CHINESE

Pot Stickers

Pot Stickers

Ingredients

Filling

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt plus 1 teaspoon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (optional)
  • 3/4 cup sliced bok choy stalks (1/4-inch-wide pieces)
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed sliced bok choy leaves (1/4-inch-wide pieces)
  • 14 ounces ground pork
  • 1/3 cup finely sliced scallions
  • 2 teaspoons peeled and grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons white rice wine
  • 1 medium egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • Pinch of white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

Dough

  • 2 cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
  • 6 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 cup water

Preparation

1. To make the filling, first water blanch the bok choy. In a pot, bring the water to a boil over high heat. Add the 1 tablespoon salt and the baking soda (if using). When the water returns to a boil, add the bok choy stalks and allow the water to return to a boil. Add the bok choy leaves and blanch for 1 minute, or until the leaves turn bright green. Immediately turn off the heat. Run cold water into the pot, then drain off the water. Repeat.

2. In a large bowl, place the bok choy, the 1 teaspoon salt, and all of the remaining filling ingredients. Using a wooden spoon or 2 pairs of wooden chopsticks, mix the ingredients together, stirring them in one direction. Stirring in this way ensures the mixture will become a cohesive filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or up to overnight. The longer it rests, the easier it will be to work with.

3. To make the dough: In a large bowl, place the flour and make a well in the center. Gradually add the water to the well, and use your fingers to combine it with the flour until it is absorbed and a firm dough forms. If the dough is too dry, add a little more water. Knead the dough in the bowl for about 15 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rest for 1 1/2 hours.

4. Dust a work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Work with 1 piece at a time, and keep the others covered with the damp cloth. Using your palms, roll into a log 12 inches long. Cut crosswise into 12 equal pieces. Using a small rolling pin, roll out each piece into a 3-inch round. Keep the work surface well dusted with flour as you work.

5. Place 1 round on the palm of one hand, place 1 tablespoon of the filling on the center, and fold the round into a half-moon. Using the thumb and forefinger of the other hand pleat the seam closed, making from 5 to 7 pleats. Repeat to form more dumplings until all of the rounds are used. Cover the dumplings with plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out, then repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough in two batches to make a total of 36 dumplings.

6. In a cast-iron frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil over high heat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, turn off the heat and place 18 of the dumplings in the pan. Turn on the heat to medium and allow the dumplings to cook for 3 minutes. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into the pan and allow the dumplings to cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until the water evaporates. Reduce the heat to low and allow the dumplings to cook for about 2 minutes, or until they are golden brown on the bottom and the skins are translucent on top. To ensure the dumplings cook evenly, move the pan back and forth on the burner to distribute the heat evenly and prevent sticking.

7. Remove to a heated dish and serve. Because these dumplings are best eaten hot, serve in batches.

Notes:

These dumplings can be frozen uncooked for up to 6 weeks. Dust them liberally with flour to prevent sticking, then stack them neatly, separating the layers with sheets of waxed paper. Next, wrap them in a double layer of plastic wrap, and then wrap again in heavy-duty aluminum foil and slip into the freezer. To cook them, thaw and allow to come to room temperature, then cook as directed.

These dumplings are eaten with a ginger-vinegar dipping sauce that is as traditional as they are. In a bowl, mix together 1/3 cup red rice wine vinegar, 1/4 cup peeled and finely shredded ginger. Let stand for 30 minutes before use. Then serve the sauce in a common bowl, from which each diner can spoon the sauce over a dumpling. Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Beef Pot Stickers

Beef Pot Stickers

Ingredients

For dough

  • 1 3/4 to 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup boiling-hot water

For filling

  • 1/4 lb ground beef chuck (1/2 cup)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese sweet bean paste
  • 2 cups finely chopped yellow or green garlic chives (6 oz)

For panfrying

  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • Special equipment: a 6-inch (3/4-inch-diameter) rolling pin or dowel

Preparation

Make dough:
Put 1 3/4 cups flour in a large bowl, then add boiling-hot water, stirring with a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. When just cool enough to handle, turn out dough (including any loose flour) onto a work surface and knead, incorporating some of remaining 1/4 cup flour if dough is sticky, until smooth, about 5 minutes.

Form into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes and up to 30.

Make filling while dough stands:
Stir together beef, soy sauce, oils, ginger, and bean paste in a medium bowl, then stir in chives.

Form and fry dumplings:
Form dough into a log (24 inches long and about 1 inch wide), then cut dough crosswise into 24 (1-inch-wide) pieces. Put 6 pieces, cut sides down, on a lightly floured surface (keep remaining pieces loosely covered with plastic wrap) and flatten slightly with your hand. Roll out each flattened piece into a 3 1/4-inch round with lightly floured rolling pin. Put a level tablespoon of filling in center of each round, then brush or dab halfway around edge with a little water and fold in half, pressing edges together to seal and leaving a small opening at each end of semicircle. Stand each dumpling, sealed edge up, on a wax-paper-lined tray, then press dumplings slightly onto 1 side so more of dumpling touches tray. Make more dumplings in same manner.

