through my blog - you will see what I am truly passionate about and that’s bringing joy to others via my cooking.  

Some of my cookings will be derived from spontaneity, and as a result here is my vegan Sichuan-style wonton dish. This was created and inspired based on the fresh vegetables at the local market this morning.  I would like to give credit though, to this lovely lady, who inspired me while she was assembling those beautiful baby bok choy on her stand.  She even discounted me a few dollars for smiling

This dish is probably not as authentic as the Shanghainese but similar.  The original recipe is made with pork and this is the vegetarian/vegan version.  I do suggest to try making these wontons over the weekend because they do require a little bit of time for preparation.  

Sichuan-style wontons

Servings: 4 persons (around 20 wontons)    

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients: 

500g baby bok choy, chopped into small bits

100g soybean skin, chopped into small bits

50g baby corn, chopped into small bits

50g long green beans, chopped into small bits

1 tsp grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/2 cayenne pepper, seeded, finely chopped

2-3 tbsp rice wine or white wine

2 tbsp sesame oil

1 pinch white or black pepper

1 tbsp roasted sesame seed

1 handful chopped coriander

1 tbsp chopped scallions for cooking + 1 tbsp for garnishing

1L vegetable stock

20-25 wonton skins

extra-virgin olive oil

For the Sichuan sauce: 

1/3 cup soy sauce

2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

2 tsp Sichuan chili oil

1 tbsp sesame oil

2 tsp brown sugar

1 tbsp sesame oil

Method: Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl.  

Instructions: 

1.  Preheat a frying pan with 2-3 tbsp olive oil on medium heat, cook garlic, scallion, ginger, and cayenne pepper for 1 minute, then add baby bok choy, baby corn, green beans, soybean skins, and a splash of rice wine; cook 1-2 minutes until the alcohol evaporates.

2.  Add sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper as seasoning.  Cook 10 minutes until the moisture has evaporated.  Heat off.  Set aside.  

3.  There you have the fillings cooked already.  And now we make the wontons by wrapping the wontons with 1 tsp of the filling in the center of a wonton wrap.  Dap the outer edges of the wonton skin with water to seal the wontons by forming a small triangular shape.  Fold the two side corners with a small dap of water.  Go here for more folding techniques.  

4.  After the wontons are made, bring a pot of vegetable stocks to boil.  Add 8-10 wontons to the pot and when they start to flow within 1-2 minutes, use a strainer spoon to scoop them out of the soup.  Transfer the wontons to a large bowl.  Repeat the same step to cook the rest of the wontons.

5.  Mix the Sichuan sauce with a tiny bit of vegetable stock to balance the intensity of spiciness and taste.  

6.  Garnish with sesame seeds, chopped coriander, and scallions before serving.  

Sichuan-style wontons

Sichuan-style wontons

my hangover food - chinese chive dumplings :)

My mom got some mighty fresh Chinese chive from the wet market yesterday.  I woke up with a massive headache so I figure I should make something hearty to cure my hangover.  My dumplings are really simple and quick to make.  I didn't make the dumpling skin myself.  Instead, I got the pre-made dumpling wraps from the market.  This saves my time a whole lot.  I normally make a batch and store them in the freezer for my lazy days.  :) 

Servings: 30 dumplings

Preparation Time: 30-40 minutes

Cooking Time: 15-20 minutes

Ingredients: 

1 lb fresh Chinese chive, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped 

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 small bowl of chopped spring onions 

2 tbsp chopped fresh ginger

1 package cellophane noodles, soaked in cold water for 10 minutes

2 tbsp sesame oil

extra-virgin olive oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 egg

30 pre-made dumpling skins

Instructions: 

For the fillings-- 

1) Preheat a frying pan with oil, add garlic, some spring onion, and fresh ginger; cook for 3-5 minutes under medium low heat.  

2) Add the chopped carrots and cook for 3-4 minutes, then add the Chinese chive and cellophane noodles.  Cook under medium heat for 8-10 minutes.  Add sesame oil and soy sauce.  Season.  Turn off the fire.  

3) Transfer the filling to a large bowl for wrapping the dumplings.  To make the dumplings, simply spoon 1 tbsp filling to the center of the dumpling skin, use a knife to dip into the egg mixture and spread evenly around the edge of each dumpling, then start folding the dumpling from one corner to the other.  

4) Once the dumplings are all wrapped, fry the dumplings in a preheated frying pan with oil under medium heat.  Add 1/2 cup of water and lid on to allow the dumplings to be cooked fully.  Let them cook with the lid on for about 5-8 minutes. 

5) Transfer the dumplings to a plate and garnish before serving.  I pair my fried dumplings with a small bowl of udon in miso soup.  

For the dumpling dipping sauce: 

2 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp chili oil

1 tsp sesame oil 

1 tsp sesame seeds

1 tbsp rice vinegar

1/2 small bowl chopped spring onion

1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped

Instructions: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.