The HI Cantina Cookbook

Howard Wallace

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Momos, Jiaozi, and other Asian dumplings

Dumplings filled with meat or vegetable fillings are common throughout east Asian countries. In Tibet and Nepal the stuffed dumplings are called momos. In China they are jiaozi. Making jiaozi is often a family social event in China. Everyone participates in rolling out the dough and stuffing the dumplings with filling. Then they are boiled up and everyone enjoys them together.

You can buy the dough wrappers as won ton skins, or they are easy to make. To make, mix up a stiff dough of flour and water. Let it set for a couple of hours. Then roll it out on a floured board into a tube about an inch in diameter. Cut the tube into 1 inch segments, flatten them with your hand, then use a roller to roll the dough into teacup sized circles.

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The circle part is a bit tricky but you can still make them into dumplings if they are not perfect circles.

The filling can be just about anything. Let your imagination go. Ground beef or pork makes a good base, or you can just use the meat as filling by itself. A little egg or tofu added to the filling can add some moisture. Vegetables of various sorts or seasonings (sesame oil, various sauces, chile peppers, etc) can also be added to the filling to make it interesting.

Recently enjoyed fillings include: ground beef mixed with fennel leaves, egg, and tofu // Ground beef and ground pork mixture with egg // Ground beef mixed with pickled fiddlehead ferns, sesame oil, and egg

Once the filling is created a tablespoon full is put into the center of each wrapper, and then the edges of the wrapper are crimped together. There are numerous methods of crimping the dumplings that can be seen online, but any method that fully encloses the filling will do. Once that is done the dumplings can be cooked by either boiling or steaming. The cooking process takes about 10 minutes. If desired, the cooked dumplings can be later pan fried to create what the west calls “pot stickers.”

The dumplings are often eaten with a dipping sauce. Often the Nepalese sauces for momos have a tomato base, while Chinese sauces for jiaozi often have a soy sauce base with some vinegar, hot spice, sesame oil, etc. Diners often customize their own dipping sauce in a little personal bowl.

Here's a picture of my little friend eating her first dumplings. She only has 3 teeth but she's ready to try!

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Kanchhi's Watercress Momos Recipe (as posted by Yangdu)

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First step

Wash watercress then boil pot of water add the watercress into boiled water take stir for half minute and take out of water and let it cool down and dice.

Ingredients

4 lb fine diced watercress
1 teaspoon salt
2 cloves diced garlic
1 large size diced onion
1 cup green diced onion
1/2 cup tofu
2 table spoon olive oil

Sautee garlic and onion with olive oil for couple of minutes

Instructions

1 Combine the watercress, add all ingredients together mix well and set a side
2 To make momos place the filling in the center of a wrappers. Dab a little water with your finger and circle around the edge of the skin, and
then fold and pleat the momos accordingly. Repeat the same for rest.
3 Arrange the momos in a steamer and steam for 10 minutes.
Serve immediately with tomato sauce

Tomato sauce

Ingredients

4 large diced tomatoes
1/2 tea spoon salt
2 table spoon olive oil
1 clove deiced garlic

Add all ingredients in pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes and let it cool down then add 1/4 of diced cilantros.
Combine all in blender and blend for 1 second. Sauce is ready served with momos
Serving size for four person
Ready made wrappers are available in most grocery store
If you got no thing but time then you can make your one wrappers at home!
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Thanks Howard and Yangdu for your contributions! Next time I make them ill put up some of my ingredients. Ill have to try watercress. Thats a new one to me. The common name for me is Potstickers but they look to be the same thing. I use rice wonton wrappers when I dont feel like making the dough myself. For the sauce i use combinations of soy, tamari, fish sauce, and real wasabi. Miso paste is good too as is cilantro. Good wasabi is hard to find and is usually substituted with horseradish and some minuscule quantity of wasabi but the real stuff is euphoric. Oh and Bull Nettle nuts are wonderful in the meat mixture for filling.
 

Howard Wallace

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A most modern and hasty haggis

Red Flower is off work for a while because she lost her voice. She tested negative for covid but the speach issue does interfere with her ability to do her work. While she silently convalesces, I do my best to take care of her. Today in the refrigerator I have some fresh liver, some homemade bone broth, and the leftovers from some braised beef cheeks with garlic and curry. Of course you’re thinking, you’ve got the makings of a fine haggis right there. Unfortunately, the local farmers are not permitted to sell sheep stomachs. They do sell more familiar cuts, but I guess the unapproved parts are destined for a landfill.

This unfortunate circumstance lead me to seek guidance from the ancients. What did one do when Longshanks’ men had devastated the country around, hauling away all available sheep stomachs for some ungodly purpose? The answer came - the heart of a haggis is in the innards, the stomach but provides the shape and a means of transport. Then I further inquired, what about my leftover beef cheeks, and the thrifty forbearers replied it would be a shame to throw away bits and pieces of cheek that could just as well round out a hearty haggis. Thus reassured, I began cooking.

Bone broth and leftover braised beef cheeks into a pot to boil. Finely chop beef liver and add to boiling broth. Add organic rolled oats enough to absorb liquid. Boil for a minute then cover and allow to rest for a while.

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Serve with a sprinkling of coarse sea salt. Option for a lightly poached egg on top.

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Red Flower, while mute because of her malady, had an unusual expression which I can only interpret as surprised delight, as she sat down in front of her big plate of liver and cheeks oatmeal. When she gets her voice back I’m sure she will be telling me how much she appreciated it!
 
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