Saturday, February 28, 2009

Pot Sticker/Chinese Fried Dumpling


The "Pot Sticker" (锅贴) is one of the popular appetizers in US Chinese restaurant, some Chinese people call it 煎水铰 (pan fried Chinese dumpling), it is not just only well known among Chinese ethnic in US, you will find it has been included on the menu in some of the US grill restaurants too. I used to buy frozen packs from Lee Lee (my favorite Asian supermarket), they have different kinds of filling, pork meat, vegetarian, lamb...etc. Since the ingredients of the filling are not hard to obtain, I have tried to invent my own style of pot sticker filling, I'm glad it turned out great, Tom loves it!!


Ingredients below can yield approx. 60 dumplings.

1. 1 lb ground pork - minced well. Mince better than just the ground pork, really mash it up!
2. 1 cup finely chopped head of Napa cabbage (大白菜)
3. 3/4 cup chopped 4~5mm length Chinese chives (韭菜)
(you may add more if you like the strong taste of chive)
4. 6 cloves large garlic - minced
5. 1/2 cup finely chopped green onion
6. 2 tsp grated fresh ginger


1. 2 tsp of sesame oil
2. 4 tsp of Shao Xing wine (绍兴花彫酒)
3. 1 tsp ground white pepper
4. 3 tsp of oyster sauce
5. 3 tsp soy sauce
6. 1/4 tsp salt
7. 3 tsp corn starch

In a large mixing bowl, mix all the ingredients well.


Dumpling Skin/Wrapper (水铰皮) - I got them from Lee Lee too, I'm too clumsy to make them from scratch. The ingredients are simple (warm water, flour, pinch of salt), but the work of rolling each small dough piece by piece just frustrates me. I will try to make it from scratch once my wrapping and pleating skills improve. Please don't confuse with the dumpling skin and wonton skin (云吞皮), they are not the same, wonton skin looks yellowish as it contents egg ingredients. You must get the dumpling skin for this recipe.

To wrap the dumpling, place a small spoonful of the filling in the center of the skin, brush the edge of the skin with some water by your fingers, then fold and pleat the dumpling accordingly. I'm still clumsy on dumpling wrapping, as you can tell from the photos, so don't laugh at me ya!!! LOL!!

I can't finish 60 of these dumplings at once, I freeze them in a bag and just grab some then cook them whenever I am craving for them. To prevent the dumplings from sticking together when freezing, sprinkle some flour on a baking sheet, align the dumplings properly, freeze for about 1~2 hours, remove from the freezer, keep them in a storage bag and return to the freezer.



For cooking, heat up and grease a frying pan with just a little oil, switch to medium heat, place the dumplings on the pan, cook for 2 minutes at medium heat or until the bottom part turns light brown, flip them over, pour the water to cover half of the dumplings, cover with the lid, cook in high heat for another 3~4 minutes, remove the lid, immediately switch to medium heat and continue the cooking until the water dries out and the bottom part turns brown, flip the dumplings again and cook for another 30 seconds. Serve warm, dip with some soy sauce and vinegar (optional).


Valentine's Day 2009 (Part 3)

OK, this will be the last part for Renaissance Festival, I'm getting frustrated to upload the pictures!! LOL!! Will share the rest of them with you guys when I get back!

Jousting Knights & Steeds

eerrr...what costume is this? It's a Jester!!!

Yummmmmy!! Turkey leg, want some??

Interesting pretzel selling

Elephant riding...

Scottish music show

Glass sculpting

Finished product of the glass sculpting, isn't that amazing?

Friday, February 27, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009 (Part 2)

Continue from part I, last Saturday, Tom eventually showed me what was the surprise he wanted to give me on the Valentine's day, he brought me and Cici to Arizona Renaissance Festival. You may find more information about this festival from here. It was an interesting and eye opening trip. We got the chance to experience the old European shops, costumes, entertainments, arts, foods. Lets the pictures tell you our enjoyable time!

Entrance of the festival

The Lord Mayors Pavilion

An Australian aboriginal musical instrument, the "digeridoo".

The Mediaeval Baebes, a band from England.

These two were dressed as fantasy villains - the bad guys!

