Sunday, May 23, 2010

Week G - Let's Goji Berry

Goji Berry Gyoza
It was a snowy night in the sweet country of Utah when I decided to try something different for dinner with my lovely Hanks family. It was a fun group project. We made an assembly line. One person cut the dough and   rolled out circles, the next added the stuffing and followed down the line pinching ends together perfectly.  It makes eating them that much more rewarding! We spoke of the magic the Himalayan berry provides. The goji berry has been used in the countries surrounding the Himalayas for thousands of years. It is said that the Himalayans were the first natural healers, and that   they shared their wisdom with the ancient herbalists of China, Tibet, and India. One of their most prized secrets was the fruit of the native goji vine, which had been flourishing in the Himalayan valleys since the beginning of time. The remarkable goji berry are awed by its unmatched health-promoting powers.
Some of the legendary health giving properties of the goji berry are: Weight Loss, Free Radical Prevention,   Enhanced Immune Response, and Anti-Fatigue Effects that also help with healthy memory and brain activity.

Goji Berry Gyoza Dumplings
Serves 6-8
Step 1 - Dumpling Wrapper
2 cups   unbleached flour, sift
1/4 tsp   sea salt, fine
1/4 cup  warm water, not boiled

1)  Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl. Add sea salt to flour. Lightly stir together with wooden spoon. Make a hole in the middle of the bowl and slowly stream in the water while mixing with wooden spoon. Be careful not to over mix.
2)  Cover dough with a clean towel and let the dough set for 45 minutes at room   temperature.
3)  Once the dough has set, roll into a long log about 1" around.
4)  Cut the dough into 1/2" pieces. Roll into small balls.
5)  Dust the dry surface with flour and roll out the dough with your rolling pin into small flat disks. Place onto a dusted sheet pan or plate until its time to stuff the dumplings!

Step 2 - Goji Stuffing Mixture
1 med     carrot, shredded
1 cup      napa cabbage, shredded thin
1 Tbsp   garlic, minced
1 Tbsp   ginger, minced
1/4 cup  goji berries, hydrate in warm water for 10 minutes
1 cup     tofu firm, crumbled (or desired protein)
2-3 Tbsp  soy sauce
2 Tbsp   sesame oil
1)  On a medium-high heat add oil to a medium sized sautee pan.
2)  Add garlic and ginger and sautee until fragrant. Then add the tofu and continue to sautee for another 2 minutes. This allows the water from the tofu to absorb.
3)  Add the carrots, cabbage, goji berries and soy sauce. Sautee for another minute or until the cabbage and carrots are soft.
4)  Place in dish and set in refrigerator to cool.

Step 3 - While the mix is cooling:
Start your steamer.  There are many types of steamers, most commonly used is the stainless steel steamer.    There are plenty to choose from. My favorite is the bamboo steamer.
The most important aspect for this use is to create a cover over the steamer and a great use is cabbage leaf,   chard, lettuce or parchment paper. Up to you, but since we are using cabbage I suggest keeping a few to the side for your steamer.

Step 4 - Now that the mix has cooled:
1) Add a spoonful of mixture. Fold in half. Press edges together and pinch closed.
2) Place dumplings in steamer on high for approximately 3 minutes.
3) Heat frying pan on high heat and add vegetable oil. Get the oil hot, but not smoking, then place the dumplings in the oil. Be sure to move the dumpling around so not to stick.
4) Fry until golden brown and serve immediately with the Dipping Sauce.

Step 5 - Chili Ginger Dipping Sauce
1/4 Cup low sodium soy sauce
3 Tbsp  rice vinegar
2 Tbsp  mirin or sake
1 1/4    sesame oil
1 tsp     honey
1 tsp     ginger, grated
1 tsp     garlic, minced
1/2 tsp  chili paste or 1 tsp chili oil
green onion, sliced thin
toasted sesame seeds
1)  Whisk all ingredients together in mixing bowl. Place in serving dish and garnish with green onion and sesame seeds