Garlic Chives Jiaozi

At the South Arm Community Kitchen, Vanessa brought along a new friend, Ming. Ming is from Beijing and she was a chef back there. We are fortunate to learn from Ming how to make jiaozi from scratch. Yes, even the dough is made from scratch.

The timing is just right as Chinese New Year is just around the corner. Jiaozi is a traditional food during Chinese New Year. Ming enlightened us on why jiaozi is eaten during Chinese New Year. For one, the shape of jiaozi resembles the gold ingots which is a form of money used during the past. Therefore, jiaozi is believed to bring wealth in the new year. Also, the Cantonese believes that the way the filings is wrapped in a wrapper keeps the wealth within the family.

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Jiaozi is also believed to get its name from the shape which resembled horn shape.

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There are various filings for jiaozi. Garlic chives or also known as Chinese chives is the most common one. The mild garlicky flavour of the chives complements the flavour of the pork very well. I had blogged about other types of jiaozi here and here.

Ingredients

  • ground pork (can also use ground beef or lamb), about 2 lbs
  • garlic chives, 1 bundle, finely chopped
  • minced ginger
  • salt
  • sesame oil
  • cooking oil
  • chicken bouillon powder (optional)
  • flour
  • water

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The garlic chives has flat leaves unlike the regular chives which has hollow rounded leaves.

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Hawaiian Meatball

The second dish which Minoo made was Hawaiian Meatball. The sweet and sour meatballs are very appetizing and kids will love this dish. Try and make it for your family.

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Minoo served the Hawaiian Meatballs with steamed rice. A little more sauce will be perfect to go with the rice.

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The Hawaiian Meatball is good for potluck too.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs ground beef
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup cracker/bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 12oz can pineapple, reserve the juice
  • 1 cup chopped red or green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • mushroom, optional

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Roasted Sweet Potato Soup

Minoo kicked start the Caring Place Community Kitchen with two dishes. The first dish is Roasted Sweet Potato soup with orange and ginger. You may make this dish with yam, pumpkin or other winter squashes.

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This Roasted Sweet Potato Soup is a creamy soup flavoured with orange zest and grated ginger. It is best served warm. The creaminess of the soup comes from the sour cream. However, you may substitute the sour cream with a couple tablespoons of peanut butter and it’s equally good.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups peeled, cubed yams or sweet potatoes (about 3 large ones)
  • 1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 5 cups low-fat chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon each grated orange zest and gingerroot
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
  • Chopped, fresh cilantro for garnishing

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Vinegar and Oil Tasting

Karen brought a couple of her vinegar and oil for us to taste as she did not have to prepare much for the community meal the next day. Basically, she’ll made the Chili in Indian Sauce for the community meal entree and salad for the sides. We helped Karen to wash and chop two big boxes of greens to be used for salad the next day. The food bank also donated two large platters of cookies for the community meal and that takes care of the dessert.

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Karen brought a couple of oil and vinegar for us to taste and she also shared a few vinagrette dressing recipes with us. Here are what we tasted:

A sherry vinegar which has quite a strong sour taste. A lemon infused olive oil which has a very nice lemon flavour. A balsamic vinegar which is mellow and smooth, not too sour. The grape seed oil does not have any flavour in it which is very good for cooking because of its neutral taste.

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We also compares the oil with an ordinary olive. We did the tasting with some bread. Bing a typical Chinese who do not serve salad at home, I have very little knowledge of vinegar and oil. When I walk into a gourmet store with racks of vinegar and oil, I’m just lost. Anyway, it is a good experience to taste some of these vinegar and oil which I have never used before. So, what is your favourite vinegar and oil?

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Chili in Indian Sauce

Karen made a Chili using some Indian Sauce she got from the food bank. It is a good way to introduce new flavour to your family to expand their culinary experience. This is a vegetarian dish. Karen served the chili with basmati rice and salad greens on the side.

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The Chili in Indian Sauce is so simple and quick to prepare. The sauce is sold in microwaveable pouch which is ready to eat.

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The sauce Karen used is Baingan Bharta which is roasted aubergines in a tangy sauce infused with rich Indian spices. The sauce is not too spicy. (more…)

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Roast Pork Rice Paper Roll

Vanessa also made some Roast Pork Rice Paper Rolls to serve with the Pineapple Fried Rice. The roast pork is bought from the best roast pork stall at Parker Place in Richmond.

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The Roast Pork Rice Paper Roll is best served warm, unlike the Vietnamese Shrimp Rice Roll which is served cold.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb roast pork, cubed
  • 1 package of rice paper
  • 3 carrots, peel and cut into match sticks
  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 bag of bean sprouts
  • Hoisin Sauce to taste

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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Pineapple Fried Rice

Vanessa kicked start the the South Arm Community Kitchen with two of her favourite dishes. The first dish is Pineapple Fried Rice. Many Chinese made fried rice at home. It’s a good way to use left over rice and meat. Nanzaro often asks me to cook extra rice so that he can fry rice for supper or breakfast by himself.

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Vanessa kicked it up a notch by using the pineapple shell to plate the Pineapple Fried Rice. This is just like what we get at high end restaurant which comes pricey. Vanessa showed us how to make this from our own kitchen.

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We simply love the presentation of this Pineapple Fried Rice.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole pineapple, not too ripe.
  • 4 cups cooked rice. preferably overnight left over rice
  • 4 slices Cooked ham
  • 4 eggs
  • a bunch of green beans
  • Soy Sauce
  • Salt to taste

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Click on the link below for the instructions.

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