When I cook, I don’t always follow the recipes. Well, maybe the first time I will. Then after that I will adjust the cooking to how I want it to be. I always tell my friends cook however they want, after all they’re the ones eating the food. Here I am showing you the most frequently used spices/sauces for my cooking. Also the measuring cups and spoons.
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I have a lot of ground beef in my freezer, so I decided to make some dumplings today. Dumpling that is made with home made dumpling wrapper is much better than store bought wrappers.
Here is the recipe for the dumpling wrapper:
All purpose flour 700g
Water 340- 350g
In a big bowl mix everything together to form a dough then cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let stand for 15-20 minutes.
Take the dough out of the bowl and knead it with your hand for 20-25 seconds. It will be much softer and smoother now. Cover with the plastic wrap again and let stand for another 15-20 minutes.
Take the dough out again and repeat above. This time the dough will look perfectly round and smooth.
Now cover it again and let stand for 1 hour.
After one hour, take it out of the bowl and roll it out to a long roll, cut it into 4 rolls, cover 3 of them with a damp cloth.
Roll the rolls thinner and longer, then cut them into smaller pieces. (Each 100g of flour will make about 10 small wrappers, so here we can make about 70)
Press down each piece of small dough, then use a rolling pin to roll it out to a wrapper, it should be thick in the center and thin on the edge.
Wrap your favorite meat or vegetables using the wrappers.
Here is how to cook dumplings:
Bring a lot of water to boil, then add dumplings to the water, use a spatula to stir the water from the bottom so the dumplings wont stick to the bottom, cover with a lid.
When the water is boiling again, add one cup of cold water to it and cover again.
When the water is boiling for the second time, add another cup of cold water and cover.
When the water is boiling for the third time, it is time to eat the dumplings.
For dumpling wrapper, the ratio of flour : water is 2:1 or a little bit less of water it could be 48% of water because if you add too much water, the dough is going to be too soft so after you cook the dumplings, the texture will be mushy.
But if you are making steam buns, you want to add a little bit more than 50% of water to the flours.
I had too much meat left today so I decided to make some steam buns, it was so juicy. LOL…
Preparation: The day before making and assembling the cake, make the Crepe Batter (see recipes below); refrigerate.
Crepe Batter: 6 tablespoons butter 3 cups milk 6 eggs 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 7 tablespoons granulated sugar Pinch salt In a small pan, melt the butter until lightly browned; remove from heat and set aside. In a separate, small pan, warm the milk until steaming; remove from heat and set aside to allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl using your electric mixer at a low speed, mix together the eggs, flour, sugar, and salt. Slowly add in the warm milk and browned butter. Pour the batter into a tightly-sealed container to refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
200g cooked Taro (steam over water until fork tender)
2tbsp cold water
Heavy cream 2 cups
Add first 3 ingredients together in a food processor and mix until taro is smooth.
Add the taro mixture and heavy cream in a big bowl and mix with an electronic hand mixer until soft peak. keep in refrigerator.
Remove the prepared Crepe Batter from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature:
Using a nonstick pan over medium heat. Evenly distribute approximately ¼ cup of batter; swirl to cover the surface of the pan. Cook approximately 40 seconds or just until the bottom of the crepe becomes lightly browned. Using your clean fingers, gently and carefully flip the crepe over and Cook on the other side for 20 more seconds. Remove the cooked crepe onto a prepared baking sheet or a big plate. Repeat this process until you have at least 20 perfect crepes. NOTE: You might need to prepare a few practice crepes in the beginning.
Remove the prepared taro Filling from the refrigerator:
Assembly of 20-Layer Crepe Cake: Place one (1) prepared crepe on a large cake plate. With a small spatula or wide blade knife, completely cover the crepe with a thin layer of the pastry cream mixture . Cover with another dry crepe and repeat covering with the taro fillings until you have reached 20 layers. The 20th crepe will be the last or top layer.
Refrigerate the cake for a minimum of 2 hours. Allow to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Dust with powdered (confectioners’ sugar).
If you want to decorate the cake with more taro, you can use another 200g of cooked taro, 3tbsps condensed milk, 1tbsp water and process in a food process until smooth, then add 1/3 cup heavy cream and mix until smooth. It would be prettier if I had used strawberry to decorate the cake, but I used whatever I had on hand.
I love Chinese sour cabbage so much, but it is not always easy to find it from supermarkets. sometimes when I am lucky to find one they don’t taste quit right to me. So I started searching online for recipes. This one is easy and the result is so good. Only 3 basic ingredients: cabbage, cold water, and salt.
Quarter the cabbage, if it is dirty outside then clean it with running water. Add 2% salt (2% the weight of the vegetable), sprinkle over the cabbage. Let it marinate for 1-2 hours, water will come out of the cabbage so the vegetable will become soft.
Use a glass container with lid ( I don’t have one, so I used a big china mixing bowl), add the cabbage to the glass container or bowl, make sure add the water from the vegetable back to the container too.
