Saturday, March 26, 2011

We call it Gyoza they call it Potsticker

Today I want to share with you one of my family's favorite dish! Its called Gyoza.  Chinese restaurant calls it Potstickers and Korean version is called Mondu.  In Japan the filling is made of veggies and ground meat of your choice.

what you'll need:

1 package Gyoza Wrapper
1/2 pound ground meat (beef, pork, chicken, shrimp or any combination of your choice)
1/4 head cabbage
1tsp Salt (for cabbage)
1/3 tsp salt (for meat)
1 tsp grated garlic or garlic paste
1-1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sake (optional)

Here is some of Gyoza wrapper available..

Note: the picture shows double or triple the recipe because my family LOVES them, I make tons and freeze them.  So don't be alarmed if your batch looks small!

1. Add 1/3 tsp salt, garlic, soy and sake if using and couple of dashes of pepper to the meat and knead well and set aside.

2. Cut cabbage into pieces and wash it well
 3. Drain well
 4. finely mince the cabbage, I use food processor because its much easier to do than by hand.
 5. they should be this fine.. transfer the cabbage to a bowl, then add salt and mix well.  Salt will cause water to come out of the cabbage keep mixing the cabbage to encourage the water to discharge. (maybe about 15mins)
6. Use a cheese cloth or fine mesh sieve, squeeze the water out of the cabbage as much as you can.  the cabbage should look like this..

 7. add the dry cabbage to the meat and knead well
 8. when they are incorporated well it should look like this
9. Now get the wrapper, a spoon and bowl of water ready to stuff the wrapper

 10. take a wrapper, use your finger and wet around the wrapper, take about round teaspoonful on the center of the wrapper.
11. Fold
 12, fold just the one side and press to the unfolded side and continue so you'll have several fold
 Like this
 it should be this moon shape but if you want to use a potsticker mold feel free to do so but I think once you get it its really easy and faster than a mold.

Here is a video, maybe it'll be easier to see how its folded

When its done we cook! or freeze them at this time.  I have a deep freezer in the garage, so I put a tray like this in a freezer for about and hour to quickly freeze them individually, then I wrap them up and freeze them until I'm ready to eat them. why do I freeze them individually? that way they don't stick to each other!

Cooking! its easier to use a non stick pan with cover, you'll also need veggie or canola oil AND sesame oil, oh and lets not forget some water.
Heat pan, when its hot add about 1 tbsp of canola or veggie oil, add gyoza like the picture
add 2/3 to 1 cup of water depending on the size of your pan, water should cover about 1/4 of the gyoza, cover and steam until all the water is gone.  about 4-5 mins
When the water is gone, take the cover off and add  about 1/2Tbsp oil to the pan, and swirl the pan to let the sesame oil spread around. maybe 3-5 min again depending on the size of your pan.  when its done you should hear the crackling sound of the gyoza. be very careful not to burn the gyoza, you want the bottom to be golden brown not chard.

When done, use a spatula to remove them. Yum

Now the sauce.  You can buy the sauce at your local Asian market (Sauce for gyoza) but you can make them simply by adding

4Tbsp Soy Sauce   
4 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1-4 tsp Sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
sesame oil or Rayu (spicy chili oil) drizzle.. you don't need a whole lot. Rayu will make your sauce spicy.  I usually make the base with out the oil then let each person control the Rayu since my husband loves spicy, he puts lots, I like normal spicy so I put a little, my little one do not like spicy so I put couple of drips of sesame oil in his sauce so he don't feel left out.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Sweet Stuff

Have I mention that I love Target? I go to Target very often just to walk around well, I never leave empty handed but sometimes I go just to see what they have.  One day I walked in and walked by the book section and this little book called Cake Pops available at Amazon or any book store or store that carries books including Target. They are the cutest thing and they are not that hard to make!  So I followed her direction and made some! Cute right?? Not only she has a book she has a blog that she shares her wonderful talent. 
check it out! she has instructions on the web as well so you can make them.  This was my first attempt at making cake pops so I kept it simple and made cupcake shapes.. next I think I will do Easter theme chick or bunny.. not sure yet.. but I wanted to share this sweet sweet treat you can make today and the link to get the recipe and how to!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Picnic Basket and bonus Jelly Jar Basket

I happened to stumble upon this free pattern Northwoods picnic basket not sure how long it will be available, so if you want to make it, make sure you print it out NOW! The pattern I got was from a Weaver's stain archive, today I wasn't able to go there but found a different site that had the same free pattern so I put a link to there above.

