Deliciously Gluten-Free Asian Pot Stickers

Gluten free pot stickers

Dumpling, pot sticker, gyoza, jiaozi, dim sum…..

Truthfully, I’m not really sure how to differentiate between these wonderful little packages of bliss.

I would love to waltz into a dim sum restaurant and cozy up to a server to get the lowdown, but due to my gluten allergy, I can’t.

So while I can’t really educate you on all things dumpling, I can offer you a gluten free recipe that tastes yummy, even if it is something of a crossbred mutt.

We will call it……dumpstickgoyadim for now.

I did find some gluten free dumpling recipes online, but to be honest, I didn’t care for them. The dough ended up cracking and turning into something of a mini pie crust, rather than a tender, chewy little dumpling. (This might also have to do with the fact that I didn’t keep my dough moist…)

So I found a different dough recipe that wasn’t actually classified as a gluten free recipe, but because it only contained rice flour and tapioca flour it WAS gluten free, and after having made it….I decided it was the best way to go for me.

Asian pot sticker recipe

Makes 24-28 dumplings (depending on size)

Gluten free pot sticker ingredients

Dough

(thanks to Andrea Nguyen for her brilliant rice dough recipe)
1 cup white rice flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour (also known as tapioca starch)
pinch of salt
2 Tbsp oil
2/3 cup boiled water (adjust if necessary)

Filling

15 medium raw shrimp-deveined and chopped
1/4 lb ground pork
¼ cup mushrooms-chopped
2 green onions-diced
1 tsp fresh ginger-grated
1 clove garlic-minced
1/4 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp GF soy sauce
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper

Dipping Sauce

2 Tbsp GF soy sauce
1 Tbsp agave nectar
1/4 Tbsp rice vinegar
¼ tsp sesame oil
Few drops sriracha (optional)

Other tools:
Ziplock bag
Tortilla press-optional
Dumpling press-optional

Start by peeling and deveining your shrimp. Chop them, along with your mushrooms and green onion. Grate your ginger finely and then mince your garlic. Add everything into a bowl then add your soy sauce, ground pork, sesame oil, salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Mix all ingredients and place in fridge.

Finely chop all the filling ingredients and mix by hand

Next, start your dough by adding your rice flour, tapioca flour and salt into bowl. Pour in your oil. Add in your just-boiled water and start to mix with a chopstick. After water cools down a bit, start to knead the dough until it has a play-dough consistency.

mix your pot sticker dough

Now your dough is ready to be divided. Roll it out into a foot long rope (lightly dust the counter with rice flour) and cut in half. Place half your dough directly into a ziplock bag to keep moist. With the remaining dough, cut into 12 pieces. Place the pieces into the bag except a few that you are working with to keep everything moist. Repeat with remaining dough.

Divide your dough into 24 pieces

Now you are ready to start pressing your dough into the dumpling wrappers. This can be done quickly and easily with a tortilla press.

Cut a ziplock bag in half. Open your tortilla press and place half of the ziplock bag on the base. Lightly dust this with rice flour. Add one of your dough discs and cover with the other half of the ziplock bag. Close your tortilla press. When you open it, handle your wrapper carefully, as it is very delicate.

Press out your dumpling wrapper

Now you are ready to fill the wrapper with your meat. This is done very easily with a dumpling press.

Place the wrapper in your hand, and fill with a small ball of filling. Around 1/2-1 tsp. Place your wrapper in a dumpling press and gently press closed. Easy!

Filling your wrapper

–if you don’t have a tortilla press

you can press it out by hand the old-fashioned way. Take one of your dough discs and flatten it by hand. Cut a ziplock bag in half. Lightly flour half of the zipock bag and place your flattened dough disc on it. Cover with the other half of the ziplock bag and roll out with a rolling-pin. Gently take your wrapper and place your filling in it. Lightly wet the edge of the wrapper and close in half. Pinch shut, and work your way around the rest of the dumpling to close.

Press out your dumpling by hand

Place your pot stickers on a clean surface as you are preparing them.

POT STICKERS!

Once you have filled your wrappers, you are ready to cook. Heat your oil in a large saucepan. Add in your pot stickers. Let them brown for a few minutes. Add in 1/4 cup of water and cover with tight-fitting lid. Let the pot stickers steam for 6-8 minutes. You may have to cook them in two batches.

