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Thursday, March 31, 2011

My first Sashimi

A lot of people who know me would know that I don't eat fish. I finally took the plunge with my friend/guide Amanda by my side and had Sashimi which is thinly sliced raw fish, no rice, no seaweed just raw fish! That's hardcore sushi!
It was so delicious, raw fish tastes better than cooked. No fishiness, no stinkiness just fresh fresh fresh goodness! I had salmon, tuna (my fav) and scallops.
Sharing a short/accidental video of my first bite :-)
Here's to new things that are to come!

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Xiao Long Bao - Chinese Soup Dumplings


A few days back I geared up to make Xiaolongbao, a Shanghainese dumpling filled with delicious soup and meat. I decided to make the skins from scratch so it took me an entire afternoon to form these. They came out very tasty but the amount of work that it took has led me to the conclusion that one should always go out for dim sum :-)

This is a recipe for an all chicken dumpling inspired from the ones at Din Tai Fung.


The prep time for the filling and dipping sauce is 10 mins. However pleating them can take a while specially if you are new at it. Cook time is very  little, I needed to steam these (covered) for only 5 mins on high heat and they were done! You can easily make about 75 dumplings about 1" in diameter with this recipe. 

Dough

I pretty much followed this recipe for the dough. I should point out that the first batch I made, I followed the directions exactly but the dough came out too soft, the texture was soggy and all the soup seeped out after steaming it. For the second batch I added some salt and used an extra 1/2 cup of flour to make the dough a tad bit stiffer and I thought that tasted much better.

These measurements worked better for me.
Flour 2 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp
Hot water 1/2 cup
Cold water  2 Tbs

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl.
Add the boiling water and mix it in well.
Add the cold water and knead on a floured surface for about 3-4 mins.
The dough should feel pliable but stiff.
You can use store bought wonton wrappers and save yourself a lot of time.

Broth

Chicken wings 1 1/2 lbs
Water 3 cups
Mushroom stalks 2-3
Ginger slices 6-7
Peppercorns 1/2 tsp
Sichuanese chili 1 - optional
Unflavored gelatin 2 Tbs

Combine all the ingredients together in a large pot and boil for 1-2 hours on medium heat.
Strain the broth to separate the chicken and to remove the bit and chunks.
While the broth is still hot sprinkle 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin on the top and mix well.
Allow 5 mins for the gelatin to dissolve completely.
Stir once again and pour into an 8" by 13" baking dish. refrigerate until set about 2-3 hours.
Cut into small chunks.

Dipping Sauce

Black vinegar 1/4 cup
Ginger strips 2 Tbs
Soy sauce 1 Tbs - optional (I like it without the soy sauce)

Combine everything in a dipping bowl.

Filling

Minced chicken meat 1 lbs
Green onions 3 Tbs (chopped fine)
Crimini mushrooms 3 Tbs (chopped fine)
Garlic 1 Tbs (minced)
White vinegar 1 tsp
Soy sauce 1 Tbs
Pepper 1/4 tsp
Chili flakes 1/8 tsp - optional
Salt

Combine everything in a large bowl and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Pleating

Here is a little video I made that might be helpful. This is my first time making these, I think I did a fairly good job. So proud!

video

video


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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Homemade Pasta and Mussels

Meet my fabulous sis and her wonderful hubby.


Their visit to Pike Place Market.



They make it look easy and fun.



Voila!



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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Minty Mango Salsa with Crystallized Ginger

A delicious quick and easy salsa great with fish tacos!


(makes about 2 cups)
(prep time 15 mins)
Ingredients

Mango 1 large (cut into chunks, choose a sweet ripe mango) - you can also use fresh pineapple
Mint leaves 5-6 (cut into thin strips)
Red pepper 2-3 Tbs (chopped fine)
Red onions 1 Tbs (chopped fine)
Green onions 2 Tbs (chopped fine)
Cilantro 1 Tbs (cut into strips) - optional
Jalapeno 1/2 Tbs (minced) - optional
Fresh ginger 1/2 tsp (minced)
Crystallized ginger 1 tsp (minced) *Raw foodists raw crystallized ginger recipe 
Juice of 1 fresh Lime
Salt

Mix everything together.
Allow to refrigerate for a few hours for all the flavors to combine.
Enjoy :-)


Following is not my creation but a great sounding recipe I found on the net.
Posting it here for the sake of completion.
Original source:  http://goneraw.com/account/show/evergreen


Raw Crystallized Ginger
Submitted by evergreen
Servings: 1 cup

Ingredients:
1 cup Medjool dates, about 12 pitted
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 organic lemon, zest only
.33 cup date sugar, can be made by dehydrating and grinding dates

 
Preparation:
1. process dates and ginger till smooth.
2. pulse in lemon zest and about 1/4 cup sugar till stiffened.
3. roll into 1”log.
4. wrap in food wrap sprinkled with additional sugar and place in fridge till firm.
5. slice into desired pieces and coat with more sugar.


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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Class today


Just came back from another fabulous class.
I so love doing this and the best part is meeting all the great people!
Thank you Katy for helping me out today :-) I hope you get to go on many more cooking trips!
Juliana... you have such great energy and I wish you all the luck in finding the right gal for your friend :-)
Great meeting Devin and Elaine....  and in case you were curious "Asalam-o-alikum" is how you would say hello in Urdu :-)
Thank you all for coming today and making this day special :-) I hope you learned a lot and happy cooking!
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