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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Vegetable Dumplings in Schezuan Sauce

When I first came to the US from India, some seven odd years ago, it took me a while to like eating out! Don't get me wrong, I have done a lot of eating out at dhabas, restaurants and fast food places all my life, but all the Italian & Chinese food I had eaten, I realize now, were Indianized to such an extent, that eating those cuisines in the US was a big jolt to my palate! And I had no idea that the "Chinese" food that I was used to, was not really Chinese at all! Instead, here it is called "Indian Chinese".

So, the first time my husband took me out to eat at a Chinese restaurant close to our place, on Valentine's Day no less, I was in for a rude shock! I absolutely hated the experience. I had not eaten anything on the menu, so I let him order for me. I hated the taste, the smell, the whole ambiance! I wasn't sure I could hold my food till I got out of there. And I vowed never to set foot into that place again!

Fast forward seven years...

A very close friend was raving about this very same restaurant and was very surprised that I had never been there in so many years. She told me I was making a mistake and that I should definitely try it.So, for our wedding anniversary, I decided to brave it out and go there again. We loved it! I have no idea what has changed, but I am guessing that constant exposure to the food here has expanded my horizons and I have now acquired a liking for the very tastes and smells that I quite abhorred during my initial months here! Which brings me to my post today.

This friend of mine had suggested I try their schezuan ravioli. We loved it so much that we make it a point to always order that whenever we go there now! My little one's eyes will be watering from the spice level, but he will not give up eating it, because his mouth also waters simultaneously! So, naturally, I just had to try out this dish. I don't think the chef would have been willing to share his recipe, so I tried out my own version. I am not quite sure I got it perfectly right, but we loved the taste, so here goes...

Preparation & Cooking: 40 minutes           Serves: 5
Ingredients:
For the dumplings:
Wonton Wrappers - 5
Sesame Oil - to shallow fry the dumplings
For the filling:
Cabbage - 1 cup, thinly shredded
Carrots - 2 medium. thinly shredded
Scallions - 2, shredded
Minced Ginger - 1 teaspoon
Minced Garlic - ½ teaspoon
Sesame Oil - 2 tablespoons
Pepper & Salt - to taste
For the Schezuan Sauce:
Red chilllies - 5 (use less if you want a mild sauce)
Sesame Seeds - 1 tablespoon
Dark Soy Sauce - 2 tablespoons
Siracha Sauce - 1 tablespoon (use less if you want a mild sauce)
Peanut Butter - 1 tablespoon
Soybean Paste (Red Type) - 2 heaped tablespoons
Schezuan Sauce - 1 tablespoon
Seasoned Rice Vinegar (Balsamic Blend) - 2 teaspoons
Sesame oil - ¼ cup
Sugar - ½ teaspoon
Minced Garlic - ½ teaspoon
Salt - to taste (go light on the salt as the soy sauce is very salty).

Method:
For the dumplings:
  • Strain the shredded vegetables on a paper towel in a colander.
  • Heat oil and stir fry the vegetables, adding pepper and salt to taste, till the vegetables are cooked yet crunchy (about 2-3 minutes).
  • Place a small amount of this filling on each wonton wrapper and seal the edges of the dumpling using a little water. Keep the dumpling under a dam cloth/paper towel till all the dumplings are stuffed.
  • Heat some sesame oil in a flat pan and shallow fry the dumplings till their bases are browned.
  • Now, add enough water to cover ¼th of the pan, cover it and steam the dumplings.
  • Once all the water has evaporated and the pan begins to brown, the dumplings are cooked.
For the sauce:
  • Dry roast the sesame seeds and the dry red chillies and grind them into a coarse powder.

  • Add the rest of the ingredients for the sauce and microwave for approximately 2-3 minutes, adding a little water if you need to dilute the sauce a little bit.
  • Stir it well and remove lumps if any. Yummy schezuan sauce is ready for dipping!

Serve the hot dumplings with the schezuan sauce.

3 comments:

  1. Was waiting for this one priya , it taste's get .Must try for everyone .

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, am glad you liked it so much :)

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