Homemade Pork Gyoza

I love dumplings.

They are little presents full of happiness for your mouth and almost every culture has their version; pork, fish, beef, vegetables or sweets can be baked, fried, steamed, or boiled. What a versatile food! But when I think of dumplings, I think of Asian pork dumplings, my favorite.  Savory, spicy, and a tad sweet all in the same bite.  I didn’t realize until I started making them the other day that I’ve never actually had homemade dumplings; I usually just order them at restaurants. And lets be honest, they probably pull them from a cardboard box in the freezer.

I have this great little Sushi place a few blocks up from my apartment called Zen, and until the other day they had my all time favorite pork dumplings. Well Zen, I’ve found you out and I have an even better recipe. My dumplings have the same flavors, but with actual chunky ingredients, not a solidified ball of meat, which makes them a slam dunk.

Skip the take out tonight, and whip up these little pockets of love, you will thank me.

INGREDIENTS:

Blanching the Bok Choy:

  • 8 oz Bok Choy
  • 2 qts water
  • 2 tsp salt

In a small pot bring water and salt to a boil. Once a boil is reached, add bok choy stems and blanch until tender (about a minute).  Shock in cold water.  Next, add the bok choy leaves to the pot and blanch until wilted, about 30 seconds. (this will happen quickly so keep a close eye) Shock the leaves in cold water.  Remove the bok choy and pat dry on paper towl, set aside.

Making the filling:

  • 1 lb Lean Ground Pork
  • 2 egg whites, whipped until frothy
  • 2 oz soy sauce
  • 1 oz sake (optional)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1.5 oz sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup Scallions, diced
  • 8 oz bok choy, diced
  • 2 tbsp Ginger, minced
  • 2 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp, pepper
  • 2 tsp, red pepper flakes

In a mixing bowl, whip the egg whites until frothy. Combine the pork and mix in the soy sauce, sake, sugar, sesame oil, and mix well together with hands or a fork.  (*Having a box of disposable kitchen gloves nearby is good for a project like this).  After the liquids are mixed, add the ginger, scallions, garlic, pepper, red pepper, and bok choy. The filling is now ready.

Why make pot sticker wrappers when you can buy them! No brainer. A package of gyoza wrappers contains 40-50 wrappers and will cost around $3. Boomski!

To start making the dumplings, line your work space with a piece of parchment paper, this will minimalize the gyoza wrappers from sticking to the bare counter.  Also, place a piece of parchment paper in a sheet tray, this is where you will place your ready-to-be-cooked bundles of tastiness.

Lay out 5 or so wrappers to start on your parchment lined work space. In the center of each dumpling add about a 1/2 tablespoon of filling. This will be trial and error.  I started off with a full tablespoon and quickly found out that the wrapper could not encase that much, but 1/2 tbsp was too little.  You’ll figure it out. Using a finger, dab in a small cup of water and run it along the edge of 1/2 of the gyoza wrapper, fold in half and secure the seams with a few good pinches, pressing the dough together.  Try to make sure to get most of the air out. Reserve on the parchment lined sheet tray and begin the process again with the remaining wrappers and filling.

Cooking the Dumplings:

Flash steam/boil them 4 or 5 at a time in a saute pan filled with about 3/4″ boiling water. This will take about 1-2 minutes.  Pull them from the water and let sit on a parchment lined sheet tray. In a second saute pan add enough cooking oil to coat the pan, around 1/2 inch and heat just until the oil begins to smoke. Make sure the dumplings are fairly dry before tossing in the hot oil.  Scorching hot oil and water do not get along.  Pan fry until golden brown on both sides and serve with my dumpling dipping sauce.

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp ginger, finely minced

Let me know how yours turn out! Thanks for reading- xo, G

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Béchamel sauce; 3 ways for Chicken, Pasta, or Fish

My Brother is a 20-year-old college student at the University of Utah, who, get this, likes to cook! And likes to cook with his roommates!   Between, their pow pow sessions and snowy mountain camping trips, they break out the aprons, and get dirty in the kitchen. This blogs for you, Bo. Chicken, as requested; a few different ways.

Starting with a basic Béchamel sauce, many different flavors can be achieved.  This is not the healthiest of sauces, however it is NOT coming out of a can, you know what you are putting into it, and it does not contain insane amounts of sodium, preservatives, or ingredients you can’t pronounce, so… perfect! That’s already better than most of Cooking with Sandra Lee‘s recipes.

Béchamel, 3 ways

Basic Béchamel sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup heated milk
  • salt
  • white pepper
  • freshly ground nutmeg (optional)
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until mixture is well blended. Gradually stir in hot milk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to boil and thickens. Simmer, stirring frequently, over very low heat for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste and add a little nutmeg, if desire. Makes about 1 cup of medium thick sauce.

Mustard Sauce
Combine 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of chopped tarragon or chive. This sauce is especially good with fish and chicken.

Herb Sauce
Add 2 teaspoon of freshly chopped herbs or 1 teaspoon of dried herbs to the Béchamel. Cook for a minute or two longer to get more flavor from the herbs. Best for Fish.

Mornay (cheese) Sauce
Add 1/2 cup grated cheese (any kind of cheese) to 1 cup hot  Béchamel. Stir over low heat until cheese is melted. Season with a little mustard or Worcestershire sauce to taste. Best for Chicken or Pasta.

Chicken with Mustard Cream Sauce

These sauces are incredible easy, and I bet you already have most of the ingredients at home.  Next time you’re trying to think of a new dinner idea, give this a shot. For best results, pair with a vegetable, such as asparagus or green beans and a buttery glass of chardonnay.

Happy Cooking, and thanks for reading, xo-G

How to make a Beurre Rouge pan sauce

Beef Tenderloin with Beurre Rouge Pan Sauce

Last night I made a Wegman’s pre-marinated red wine and peppercorn Beef Tenderloin.  It was awesome.   Since it didn’t take much to assemble this dish (pan sear and pop in the oven to roast) I thought I might put my own sauce skills to the test and make a beurre rouge pan sauce. Beurre rouge, is a red wine butter sauce that goes perfect with red meat.

First you need to sear off your meat, steak, roast, or in this case beef tenderloin to set aside or continue cooking in the oven.  It is important to build a good crust (maillard reaction) on the meat by searing in the juices, but it is equally important to have a good fond left in the pan.  Fond is the little tiny bits of fat and meat that stick to the pan, the flavor base or foundation for your sauce.

To get started, you need:

  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 2 Tbsp of vinegar (optional)
  • 1/2 cup of good red wine, NEVER cooking wine!
  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed and cold
  • S/P to taste

1. After you’ve seared your meat in a non-Teflon saute pan (Teflon doesn’t sear meat!) remove steaks to the side and add shallots.

2. When shallots start to caramelize add the vinegar and deglaze the fond from the pan. Allowing the vinegar to reduce off, take pan off the heat and your red wine.

3. On a low-medium heat let the wine reduce to about half, and remove from heat.

4. With a whisk in hand, start to drop the cold butter chunks into the pan and whisk vigorously.  You want to emulsify the wine reduction and the butter together.  *if your pan is too hot, the butter will separate and your sauce will break.

I found this great video from Food wishes with Chef John.  He shows you how to make an excellent sauce and walks you through the do’s and dont’s.  Check it out: 

Next time you pan sear a steak, try this sauce out, it blows A1 out of the water!  Thanks for reading, xo-G