Dumplings / Scallion Pancakes

I just wanted deliciousness in dumpling form.

And then I saw these little onion pancakes online, and knew that needed to happen.

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Another link from my new favourite blog again: Chicken Potstickers.

Absolutely, it takes some serious time to make these. But watching the kids gobble them up, and then inform me that these need to reappear for app night – we had a hit! In the version we made tonight, I shredded cabbage for the filling, used sesame oil instead of soya sauce (because I knew that they’d hit that hard at the table), and finely diced chicken (pre-cooked).

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Ah, yes. The scallion pancakes. My favourite, favourite potato chip flavour is sour cream and onion, and now I have a grown-up, fancypants version of that. The layers that all the rolling and twisting creates – and then you sprinkle sea salt in those layers, so you get a hit of onion and salt. Gah.

These are going to call to me like a siren song tonight.

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Jiaozi

I don’t watch a lot of TV. I keep a very small, curated list of shows that I watch, and one of them is Anthony Bourdain’s “Parts Unknown”: sociopolitical documentary meets food show meets travelogue. He’s a wonderful storyteller, and after finishing his book, “Kitchen Confidential”, I couldn’t wait until the new season began.

The only drawback is that he goes to these mystical places that make amazing food, and I have to have some. Last week he was in Shanghai, and he gorged on endless bowls of noodles and baskets of dumplings.

We knew immediately what we were having this weekend.

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Frantically trying to find a recipe in the bowels of Superstore on a Saturday afternoon, I picked the first, reasonable-sounding one I could find – and we won the recipe lottery. Slight tweak to the recipe was only using the pre-fab wonton noodle wrappers in the vegetable aisle, because the weekend and also not feeling it.

Homemade Jiaozi – Chinese Dumplings
Soy-Ginger Dipping Sauce

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Curse you, Bourdain.

Chinese Stay-In Night

One of the hardest people to cook for is my dad. Because he rarely lets anyone.

Even after a long day working, he likes to come home and cook. When he has time on weekends, it’s really off the chain, and usually in quantities for a small army. Even on Fathers’ Day or his birthday, he’s cooking. Just his nature, I suppose.

We ambushed him yesterday, though.

Detained at the office for 10 hours on a workplace first aid course being taught by T, we had a great excuse to have supper waiting for everyone.

(Mostly) homemade Chinese food

The chicken is killer. We’ve made it a couple times now and gets the kid stamp of approval, so if you’re looking to have Chinese food but aren’t feeling the MSG and the giant hunks of fried dough, this is a winner. Just a quick fry in a pan and bake for an hour in an easy-to-make homemade sweet and sour sauce. 

The chicken, dredged in cornstarch and egg, then quickly browned. Ready for sauce and the oven.

The finished baked sweet and sour chicken

The veggies were a hit, too. No recipe – we used baby bok choy, broccoli and mushrooms (ugh, I was in the minority), stir fried for a few minutes in sesame oil.

The veggies ready for the wok

The beef was good, but I think it needs something more? I posted the recipe because I think it’s worth trying again – perhaps in the slow cooker, with more spice.

We broke into Dad’s tinfoil pan collection, to create an impromptu buffet. Guess he’ll have to go buy more, or hope that he gets some for Father’s Day.

Ginger beef and sweet and sour chicken

Fried rice and veggies

Great afternoon and evening cooking and hanging out with family!

(Though, after I told Dad that I jump-balled and punched the smoke detector out of the ceiling mid-chicken-browning, he might not relinquish more access to his kitchen. Whoops.)