Homemade Dumplings

“Happiness is homemade”

– Unknown

It’s pretty exciting to make your own dumplings from scratch at home. You can be very creative with the dumpling fillings, from traditional pork, chicken, shrimp, cabbage, bok choy to things like kimchi, bamboo shoots, tomatoes, corns, eggs and diced fresh or dried shiitake mushrooms…

Since its Sunday and need to go back to work tomorrow, I am just gonna go with my personal favorite -easy breezy version: Pork mince and cabbage filling with ginger, garlic and diced shiitake mushrooms.

It takes time to make dumplings from scratch, from dumpling wrappers to putting dumpling fillings then to making intricate pleats into your dumplings, so that they look awesome and also keep them from falling apart during cooking.

Homemade dumplings

prep time: 2-3 hrs| cook time: 15-20 mins | makes approx 60

I followed Maangchi’s recipe to make the dumpling wrappers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound finely chopped cabbage
  • 1 pound ground pork shoulder, finely chopped into mince (tastes better to chop into mince, however you can also use minced pork)
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • Salt and white pepper, season to taste

Let’s begin:

  1. Combine cabbage and 2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl and toss to combine, then set aside for 10-15 minutes.  Transfer them to a fine mesh strainer and set it over the bowl.
  2. Best to take handfuls and wring out as much excess moisture as possible before mixing with rest of the ingredients. Discard the liquid.
  3. Combine pork, drained cabbage,  salt, white pepper, garlic, ginger, scallions,  sesame oil, soy sauce, egg and sugar in a large bowl and knead and turn with a big spoon or clean hands until the mixture starting to feel sticky.
  4. Set yourself up in a spacious work area with the dumpling wrappers, a little bowl of water. Grab a few happy helpers to do the dumpling folding (I grabbed my mum and my younger sister, better to put on some pleasant & relaxing music, as this going to take a while).
  5. Place about 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each wrapper. Dip your fingertip in the water and trace the outside edge of the wrapper with water. Working from one side, carefully seal the filling inside the wrapper by folding it into a crescent shape, pleating in edge as it meets the other.
  6. Transfer finished dumplings to the parchment lined baking sheet or clean plate with dusted flour so that they don’t stick together. Freeze dumplings for at least 30 minutes then transfer to a zipper-lock freezer bag for long-term storage.
  7. To cook: you can either boil, steam, pan-fried or steam fried them and be creative with your dipping sauce (I normally just combine vinegar, soy sauce, and chili oil).

Breakfast Tart

“Life isn’t perfect, but your breakfast can be! ”

It’s simple and delicious!

13532081_1763989450542600_1145980534_n

prep time: 5m| cook time: 12m,  makes 2

Ingredients:

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry
  • 1 handful of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 slices of Danish Streaky Bacon (Heller’s), cut into 3-4 strips
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 white button mushrooms (thinly sliced, optional)
  • 1 spring onion, cut diagonally
  • Black peppers to taste

Let’s begin:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees.

2. Cut the puff pastry into six 4-inch squares and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the edge with a thin coating of the egg.

3. Sprinkle cheese over the surface and to create a “well” for the egg.

4. Place the bacon & mushrooms around the egg, top with spring onions, and season with black pepper.

5. Bake the tart for approx 10-15 mins or until the puff pastry is golden brown and egg whites are set.

6. Remove from the oven and serve with salads

Baked Tofu Cheesecake

“Cake is the answer, no matter the question! ”

-Unknown

Tofu is one of my favorite things to eat because it’s healthy and so versatile.

Anyway, I bought this amazing Japanese dessert recipe book called 我♥和風洋菓子 (author: 福田淳子) ages ago.

The first time I saw this Baked Tofu Maple Sugar Cheesecake recipe (which was almost 8 years ago), I said to myself I had to try this recipe when I’m free. And yay, finally I’m doing this with the help of my bestie.