The basket its self is not hard to make, it uses a square hoop as a inner rim so if you use it to shape the basket you should get a nice square basket.  Though it said you can get the lid/cover from Union Station Studio but I could no longer find a link to their store so I had to make my own and omitted the stone add-ons to the basket.  I'm sure you can add different add-on of your choice but I think its cute the way it is, especially since the cover is very busy with ants!
Here is a bonus pattern for you today just in case you could not get the link to the picnic basket.

Jelly Jar Basket.  

1/2" Flat and
#2 round dyed
3/8" Flat natural and dyed
1/2" Flat Oval
3/16 Flat
Jelly Jar Handle
11/64" Flat 

From 1/2" Flat natural reed cut 5 pieces at 17" and 7 pieces at 14" mark all piece at center on the rough side and soak in warm water.

Layout all 5 of the 17" horizontally, then take one of the 14" piece and weave vertically, making sure its over the center piece.

weave the remaining 15 piece 3 on each side.

base should be 3-3/4"X 6-3/4".

twine once with #2 dyed reed.

wet and upset stakes.

2 Rows of 1/2" start and stop weave
1 Row of 3/8" dyed reed start and stop weave
2 Rows of 1/2" start and stop weave
1 row of 3/8" natural start and stop weave

pack down cut and tuck but add the eyelet of your jelly jar handle to the basket making sure the eye is centered above the center reed and tuck each side of the eye over the eyelet to hold in place.

Rim with 1/2" flat oval and add seagrass and lash with 11/64" flat.  sign and date!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Spring is near!

its been sooooo nice for the past couple of days!! Though I hear snow may show its ugly head tomorrow, I know that spring is near!  I just finished a picnic basket (I will share the basket on Thursday!) few post ago I think I said I went to Jo-Ann's fabric and found some cute fabrics for covers and liner and here are the fabrics I chose.

aren't they cute? I don't know which I'll use for a liner and which for cover but they will spruce up any basket! Today I picked the picnic ants because I was making a cover for a picnic basket.. 
 This is what it looks like! cute right?? I had no clue how I was going to make the cover all I had was a picture of a cover that author of the basket where selling at one point but no longer available.

So I measured the basket rims which was 13"X13" so I added couple of inches to it and cut a 1 inch slit to match the handle.

 Make ruffles by cutting  2 pieces of 2.5" strips of 36" 2 piece of 12"then hemmed them and 
sew at the largest stitch and pull the thread to put a gather in them to make a ruffles. 

make 8 ties
then you put it all together and you get a cover. 
I know I'm very vague.. I plan on making another cover later this week so I will get a better photos and better direction and make a simple tutorial about making the cover.  I think they turned out cute but I think I want to make it a little bigger so it hangs over more.  Not too bad for the first one without a plan or a pattern don't you think??

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mitarashi Dango

Today in honor of Japan I'm sharing my recipe for Japanese traditional snack "Mitarashi Dango" there are lots of different kinds of dango but this one I would say very traditional and loved by many Japanese people.  Dango has consistency of mochi but a little stiffer since you have regular rice flour with the sweet rice flour which gives the chewy sticky consistency and the sauce I'd say its sweeter version of Teriyaki sauce.

You'll need either Glutinous Rice Flour or Mochiko basically they are the same thing, different maker and one is produced for Thai food and the other Japanese but I have not have problem using the Thai stuff and they are cheaper than the Japanese ones. 

You will also need Rice Flour.  I use the Thai one because the Japanese Rice Flour Joshinko is more expensive compared to the Thai version.  Again same thing, different maker for different consumer.
so the ratio I like the best is 2 to 1.   2 parts
Glutinous Rice Flour to 1 part Rice Flour so depending on how much you want to make you can change the amount you use.  So if you just want to try it out, you can use 1 cup Glutinous Rice flour and 1/2 cup Rice flour.  mix well by hand, add warm water little at a time until you can incorporate and the consistency should be like your earlobe. Soft yet hard.... sort of like play dough. 
 then You roll it to the size you want. I like bite size maybe about a size of a quarter or less.

then boil water, drop it in the water, boil for about 7-10 min depending on your size of the dango it may take more or less time.  (again sorry for being very vague) best thing to do is take the biggest one, put it under cold water to give it a quick chill, cut it in half, if its cooked through, should be all shiny inside and out, if you see something dull or powder like its not ready yet.

