Chinese New Year

February 3, 2011

Today is Chinese New Year. My family loves Chinese food, but I find that takeout is never cheap because we end up getting so much food (so many items! “I’ll take an order of this and an order of that and a quart of this…”). It’s also never healthy. So, over the years, it has evolved that I make dinner for Chinese New Year. I love making it, but there’s a lot of cook time involved, especially if you go nuts and make all the things I did.

Every year I try to make something new. Last year I made egg drop soup (which is amazingly easy – chicken broth, eggs, and lemon juice). This year, I made steamed BBQ buns. This is one of our dim sum favorites and I was excited to try it myself. This is adapted from a recipe I found in Cooking Light 3 years ago and have held onto. The Cooking Light recipe uses pork, I use beef.

1 cup warm water
3 tbsp sugar
1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
3 1/4 cups flour
3 tbsp canola oil
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
Combine water, sugar and yeast in a bowl and let stand for 5 minutes. Add flour, oil, and salt and stir until it forms dough. Then turn it out and knead it until it is smooth and elastic. This took only a couple of minutes for me. Place in a greased bowl, cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for an hour or until doubled.

Punch the dough down and let it rest for 5 minutes. Knead in the baking powder and let it rest 5 minutes. Separate the dough into 10 sections.

Fried Rice

3/4 lb sirloin, cooked until rare and thinly sliced, then diced
3 sliced green onions
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari (I always use tamari)
1 1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp salt
Mix ingredients together while the dough is rising and allow to sit.

When the dough is ready, roll each piece out to about a 5 inch round. Place 1/10th of the filling in the center. Gather the side and pinch together, twisting slightly.

You’re supposed to cook these in a bamboo steamer, but I don’t have one, so

Shrimp Lo Mein

I used a big saute pan, which I filled with water which I brought to a boil. I set the buns on a round pizza pan the kind with holes in it (put them on seam side down with a couple of inches between them). I covered it tightly with foil and set it on the saute pan. I allowed it to steam for 15 min, then I allowed it to rest for about 5 minutes. They were done perfectly. The dough is fluffy and light and the meat inside is rich and flavorful. These were a huge hit and I’ll probably have to make them every year!

The other dishes on the table last night were:
Fried rice: you can see my usual recipe here, this time I used zucchini, carrot, savoy cabbage, green onion, white onion, and bean sprouts


Shrimp lo mein: I boil buckwheat soba noodles with 1 head of chopped broccoli, then quickly cook 2 heads of baby bok choy with sesame oil and teriyaki sauce. I add the noodles and broccoli and about 1/2 lb of shrimp. I add more teriyaki and some tamari and stir until the shrimp are done

Edamame: I boil a bag of frozen edamame about 4 minutes, drain and cool and sprinkle with kosher or sea salt

Potstickers: I had some in the freezer fortunately, from the last time I made them. I always make these with ground turkey. I mixed up a dipping sauce of tamari, sweet and sour sauce, hoisin, ginger, green onions, and water.

We had green tea and I bought a box of fortune cookies for dessert. I wanted to make sesame chicken, but I was out of chicken!

Happy New Year!

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Asian Meal

July 9, 2009

Part of what I’m trying to do with this project is to channel Martha. It’s one thing to do recipes and projects created by MSLO, but another to find a way to live Martha in your own life with your own ideas. I feel as though the longer I work on this project, the more Martha I become.

bok choy saladLast night I decided to make the Bok Choy Salad from July Martha Stewart Living. This was super simple – chop up some bok choy, add cashews and mix up a very quick Asian dressing. But what to have with it?

I was in the mood for potstickers, so I sniffed around Martha’s site to look for a recipe. I didn’t see one that met my needs, so I made my own. I defrosted some ground turkey and mixed in chopped garlic and scallions and grated ginger and added tamari sauce. I had some wonton wrappers in the freezer so I did a quick defrost. They were apotstickers bit misshapen  – not round or oval, but a weird shape from being bounced around in the freezer, so I made do. Instead of your typical half moon potsticker, I smushed them up into little beggar’s purses and cooked them. I love making potstickers – sear the bottom, then add water and cover it so the steam cooks them. Very fun and quick.

I also whipped up a lo mein dish. I had a chunk of leftover chicken and also some leftover broccoli from the composed salad from the day before. I boiled lo meinsome soba noodles and added those ingredients as well as some scallion and bean sprouts. I had a bottle of stir fry sauce (Martha would be horrified) and dumped that on.

This was a very quick meal. The bok choy salad was ok, but I’m giving it a thumbs up because it was nice to have some raw veggies in an Asian meal. The lo mein was good and very fast since everything was already pre-cooked. The potstickers were heaven. You would never guess they were made with turkey and they had a wonderful ginger and garlic flavor. The bottom were crunchy and the tops soft. Simply perfect!

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