If the water is not covering the cabbage, then add more water to it. Make sure add 2% of salt again to the water(2% the weight of the water). Get a big stone to press down the vegetable and leave it on top of the vegetable to make sure the vegetable is totally under the water ( again I don’t have a stone at home either, so I use a clear plastic bag to hold enough water in it to substitute it). Seal the container with the lid and leave it for 2-3 weeks in room temperature( I seal mine with plastic wrap). Depend on the temperature, the time will vary, I did it for 2 weeks and it was sour enough for me.
When it is sour enough for you, take it out of the water and squeeze the excess sour juice then put it in a zip lock bag and freeze it.
Chinese New Year is coming, so I made this pork Jerky today for the holiday.
Ground pork 1150 g (lean pork preferred)
Oyster sauce 2 tbsps
Light soy sauce 2 tbsps
Dark soy sauce 1 tbsp
Cooking wine 2 tbsps
Sugar 100 g
Fish sauce 2 tbsps
Five spice powder 1tsp
White pepper powder 1/2 tsp
Red yeast rice powder 1tbsp (optional for color)
Mix all the ingredients together and mix in one direction for 3,4 minutes or until meat is very sticky.
Refrigerate for at least 1 hour ( I did over night).
Preheat oven to 350F.
Get a piece of parchment paper the size of cooking sheet, add 1/5 of the meat to the center of the paper and use a spatula to spread it a little bit, then add a piece of plastic wrap or another piece of parchment paper over the meat. Use a rolling pin to roll the meat thinner over the paper to the size of the baking sheet.
Remove the plastic wrap or parchment paper from the top of the meat, and move the meat to a baking sheet.
Bake it in the preheated oven for 12 minutes, take it out and brush a layer of honey on the top. Go back into the oven and continue to bake another 5 minutes. （if you see broth now make sure to empty it from the baking sheet)
After 5 minutes, take it out again and flip the pork jerky to the other side and brush with a layer of honey too, also sprinkle some sesame seeds all over it. Go back to the oven for the last 5 minutes.
Take the pork jerky out and let it cool down, cut the irregular edges off, then cut them into any shape you want.
Pour all the marinate sauce into duck’s cave and make sure use your hand to evenly spread inside the duck. Use a bamboo stick to seal the open.
Bring 2 quarts water to boil, then use a big spoon to pour the boiling water all over the duck for 30 seconds.
Rinse the duck with cold water for 30 seconds.
Bring the crispy water to boil then use a big spoon again to pour it all over the duck for another 30 seconds.
Hang the duck and let dry for 4 hours with a fan on ( it is winter now, so I hang it outside)
Brush the skin paste all over the duck and let dry then repeat it one more time.
Brush some oil all over the duck before you put it inside the preheat 380F oven.
Roast it with breast side up for 30 minutes then turn the duck and roast for another 30 minutes. Turn the duck one more time with breast up for another 20 to 30 minutes or until the thickest part of meat’s temperature reaches 165F.
Let the duck rest for 15 minutes before you cut it.
Pour everything together in a big bowl and use chopsticks to mix until you don’t see any liquid. Knead the mixture until everything comes together. Leave it inside the bowl and cover with a damp cloth.
15 minutes later, take the dough out and knead for 10 minutes until the surface is smooth, leave it in the bowl again and cover with the damp cloth for about 1.5 hours to 2 hours until twice in size (depend on the temperature).
Take the dough out and roll it to a long roll and cut it evenly to 6 pieces.
Take one piece out and knead it about 10 times, then roll it into a round ball. Then do the same for the rest of them.
Take the first ball out, use a rolling pin to roll it out to a oval shape, brush/spread some oil on it then fold it over.
Use a cake scraper to lightly cut some liners on the top then use a chopstick to fold the edges a little to make it look like leaf.
Use a damp cloth to cover them up and let rest for 30 minutes.
Bring some water to boil then steam the buns over the water in a bamboo steamer for 15 minutes.
After 15 minutes turn the heat off then leave them in the steamer for 5 minutes. ( don’t take the lid off right after you turn the heat off)
Stir the tangzhong ingredients in a small saucepan and cook to a paste like form. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Put all the main dough ingredients except butter in a stand mixer and stir for 15 minutes with speed 3.
Add the butter and continue mixing for 15 minutes. (During the mixing, be aware that the temperature of the dough should not exceed 28C, if the temperature is high then refrigerate for 10 minutes to let it cool down before mixing again)
At this time take a little bit of dough out to see if you can pull a basic film out. This bread doesn’t need the dough to form a very thin film.
If there is no film formed yet continue to mix about another 5 minutes or so.
Roll some balls and Put in a glass or plain baking tray with a second fermentation of about 45- 60 minutes or twice the size.
Brush the egg wash over the dough and sprinkle some sesames on the top then bake for 20-23 minutes in the preheated oven.