Sweet Corn and Scallops Gyoza

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Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it.
~~Russell Baker

This is a short respite from the sticky heat wave we’ve suffered for the last week or so. Nice cool dry air is coming in through the windows and I can hear birds fussing at each other. The cats are walking around, no longer imitating fur rags draped over the furniture. It’s so much easier to appreciate the gorgeous bounty of summer when I’m not ‘glowing.’
(sorry: “Horses sweat, men perspire, but women merely glow.”)

Kimchi Dumplings and Twinkies

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Kimchi dumplings and Twinkies are at opposite extremes on the prepared-foods tastiness-spectrum.
A friend has mentioned kimchi dumplings several times, so I finally took her advice and gave them a try. Verdict: very good! After making a cauldron of pork bones and chicken wings, a fast and easy dinner was just the ticket! Verdict: very good!
There was a breakfast meeting at work, which included people from Zingerman’s. I skipped the meeting believing there would be leftovers. Well, there wan an unopened package of Twinkies. Verdict: two bites is two too many…

Frozen Gyoza: Ready-to-eat Japanese food

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Ah winter with its short dark days overcast and overwhelmed with snow. It’s a time when the bears’ adaptation to this season makes sense, a time to sleep until green returns to the world. That is Usula Minor in the picture; she’s not happy to have her little bear’s sleep disturbed. (She’s small so we call her Sula. It’s a good thing that I didn’t know the Greek word for ‘bear’ because I can’t image calling “Arktos! Arktos!” out the back door.) The bear (‘Nooke’) is the totem (pronounced doodem) of the largest clan of the Ojibwe (Anishinabe) people. bear does not starve in winter.

Cooking Technique: Gyoza

Click on a thumbnail to open the recipe. Noodles: Gyoza Gyoza, the dumplings made with folded circles of dough filled with ground meat and vegetables, came to Japan from China. They are nicknamed pot-stickers because in Japan, they are fried. The legend is that servants of a wealthy family had to eat cold leftover dumplings.…

Kreplach: Jewish Gyoza

Kreplach for Yom KippurDumplings are amazing!
Of course putting a filling on a piece of dough isn’t a stretch of the imagination, but it does show that people do think alike, even when they live at different ends of the earth. I won’t get into the controversy about who “invented” dumplings! There are just so many varieties, and they are all good.
Dumplings make happy people all around the world.

Gyoza: Pleating the Dumplings

gyoza close up pictureGyoza, the Japanese pot-stickers, are usually pleated into half-moon shaped dumplings. They look elegant, but if you work through the process step by step a few times it’s actually quite easy to do. You can buy gyoza wrappers, usually in the freezer sections of Asian/Japanese groceries. Gyoza wrappers are made with wheat flour, and should be thinner around the edges because the peating makes the dough thick, and it will take longer to cook than the body of the wrapper.

Gyoza, The Japanese Pot-Sticker

gyoza Japanese pot-stickersIt was dumpling day at la maison de Tess. This dish is adapted from Chinese kitchens: rounds of wheat dough stuffed with minced pork and cabbage then boiled or steamed. Once upon a time, servants of wealthy houses ate leftover food from the family table. Dumplings with cold noodle dough and congealed meat are not appealing, so clever servants devised a method of pan-frying the dumplings to get a pleasant crisp texture and additional flavor. This style of preparation became popular in Japan.

Pot-Sticker Hot Pot

gyozacloseup.jpgFun meal. I have to get some equipment to make hot pots at the table. But even so, we had a very nice evening. Some gyoza and some of the parboiled vegetables (cabbage, shungiku, and carrots) ate added to a pot of dashi to finish cooking. Add some ponzu sauce and lime juice to the bowl Eat. Cook. Eat. Cook… When everything is gone, drink the broth.