Sunday, March 24, 2013

Make your favorite Asian recipes at home... yes, it is probably healthier that way!

Let me start by saying that I would pick up chinese take-out every day if left to my own devices... and my family probably would too! But... Asian food, especially americanized Asian food, can be hard on the waistline and the budget so let's see what we can do on our own...  Keep in mind, I am not a great cook.

Crab Rangoons

Imitation Crab
Cream Cheese or Neufchatel
Green Onions
Minced Garlic
Soy Sauce
Worcestershire Sauce
*Thoroughly mix above items together based on your flavor preferences. (Go heavy on your favorites)
And honestly, if you are missing one of the above ingredients like in the pic to the right) and you are craving this... make them anyway... well, the cream cheese is pretty important for binding. ;)

Wonton Wraps
Beaten Egg (or water) for sealing wraps

In a food processor, mix all filling ingredients. Layout your wonton wrappers on a large tray.  Spoon 1-2 tsp of filling on to each wrap.  dip your finger in the egg (or water) and dab the center of each side of each wrapper. Using your first finger and thumb on both hands, join the wrapper sides in the middle and pinch closed.
Fry in Cooking Oil  (about 2-3 in deep in a pot pre-heated to medium heat) until slightly golden.

Crab Rangoons Baked in the Oven
 The "lower fat/less stinky house" version is to coat them heavily with cooking spray and bake in 300-325° F oven for 8 to 13 minutes, or until golden brown them instead of deep frying.  It might help to dip your finger in vegetable oil and make sure the tips are coated well so they don't burn.
WARNING: Do not undercook. Gross.

Chinese Dumplings a.k.a. Pot Stickers (Makes 50)

12 oz cabbage finely minced in processor
1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon table salt)
2/3 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
1/4 cup minced Chinese chives or green onions (white and green parts)
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper (or freshly ground black pepper)
1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)

1 package round dumpling wrappers

Put cabbage on paper towel and sprinkle with salt; set aside
Mix the remaining filing ingredients well; ginger, chives, pork, pepper, soy sauce, rice wine and sesame oil.
The moisture should be leaching out of the cabbage on to the paper towel. Use you hands to squeeze out remaining moisture before adding it to filling mixture. Mix.
Place 1 tablespoon of filling onto each wrap and fold in half.
Use a cornstarch slurry or water to seal making sure to get all the air out.
Immerse dumplings in boiling water for 6-8 minutes.

If you like the fried version, drain the dumplings well after boiling them.  Lightly cover a frying pan with cooking oil and fry the dumplings for 1-2 minutes on each side.

Spring Rolls

Spring Roll Skins
Bean Thread Noodles

Plus any desired combination of the following (the items with stars are distinct flavors you would recognize from the restaurant)
Cooked Tail-off shrimp*
Thinly shaved cooked pork*
Fresh Mint Leaves*
Carrots sliced like matchsticks
Fresh Cilantro leaves
Red cabbage sliced like a matchstick
Crab meat

Dipping Sauce
1/4 Cup Hoisin Sauce
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1/2 tsp Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce (less if you can't handle spicy)
1-2 Tbs crushed peanuts

Soak Noodle according to package
Mix the dipping ingredients; Cup Hoisin Sauce, rice vinegar, Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce and set aside
Place filling ingredients in assembly order. Drain noodles thoroughly once soft. Put shallow cake pan with very warm water at the start of your assembly line.

Beautiful Spring Rolls!
This is where it takes practice.  You must soak the skins exactly long enough that they are pliable but not too long that they become too mushy and tear easily.
Once soaked, place on an assembly plate and promptly fill with ingredients. Roll by pulling the top edge over, then tucking in the sides then pulling up the bottom edge. Then set aside on a serving plate.  BEFORE grabbing the next skin, dry your assemble plate.

Once you have your spring rolls assembled, sprinkle the dipping sauce with peanuts and serve!


Be sure to search this blog for other healthy recipes you can make at home!

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