Tag Archives: Weekly Recipes

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!

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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!

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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.

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.

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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.

Kimchi Fried Rice + Yogurt Soju

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“I followed my heart and it led me into the fridge” 

– unknown 

Oh the joy of long weekend. It feels so good to take a quick afternoon nap and prepare simple dinner in pajamas. Simple ingredients, 15 minutes job, healthy-ish, delicious and sinfully addictive.
Kimchi Fried Rice

Yogurt Soju – prep time: 1m| cook time: n/a | makes 2

Ingredients:

  • Korean Soju
  • Asian Yogurt drink
  • Sprite

* Use 200ml Korean soju, 200ml asian yogurt drink, 200ml Sprite, pour all ingredients into shaker with ice, to chill.

Kimchi Fried Rice – prep time: 5m| cook time: 15m | makes 2

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cups kimchi, chopped
  • 1/3 kimchi sauce
  • 1 pound pork tenderloin or bacon, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper paste (gochujang)
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 2 cups cool cooked white rice, preferably a day old
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 eggs, sunnyside up
  • Sesame seasoned seaweed, for garnish

Let’s begin:

  1. Heat sesame oil in a wok or a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic, a pinch of salt, then pork tenderloin and cook (or just garlic and bacon) , stirring occasionally, until cooked through.
  2. Remove meat from pan, turn the heat to high and add the kimchi and cook for 2 or 3 minutes until it begins to crisp on the edges.
  3. Add the red pepper paste and rice and stir thoroughly to combine. Cook until the rice is warmed through and evenly mixed in with the kimchi. Then add the scallions and meats to rice and cook just until fragrant, about 30 – 40 seconds. Remove from heat, then divide mixture into 2 plates.
  4. In a small pan, fry both eggs and cook until the whites have set. When each egg is done, use a spatula to set each serving with a sunnyside up egg. Garnish with sesame seasoned seaweed and pepper, serve immediately.

Eggplant Salad with Field Mushrooms

“Life is a kitchen, put on your prettiest apron & whip up something incredible” 

-anonymous

My lunch break is at awkward time slot, on top of that, I’m still trying to settle in my new role and adjust to the 30 mins lunch break instead of an hour, but fortunately a bunch of lovely people also share the same lunch break as me, and they’ve been so generously and shared their lunches with me in the last couple weeks: 1) my lunch portion looks too small, they worried that I might not eat enough; 2) they are just so fabulous, sharing, caring and love feeding people.

I’ve decided to bring a plate to show my gratitude. The only thing is that I love meats and I love cooking proteins, and one of these lovely people is a vegetarian… no problem, there is a will there is a way!  Let’s do a test run 🙂

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

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 1 inch thick slices
  • 350g baby potatoes, halved
  • 200g baby spinach
  • 1 red pepper, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • 4 portobello mushroom caps
  • 35g snowpeas
  • Fresh lemon, halved
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, season to taste
  • 1/2 pound feta cheese, cubed
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh green chili, finely chopped (optional)
  • 1 pinch of white sesame (optional)
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons Japanese Wafu salad dressing (for convenience, I bought it from Japan-mart)

Let’s begin:

  1. Preheat oven to 325F/180C degrees, brush eggplants with olive oil and put in oven to grill until soft.
  2. In a large frying pan, put in garlic, green chilies, then add potatoes and red peppers, cook slowly until they are nice and soft (to shorten the cook time, could put potatoes into microwave for 1 or 2 mins, then cook with medium heat on frying pan to brown the potatoes). Remove potatoes from pan and put peppers into oven, mixed with eggplants.
  3. In the same frying pan, put in mushroom caps, add salt and pepper, cook until soft. Remove from pan.
  4. Put eggplants, red peppers into the frying pan with medium heat, season with salt and pepper, add baby spinach and white sesame. Remove from heat, as the heat from the eggplants and peppers will continue to cook the baby spinach.
  5. Plating: put potatoes on the bottom of the plate, put eggplants, spinach, red pepper and feta in the middle, then mushrooms caps top with some snowpeas.
  6. Squeeze lemon juice and add dressing to the salad mixtures, season with more salt and pepper if needed.