Browning the bottom

Once your pot stickers are done, then you can plate them. Mix your dipping sauce and enjoy!

Pot Stickers!

Yummy!

There are some other amazing dumpling recipes online with some pretty awesome instructional photos…so here are some blogs to visit when you get the hankerin….

  1. userealbutter-Chinese dumplings and pot stickers
  2. lafujimama-steamy shrimp pork dumplings
  3. asiandumplingtips

Happy dumpling eating!!!

Gluten Free Miso Soup

Gluten Free Miso Soup

If you’ve ever had hibachi, or eaten at your local Japanese restaurant, then you have probably met a bowl of miso.

Miso soup is so wonderful, earthy and “umamilicious“.  I have never met a bowl I didn’t like.

While I was pregnant with my first daughter, I craved miso soup. I would drive to the local Japanese buffet and order two to go. Sometimes in the middle of the night.

Although it can be high in sodium, it has some great health properties; with minerals, amino acids and protein to name a few.

Miso soup isn’t very hard to make, however,  you do have to have some ingredients that may be hard to come by (big surprise right?) including kombu (dried kelp) katsuobushi (thin shavings of dried skipjack tuna) and miso (fermented soybean paste). They should be available at your Asian market or online. You could always buy an “instant miso” packet, but chances are it will contain gluten.

Dried Kombu and Katsuobushi

First, we’ll make a broth called dashi out of the kombu and the katsuobushi. Dashi is the soup base that Japanese use in most of their soups. No wonder-it’s delicious.

Once we make the dashi, we will add in miso. There are different types of miso, and you can use whichever one you would like. The darker misos have a stronger flavor, and the lighter misos are sweeter and less salty. You can combine the misos as well.

Make sure you buy a miso that is pure with no added gluten. I purchased some light miso that didn’t contain gluten, but there were several brands that DID have gluten. Also, check your tofu as well. It should only have soybean and no other ingredients. All the other ingredients should be naturally gluten free.

If you really want to learn about miso soup, then check out this video. (Alton Brown is one of my FAVORITES)

Miso Soup Recipe

Serves 2

Cost per serving $2.30

2 x 4 inch strips kombu

4 cups water

1/2 cup katsuobushi (bonito flakes)

1-2 green onions-diced

1 small package enoki mushrooms

4 Tbsp miso (I used light) (GLUTEN FREE!)

1 Tbsp wakame dried seaweed-optional

8 0z soft tofu-chopped

First make your dashi…

Place your kombu in a pot with 4 cups water and soak for 20-30 minutes.

Place on medium heat. Just as water boils, add the katsuobushi and remove from heat. Let set for about 10 minutes. Strain the broth into separate pan. Either discard the kombu and katsuobushi, or save for second broth.

…Now the miso soup

Return broth to medium heat and add miso. Whisk to dissolve miso. Add chopped tofu, green onion and wakame. Cook until heated through.

This should last around 3 days in the refrigerator. Miso soup won’t freeze well.

Enjoy

Yummy!

Moroccan Mint Tea

As-Salāmu `Alaykum, or peace be with you in Arabic.

I learned this common greeting while I was in Morocco several years ago. We were doing a few days of language school,  and this is the only Arabic I can remember!

What I do remember from this trip are the sights and sounds of Morocco. Entering the town of old Fez, (only by donkey or foot) was like a scene straight out of Aladdin. We had to hire a donkey to carry our luggage to our hotel.

I was privileged to see many sights of Morocco; Casablanca, the old city of Fez, the markets of Marrakesh and the Volubilis Roman ruins

I also remember the food. Our usual fare was rotisserie chicken with fries, or even better, was the lamb tanjine, something hard to come by in North America.

We would always finish our meal with a piping hot cup of Moroccan mint tea. Served in a small glass cup, poured high from above to mix the flavors and produce foam.

Traditionally, the tea is served three times, and each glass has a unique flavor from the steeping process, according to the famous proverb:

The first glass is as bitter as life,

the second glass is as strong as love,

the third glass is as gentle as death.