Heat oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot, then remove from heat and arrange dumplings in a tight circular pattern standing up in oil (they should touch one another). Cook, uncovered, over moderate heat until oil sizzles, then drizzle warm water (1/3 cup) over pot stickers and cook, covered, until bottoms are browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons more water if skillet looks dry before bottoms are browned.

Remove lid and cook, shaking skillet to loosen pot stickers, until steam dissipates, 1 to 2 minutes. Invert a large plate with a rim over skillet. Using pot holders, hold plate and skillet together and invert skillet. Remove skillet and serve pot stickers warm.

Buddha's Delight

Buddha’s Delight

Ingredients

  • 12 large dried black mushrooms (3 oz)
  • 5 cups boiling-hot water plus additional for soaking bean curd skins
  • 2 dried bean curd skins (2 oz total)
  • 1/2 lb fresh or thawed frozen large bamboo shoots
  • 2 to 3 oz very thin bean thread noodles (2 small skeins; also known as cellophane, glass, or mung bean noodles)
  • 1 (1/2-lb) firm fresh tofu cake, or 1/2 cake from a 14- to 16-oz package, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons peanut or vegetable oil
  • 1 (1/2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and very thinly sliced 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peeled shelled fresh or frozen ginkgo nuts
  • 1/3 cup vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce (preferably Pearl River Bridge brand)
  • 1/4 cup Chinese rice wine (preferably Shaoxing) or medium-dry Sherry
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 cups fresh soybean sprouts (1/4 lb)
  • 2 romaine hearts, trimmed and quartered lengthwise, then cut into 2-inch pieces (6 cups)

Preparation

Soak mushrooms in 5 cups boiling-hot water in a bowl, keeping them submerged with a small plate and turning mushrooms over occasionally, until softened and cool enough to handle, about 30 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid from caps back into bowl and reserve liquid, then cut out and discard stems from mushrooms. Cut caps into 1-inch wedges.

While mushrooms soak, carefully break bean curd skins in half crosswise, then halve each portion crosswise again. Transfer to a bowl, then add enough boiling-hot water to cover and soak, turning occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes.

If using fresh bamboo, trim bottoms of shoots, then halve shoots lengthwise with a sharp heavy knife. Pull off and discard leaves from shoots, then remove any blemishes with a sharp paring knife (don’t worry about natural dotted pattern along base of shoots).

Cover fresh or frozen bamboo with cold water by 1 inch in a 2-quart saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil 2 minutes, then drain in a colander and rinse under cold water. Repeat boiling and rinsing, then arrange bamboo halves, cut sides down, on a cutting board and cut bamboo lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Soak noodles in cold water to cover until softened, about 5 minutes, then drain in colander and transfer to a bowl.

Drain bean curd skins in colander. When cool enough to handle, squeeze dry and cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces.

Halve tofu lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Heat oil in a 5- to 6-quart wide heavy pot over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add mushrooms, bean curd skins, bamboo, and ginkgo nuts and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine, and sugar and simmer 1 minute. Add reserved mushroom-soaking liquid and bring to a boil. Gently stir in tofu and soybean sprouts, then reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 15 minutes. Gently stir in noodles and simmer, covered, 5 minutes. Add romaine hearts (pot will be full) and turn to coat, then simmer, covered, until romaine is tender, about 5 minutes.

Cherries in the Snow

Cherries in the Snow

(traditional Chinese almond milk gelatin dessert)

 

For almond snow gelatin

  • Vegetable oil for greasing baking dish
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-oz envelope)
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 cup 1% or skim milk
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract

For cherries in Port

  • 1/3 cup dried cherries (2 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup Ruby Port

Preparation

Make almond snow gelatin:
Lightly oil an 8-inch square glass baking dish with vegetable oil, wiping out any excess with a paper towel.

Sprinkle gelatin over water in a large heatproof bowl to soften 1 minute.

Bring milk and sugar to a boil in a 1-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then remove from heat and whisk into gelatin mixture. Add almond extract and whisk briskly until milk is foamy, about 5 minutes.

Pour into baking dish and freeze 15 minutes (to set foam), then chill, uncovered, in refrigerator until firm, at least 45 minutes.

Make cherries in Port:
Simmer cherries, sugar, and Port in cleaned 1-quart heavy saucepan, uncovered, until reduced to about 1/2 cup, about 10 minutes. Set pan in a bowl of ice and cold water and chill in refrigerator until syrupy, about 15 minutes.

Assemble desserts:
Using a knife dipped in hot water, cut gelatin into 1-inch squares. Remove squares from dish with a spatula and divide, frothy sides up, among 6 chilled plates. Spoon cherries in Port over squares.

Cooks’ notes:

Gelatin can be chilled up to 2 days ahead (cover after 45 minutes).

