Monday, January 31, 2011

Chinese New Year: Buddha's Delight & Jiaozi Dumplings

Chinese New Year starts on Thursday, Feb. 3rd. This year is the year of the rabbit. For more information about the year of the rabbit, check out this website. Actually, I was born the year of rabbit! 

Buddha's Delight

* Prep Time: 30 minutes
* Cook Time: 10-15 minutes
* Ingredients:  
  • 6 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp Shao Hsing rice wine*
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 medium pack fried bean curd, sliced*
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1/3 cup white onion, sliced
  • 1 (14 oz.) can stir-fry mix (water chestnuts, bamboo shoots. straw mushrooms, baby corn, etc.)
  • 1 cup snow peas
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • sesame oil, for frying
  • white rice, cooked according to box instructions

* Recipe:  
  1. Combine the first four ingredients and let tofu marinade in them for at least half an hour.
  2. Steam the broccoli so that they are soft.
  3. In a wok, heat some sesame oil and add the onion, ginger, and garlic. Once onions are translucent, add remaining vegetables and salt.
  4. In a bowl, combine the vegetable broth with cornstarch.
  5. Add the marinated tofu, mix, then add the vegetable broth mixture.
  6. Cook until all vegetables are tender.
  7. Top over white rice.
* Note: Shao Hsing is a Chinese cooking wine. You can find it at Asian grocery stores. If you can not find it, you can use sherry cooking wine instead. The same goes for the fried bean curd. If you can not find it, use regular tofu instead.

Jiaozi Dumplings

* Prep Time: 20 minutes
* Cook Time: 10 minutes
* Ingredients (for dumplings):  
  • 1/2 package (4 oz.) Upton's Naturals ground beef style seitan, crumbled and cooked*
  • 1/3 cup napa cabbage, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup green onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1/8 cup water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 package (16 oz.) wonton wrapper*
  • water, to close wontons
* Ingredients (for sauce):
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 tbsp green onions, sliced

* Recipe:
  1. Cook the seitan according to package instructions.
  2. In a large pot, boil water.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a bowl.
  4. Fill the wonton wrappers with a teaspoon of the filling. Using your fingers, wet the wonton wrapper along the edges.
  5. Fold wonton and pinch to close.
  6. Place 7-8 dumplings in the boiling water and boil for about 3-5 minutes.
  7. While dumplings are boiling, combine the sauce ingredient in a small bowl. Mix to dissolve the sugar.
* Note: Upton's Naturals is a local Chicago seitan company. They sell their faux meats here in Chicagoland. You could use other seitan-style meat crumbles such as Boca Ground Crumbles,Gimme Lean Sausage by Lightlife, or Yves Meatless Ground Round Original. Make sure your wonton wrappers are vegan. Many of them contain egg. I have a dumpling press, which is why my dumplings look so perfect in the picture. Same water around the edges applies when you use this too.

For all recipes, make sure the sugar is vegan. For more information about vegan sugar, please see this website.

During Chinese New Year, children receive small red envelopes usually filled with money. Also, Mandarin oranges are considered a sign of abundance and good fortune. They are often given to people as well.

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