This term is shaping up to be one of my busiest yet. In addition to all the normal prep and marking for classes, I’ve taken on some extra projects (including starting a part-time university course) which will take up a large amount of time. Everything is worthwhile but I can see some fraught moments in the months to come.
In preparation for the busy evenings ahead, I’ve been stocking up my freezer with some standby meals: tomato sauce for pasta, chicken stock for risotto, bean chilli, beef stew and about a hundred or so tofu chinese dumplings.
I just adore these wee things. They are so tasty and so much fun to make and they can very quickly be cooked in a variety of ways straight from the freezer. What’s not to love?
Chinese Tofu Dumplings (or find a meaty version here)
2 heads of pak choi, finely chopped
225g firm tofu, crumbled
6 spring onions, finely chopped
15g ginger, finely chopped
150 ml ground nut oil
2 large eggs
2 tbs rich soy sauce
1 tbs rice wine
¾ tbs salt
1 tbs sesame oil
Wonton or dumpling wrappers
- Salt the pak choi and leave for 30 mins then squeeze dry.
- Beat the eggs lightly then using 30 ml oil stir fry the eggs over a high heat until they are golden and crispy.
- Combine all the filling ingredients using your hands. Taste and adjust if needed.
- Put one teaspoon of filling in the centre of each wonton wrapper. Wet the edge of the wrapper and fold over, pinching to seal.
- To freeze (without them all sticking together) – Line up dumplings on a baking tray making sure they aren’t touching. Put in freezer. Once frozen remover dumplings from baking tray and seal in plastic bags.
- Steam for 6-7 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce made from a mixture of soy sauce, crushed garlic and sesame oil.
- Simmer gently for 4-5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce.
- Turn in to Japanese gyoza (see below) by frying gently on one side until golden. Add 1cm of water to frying pan, cover and let gyoza steam for 3 minutes. Remove lid and evaporate water. Serve with dipping sauce.
- Simmer gently with a green vegetable (broccoli, beans etc) in either miso soup or beef and ginger stock.