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Ingredients

For fried wontons (optional)

  • 20 square wonton wrappers, thawed if frozen
  • About 2 1/2 cups vegetable oil

For salad

  • 1/2 pound snow peas, trimmed 1 lb Napa cabbage, cored, then cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-wide strips (about 6 cups)
  • 1 (1-lb) head of romaine, torn into bite-size pieces (about 8 cups)
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken (from a 2 1/2-lb rotisserie chicken)
  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted

Preparation

Make fried wontons:
Cut wonton wrappers into 1/2-inch-wide strips and separate on paper towels.

Heat 3/4 inch oil in a wide 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat until it registers 350°F on thermometer. Fry strips, 5 or 6 at a time, gently turning over once with a slotted spoon, until just golden, 15 to 30 seconds per batch (some strips will fold and curl). Transfer to paper towels to drain, then season with salt.

Make salad:
Cook snow peas in a 4-quart pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 1 1/2 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain in a colander and pat dry. Cut diagonally into 1-inch-wide pieces and put in a large bowl with cabbage and romaine.

Whisk together soy sauce, lemon juice, sugar, vinegar, salt, and pepper in a small bowl, then add sesame oil and vegetable oil in a slow stream, whisking until sugar is dissolved and dressing is combined well. Toss chicken and scallions with 1/3 cup of dressing in another large bowl. Whisk remaining dressing (it will separate), then add cabbage mixture, cilantro, almonds, and sesame seeds to chicken and toss with enough remaining dressing to coat. Sprinkle with wontons (if using).

Cooks’ note: Wontons can be fried 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then kept in an airtight container at room temperature.

Chinese Hot-and-Sour Soup

Chinese Hot-and-Sour Soup

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces boneless pork loin, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips (2/3 cup)
  • 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce*
  • 4 small Chinese dried black mushrooms*
  • 12 small dried tree ear mushrooms*
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 12 dried lily buds* (sometimes called golden needles)
  • 1/2 cup canned sliced bamboo shoots*, cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch-wide strips (from an 8-oz can)
  • 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 4 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 to 4 oz firm tofu (about a quarter of a block), rinsed and drained, then cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil*
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion greens
  • 2 tablespoons fresh whole cilantro leaves

Preparation

Toss pork with dark soy sauce in a bowl until pork is well coated.

Soak black and tree ear mushrooms in 3 cups boiling-hot water in another bowl (water should cover mushrooms), turning over black mushrooms occasionally, until softened, about 30 minutes. (Tree ears will expand significantly.) Cut out and discard stems from black mushrooms, then squeeze excess liquid from caps into bowl and thinly slice caps. Remove tree ears from bowl, reserving liquid, and trim off any hard nubs. If large, cut tree ears into bite-size pieces. Stir together 1/4 cup mushroom-soaking liquid (discard remainder) with cornstarch in a small bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, soak lily buds in about 1 cup warm water until softened, about 20 minutes, then drain. Trim off tough tips of lily buds. Cut lily buds in half crosswise, then tear each half lengthwise into 2 or 3 shreds.

Cover bamboo shoots with cold water by 2 inches in a small saucepan, then bring just to a boil (to remove bitterness) and drain in a sieve.

Stir together vinegars, light soy sauce, sugar, and salt in another small bowl.

Heat a wok over high heat until a bead of water vaporizes within 1 to 2 seconds of contact. Pour peanut oil down side of wok, then swirl oil, tilting wok to coat sides. Add pork and stir-fry until meat just changes color, about 1 minute, then add black mushrooms, tree ears, lily buds, and bamboo shoots and stir-fry 1 minute.

Add broth and bring to a boil, then add tofu. Return to a boil and add vinegar mixture. Stir cornstarch mixture, then add to broth and return to a boil, stirring. (Liquid will thicken.) Reduce heat to moderate and simmer 1 minute.

Beat eggs with a fork and add a few drops of sesame oil. Add eggs to soup in a thin stream, stirring slowly in one direction with a spoon. Stir in white pepper, then drizzle in remaining sesame oil and divide among 6 to 8 bowls. Sprinkle with scallions and cilantro before serving.

Chocolate Kumquat Spring Rolls

Chocolate Kumquat Spring Rolls

Ingredients

  • 5 kumquats, cut into 1/4-inch slices and seeded, juices reserved
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon ( 4 1/2 ounces/127 grams) heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 8 1/4 ounces (233 grams) bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • Thirty-six 5-inch square spring roll wrappers
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil for deep-frying

Preparation

1. Put the kumquat slices and their juices into a small saucepan, add the cream and salt, and warm over medium heat just until bubbles form around the edges of the pan. Remove from the heat.

2. Put the chocolate into the bowl of a food processor and pour the hot kumquat cream over it. Let sit for 2 minutes, then process until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. Add the egg yolk, Grand Marnier, and butter and process to combine.

3. Line an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap. Pour the chocolate mixture into the pan and transfer to the freezer. Freeze, uncovered, until completely hard.

4. Unmold the chocolate bar and peel off the plastic wrap. Cut the bar lengthwise in half, then cut each half crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. You should have 36 chocolate bars.