There are more photos coming up, stay tuned!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Valentine's Day 2009 (Part 1)

It might be a bit outdated for Valentine's Day posting, because I have a lot of photos to share for this post. It was the first US valentine celebration, guest what Tom bought me???? Ya, as you could see from above photo, I got a love shape box of chocolate, a card, and a love letter (I actually thought of complaint about it if he didn't write me one :-p), that was the nicest valentine gifts I have ever had. Thank you honey!!! But 80% of the chocolate were gone in just a few days to "someone's" tummy, see below....LOL!!! So, it is not really 100% my fault on his weight gain.

Now you see it..... now you don't!!! LOL!!

Tom was planning to give me another surprise on Valentines Day, but the weather was not good for outdoor activities, so, he postponed it to a week later. I will post them next.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Oriental Style Rib Eye Steak

Oriental Style Rib Eye Steak


I have been doing some researches for the beef recipes recently. I'm not a red meat fan, I had never bought and cooked beef meat while I was in Malaysia, furthermore, you could hardly find an quality beef butcher stall in Malaysia, probably because of the religious, Indian ethic and some Chinese ethic don't take beef because of religious issue.

It is kind of "wasting" the beef resources in US if I ignore them, they are more common than pork and poultry. After doing some internet searching and asking some steak experts, I decided to start with "rib eye cut" for my first steak cooking, because it is one of the most popular and juiciest steak in US market. The "marbled" fat in this cut section provides tenderness and flavor in the steak.


Ingredients :

1. 2pcs 1 inch thick boneless rib eye steak cut (approx. 1.2lbs) - remove the extra fat at the edge.

In a large food storage bag, mix well the following marinade ingredients :

a) 1 tsp of sesame oil
b) 1/4 cup of soy sauce
c) 1/8 cup of light brown sugar (can substitute with 1.5 tsp of normal sugar)
d) 3 large cloves of finely minced garlic
e) 1/3 cup of chopped green onion
f) 1/4 tsp of ground ginger
g) 1/4 tsp of black and white pepper

1. Coat well steaks in the marination bag and refrigerate overnight, turn once for evenly marinating on both sides.

2. Let the steak sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before grilling.

3. Preheat the outdoor grill with high heat and close the cover for 10 minutes.

(If outdoor grill is not available, you may cook the steaks on the stove with grill skillet)

4. Slightly grease the grate. Place the steaks on the grill with uncovered, turn to medium high heat.

5. Grill for 8~9 minutes each side for medium rare done, you may adjust the cooking time according to your preferred cooking level (rare, medium rare, medium, medium well, well). Flip only once during entire grilling to maintain the tenderness and juiciness in the steaks.

6. Serve with some grilled vegetables or potatoes.

Steaks on the grill

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hot Italian Sausage Spaghetti Recipe


I like to make different kinds of spaghetti for Tom's lunch box because it will still be tasty after reheated in the microwave. It is a simple and quick meal. I usually make the vegetarian spaghetti sauce and top with few pieces of grilled chicken breast fillet or grilled salmon.

There was fresh house made sausage on sale at Sprout's Farmer Market few days ago. I was attracted by the big sign of the price reduction and the variety of the choices. I had never bought or cooked fresh sausage, while I was hesitant to pick up which kind I want (there were about 12 choices), an old Caucasian man suggested that I should try Hot Italian flavor. I immediately grabbed 2 of them and thought since it has the flavor of "Italian", maybe I could make up an Italian cuisine like pizza or spaghetti or pasta...etc.

I was too busy to make the pizza crust, so I came up with this Hot Italian Sausage Spaghetti. Here are the other ingredients and steps for this recipe.