I think I would like to try my hand at growing my own mint, so I can have this tea more often, and remember the wonder that Morocco holds.

Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe

2 servings

Cost $1.00 per cup

4 cups boiling water
2 tsp loose green tea
1 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

First, boil some water to rinse out your teapot. Add your green tea and some boiling water.
Let this steep for 2 minutes, then discard the water, leaving the tea leaves in the pot. (This will help the tea not be bitter) Fill pot with another 2 cups hot water, the mint and the sugar. Allow to steep for several minutes.

Pour tea from high up, creating foam in the teacup.

Enjoy!

Gluten Free Shrimp Tempura Roll

Most Americans I have encountered have never really had a good sushi experience. Some have never tried it at all, while others have had that “one” experience that scarred them for life. I wish I could take these people by the hand and help reshape their misguided ideas about sushi. If they tried a delicious roll, and hated it, I would leave it alone, but most have never had that chance.

The first time I ever ate sushi, I was living in Florida and strolled in (by myself) to the unknown territory of a Japanese restaurant. I sat at the sushi bar and looked over the menu. Nothing made sense, expect maybe the teriyaki chicken.

I decided on a $6.50 bento box that came with miso soup, salad, teriyaki chicken and a California roll. Everything I tried tasted different and delicious.

Then the sushi chef leaned over the counter and asked me if I wanted some sauce for my sushi. I didn’t know what he was talking about, so I just said, “sure”. What he handed me was a delightful pink sauce,  something I had never seen. As I dipped my California roll into the sauce, my roll was transformed. It went from a 4 to a 10 on the flavor scale in an instant.

The sushi chef and I got to talking, and realized we had a lot in common. We started a friendship that led to game nights and hang outs, and of course, he would always make the sushi!

I am so grateful for that day that I bravely strolled into that Japanese restaurant, and for that moment when my world opened up just a little bit more, and for the friend that I found in the sushi chef.

Maybe this is why I am so fond of sushi, because my initial experience was such a great one.

I ventured out from that point and tried all sorts of sushi, and the one that I have yet to top is the shrimp tempura roll. Fatning, and not quite Japanese as much as some southern fried delight, this roll is AMAZING.

I would love to sit down with some sushi doubters and let them try this roll, and see where they stood after that.

Of course, being gluten intolerant, I can’t have normal tempura or soy sauce, so currently my only option for my favorite sushi is homemade, and let me tell you, this is an awesome recipe. Tastes authentic of what my taste buds remember, and once you get the hang of it, making sushi gets easier and easier.

Gluten Free Shrimp Tempura Roll with Spicy Mayonnaise

Makes 4 rolls

Cost per roll $2.50

1 ½ cups Sushi rice (nishiki is a good brand)

2 Tbsp Sushi vinegar (rice vinegar with added salt and sugar)

4 Nori seaweed sheets (cut ¼ off each sheet)

¼ cup Mayo (Kraft is GF)

½-1 Tbsp Sriracha chili sauce (to taste)

1 ½ avocados

½ field cucumber

1 cup all-purpose Gluten Free Flour

¾ Tbsp baking powder

Ice cold water

8 Large shrimp

Cream Cheese (Philadelphia brand is gluten free)

Gluten free soy sauce

Oil for frying

Start by rinsing your sushi rice under running water. Rise 2-3 times until water runs clear.

Mix 1 ½ cups rice with 2 cups water and bring to boil. Once boiling, cover and bring to simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes.

Spread rice over non-metallic surface and fold in 2 Tbsp sushi vinegar. Spread and let cool.

Make your spicy mayo by adding mayonnaise and sriracha in bowl. Should be pink and slighty sweet. Mix to taste.

Cut your avocados and cucumbers and set aside. Cut ¼ inch thick strips of cream cheese and set aside. Prepare shrimp by rinsing and peeling. (Leave the tail on) Lay shrimp flat and flatten out by pinching with your fingers. This will help the shrimp to stay flat.

Start to heat oil in small saucepan over med-high heat.

Make your tempura by mixing your flour and baking powder. Add in cold water and gently mix. Do not overmix, your tempura should be lumpy. This will help it to stay light.