5. Lightly brush the entire surface of a spring roll wrapper with a bit of the beaten egg. Turn the wrapper so that you see a diamond, and lay a chocolate bar across the end closest to you so that the ends of the bar meet the edges of the wrapper to form a triangle. Take the corner of the wrapper closest to you and wrap it around the chocolate, then roll the chocolate away from you one full rotation. Tightly fold the sides in toward the center, then continue to roll up to the end of the wrapper, making sure the end is tightly sealed. Set on a baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and chocolate. Freeze the spring rolls for at least 10 minutes or up to 2 days; take them out only when you are ready to fry them.

6. Fill a saucepan with oil to a depth of 2 inches and heat to 350°F. When the oil is ready (a tiny pinch of flour will sizzle), add a few spring rolls, taking care to not crowd the pan, and cook, turning occasionally and adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain 350°F, until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Drain on paper towels and cook the remaining rolls. Serve warm.

Duck Pizza with Hoisin and Scallions

Duck Pizza with Hoisin and Scallions

Ingredients

  • 1 duck (or chicken) breast, fat trimmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound whole-wheat pizza dough
  • 3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds

Preparation

Heat oven to 400°F. Sprinkle duck with five-spice powder, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a medium skillet over high heat. Cook duck until browned, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer skillet to oven; bake duck until outside is cooked but inside is rare, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool 4 to 5 minutes. Thinly slice on the diagonal into 8 pieces, then cut each in half. Set aside. Form dough into 8 even balls, then flatten to form 3-inch disks and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Spread hoisin sauce on crusts with a pastry brush. Top with spinach, cheese, bell pepper and duck. Bake until cheese is melted and bubbly, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove and garnish with scallions and sesame seeds.

Eight-Treasure Puddings

Eight-Treasure Puddings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 cups Chinese or Japanese short-grain sticky (“sweet”) rice
  • 1 teaspoon peanut or vegetable oil plus additional for greasing
  • 3 1/2 cups cold water
  • 1/2 cup Chinese rock sugar pieces
  • 1/3 cup dried pitted Chinese jujubes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-thick strips
  • 8 pitted prunes, quartered (1/3 cup)
  • 8 large dried apricots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick strips (1/3 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons dried sour cherries
  • 3 tablespoons diced (1/4 inch) candied orange peel
  • 8 walnut halves
  • 8 teaspoons canned sweet red beans or sweet red-bean paste (from a 14- to 16-oz can)
  • Special equipment: a 9-inch round cake pan (2 inches deep); 8 (6- to 8-oz) custard cups or heatproof bowls; a 17- by 12- by 2 1/2-inch roasting pan; heavy-duty foil

Preparation

Rinse rice in a large sieve under cold running water until water runs clear, then drain. Combine rice, oil, and 2 cups cold water in cake pan.

Put 1/2 inch of water in a 12-inch-wide pot or deep skillet. Set a metal rack (or a few metal cookie cutters) in bottom of pot, then set cake pan (with rice) on rack and bring water to a boil. Cover pot and steam over high heat, checking water level occasionally and adding more water if necessary, until rice is cooked, about 40 minutes. Carefully remove pan and cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, bring remaining 1 1/2 cups cold water to a boil in a 2-quart heavy saucepan with rock sugar, jujubes, prunes, apricots, cherries, and orange peel, then reduce heat and simmer, covered, until fruit is very soft and liquid is reduced to 3/4 cup, about 45 minutes. Stir in walnuts and simmer 1 minute. Immediately drain in a medium-mesh sieve set over a bowl, reserving syrup and fruit separately. Remove walnuts from fruit and set aside.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. 3Lightly oil custard cups and a 1/3-cup measure. Put 1 walnut half in bottom of each cup, then spoon 2 tablespoons mixed fruit (per cup) on top, spreading evenly around bottom of each cup. Drizzle 1 teaspoon reserved fruit syrup over fruit in each cup, then press 1/3 cup rice (per cup) on top of fruit with dampened fingertips. Using your fingertips or back of a small spoon, make a small indentation in rice and fill with 1 teaspoon red beans (per cup), leaving at least a 1/2-inch border of rice. Drizzle 1 teaspoon fruit syrup over each rice pudding, then cover with 2 tablespoons rice (dip measuring spoon in water before measuring rice to prevent sticking). Using a small piece of plastic wrap, press rice in cups to flatten surface. Discard wrap.

Arrange cups in roasting pan. Oil a sheet of heavy-duty foil, then cover pan with foil (oiled side down) and seal tightly. Bake in a water bath 1 hour, then let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge of each cup to loosen rice, then invert each pudding onto a dish. Drizzle with remaining fruit syrup.

