Sunday, January 31, 2010

Dumplings, Potstickers, and Gyoza, Oh My!



Ground pork
Nappa cabbage, shredded, salted for 20 mins squeeze out extra liquid.
(If really salty, rinse and squeeze)
Sesame oil
Soy sauce (not too much because nappa is salted)
(Chinese or Japanese soy will change the flavor)
White pepper

Optional: Yellow chives, minced, soaked dried or fresh shrimp and or soaked dried mushrooms, some folks use garlic

Note: Can use frozen spinach that’s been defrosted, and squeezed out dry. You can use tofu, that’s been drained and crumbled, may want to add some tapioca flour for binder. (?)

Making the dumpling:

Mix filling ingredients. If the ingredients are good and they should be, keep the flavors simple.Don’t use all the optional ingredients maybe just one. All the seasonings are added to taste (microwave a teaspoon or drop in boiling water to test) or by smell. Use prepared gyoza skins or make your own. (see below) Take between 1tsp to 1tbs of filling and put in center of wrapper. Wet edge of wrapper and bring center together and press to stick. Then pleat one side only (towards the direction of the center) Should be about 3 pleats each side of center. This makes the potsticker stand up and is easy for pan-frying or steaming. Here is a youtube video that shows how to do it with homemade wrappers:

Cooking methods

Heat pan med high w/minimum coating of oil. Add potstickers before oil is too hot to avoid splatters, then add ½ cup water. Cover and let steam until water is gone. Turn down to med or low, cover (monitor closely to prevent burning, adding spoonful of water at a time if needed.)Potstickers are done when bottom golden and crisp and insides firm approximately 10-20 mins depending on if frozen or fresh.

Bring water to boil. Add dumpling for 5-10 mins depend on if fresh or frozen. Can add a bit of cold water every time water comes to boil until the little guys float to the surface.

Prep the steamer by lining with nappa or lettuce so they don’t stick to the bamboo. Steam until firm and dough not sticky.


Making the dough for dumpling wrappers:

About 2 cups flour,

Mix enough water, a little at a time, to form a ball.

Knead for 10 minutes.

Wrap in plastic for at least 30 minutes to an hour.

Shape in to disk and cut in half. Cover one half and take the other half and cut in half again then each of those halves into fourths. These make thicker and bigger wrappers like for momos or you can cut in half again. Keep dough you are not using immediately, wrapped to prevent drying out.

Form into ball and roll out in as round a shape as possible. Use flour as needed to keep from sticking.

Friday, January 29, 2010

I'd like to introduce you to my new love, King Oyster Mushroom.

Picture courtesy of

He is my new favorite mushroom. Meaty, dense, firm, and good in butter! Yum. I purchased King Oyster at Ranch for about $2. One package was a meal in itself! It would make a good vegan substitute for scallops because of it's size and denseness. Don't get me wrong--it doesn't taste like seafood at all! It has a mild, flavor that is reminiscent of MATSUTAKE. Need I really say more? Not a mushroom to be wasted on spaghetti, if you get my drift...truly a King.

Picture courtesy of

How to Use Leftovers - Rice

Bowl Of Rice clip art

Fried Rice
a great quick meal and a great way to use leftovers.

Left over rice, refrigerated overnight.
Green onions, cut on diagonal , ½-1 inch pieces
Veggie: bok choy, kale, rapini, lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.,
cut into bite size pieces or coarsely shredded
Soy sauce, to taste
Salt & white pepper, to taste

Optional ingredients:

Garlic, left whole, slightly smashed
some kind of pre-cooked meat or tofu, cut in to small pieces.
red pepper: cayenne, togarashi, chili paste
kimchi (allow kimchi to be heated through, use juices instead of soy sauce)
sesame oil, for flavor


Heat oil or lard or use bacon cut into small bits as both the fat and the meat. Use fairly high heat, what your pan can stand (med-high).

Add ginger stir until fragrant (very quick) then add green onions and stir fry until edges begin to brown.