Once your oil is hot, dip your shrimp (except tail) into batter and fry. This should take a few minutes each. Shrimp will start to turn golden when done. If they are burning or turning to deep brown, reduce your oil heat. Place cooked shrimp on paper towel to cool.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place your nori shiny side down on bamboo mat. (Cover bamboo first with gallon size ziplock) Wet hands, and spread ¾ cup rice over nori. Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.

Turn your nori over rice side down. Assemble your roll by adding cream cheese, fried shrimp (2), cucumber  and avocado to middle of nori. Roll your bamboo mat over half way and then over the rest. (see here for help with rolling sushi)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cut into 8 pieces with sharp knife. Wet knife between cuts for a cleaner cut.

Drizzle on spicy mayo.  ENJOY!

Gluten Free Korean Beef

Sapporo. A city in Northern Japan, but more importantly, (well, maybe less importantly) my favorite restaurant in the entire world. This little number of a Japanese buffet (think classy Ala cart, not hot bar Chinese)  was a reward for a hard day, or a celebration of good times, or heck, just the place I would go fairly often when I had a hankering for some delicious grub.

There were competing Japanese Buffets around, and I tried them all, but NONE compared to Sapporo.

Here, you could sample sirloin tips in garlic, or crispy tempera shrimp, or a delightful shrimp tempura roll, but one thing that stuck out to me on this menu was the BBQ beef ribs. Not the kind of BBQ ribs you would find at Chilis, but a Korean style rib cut thinly across the bone and marinated in a mix of soy, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic.

Beef Bulgogi, as they would call it in Korea, was listened number 23 on the “World’s 50 most delicious foods” by CNN in 2011. That’s some good beef right there.

We could usually polish off several orders of this beef before sauntering home and falling into a 4 hour soy-induced nap.Those were good days. Now, having Celiac, I would get a stomach ache just walking into Sapporo I’m sure.

While attempted to make this recipe, my husband and I made several different recipes from the web. Coming in first place was Epicurious’s rendition of this tasty treat. I learned that traditionally you BBQ the meat, then wrap it in lettuce (like a Korean lettuce wrap) and eat with fresh garlic and green chili. Anxious to try the traditional way, I foolishly bit into a full clove of garlic and ¼ raw green chili pepper, and couldn’t get the fire out of my mouth for a few hours.

Fittingly so, as Bulgogi means “fire meat” in Korean. But boy, was it worth it.

Here is my gluten free adaption of this fantastic dish!

Gluten Free Korean Beef Recipe

gluten free version loosely adapted from Chef John J. Nihoff

Servings 2-3

Cost per serving $2.75

1lb Korean style beef short ribs (available at Asian market)

(if unavailable, ask butcher to cut beef sirloin very thinly)

1/4 cup gluten free soy sauce or tamari

2 Tbsp sugar or honey

1 green onion-chopped

1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil

1 Tbsp mirin (Japanese cooking wine)

1/2 medium onion-pureed in food processor

2 cloves garlic-minced

1/2 tsp ginger-minced

2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

2 Tbsp canola oil

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Whisk together gluten free soy, sugar, sesame oil, mirin, onion, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, green onion and black pepper. Pour marinade into large freezer bag and add in ribs. (if you purchased the Korean style ribs, you can cut individual ribs with scissors. They are easier to cook this way) Coat well and let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight in refrigerator.

Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat.

Remove beef from marinade and add to skillet. Cook for 5-7 minutes, turning over a few times. Be careful not to burn it.

You can serve with rice, or the traditional way, with lettuce, garlic and green chili.

Top with additional toasted sesame seeds and enjoy!

Gluten Free Thai Mango Salad

Flavor Epiphany.

This is the best way I can describe the experience I had when I first tasted this salad. I had ordered takeout from My Thai, one of my favorite places back in the day, and when I bit into this salad, I was shocked. My taste buds had never EVER encountered this intriguing bliss before. Fruit mixed with onion and herbs….what?! It’s not something we do much of in America…at least not where I grew up.