Moo-Shu Pork

Moo-Shu Pork

Ingredients

For pancake dough:

  • 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 12 ounces pork butt, trimmed and thinly sliced across grain
  • 4 tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons Shaohsing rice wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 ounce dried Chinese black mushrooms (also known as black fungus or wood ear mushrooms; about 2/3 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

To cook pancakes:

  • 1 tablespoon Asian toasted-sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil

To cook pork:

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 (1/4-inch) piece fresh ginger, minced (about 1 teaspoon)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 8 ounces Napa cabbage, quartered lengthwise, cored, and cut crosswise into 1 1/2-inch triangles (about 5 cups)
  • 4 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps thinly sliced (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 English or kirby cucumber, cut crosswise into 2-inch lengths, then thinly sliced lengthwise (about 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon Asian toasted sesame oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten

Preparation

Make pancake dough:
In large bowl, stir together flour and 1 cup boiling water until water is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup cold water and knead until smooth dough forms. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let rest 1 hour.

Prep stir-fry:
In large nonreactive bowl, toss together pork, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, 3 tablespoons rice wine, pepper, and cornstarch. Let marinate 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine dried black mushrooms and boiling water to cover. Let stand until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain, squeezing out excess liquid, rinse to remove any grit, discard stems, and coarsely chop caps. Set aside.

In small bowl, stir together remaining 2 tablespoons soy sauce, remaining 1 tablespoon rice wine, oyster sauce, and sugar. Set aside.

In small sauté pan over moderate heat, heat sesame oil until hot but not smoking. Add eggs and scramble until softly set, about 1 minute. Transfer to small bowl and set aside.

Cook pancakes:
On lightly floured work surface, roll dough into long, even cylinder 1 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Using sharp knife, cut cylinder crosswise into about 30 (3/4- to 1-inch) slices. Using rolling pin, roll each slice out to 3 1/2-inch-diameter circle (about 1/8 inch thick). Brush 1 circle with sesame oil and top with 2nd circle. Repeat with remaining circles to form 15 “sandwiches.” Roll each “sandwich” out to 6-inch diameter. (Pancakes can be made ahead up to this point and frozen, layered between parchment or waxed paper, up to 1 month.)

Heat wok or heavy large sauté pan over moderate heat. Brush pan lightly with peanut oil and cook pancake “sandwiches” in batches until lightly golden, about 3 minutes per side, brushing pan with oil between each batch. Transfer each “sandwich” as done to large plate and immediately peel apart 2 halves. Cover with moist towel while cooking remaining pancakes. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Cook stir-fry:
In wok or heavy large sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat peanut oil until hot but not smoking. Add ginger, garlic, half of scallions (reserve remainder for garnish), and pork and stir-fry until pork is cooked through and caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add black mushrooms, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and cucumber and stir-fry until vegetables are tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add eggs and soy sauce-rice wine-oyster sauce mixture and stir-fry until heated through, about 1 minute.

Transfer to serving bowl and garnish with remaining scallions. To serve, divide pork mixture among pancakes and roll up to enclose mixture.

Pork and Chive Dumplings with Dried Shrimp

Pork and Chive Dumplings with Dried Shrimp

Ingredients

For dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt

For filling

  • 2 teaspoons dried shrimp
  • 2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine, such as Shaoxing, or medium-dry Sherry
  • 6 ounces cabbage (1/4 medium head), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 bunch golden or green garlic chives, finely chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 scallions (green parts only), thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 heaping tablespoon cornstarch

For frying

  • 4 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil

For dipping sauce

  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha (Southeast Asian chile sauce)
  • 1 scallion (green part only), thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • Special equipment: 2 large baking sheets; large saucepan or large nonstick skillet with tight-fitting lid; metal or bamboo steamer (if steaming dumplings)

Preparation

Make dough
In large bowl, combine flour, salt, and 1 cup boiling water. Using wooden spoon, mix until dough forms shaggy ball, then transfer to lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and shiny, 6 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, mix and knead using electric mixer fitted with dough hook; kneading time will be shorter.) Wrap lightly in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature 20 minutes.

While dough rests, make filling
In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Using hands, gently knead mixture in bowl until just combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Roll out wrappers
Line large baking sheet with paper towels and dust lightly with flour. Divide dough into 3 even pieces. On lightly floured surface, using palms of hands, roll each piece into 3/4-inch-diameter log. Using floured knife, cut each log into 1-inch-long sections.

Pinch 1 dough section out into circle, then roll out on floured surface using floured rolling pin to 4-inch-diameter round. Transfer round to baking sheet and repeat with remaining dough sections, stacking rounds in layers on floured paper towels.

Fill and pleat dumplings
Line second large baking sheet with paper towels and dust lightly with flour. Hold 1 wrapper in palm of hand. Using fingertip dippsed in water, gently wet around edge of wrapper. Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center of wrapper, then fold wrapper in half without sealing edges, cupping half-moon (open side-up) between thumb and fingers and gently tamping down filling with other hand to keep edge of wrapper free of filling.

