Some of my church friends told me how much they like my dumpling. Thus, if I have time to cook for church potluck, dumpling will definitely become one of my top choices. Making dumpling if not hard at all (since I don't have to make the wraps), and I can put whatever I want for the filling. My friend told me that she tried to make dumpling one day and it cost a fortune since she had to buy every single ingredients, including a bottle of sesame oil, soy sauce, oyster sauce, etc. I told her that I had the same problem when I cooked american food. I had to buy jar of mayonnaise, mustard or sour cream then after that I didn't know what to do with the rest. The time I remembered it was when I cleaned my fridge, and they were expired. Haha... I guess every kitchen has its own must-have list.
When I was little, pork dumpling was the most bought stuff from the church' cafeteria. Mom had to reserve some or pay in advance before we went to church service or we would have dumplingless Sunday! Haha.. yes, it's that good. The hot sauce was good too. I remember when one day there were only three or something left from the cafeteria, and six of us (dad, mom, grandma, sisters and I) had to share those. Mom fed dad while he was driving home from church, and he took the whole dumpling with one bite! We looked at each other then laughed. I guess dad doesn't need to follow the rule, he has the ultimate decision. Haha... I hope they still have that dumpling sold at my church cafeteria when I go home one day.
Fall is not officially over yet, but the temperature has often reached below freezing. Brrr... Tennessee mild winter is obviously still too cold for me. Five years hasn't make me get used to the coldness, and I don't think I will ever do. Three layers of clothing, socks and blanket are great faithful friends of mine for these days. How could anyone become comfortable with this weather ?!
Soon after got freed from school busyness, hubby and I filled up our kitchen cabinet with winter supplies. There's some differences for food we eat from cold weather to the hot ones. For instance hot Quaker-oatmeal breakfast replaces cold wheat-grain cereal or hot choco replaces ice cream. Any kind of soup, hot green tea and hot ginger is a must! Better than grumbling about the weather, we keep our body producing heat by eating and drinking *giggle
It was 20-ish' F outside, and my tall friend, Winny was about to come over to my house. I had promised to cook for her, since one day she asked why Chinese food always contains MSG and greasy. I don't blame her, that's the kind of americanized Chinese food that we often find here. I told her that sometime I would cook for her, and hopefully she would change her view. Umm...if my Indonesianized Chinese cooking counts
I was glad I chose to cook this ginger-riched food. Winny just got her feet wet from a site visit for her work, and she was freezing. The food was simple, quick to prepare, and perfect for a cold day. It was funny that not long after I finished cooking, the electricity went out and the room was getting cold and colder. We went to campus afterward
The lunch combo contained: Hainanese Rice
Ingredients: 3 cups rice, wash
4.5 cup chicken broth
5 minced garlic
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 cm crushed fresh ginger
1 tsp soy sauce
Sautee garlic and ginger with vegetable for a few second. Mix all ingredients to a rice cooker and cook like cooking usual steamed rice. Read More
My grandparents from mom's side were modest couple who emphasized their kids to love and respect each other and other people. By that means avoid confrontations especially ones have anything to do with money and food. No wonder family bound in my mom's family is so tight. Mom has three brothers and is spoiled by them. We called them big, middle and little aunts and uncles. When I was born, our family and my little uncle's family lived together with my grandparents and my great grandma. Little aunt, who hadn't had kid yet at that time, took care of me since then. Mom likes to say that I picked up some of my aunt's behavior, when mom sees me doing something similar to what my aunt does.
My dearest little aunt, uncle and their kids are so close to my heart, since we do too much things together. I leaved home since college, but their involvement in my life is can't be stopped by distance. They call me once in a while, on regular days, on my birthdays, when I was sick, sad, in trouble, and got bitten by dog. I often laugh at the opposite characters they have toward each other. Little aunt is very organized and meticulous, while my uncle is otherwise. Their caring to everyone (even to people they just met) is their common ground that has made the world more brightened.
Our big family likes to have party. I can't count how many party there is in one year. We just simply like to get together and catch up with each other's update. Too bad I am far from them now When we were little, little aunt made corn soup and puding (agar-agar) on almost every party. Her's used crab, crab's egg, ayam kampung (chicken), sometimes asparagus. When my sister started cooking, she shared her recipe to my sister. Her's is good too. Nonetheless, whenever I cook corn soup, I always remember those days, on birthday parties. It was when my cousins and I played with their little pedal cars, when we fed my cousin's geese, when we ate noodle from Prima restaurant, when our big uncle pray for the birthday person, or when we sang happy birthday then we exclaimed "hip hip hooray!" loudly at the end.
