Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Homemade Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

I had a craving for Xiao Long Bao and decided to try to make one at home.

But before that I needed to practice the technique for wrapping dumplings.

I used store bought dumpling wrappers - BIG MISTAKE!

So much for short cuts.  The filling was all hand made though (I ground the pork myself).

Pork and Shrimp Dumplings (version 1)

1 lb Pork Butt
1 lb Peeled Shrimp
1 Large Onion
3 Cloves Garlic
3 tbsp Chives
1 tsp Cumin (I have no special reason for adding this, just that it was in my cupboard)
2 tbsp Kosher Salt (not table salt!!)
Pepper flakes
pepper to taste
1 Egg
1 Cup flour
1 packet fresh dumpling wrappers

Sauce (just mix this all together):

1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp Pepper flakes
1 tbsp Sugar (optional)
Pepper to taste (I think fresh grated ginger might be nice too)

Dumpling Instructions:

Chop the onion into 1 inch cubes or any size that can fit into the food grinder chute.
Mince the garlic and chives and combine with onion.
Slice the Pork Butt into 1 x 2 inch strips and season with S&P.
Season the peeled and de-veined shrimp with S&P and Cumin.
Freeze both the pork and shrimp until they're halfway to completely frozen to prep them for grinding.  If you don't freeze them partway, it'll clog your food grinder.  Kung wala kang grinder, pwede mo dalhin yung mix sa palengke hanap ka nang mag grind.  They do that for my aunts when they make large amounts of lumpia.  Any pork vendor can do that for you.

After grinding, add the egg and flour, S&P and the pepper flakes.  I would add a little brown sugar here too if I were you.  But then again my teeth are sugar whores, so don't take my word for it.

I like adding flour (in my case, oatmeal flour) to ground meat because I find it keeps the meat moist.  I once made a pure meat, meatloaf, and it was miserably dry because all the juice ran to the pan.

Anyway, once all done, mix with your hands (don't over mix!) and start stuffing the dumpling wrappers.

I did mine empanada style because I couldn't get the hang of proper dumpling wrapping.  I suspect it's also because my dumpling wrappers were store bought and the edges were a bit dry.

I'm not quite satisfied with this one and I give it just 6/10 :-/

Will try again and next time I'll make the wrappers too.

Homemade Dumplings

My first foray into the land of dumplings.
I'm prepping for Xiao Long Bao :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Home Made Taho


I'm a taho freak.  I run with water dripping off my newly washed hair as soon as I hear the Manong Taho yelling that all too familiar mantra in the morning.  I've desperately wanted to make taho here, but all the how-to's I've read involves calcium sulfate, and I don't know where to get that (nor do I trust it).

A couple of weeks back I was eating Korean and after complimenting this Korean Lady on their tofu, she told me  that they make it from scratch everyday.  Apparently, I don't need anything else but lime :) LIME!!... LIME!!

I tried to buy soy beans (saw them on sale a month back) but they were all out this week, so I had to make do with unsweetened Soy Milk.  I think my Tofu was not as silken because the milk had Soy Lecithin (it's an emulsifier that would prevent soy curds from separating with the water) but it did taste the same as regular taho. I didn't even notice the lime at all :)

I'll continue to try and see how I can make the texture better.  But I'm already HAPPY!! HAPPY I TELL'S YA!

It was simple really.  Here's what you need:

240 ML Soy Milk.  Make sure that your Soy milk has "Non-GMO" in the ingredients list.  It means the soy wasn't genetically modified.

2-3 limes

Dash of salt


Step 1: Boil the soy milk.

Step 2: Juice the limes, and put them your container.

Step 3: Pour the hot soy milk into the container with the lime juice.

Step 4: Stir twice, yes JUST TWO TIMES! To mix the lime juice.

Step 5: The tofu curdles almost immediately.  I'm not sure how long i'm supposed to wait, but after 2 minutes I poured it over the cheesecloth.

Step 6: Scoop the soy curds up to your glass :) There will still be lots of water, but I didn't really mind (I was desperate).

Step 7: Top with brown sugar syrup :) Tapioca optional.

NOTE: If there is too much lime juice, the milk will separate TOO much, and it won't be like Taho.  If your lime is really juicy, err on the side of less lime juice.  I need to re-do the recipe and experiment on the ratio, but I say start with 1 tbsp of lime juice to cup of soy milk.

Brown Sugar Syrup

2 cups sugar

2 tbsp water

Dash of salt

2 tbsp corn syrup


Heat the sugar and water together.   Once the sugar liquefies, drop in the dash of salt and the corn syrup. 

The corn syrup should prevent it from becoming the brittle in peanut brittle (read: prevents sugar from crystallizing again.)


Homemade Taho