Using thumb and forefinger of left hand, begin pinching edges of wrapper together while pushing 1 edge into tiny pleats with thumb of right hand. Continue pleating and pinching across entire semicircle until wrapper is sealed (unpleated side will automatically curve). Set dumpling, sealed edge up, on baking sheet and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

To steam dumplings
In large saucepan with tight-fitting lid, bring 1 1/2 inches water to boil. Lightly oil metal steamer (if using bamboo, line with cabbage leaves to prevent sticking) and set in pan. Arrange dumplings, sealed edges up, on steamer, cover, and steam until filling is firm and wrappers are slightly translucent.

To pan-fry dumplings
In large lidded nonstick sauté pan over moderately high heat, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil until hot but not smoking. Add 13 to 14 dumplings, pleated sides up and sides not touching, and immediately pour in enough cold water to come halfway up sides of dumplings (use care; oil may splatter). Cover and cook until liquid is evaporated and bottoms of dumplings are crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. (Use spatula to loosen and lift edges to check bottoms; replace lid and continue cooking if necessary, checking after 1 to 2 minutes.) Transfer dumplings, crisp sides up, to platter and keep warm. Repeat with remaining 2 batches of dumplings.

While dumplings are cooking, make dipping sauce
In medium bowl, stir together all ingredients.

Sesame Balls with Drunken Fig Filling

Sesame Balls with Drunken Fig Filling

Ingredients

Drunken Fig Filling

  • 2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces/448grams) dried figs, preferably Black Mission, stemmed and quartered
  • 1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces/98 grams) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces/56 grams) cognac or dark rum

Drunken Fig Filling

  • 1 cup (7 ounces/200 grams) sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 5 1/3 ounces (150 grams) taro, deeply peeled and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 1/2 cups (16 1/8 ounces/462 grams) glutinous rice flour
  • Canola, vegetable, or other neutral oil for deep-frying
  • 1 cup (3 3/8 ounces/96 grams) white sesame seeds

Preparation

1. To make the drunken fig filling: Put all the ingredients into a large mixing bowl and stir well to coat the figs with the sugar. Cover and set aside at room temperature for at least 30 minutes, or as long as overnight.

2. Transfer the figs and liquid to the bowl of a food processor or an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Process or beat the mixture until mashed to a paste. (You can also mash the mixture by hand with a fork.) Cover and refrigerate until ready to use; the filling can be kept for up to 2 weeks.

3. To make the sesame balls: Put the sugar, salt, and baking soda into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix well; set aside.

4. Fill a large saucepan fitted with a steamer basket or rack with water to a dept of 2 inches and bring to a rolling boil. Put the taro in the basket and steam until very soft, about 10 minutes; it should fall apart if poked with a knife. Immediately add the taro to the sugar mixture, and beat on medium speed until smooth and pasty, about 5 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water to boil.

6. Turn the mixer speed to low and add the glutinous rice flour. When the mixture is crumbly, add the boiling water all at once. (The water must be boiling when added.) Continue beating until the dough is soft and only slightly sticky. Squeeze the dough into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and set aside until it cools to room temperature.

7. Shape the dough into a log 1 inch in diameter, and cut the log into 2-inch lengths. One at a time, flatten each piece of dough with your palm into a circle 4 inches in diameter and 1/4 inch thick. Put 1 tablespoon of the chilled fig filling into the center of the circle, then bring the edges together to form a half-moon and pinch to seal. Pinch off the excess dough at the two ends and roll the filled dumpling into a ball. Set aside.

8. Fill a deep, heavy saucepan with oil to depth of at least 3 inches and heat to 300°F. Fill a shallow dish with 1/8 inch of water and another shallow dish with the sesame seeds. Roll a sesame ball in the water, just enough to moisten, then roll in the sesame seeds until well coated. Press the seeds so they stick to the balls, if necessary. Carefully lower the coated ball into the oil and cook, without stirring, until it floats and is crisp and light golden brown, about 5 minutes. You can cook about 8 balls at a time, but do not overcrowd the pan. Carefully remove from the oil and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining balls. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Shanghai Soup Dumplings

Shanghai Soup Dumplings

Ingredients

Soup

  • 10 cups plus 3 tablespoons (or more) water
  • 2 3/4 to 3 pounds chicken wings, backs, and necks
  • 2 1/2 ounces Chinese-style cured smoked ham or Smithfield ham, cut into 4 slices
  • 3/4 cup coarsely chopped green onions (white parts only)
  • 2 (1-inch-diameter 1/2-inch-thick) slices peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 whole dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 large garlic clove, flattened
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (from 2 envelopes)

Sauce

  • 1 cup black vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons very thin matchstick-size strips peeled fresh ginger

Filling

  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound peeled deveined uncooked shrimp, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped green onions (white parts only)
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Asian sesame oil


 

Dumplings

  • 75 (about) 3-inch square or round dumpling wrappers (from two 14-ounce packages)
  • 1 large head of Napa cabbage, leaves separated

Preparation

Stock your pantry
Look for the ingredients and supplies featured here at an Asian market or online at adrianascaravan.com: Chinese-style cured smoked ham (or use Smithfield ham), dried shiitake mushrooms, Shaoxing (also spelled Shao Hsing) wine, black vinegar, dumpling wrappers (don’t use wonton wrappers; they are too thin), and bamboo steamer sets.