Quickly add veggies and meat, turn heat to medium and stirfry until veggies are almost cooked and meat is heated through.

Push mixture to edge of pan and break eggs into pan (make sure that pan has some oil thinly coating bottom, okay to add a little sesame oil at this time.) Mix eggs with fork and season with with salt/white pepper. Then let cook until almost done but top of eggs are still wet.

Add rice folding eggs into rice, making sure to break egg into small pieces, mixing veggies in also. At this point you can season with a little soy and red pepper.

Note: I usually don’t use garlic but if I do I add at the same time as ginger and green onions and then remove when brown.

Here are a few variations on the theme:

Jean-Geoges Fried Rice -
Shanghai, Yangzhou version -
Japanese style -
Korean style -

I could go on and on. There are as many versions of fried rice as there are countries that eat rice.

How do you make fried rice?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pics from the tournament



a few of my favorite things...

Bacon shoes!

Kathy's Pic of the Week

Kathy's Picture of the Week has moved to Mondays!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Audrey Cooper and her partner, Catherine, qualified today for Regionals for debate!

Soy Sauce Chicken

Here is one of my favorite recipes. It comes from a former boss, H. Shek. It's pretty bomb-proof and just like you would get from the Chinese bbq places. I am going to try it with a pasture-raised organic duck from Sea Breeze Farm. I suspect I'll need more than 1 bottle of soy sauce.

Soy Chicken
a recipe from Henry Shek.


Chinese thick soy sauce and water equivalent to soy to just cover chicken (approx. 1 bottle)

1-3 whole star anise

Honey or molasses or maple syrup or sugar to taste

Whole chicken, 3lbs, rinsed and patted dry (remove extra parts bag)

Combine all to taste, except bird, in a deep narrow pot. Taste should be strong. Let soy come to boil, reduce heat. Do not let boil again. Add chicken, simmer 40-45 mins.Do not overcook. If Soy doesn’t cover chicken, roll every 20 or so minutes.

Chop, serve warm or room temp w/bit of warm sauce on top. Garnish with cilantro.

Optional make sauce from a mixture of oil, salt, ginger, green onion

To Store Sauce:

After cooking chicken. Bring soy to high boil once, then remove from heat. Strain into wide mouth jars, refrigerate, remove congealed fat, cover tightly.

Reuse sauce for more chicken, or duck as sauce in stirfry or ramen. If cook fish do not reuse.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

IMHO One of the best pasta sauces ever

This recipe is relatively easy but time consuming. I can't tell you how long it took to make the sauce but it was approximately 45 mins to add all the tomato puree and then another hour for cooking. It could have been longer. Sorry. I just make it when I have lots of time. It's worth it to get that deep tomato flavor.

Amatrice style Sauce w/Sausage
Serves 2


Olive oil or butter or lard
2 oz Guanciale (Italian air cured bacon)
½ onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
red chili flakes (optional)
3 c. tomato puree
2 sausages (I used Seabreeze Farm, mild)

black pepper
basil, chiffonade
fromage blanc


Heat oil/fat of choice on medium.

Chop guanciale in to ¼-inch bits. When oil is hot, add guanciale and fry until crispy. Remove and save. Add chopped onions and garlic sauté until soft and starting to brown. At this point you can add some red chili flakes and cook an extra minute or two.

Then add a ½ c. tomato puree, ½ c. water, mix, and let reduce a bit. Keep stirring you don’t want to burn or brown the tomatoes. When tomato mixture is dark, add ½ c. water and another batch of tomato. Repeat until all the puree is cooking. Turn heat down to low.

At this point the sauce should be reduced and a burgundy-ish color, add 1 cup of water (or more) and add meatballs. I used SeaBreeze Farm sausage by squeezing bits out of the casing and rolling into balls. (This sausage is seasoned in a very complementary way for this sauce. You can also make your own meatballs.

Once the sauce is at the desired thickness and the sausage is cooked through, mix in the guanciale. Serve on hot pasta with garnish of basil.