Serving : 3

1. 165g spaghetti
2. 2pcs of Hot Italian Sausages (about 270g)
3. 2 tsp olive oil/vegetable oil
4. 1/2 cup of chopped or sliced sweet onion
5. 1.5 cup of Prego Chunky Garden pasta sauce
6. Italian seasoning - few dashes to taste
7. 1/4 tsp of sugar (optional - if you dont like the sourness of the spaghetti sauce)
8. 3 tsp of grated Parmesan Cheese, reserve extra for topping
9. Black pepper - few dashes to taste
10. Garlic Salt - few dashes to taste

Steps :

1. Cook the spaghetti according to the directions printed on the bag/box (cook to the minimum time, so the pasta stays firm). drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Cook the sausages in a non-stick pan, turn occasionally until evenly cooked. Set aside to cool and cut into half inch chunks.
2. Remove the fat oil from the pan.
3. Oil the pan with olive/vegetable oil
4. cook the onion with high heat for about 1 minute
5. add in the pasta sauce, stir until boiling
6. sprinkle some black pepper, garlic salt and Italian seasoning.
7. add in the sausage chunks, sugar and parmesan cheese, stir to mix well.
8. add and stir the spaghetti for 1~1.5 minutes , remove from heat and serve.
9. sprinkle some parmesan cheese on the top.

Sausages cooking

Stir in the spaghetti

These ingredients are available at Giant, Billion,
Pacific, Tesco hypermarkets.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mini Cheese cake recipe

I promised my friends to email them this recipe long time ago...hehe, sorry ya, it took me so long because I'm quite lazy to take the photos, then have to upload them, then have to write the articles. I will try my best to post my recipes at least 1 or 2 per month, OK? Will post more if I have good respond from you guys!!

I think this simple recipe and the size of the cake is quite presentable for a party. I made some of these for the CNY tea party at Tzu Chi, but didn't take a good picture of them, I promise I will take more pictures to illustrate all the ingredients in this recipe when I have a chance to make a new batch.

Cheese mixture (yield 40~45)

1. 2 packs of 8oz Cream Cheese (room temperature)
2. 2/3 cup sugar (reduced)
3. 2 eggs
4. 1 tsp lemon juice
5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
6. 1 tsp orange zesty (optional, I like it because with a little bit orange flavor in it, you won't feel too creamy to eat)

Crust base
1. 40~45pcs of bite size (about 1 inch diameter) NILLA wafers - it is available in US supermarkets (see picture below), not sure if it can be found in Malaysia. Or may be you can use different kind of mini crackers that available in your local supermarket.

Any kind of fruit topping you prefer, I used to top with blueberries and cherry topping.

Steps :

1. Mix the cream cheese, sugar and egg with an electric mixer until well blended.
2. Add lemon juice, vanilla extract and orange zesty into the cream mixture, mix well.
3. Place the mini paper baking cup in the mini muffin tray (24pcs per tray), lay each of them with a piece of wafer.
4. Spoon the cream mixture into each baking cup (not too full)
5. Bake for 15 minutes at 350 degree (175C)
6. Remove the tray from the oven, cool at room temperature for an hour or two, refrigerate at least 6 hours, better if overnight.
7. Top with your preferred fruit topping and serve in cool

House almost gone!!!!

I never thought that I would start to post my blog with this title "House almost gone"!!! This blog was actually created 3 months ago as a purpose to share my cooking adventures with my friend, I always try to find many excuses to escape from writing an article. Then, what have happened to me???

I was hurrying to Tzu Chi early this morning to pick up some recycle chemical drums that I wanted to use it as a starter for my mini vegetable growing, then I stayed there for the preparation of the homeless's hot meal serving, hubby drove the pick up truck with the drums straight to work, he was planning to drive them back at his lunch time. on 12.30pm, hubby called me with a very serious voice "you got a problem" and told me about what he has "discovered" when he got home!!!----->I forgot to turn off the heat for the soup, imaging ---> a small pot of the soup sitting on the stove with high heat for 5 hours!! According to hubby, our house was full of smoke, he couldn't even see the back door when he opened the front door and steped into the house, strong burning smell surrouding made him couldn't breath, the furnitures are stinky now....., I was totally in shock and speechless when hubby talked to me in phone, I felt so bad and guilty.... :-( !!! What would have happened to our house if hubby changed his mind not to go home at lunch? We might be homeless now.... :-( , thanks GOD!! We were really lucky.

See how bad the pot of soup burnt....

I know this is an unpleasant starter post, but I wanted this to be served as a REMINDER for myself be alert and caution when cooking, this is not a funny adventure at all!!! And so for my potential readers, please watch out the heat and check the stove before you go out.

Lastly, I hope hubby will forgive me and still love me. I brought you a lovely and yummy tiramisu, ...Please accept my apologize, please? :-p.

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