So I had just finished writing this post a day ago when an error state on Squarespace caused me to lose the nearly finished blog. So because I've already written this blog once before, I can cut the fluff and just summarize that I lived in Asia for two months this Autumn, and I really really miss the food. (I should do this with every blog.) To torture myself and you, here are some lovely pictures of the delicious noodles, crunchy pork things, bbq meat, leaves and pickled chili.
This is the Obama-Bourdain Bun Cha. It was very very very good. Thanks Mr. President. We miss you.
I had this chicken soup Pho Ga for breakfast every day for nine days. It was a place called Tien Pho, if you're ever in Hanoi. I loved it so much. I still remember the taste of the broth.
I had dim sum brunch in Soho the other day at a placed called Beijing Dumpling, which was excellent. It was next door to an Asian grocery store, and I went in and bought a huge bag of cardamom, kefir lime leaves, rice noodles, dumpling wrappers, dumplings, soy sauce and vinegar and mushrooms, the lot. I wanted a taste of Asia and I got something that was...sort of as good as Aunt Bee's in Koh Phangan, but her food was insanely good. Compared with typical fare, the dumplings I made were an exceptional dinner when served with bok choy. The sauce is very good, rice vinegar mixed with soy sauce, so simple but weirdly more-ish.
I got into a dumpling making trance and ended up with a huge pile, which I froze, excepting a few testers. The great thing about Asian dishes is the only hard part is buying the dumpling wrappers, the rest is dead easy. I see a lot of dumplings in my future.
Pork and Cabbage Gyoza with Green Chili
1 package of frying dumpling wrappers (found in any asian grocery store
1 lb. or 600kg of ground pork
1/2 small, head of green cabbage, shredded very finely in a food processor
2 green chilis, chopped finely
4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
3 spring onions, chopped finely
1 large nub of ginger, grated finely
1 egg or 1/2 avocado mashed
Rice wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Shred the cabbage in the food processor. You can grate, slice or just chop the cabbage, but I think the finer the better. Transfer cabbage to a pan with a little bit of sesame oil and salt. Sauté over low heat until the cabbage is soft and then let cool.
Mix cooled cabbage with pork, chopped garlic, onions, ginger and avocado. Add salt and pepper to your taste and mix.
Defrost your dumpling wrappers. Take a medium spoonful of filling and place in the center of the square. Wet the edges of the dumpling wrapper with water. Fold over to make a triangle. From here you can just pinch the edges shut, or you can bring the bottom two corners of the triangles together. You can also forget the triangle and just bring all four corner up to meet at the top to make a little present. From here you can freeze the dumplings, or fry them in veggie or sesame oil for about five minutes on each side.
For the sauce:
Just mix 1/4 cup of soy sauce with a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Some folks like to add wasabi or horseradish. Whatever works for you.