Drain well
 Then stick it on a wooden stick.

We make sauce!
in a pot combine,  1/4 cup water, 2 TBSP soy sauce, 1/4 cup sugar, 2tsp corn starch over med high heat cook until it turns shiny and clear.  see the difference between the left and the right picture?

 Now we dip the dango in the sauce or spoon the sauce over the dango making sure you coat it well.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Napkin Basket

Hi everyone, sorry I haven't been posting in several days but with all that's going on in Japan, I was scrambling to get a hold of family and friends to make sure they are all ok and also caring for my son who was sick over the weekend. My friends and family are all ok but I am still sick about what have happened to Japan.  Please Pray for people of Japan and give if you can.  I posted a link on the right to Red cross and Lutheran World Relief. 

Today I want to share a very popular basket among the girls here who are learning the way of the basket. They chooses this basket to be their 4th or 5th basket they make for some reason.  Maybe because its stinking cute and once you see it you just want it even if you already have a napkin holder.
You can get the free pattern from Basket Maker's Catalog  Love the wire star but you can use different wire shapes.. I plan on making apple ones for my son's teacher's end of school teacher's gift.. not sure if I'm going to make this basket or a different ones yet but I got the apple wires ready to go!  Basket Maker's Catalog carries just about anything you need to make any basket! Love them for putting up so many cute cute cute free basket patterns! Thank you Basket Maker's Catalog!! you rock!  I am going to try to finish a picnic basket I started last week so I can post here soon but I think I'm getting plagued by a headache so maybe I should shower and go to bed early tonight.  Thanks for stopping by! come back soon!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Creepy Cute part 2

Creepy Cute Crochet multiplied!! so now Grim Reaper have friends to hang out with! meet,  Corporate Zombie and Cthulhu I got a feeling they'll have more friends real soon!!  if you want to try making some of these creepy cute crochet amigurumi go see Christen Haden's website she has some free patterns but I highly recommend the book Creepy Cute crochet book which is available at Amazon or your favorite craft store!! I found mine at Jo-Anns.  too cute!! isn't it??

Flan, purin, Egg Custard

 what ever you call it its a tasty tasty sweet concoction.  I was very surprised to hear that some Americans have either never heard of or tried Flan.  Maybe its just Indiana people who haven't tried flan but in Japan where I'm from everyone loves Purin (that's what we call it there).  Now I will also post a recipe but I'm going to suggest you try the Jello or the Goya brand Flan its simple and I think they taste pretty good.  of course made from scratch would taste better but if you think about the time it'll take to make it I think the Jello brand is pretty darn good.
 So when you open this box you'll find two pouches, foil pouch and paper pouch.  Take the foil pouch which includes the caramel sauce snip the corner and evenly pour them into a custard cup or any cup you'll be using.  I used the disposable 4oz cups with lid.  (I was making tons of these for my craft group girls and their kids) then in a sauce pan with 2 cups of milk 2% or whole milk works best add the powder in the paper package.  Mix well, over medium heat until it comes to a rolling boil. Pour over the caramel sauce carefully not to disturb the sauce, chill 2 hours in the fridge and you are done! I made 4 boxes and used the 4oz cup so put 1/3 cups of the custard cream = butt load of Purin!

Recipe for from the scratch Purin
Makes 4 custard cups
2 eggs
3 Tbsp Sugar
5/6 cups warm milk
1/4 tsp vanilla extract

caramel sauce:
1/4 cup sugar
2Tbsp water
1tsp hot water
unsalted butter for custard cups

1. butter the custard cup set aside and preheat oven to 320F

2. make the caramel sauce.  place sugar and water in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and cook until the mix turns golden brown. Keep mixing to brown evenly and then add hot water, remove from heat pour evenly into the buttered cups.

3. make purin.  Whisk eggs and sugar in a bowl.  Gently stir in warm milk and run the mixture through a sieve, add vanilla extract, pour the mixture in prepared custard cup.

4. place the cups in a baking pan filled with boiling water 1/4 way up the custard cups. (you can put the pan with the cups in the oven rack and use a kettle to boil water and pour it into the pan)

5. bake in 320F for 20 min.  carefully check to see if the purin set by carefully touching the surface with a finger. if its set remove from oven and chill.  if its not set keep it in oven until it is set.  check every few min.