Variation: I had approximately 2 tbs of fromage blanc. I threw it in. I will now always add it to this dish. It helps smooth out the acidity of the tomatoes.

Note: Amatrice is a city in Italy known for their pasta sauce made with guanciale & pecorino. A more typical recipe can be found here:

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

let's take our lesson...

Haiti is heavy on my heart and in my prayers as I'm sure it is with you.
We live in an earthquake zone. Although we live in this great country with resources, in a major emergency, we have to expect to rely on ourselves for at least a few days if not more. If we have extra, we can be of assistance to others who may not have prepared at all. We've all talked about it before and even made fits and starts (myself included) in putting together a 5-day emergency kit. Kathy came up with a relatively inexpensive freeze dried food source. There is also a company that does freeze dried meals. Here is a gluten free freeze dried food. John and Lori may have some ideas about good brands, but freeze dried lasts years and in some cases, decades. So you could buy it and leave it and not think about it. You can also buy canned food. When you are at the store and there is a sale, just buy 1 extra and stick in on a shelf or in your kit.
I know this is not exactly what we want to spend our precious free time doing, but it is prudent. I'm going to ask again, please do some preparations. If nothing else, clean water is critical,
and uh...toilet paper would be really nice too.
Let me know if you need help with this, I'm happy to help you.
C'mon guys, we can do this!

Kathy's Pic of the Week

Project RAD

Starting January first, I have joined a project called Ring-a-Day. Hosted by Nina Dinoff.  The challenge is to make one ring a day for the next 365 days, yes, for one entire year.  I have chosen to willingly participate just to torture myself basically. I am trying to force myself to walk into my studio and "get to work." So far I have made it to day 18 successfully, everyday it is bringing up new emotions and feelings that are helping me understand myself a little more.
A personal goal for me is to not just put a hole into something and jab my finger into it. I am trying to fabricate something everyday. I DO however know that there will be those special days where it will be unavoidable, and this is the hard part for me to just let go and not have it torture me to do so and just be proud I made it through another day. Because it is "one day at a time" for me! Wish me luck on my new journey! Also if you want to see all 180 global participants rings' on the flickr photo pool "here."
Oh yes, ANd also Season 7 Project Runway Jewelry Challenge has begun! ok, I really must get off the computer and "get to work!"
*note: I will not be posting anymore of my jewlry projects here, but if you are interested in what I am up to you can go to my "experimetal blog" which is specifically for that purpose :) thanks!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Tomato, Shrimp, and Eggs - The Possibilities

One of my favorite blogs is Wanderingchopsticks. I have made several of her recipes and found them understandable, clear and yummy. I recently made a recipe of hers that was so fast and easy, I think we all need to add it to our repetoire. It is predicated on having the ingredients on hand (tomatoes, eggs, shrimp and rice.) But we takasissies usually have at least rice, eggs and tomatoes and from there you can build a variety of meals based on this recipe. I happen to have shrimp so this all came happily together.

I made a couple of small mods to the recipe. It was really good and I can see the possibilities in this recipe. It can easily be turned into an indian dish (southern or northern), mexican, italian, etc. with an adjustment to the spices. Here is the recipe with my notes at the bottom:

Chinese Tomato Egg Shrimp Stir-Fry

modified from Wandering Chopsticks


3 eggs, scrambled (seasoned w/fish sauce* and white pepper)

3 Roma tomatoes chopped OR 1c.canned diced tomatoes

handful Shrimp peeled & deveined (I figure for this type of dish 5-6 per person)

¼ c. onions sliced

1 small clove garlic minced
Optional: A pinch of sugar and/or salt.