Today was the first snow in our city. I felt like cooking corn soup. The non elaborate one Again, I don't have the exact measurement.
Making dumpling reminds me of my grandma when she taught me how to cook this food sometimes in my high school year. She let me do the whole steps and kept watching and assisting me through the whole process. What I remember the most is that she told me to taste the dough before wrapping it. Whatever meat we used at that time, it was raw and salmonella infection wasn't in our dictionary. Yet I just couldn't do that part. She dip her pointy finger in the dough, licked it, spit, then told me what spice I needed to put on the dough. Now everytime I made dumpling, before wrapping I take one scoop of the dough and cook it in boiling water. When the taste is good, I continue with wrapping, if not, I will add whatever is needed.
Dumpling is general term for anything wrapped. That includes what people called shiumai, jiaozi, kuo tie, wonton, or swekiau. I don't really know what the essential difference. I think shiumai has open top and steamed. Kuo tie is meat/vegie wrapped with pleated edge and it's fried to brown the bottom before it's cooked. Wonton and swekiau is usually boiled. My favorite one is hak kau because I don't have to take out my big steamer Other than that, sesame oil oil that is used to brown the bottom and rice wine water that is used to "steam" the wraps makes the wrap rich in flavor.
For this kind of recipe, I do not have measurement of the ingredients. Grandma always told me to use my feeling for cooking Chicken Dumpling
Mix: Ground chicken
Chopped shiitake mushroom
Chopped green onion
Ginger juice (put mince ginger in boiling water, squeeze the ginger, use the water) Sesame oil
Soy sauce Salt
Mix: Mashed firm tofu
Chopped shiitake mushroom
Chopped nappa cabbage
Chopped green onion
Ginger juice (put mince ginger in boiling water, squeeze the ginger, use the water)
Put a small portion (about 1 tablespoon) of the filling on the middle of each wrapper. Fold the dough over the filling into a half moon shape and pinch the edges to seal. Use water to seal the sides.
Place dumplings in a frying pan with 2-3 tablespoons of sesame oil. Heat on high and fry for a few minutes until bottoms are brown. Add a spoon of Chinese cooking wine and 1/2 cup (120 ml) water, cover and put the heat to low. Let the dumplings cook until the meat cooked well then remove from heat and serve. Dumplings are soft when they just come out from the pan (especially vegie dumpling). They will get firmer when cold.
I asked my Chinese friend to teach me cooking Chinese food since I really want to learn cooking the 'real' Chinese food since I know my Chinese food has been Indonesianized. She told me that most young people in China do not cook. Most food is readily available and many are made by big factories. I think that's sad because young Chinese generation can discontinue their family recipe that's inherited from previous generation.
Here in the US too, frozen Chinese food with attracting wrapper is waiting in the cooler for people to buy. The taste can be better than the home made one, and easy and quick to make. If I really do not have time to cook, I may try some of them, but for now I still prefer make time to cook from scratch. Cooking is so fun. It's an art too. Don't you think?
Baozi or steamed bun is on the my food-that-I-will-eat-even-when-I-am-full list. People back home call it bakpao. On my first year in the US, I'd tried several recipes to make baozi, but no one worked. I was happy when visited our cousin in CA. I asked a restaurant lady in Chinatown SF if she had baozi. Since many of them can't speak English, I thought at least the word baozi could ring their hearing. But nope! I've repeated several times, seemed like no one knew what I meant.
Mantou brings back sceneries when I was in middle school. That time my sisters and I were in love with 5-o'clock-Hong Kong TV series on TV3. We liked to asked our helper to toast mantou with margarine. I still remember the look and the taste vividly. In general, we, three sisters have same favorite foods. My oldest sister liked to try new food, my a-year-older sister and I were avid followers.
I'd been wanting to bake mooncake since Mooncake festival last September, but it never happened because of my school activities. Tomorrow is Martin Luther King day - I have no school. My Chinese new year spirit encourage me to give a try some new recipe, including mooncake recipe, although it's not even near to Mooncake festival.
Usually mooncake has salty-egg-yolk filling. But salty egg is expensive and high cholesterol, so I used black bean and almond filling.
They don't look as good as the ones that dad usually bought for us. Maybe because I don't have mooncake mould; and use kue ku mould instead. Although the recipe tells to serve the cake 3 days after baking to get the best result, I already tasted some, and it was good.