After experiencing this salad, I started to look online for a similar recipe, but for some reason, couldn’t find one. I knew what ingredients were in it, so I just fumbled around the kitchen until I came up with this recipe. It’s not really salad, but it’s not really desert. I am not really sure what to call it, but the bottom line is…..it’s fantastic. 🙂

Gluten Free Thai Mango Salad Recipe

Servings 2-3

Cost per serving 1.50

Ingredients:

2 mangos-green (soft but not over ripe)

3 Tbsp palm sugar (from Asian market) (substitute brown sugar if necessary)

4 Tbsp water

2 limes

¼ red onion

20 mint leaves

2 Tbsp chopped cilantro

2-3 Tbsp salted peanuts-chopped

Start by creating a simple syrup. Add 3 Tbsp palm sugar and 4 Tbsp water to saucepan and bring to boil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, then remove from heat.

Julienne your mango and onion, then dice your mint and cilantro. Add mango, onion, mint and cilantro to bowl. Pour in 2 Tbsp of your syrup as well as the juice of 2 limes. Add in the chopped peanuts and mix well. Adjust to taste by adding more lime/syrup.

Hope you enjoy!

Gluten Free Asian Lettuce Wraps

I worked at Chilis a long time ago…like 10 years ago, and one of the dishes they offered was the lettuce wraps. They were AMAZING, but apparently not amazing enough for the general population, as I noticed a few years ago they were no longer a part of the menu. I have also had cheesecake factory’s lettuce wraps, which I thought were good…not awesome. Then there is P.F. Chang’s (or Pei Wei’s) lettuce wraps…very good, but a little salty for me. I am sure there are other amazing lettuce wrap to be found around the globe, but for celiacs, or anyone with gluten intolerance, the soy (and other possible glutinous ingredients) will cause a serious reaction. The hardest part of Asian cuisine is the gluten laden sauces. So, here I find myself making my own. Something I have done for years. (FYI-P.F. Chang’s does have lettuce wraps on their gluten free menu)

These lettuce wraps are gluten free, as well as low carb, and fairly good for you. You can even substitute the gluten free soy (or tamari) for a low sodium one, if you want to cut back on salt.

While my husband and I were eating these, he said to me, “babe, I am so proud of you for doing something so awesome after being kicked in the gut.” I didn’t really understand what he was saying at first, then I realized that he was referring to me starting a food blog after the frustration and devastation of a celiac diagnoses. Yea, I think “kicked in the gut” is a great description. And, yes, I am awesome.  🙂

Hope you like this recipe!

Asian Lettuce Wrap Recipe

Feeds 3-4

Cost $3.25 per serving

2 Tbsp canola oil

1.25 lb package of ground turkey (I use Jennie-O because it’s GF)

1 cup pre-shredded carrots

1 cup chopped mushrooms (shiitake if available)

1 can water chestnuts-chopped

2 cloves garlic-chopped or pressed

2 green onions-chopped

1 Tbsp ginger-grated

5 Tbsp GF soy or tamari

2 Tbsp rice vinegar

2 ½ Tbsp agave nectar (or sugar if you don’t have agave)

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp cornstarch

1 head lettuce- bosten lettuce forms nice cups, however, iceberg is much crisper, but not as classy

2 Tbsp sliced almonds-for garnishing

Extra shredded carrots-for garnishing

2 Tbsp cilantro-chopped for garnishing-optional

Dipping sauce-recipe following

Mix together your GF soy, rice vinegar, agave, and sesame oil in bowl. Set aside.

Cook the turkey in saucepan until almost browned. Pour out extra liquid. Add in carrots, mushrooms, water chestnuts, garlic, green onions, ginger and the sauce mixture. Mix together well and let simmer a few minutes. Mix cornstarch with a few teaspoons of hot water and mix. Add to saucepan. Continue to let simmer another 5 minutes, or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat. The longer you let it rest, the better the flavor becomes.

Dipping Sauce

1 ½ Tbsp GF soy sauce

1 Tbsp rice vinegar

1 tsp grated ginger

½ Tbsp green onion-chopped

1/2 clove garlic-chopped or pressed

1 Tbsp agave nectar

1/8 tsp sesame oil

Mix all ingredients together and whisk. Divide into smaller ramekins or bowls for dipping.

Spoon a few Tablespoons of lettuce wrap mixture into individual leaves of lettuce. Top with raw shredded carrot, sliced almond, and cilantro. Dip into sauce and enjoy!