Make the soup
Combine 10 cups water and all remaining soup ingredients except gelatin in large pot. Bring to boil, spooning off any foam that rises to surface. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken pieces are very soft and beginning to fall apart, adding more water by cupfuls if necessary to keep chicken submerged, about 2 hours 30 minutes.

Strain and chill
Strain soup; discard solids. Return broth to same pot. Boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 3 tablespoons water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens. Add to hot broth; stir until gelatin is dissolved. Transfer to 13x9x2-inch glass dish. Cover; refrigerate aspic overnight.

Make the sauce
Mix 1 cup black vinegar, 6 tablespoons soy sauce, and 2 tablespoons fresh ginger strips in small bowl. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature before serving.

Make the filling
Combine all filling ingredients in large bowl and mix with fork just until blended. Cut aspic into 1/3-inch cubes. Add aspic to pork mixture; stir gently with wooden spoon just until incorporated. DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.

Assemble the dumplings
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Place 1 dumpling wrapper on work surface. Spoon 1 very generous teaspoon filling onto center of wrapper, including at least 2 or 3 aspic cubes.

Pleat the wrapper
Lightly brush edges of dumpling wrapper with water. Bring 1 corner of wrapper up around filling, then pleat remaining edges of wrapper at regular intervals all around filling until filling is enclosed and wrapper forms bundle-like shape with small opening at top.

Twist the top
Gather top edges of wrapper together and twist at top to enclose filling. Place on baking sheet. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling. DO AHEAD Can be refrigerated, covered, for 1 day, or frozen in single layer in covered containers for 2 weeks.

Prepare the steamer
Line each layer of bamboo steamer basket with cabbage leaves; place over wok filled with enough water to reach just below bottom of bamboo steamer basket. (Or line metal steamer rack with cabbage leaves and set over water in large pot.) Place dumplings atop cabbage, spacing apart.

Steam the dumplings
Bring water to boil. Cover; steam until cooked through, adding more water to wok if evaporating too quickly, about 12 minutes for fresh dumplings and 15 minutes for frozen. Serve dumplings immediately, passing sauce alongside for dipping.

Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage

Sticky Rice with Chinese Sausage

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Chinese or Japanese short-grain sticky (“sweet”) rice*
  • 1 cup Chinese dried black mushrooms* or dried shiitake mushrooms (1 1/2 oz)
  • 5 Chinese sausages* (6 to 8 oz total)
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion (white and pale green parts only; from 1 bunch)
  • 1 1/2 cups bottled peeled cooked whole chestnuts (from a 14- to 15-oz jar), drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Chinese rice wine or medium-dry Sherry
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • Special equipment: a wok
  • Garnish: thinly sliced scallion greens

Preparation

Cover rice with cold water by 1 inch in a large bowl and soak at least 2 hours. Drain in a sieve and rinse well under cold running water.

Soak mushrooms in warm water 30 minutes, then drain, squeezing excess liquid back into bowl, and discard liquid. Rinse mushrooms to remove any grit, then discard stems and coarsely chop caps. 3Quarter sausages lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch pieces.

Heat a wok over high heat until just smoking. Add peanut oil and heat, swirling in wok, until just smoking. Add ginger and scallion and stir-fry 30 seconds. Add sausage and stir-fry 1 minute, then add mushrooms and stir-fry 1 minute. Add chestnuts and stir-fry 1 minute. Stir in rice wine, soy sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil, salt, and white pepper and remove from heat. Add drained rice and stir to coat.

Transfer mixture to a 4- to 6-quart heavy pot and add broth (broth will not completely cover rice). Bring to a simmer, stir once, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 25 minutes more, then remove from heat. Stir from bottom to distribute ingredients and let stand, covered, 10 minutes before serving.

Sichuanese Wontons in Chilli Oil Sauce (Hong You Chao Shou)

Sichuanese Wontons in Chilli Oil Sauce (Hong You Chao Shou)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 oz (20g) piece of ginger, unpeeled
  • 5 oz (150g) ground pork
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing wine
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • Salt
  • Ground white pepper
  • 3 tbsp chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp finely sliced spring onion greens
  • 7 oz (200g) package of wonton wrappers
  • Flour, to dust

To serve

  • 3-4 tbsp sweet aromatic soy sauce, or 3-4 tbsp light or tamari soy sauce with 1 1/2-2 tsp sugar
  • 5-6 tbsp chilli oil, with its sediment
  • 2-4 heaped tsp crushed garlic
  • 2 tbsp finely sliced spring onion greens

Preparation

Crush the ginger with the flat of a cleaver or a rolling pin and put it in a cup with just enough cold water to cover. Place the pork, egg, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil in a bowl with 1 1/2 tsp of the ginger water and salt and pepper to taste. Stir well. Mix in the stock, 1 tbsp at a time. Finally, add the spring onion greens.

