I first read about Mamabake when I moved out to the Western suburbs 2 years ago and I even made an (admittedly half-hearted) attempt to start up a group, but didn’t have any real interest. Fast forward to now and I have met some amazing women who have introduced me to, and welcomed me to, many groups and I will be forever grateful. If you have a chance to join up with a Mamabake group its truly a wonderful thing.
Yesterday I went to my very first Mamabake group cook, and it was such an amazing day. In the space of 5 hours 5 women cooked 2 different types of curry paste, 2 different types of gyoza, wontons, asian pork with mushrooms, and meatballs. We all had a ball and we took home mountains of food
I’m going to share 2 of the recipes today, Asian pork with mushrooms and one of the gyoza recipes. I take absolutely no credit for these recipes – just sharing the love
Pork and Mushroom Sauce (aka Asian Bolognaise)
Mamas that want the exact recipe, I am sorry, I don’t have the quantities. It’s all agak agak (approximate) and to taste. Once you know how it tastes like, you can do it with whatever quantity of mince that you like.
1 kg pork or chicken mince (a bit fatty please as lean mince is too dry)
15 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked til they are plump and juicy. Squeeze liquid out of mushrooms. Keep soaking liquid. Cut off stalks and place them in compost bin. Slice the caps finely.
1 bulb garlic, chopped finely
Black caramel sauce labelled as Cooking Caramel (Cheong Chan brand – red label with elephant, black writing)
Soy sauce and/or salt and/or chicken stock powder – you choose
Cornflour mixed with water (you will need quite a lot of cornflour, try 1 cup in enough water to make it more like gravy than soupy)
Heat oil/lard, put in garlic, fry til fragrant
Add mince and brown til all cooked
Add sliced mushrooms
Add mushroom soaking liquid and more water til all ingredients are well covered with water (you want lots of sauce!)
Add caramel cooking sauce (I figure 6 seconds of pouring, can always add more after you taste)
Add oyster sauce (about 5 shakes, gentle please cos you can’t save it if its too salty! As always, add more if required after tasting)
Add 2 tablespoons of sugar and salt to taste
Stir, taste, adjust whatever your palate tells you is missing – usually with sugar / salt
Bring to boil, lower to simmer for half an hour.
Add cornstarch mixture to thicken. Sprinkle with white pepper.
Gow Jee / Gyoza
From Martin Yan’s Chinese Cooking
> 145 g cabbage, sliced
> 1 tsp salt
> 225g minced pork
> 115g chopped carrot
> 45g chopped water chestnuts
> 2 spring onions, chopped
> 1.5 tbsp oyster sauce
> 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
> 1 tbsp cornflour
> 2 tsp sesame oil
> 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
> 1/2 tsp sugar
> Gow jee/ Gyoza wrappers (I buy Tak Onn brand no coloring)
3 tbsp cooking oil
160ml chicken broth or water if you don’t have broth
Makes 28 (supposedly – we didn’t count)
Calculate how much mince you are going to do then multiply the ingredients to how many times you are making. We did 1 kg so will x4 for all other ingredients. This will require 2 large packs of wrappers. You may have some filling left over, make into balls and cook in broth or deep fry. Eat.
1. Combine cabbage and salt, mix well. stand 10minutes. Squeeze to extract excess liquid, discard liquid.
2. Add to remaining ingredients, mix well with good old fingers and let stand 15minutes.
VERY IMPORTANT: TASTE TEST BEFORE WRAPPING cos you don’t want to end up with a whole lot of crappy tasting gow jees. Take a small tsp and microwave for 30sec or til cooked (or boil) then test for taste. Season to YOUR TASTE with oyster sauce / sugar / salt / more minced ginger (I load mine up with ginger).
3. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of wrapper. Moisten edges with water. Fold in half, crimping one side to form a semi circle. Set dumplings on a baking sheet, seam side up so they sit flat (nice surface area for crunchy bottom).
4. Place frying pan over medium heat until hot. Add 1.5tbsp oil, swirl to coat sides. Add dumplings, seam side up. Cover whole pan. Cook until bottoms are golden brown (3 to 4 minutes). Add 80ml broth or 160ml if all dumplings are in the pan. reduce heat to low, cover and cook til liquid is absorbed (5-6minutes). Cook remaining dumplings with remaining oil and broth (that is if you didnt cook them all already)
5. Place dumplings, browned side up. Serve with chilli oil, black vinegar and soy sauce.
6. Can also be cooked in boiling water, ready when they float. Serve as is or in broth.
Poh’s Kitchen ABC has a pretty good recipe too – check it out and she shows you how to fold the pleats.
Place trays of gow jees in freezer to freeze. Once frozen, store in zip lock bags. These may be cooked without defrosting.