Garnish with chopped cilantro and green onion

  1. Peel and devein the shrimp. Chop into 3 pieces each. Set aside.
  2. Heat skillet or wok with oil and when hot add the onions & garlic, stir fry until soft and translucent.
  3. Add tomatoes and simmer on medium heat until softened. Add raw shrimp.
  4. While the shrimp and tomatoes are cooking, scramble the eggs and leave them in big pieces.
  5. Check on the tomatoes and see if they've softened. Add in the eggs along with just a pinch of salt and sugar.
  6. Then gently stir the mixture. You want to keep the egg pieces as whole as possible so the mixture doesn't become mush.
  7. Garnish with cilantro/green onions. Serve with rice.
Indian: At step 2: OMIT onions and garlic use Hing instead.Add curry leaves and cumin seeds. At Step 3: Add turmeric, coriander pwdr, grated ginger. At step 5: Optional: add 1 tsp-tbs of tamarind and a slurp of coconut milk. At step 7: heat mustard seeds and red chili. When seeds sputter add to tomato egg mixture.
Mexican: add chili powder, more onions and garlic, and crushed chicarones. Garnish with fresh salsa: cilantro, lime, red onion, jalepeno.
European: use basil leaves as garnish. Add thyme to the tomato base and a splash of red wine. For Greek use oregano and maybe a little cinnamon and anise flavored alcohol or fennel also works. For Hungarian, paprika and marjoram and more garlic maybe a bay leaf.
This is one of those versatile recipes that can move into whatever region you want.

It's not about balance.

Yesterday I spent 5-6 hours helping host our Open House at Amrita. It was exhausting. I was dreading it because I do not like raw social contact. But I rolled up my sleeves and I girded my loins (so to speak) and plunged in because it had to be done. This meet/greet stuff sure doesn't come naturally. At the end of the 4 hours, I felt squeezed out like a sponge. Although it was exhausting it was fulfilling. People came who read about us in the newspaper or on the internet. Probably at least 50 people wandered through. Our goal was to introduce ourselves to the neighborhood and I think we accomplished that.

It is strange for me to be back into this area, having spent so many years(!) in Edmonds going to the EHRC. Because the drive is so familiar it doesn't seem long or a burden. I am coming up here more often then when the office was 7 mins away. weird.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Tofu Jerks

So this is by special request, for Victoria.

I pressed fresh tofu so I can slice it very thin as possible, probably -1/8"?
I marinated it in an Asiany flavor, um, actually left over salad dressing. It had ginger, garlic, shoyu, honey and such in it. It turned out to be quite Teriyaki, but it can have any flavor you like of course.
Then I dehydrated it for a couple of hours, BUT now I realize this is not necessary if you have pressed it well.
This is getting easier as we go here...
Then I fried it in my cast iron on low for about 20minutes on one side and 20 minutes on the other. Kind of a long time to hang around the pan, but I was busy making other stuff so it was easy. It gets tougher and chewier after you take it off the heat.

Easy breezy, Vic. Shopping snacks!

Flax Cracks

Makes the best "Raw" crackers.

Italian Flax Cracks

2 cups golden flax (soaked 15-20 minutes, not more if you can help it)
1 cup walnuts, chopped fine (soaked 30minutes)
1 cup sundried tomatoes (soaked 30 minutes?)save soaking water
1 small (really) clove garlic
2 TB good apple cider vinegar
4 TB Italian herb mix
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 cup Kalamata olives chopped fine
red pepper flakes
2-3 tsps fine sea salt

Blend in food processor everything but flax, walnuts and olives until smooth, adding tomato soaking water.
Pour mixture in bowl.
Process the flax seeds.
Pour Everything together, mixing with wet hands.
Spread on trays and dehydrate on 115 degrees until crisp.


With love

I am working on a wonderful project. It is a sweater started by my beloved late mother-in-law, Joan. I miss her. She was a kind and amazing woman. It feels almost sacred to be knitting her sweater. I think you have to be a knitter to really understand. I am extending every stitch that she placed on her needles and makes me feel so connected to her. I finished the knitting today, and now all I have to do is the sewing up. I am gifting it to Joan's sister-in-law who is about Joan's size. She will be surprised. She will love it. I will send it to her... with love, from Joan.
I'll post pic when it's done.

Friday, January 15, 2010

We be bloggin now

Ok girls, let the posting begin!