Fill a small bowl with cold water. Take a wonton wrapper and lay it flat in one hand. Use a table knife or a small spatula to press about 1 tsp of the pork mixture into the center of the wrapper. Dip a finger into the cold water, run it around the edges of the wrapper and fold it diagonally in half. Press the edges tightly together and lay on a flour-dusted tray or large plate.

Bring a large pan of water to a boil over a high heat. While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare three or four serving bowls. In each bowl, place 1 tbsp sweet aromatic soy sauce (or 1 tbsp tamari soy sauce and 1/2 tsp sugar), 1 1/2 tbsp chilli oil with sediment and 1/2-1 heaped tsp of crushed garlic to taste.

When the water has come to a boil, drop in the wontons. Stir gently to make sure they do not stick together. When the water returns to a rolling boil, pour in a small cup of cold water to calm it down. Repeat this one more time. When the water has come to a boil for the third time, the wontons should be cooked through (cut one open to make sure). Remove the wontons with a slotted spoon, drain well, and divide between the prepared serving bowls. Scatter each bowl with some of the spring onion greens. Serve immediately, stirring everything together before digging in.

Winter Melon Soup

Winter Melon Soup

Ingredients

For broth

  • 1 (3- to 3 1/2-lb) whole chicken
  • 1 bunch scallions, halved crosswise
  • 2 oz Smithfield or other cured ham (1 piece or sliced), trimmed of any spice coating
  • 1 (1-inch) piece peeled fresh ginger, smashed
  • 14 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon salt

For soup

  • 5 (1-inch-wide) large dried scallops
  • 1 (2-lb) wedge winter melon
  • 2 oz Smithfield or other cured ham (1 piece or sliced), trimmed of any spice coating and cut into very thin matchsticks (1/2 cup)
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled and cut into very thin matchsticks (2 tablespoons)
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced (1/2 cup)

Preparation

Make broth:
Rinse chicken inside and out, then stuff cavity with scallions, ham, and ginger. Bring water with chicken and salt to a boil in a deep 7- to 8-quart stockpot or pasta pot, then reduce heat and cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, skimming off froth occasionally, 3 hours. 3Remove and discard chicken, then pour broth through a fine-mesh sieve into a large bowl. Let stand 5 minutes. Skim off fat. (You will have about 10 to 12 cups broth and need only 9 cups for this soup; reserve remainder for the Black-Bean Shrimp with Chinese Broccoli or for another use.)

Make soup:
Bring 2 cups broth to a boil in a 1-quart heavy saucepan, then add dried scallops and remove from heat. Soak, covered, 15 minutes.

Return scallop mixture to low heat and simmer, uncovered, until scallops are soft and pale, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool in cooking liquid. Transfer scallops with a slotted spoon to a bowl, reserving cooking liquid. Shred scallops into “threads” with a fork or your fingers, discarding tough ligament from side of each scallop if attached. Bring remaining 7 cups broth to a simmer in cleaned 7- to 8-quart pot with scallops and reserved cooking liquid.

Cut off and discard rind from winter melon. Remove and discard seeds, then cut melon into 1/3-inch cubes (about 5 cups). Add to broth and gently simmer, uncovered, until melon is transparent, 20 to 30 minutes. 3Stir in ham, ginger, scallions, and salt to taste just before serving.

Egg Foo Yung with Chicken & Shiitake

Egg Foo Yung with Chicken & Shiitake

  • 1/2 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
  • 1 Tbs. plus 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 Tbs. Asian sesame oil
  • 6 large eggs, beaten
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbs. oyster sauce (preferably Lee Kum Kee)
  • 1 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup canola or peanut oi
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and very thinly sliced
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced (white and 1 Tbs. green parts kept separate)
  • 3-1/2 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced

In a large bowl, toss the chicken with 1 tsp. each of the soy sauce and sesame oil. In another large bowl, beat the eggs with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. pepper, and 1 tsp. of the sesame oil. In a small bowl, whisk the oyster sauce and vinegar with the remaining 1 Tbs. soy sauce and the remaining 1 tsp. sesame oil.

Heat 1 Tbs. of the canola oil in a large (12-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, stirring, until it loses its raw color, 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add 1 Tbs. of canola oil, the bell pepper and scallion whites and cook, stirring, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the shiitake, sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. salt, and cook until softened, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetables and chicken to the egg mixture and stir gently to combine.

Wipe out the skillet with paper towels. Heat the remaining 2 Tbs. oil over medium-high heat until shimmering hot. Add the egg mixture, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, running a spatula in short, circular motions along the bottom of the pan, until the eggs begin to set, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and gently press on the eggs with the spatula to flatten them. Cook until the eggs are just firm to the touch, about 2 minutes. Set a large plate over the pan and flip the eggs onto the plate so the bottom faces up. Drizzle with the oyster sauce mixture, sprinkle with the scallion greens, and serve.