Springtime kneppes, sweet green dumplings and sour white sauce

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A dish of contrasts. I was thinking that green kneppes would be nice. The addition of peas makes them sweet, so a sour sauce reveals them.

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Blanched peas, mashed with a fork, flour, water, salt and wuxi (5 spice mix). Boiled.

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For the sauce, salted new onions, later mixed with minced dill, sour yogurt (at room temperature), coriander seed, pepper, nutmeg. You can use a plant based yogurt.

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Coat the very hot kneppes with the sauce and serve immediately.

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Mint cha gio, all your green leftovers inside Spring rolls

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Veggies to use or lose, combined to an envy of nems as we say in France. I mean cha gio, the Vietnamese Spring rolls, that are a French favorite deli food. These rolls can be made in great style with many ingredients, deep fried and all. It’s a quick and casual version.

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The filling is very simple : Minced lettuce, mint, garlic, onion and ginger. Salt, pepper. Mashed white beans. Fold in rice paper. Let a few hours to allow flavors to mix.

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They could be eaten raw… if you don’t mind raw garlic and onion that are a bit strong. I pan-fried them.

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The sauce : pounded garlic, brown sugar, a pinch of salt, chili and plenty of rice vinegar.

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One side dish is a quick tsukemono (pickles) : grated daikon radish, broccoli leaves, cut sakura leaves, a little salt. Let 20 minutes then squeeze away excess liquid. A second dish is a “stalk” stir-fry in the space of pan next to the rolls. The menu :

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Tofu manju in ankake

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That’s the recipe from Shizuoka Gourmet. That means tofu dumplings in sweet and sour sauce. It’s an easy and tasty vegan dish.

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I have followed the recipe. But I’ve replaced the bean by negi leeks, and used black rice vinegar so my sauce is darker.

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The naked dumplings.

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Dressed !

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Accras la la…


Just bring accras and you’re starting a French Antilles style party. These appetizers bring the mood. They are fried dumplings with herbs, spices and often morue (cod fish).

With a dip of salsa ? I’d usually spice them enough and I eat them like that, but I often see many Japanese people looking for the sauce whenever that type of dish appears…

Delicious to photography…

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 2 : cook’n eat.

Let’s eat this miso hot pot with ginger chicken gyoza…

You have everything ready (details here).

1. fill 2/3 of the pot with hot water, add the kombu seaweed, let simmer a few minutes. You can put the lid if you want to speed up.
2. add a part of the miso, at your taste. It’s very salty. You want the water drizzle slightly, just enough to poach and cook the ingredients. The “don’t let boil” advice for miso soup can’t apply here.
3. when the level of broth goes down, complete with hot water. When you get near the end of the meal, you can let the broth thicken.
4. add small amounts of the ingredients and pick them out as soon as they are cooked. The cooking time differ slightly. Here, the kabocha is the longest, I put some in first, then gyoza, then mochi and I like my cabbage and sprouts very crunchy so they need only a quick dip.

While the kabocha cooks, you have the time to form a few gyoza dumplings :

Inside the gyoza : meat, ginger and a little miso. Wet the outer circle and fold in 2, try to push out all air from inside and shape in little bags. They cook in about 5 minutes. You can see the change of shape and color.

FINAL ROUND :

At the end, everything that is left, the rest of miso, of veggies, the unused dumpling skins and the big block of mochi. The kombu seaweed has become much softer and it can be eaten. I cut it in ribbon and let it in.
When the mochi melts, serve the soup.

Other nabe hotpots :

Japanese miso hot pot with Winter crab
Nikomi Udon, noodle nabe
Duck and veggie nabe
sukiyaki, beef , sake and soy sauce

Gyoza miso nabe (relax hot pot). Step 1 : display.


A cool… no hot nabe Japanese hotpot with ginger flavored chicken gyoza dumplings. A meal to cook directly on the table and relax longly, and enjoy season food. It’s very popular for parties and all gathering, but you can start at one. Preparing takes less time than reading this post.

gas + donabe

Material :
-a stove you can place on your table. They make convenient and cheap gas ones (in any Chinatown). I also have a small induction one. A brasero is too slow for a big pot, but for one or two, that works.
-a nabe (pot). That can be any thick bottom pot. There are beautiful ones in black cast iron (kuro tetsu), or in pottery (donabe). It’s better to use one that seems too small than too big for the number of guests. The goal is to cook progressively and eat immediately each bite, so you want to cook in many small batches.
-a pot with hot water not far away

A bit of dashi kombu, the seaweed. That’s the base for the broth.

Chunky koji miso. How much ? I’d say a good spoonful per person for a full meal. Then that depends if you like your food salty.
Some mochi. It’s the full season as we are so close to New Year. I had square kiri-mochi. We can buy any size here. They sell thinly cuts ready for hot pots, but slicing yours is not difficult. I slice some, I keep some whole for the final.
Dumpling skins that you can make yourself. I bought them this time. Well, some buy the gyoza ready, but that’s not funny.
DIY gyoza

For the filling : ground chicken meat and diced fresh ginger. That’s all. The ground meat could go bad if it stayed too long unrefrigerated, so take it from the fridge at the last minute. If you are many, bring one a bowl and refill later as you go.

Season veggies that you like.
The greens of hakusai (napa cabbage). Bean sprouts. And yukikesho kabocha, sliced finely, if possible. The rind of kabocha is edible.

That’s ready. Jump to step 2 (here).

Rasen gyoza (spiral dumplings)

A few fleischnackas

About those meat escargot pasta

Today’s market basket for the veggies.

They are not burnt, just perfectly grilled.

A perfect mix of pasta and filling, poached and pan-fried… Like a gyoza. Bigger. More of the yummy stuff !