Since we don’t have any maple sugar and the baking pan we have is slightly bigger than what the recipe book recommends, so we’ve tweaked the recipe a little.

prep time: 20m| cook time: 3 hr, 50m (including refrigeration & cooling) | makes 12

Ingredients:

Base

  • 90g  plain sweet biscuits or wholewheat biscuits
  • 10g coconut sugar if using wholewheat biscuits
  • 30g butter, melted

Filling

  • 250g cream cheese
  • 75g  coconut sugar
  • 30g butter, melted
  • 250g extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml milk or soy milk
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

Let’s begin:

1. Process biscuits until fine. Add butter, process until combine. Press mixture over base of the baking pan. Refrigerate for 3o minutes.

2. Preheat oven to 170 degrees.

3. Beat cream cheese and mix with coconut sugar until smooth. Add butter, then tofu.

4. Beat in eggs, one at a time, then milk, lemon juice, vanilla extract and cornstarch, blend until smooth.

5. Pour filling into pan – in step 1.

6. Bake cheesecake in oven for 50 minutes, Remove from oven; cool 15 minutes or longer if require. Refrigerate 3 hours or overnight.

7. You could sprinkle some icing sugar on just before serving to complete the look.

Blueberry Pancakes

“You are a smart cookie. A wise chocolate cake. A brilliant pancake.”

-Roy Woodman

Sat morning, breakfast, healthy, best, perfection…You deserve coffee & pancakes! Period!

Processed with Rookie Cam

prep time: 15m| cook time: 25m | makes 2

Pancake recipe from previous post (added blueberries and icing sugar) – Homemade style pancakes

Side dishes ~ let’s begin: 

Roasted eggplant :

  • 1/2 large eggplant, cut into cubes.
  • Preheat oven to 325F/180C degrees, brush eggplants with olive oil and put in oven to grill until soft.
  • Add sesame dressing and spring onion to plate, season with salt and pepper if needed.

White button mushroom salad :

  • 6-7 white button mushrooms, cut into medium to thick slices.
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • Spring onion, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil / butter
  • Heat pan with medium to high heat, add oil/butter, garlic, then mushroom, stir till slightly golden brown on the edges of the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper. Add spring onion to plate.

Mumbling…

“Maybe you are so focused on how everyone else perceived you, that you no longer know who you are. And that’s too bad, cause if you could only see what I see.” 

Sometimes…I get bothered by many of the same things but perhaps for different reasons. Was it worth it?

No, not really, as most of the time, it’s almost like this was a foreseeable outcome. I thought I’ve made my peace with it – decided that it’s not worth it to me or it’s out of my control.

But if the signs were visible, the outcome was just so predictable, why does it still bother me when finally facing the music? It makes me wonder…

Could it be me? Was I just crossing my fingers to let it happen while hoping this time would be a different outcome?  

Cheese & Tomato Omelette

“We can do no great things – only small things with great love”

– Katherine Mansfield

Early morning, I listened to the sound of the rain…felt the cold breeze and smelt the freshness. Messy hair, omelette, coffee, a book and my iPod shuffle, can’t think of a better way to start the day than this.

Processed with Rookie Cam

prep time: 10m| cook time: 20m | makes 2

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Wattie’s supersweet corns (optional)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 slices of bacon, diced (optional)
  • 1 potato, diced (microwaved 2 minutes)
  • 1 small handful white button mushroom, thickly sliced
  • 1 small handful shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Let’s begin:

  1. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl with a pinch of salt and pepper. Beat well with a fork or  a pair of chopsticks.
  2. Heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in small frying pan on a low heat, add potato and bacon, cook 1 minutes; add tomato, cook 1 minutes or until soft, add corns and mushrooms, stirring frequently. Remove mixture from the pan.
  3. Heat half of the remaining oil in pan, pour half of the egg mixture and move the pan to spread it out evenly. When the omelette begins to cook and firm up, then spoon half the vegs+bacon mix over half the omelette, sprinkle with some shredded mozzarella cheese.
  4. Fold omelette over the mix, leave for about 30 – 50 seconds, or  cook to your liking.
  5. Loosen omelette with a spatula and carefully slide omelette on to a plate. Season with black pepper to taste. Repeat procedures for the rest of the mix. Served with a salad.