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Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mushroom Dim Sum Buns for One

These little filled balls are super filling—they’re metaballs! I thought about making a salad to go with them, but in the end, they were so filling I’d have put the salad back in the fridge.
Makes 5 or 6.

½ cup non-dairy milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon of baking powder
Pinch of sea salt
Peanut oil (or canola)
8 ounces of mushroom—mixed is nice, but anything will do—sliced or diced
2 slices of onion, diced
2 leaves of bok choy or cabbage, diced
1 clove garlic, peeled and finely diced
½-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely diced
Several sprigs of cilantro or parsley, diced
1 TBLSP rice wine vinegar
2 TBLSP tamari or soy sauce
2 green onions, sliced small
1 TBLSP sesame seeds, toasted slightly in a dry pan
½ TBLSP sesame oil
2-4 TBLSP protein of some sort (optional), such as beans, tofu, or brats, diced small
  1. In a small bowl, add the milk, flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir it into a dough. Let it rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes to half an hour.
  2. In a frying pan, heat a splash of the oil over medium heat and toss in the mushrooms and onions and stir fry until they’re golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the bok choy or cabbage and stir fry until it’s soft. Now add in the garlic, ginger, and cilantro.
  3. Add the vinegar and soy sauce, and cook for about 5 more minutes, until the liquid has boiled away. The mushrooms should be pretty soft now. Remove from the heat.
  4. Add the green onions, sesame seeds, and sesame oil to the mushrooms, and set aside. This is the point to add some protein if you wish, too, like baked tofu, cooked beans, or diced vegan brats.
  5. Dust a surface with flour (I like to use a piece of waxed paper for easier clean-up, rather than doing this straight on the kitchen counter), and roll the blob of dough into a thick sausage. Cut it into 6 pieces, roll them into balls, and then flatten them into rounds. I like to make them about 3-inches in diameter, but it’s up to you how thick or big you make them. You could also roll the dough flat with a well-floured rolling pin and cut out neat circles with a cookie or biscuit cutter.
  6. Plop some mushroom mixture into the centers of the 6 pieces of dough, making sure that there’s a large circle of bare dough around each mound of mushrooms. Do fill them as full as you can, though. Pull and fold the edges of the dough over the filling, pinching the edges to make a seal. There will be extra stuffing, even if you fill the dumplings very full. It will be nice on scrambled tofu tomorrow morning.
  7. Place the little darlings on a cabbage or lettuce leaf (to keep them from sticking to your steamer) or place each in a paper muffin cup with the scruffier sides of the little orbs down. It doesn’t really matter much—it’s not for presentation purposes. It’s for anti-stick purposes.
  8. Bring a pot of water to a boil with the steamer already in place. The water should come up to the steamer but not enter it or bad things will happen to your buns and their paper wrappers. Place the buns and their wrappers into the steamer, lower the heat to medium, cover, and steam for about 12 minutes.

Serve with hoisin sauce (recipe included below), plain soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, or a nice soy sauce/miso/rice vinegar/mirin (in equal parts, and seen below) dipping sauce. Yummmmm!.

Homemade Hoisin Sauce for One

Produces 1/3 cup.
4 TBLSP soy sauce
2 TBLSP peanut butter
1 TBLSP molasses
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, diced finely
2 teaspoons sesame seed oil
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl.
  2. Serve with Chinese food, particularly dim sum offerings, like Mushroom Buns, pot stickers, or non-egg rolls. 

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