Italian Wedding Soup


Date Published: April 17th, 2022 | Last Updated: April 17th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 45 mins

Jump to recipe |

Italian Wedding Soup is a hearty Italian soup made with little beef meatballs and little pasta. The name refers to the “marriage” of the flavours in this soup (rather than a dish served at a wedding).

This soup brings back major nostalgia for me back to my early university days. Before I learned how to cook, I would buy a lot of ready-made soups to have between classes. Specifically, I’d get the Campbell’s “Soup at Hand” brand because they were conveniently packaged in handheld cups and all you had to do was microwave the cup and you’re ready to sip it on the go. I’ve always loved soup and I think I must’ve tried almost all of their flavours back in the day, but Italian Wedding Soup stood out to me. At that time, I had never heard of this soup and what was even more intriguing was the little tiny meatballs and pastas that were in the soup that had to fit out of the small sippy hole of the cup. I actually forgot all about this soup until a couple weeks ago when it suddenly popped into my head while I was trying to decide on what to cook for the week. I’m not sure what originally led me to think about it, but I’m glad I did. It took a couple weeks of testing out different soup and meatball recipes to get it just right (we seriously actually had it for lunch for 2 weeks straight until I was happy with it). I’ve never been to Italy nor have I ever had this soup at an Italian restaurant, so I cannot attest to the authenticity of this recipe, but it’s pretty damn good. This soup is also great to make ahead. It keeps well for the week and it tastes even better the next day – the perfect meal-prep soup!

Tiny Meatballs and Tiny Pasta?

This soup is traditionally made with small meatballs and tiny pasta which is what makes it so unique and fun to eat! Without the tininess, the soup is actually kind of similar to a chicken noodle soup in terms of flavour. You can make these meatballs as big or as little as you want. I prefer to keep them small around 2cm wide so they’re bite-sized and more fun to eat. You can also use any type of pasta you like but it’s traditionally made with smaller pastas such as acini di pepe or risoni, both of which remind me of rice but with a chewy pasta texture. Smaller pasta also adds more starch to the soup and gives it that classical thicker consistency.

The soup is technically easy to make but it is pretty time-consuming to make the little tiny meatballs. To pass the time faster, I’d recommend grabbing a chair and streaming something in the background while you form the meatballs or recruiting other people to make it with you.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Meatballs:
    • 500g extra-lean ground beef
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely*
    • 1/2 medium onion, minced finely*
    • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely*
    • 1/4 cup basil, chopped finely*
    • 2 Tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
    • *Make sure you chop these FINELY since your meatballs will be very small. If too large, your meatballs will fall apart easily.
  • Soup:
    • 3 Tbsps olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1.5 medium onion, diced
    • 2 medium carrots, diced
    • 6 stalks celery
    • 6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock
    • 4 cups (1L) beef stock
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 pinch of dried thyme
    • 1 cup risoni pasta (or acini di pepe if you can find it)
    • 4 cups (2 large handfuls) spinach, washed and roughly chopped
    • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Make the meatballs: mix all the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl (ground beef, eggs, panko, garlic, onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper). Roll them into 2 cm small meatballs.

This is a time-consuming process. I make it quicker by squeezing small amounts from my fist and then rolling it – sounds confusing, see photos above. (You can make them as big or as small as you like. I tend to make them about 2cm.)

Fry off the meatballs (optional but adds more flavour): In a large pot on HIGH heat, add a small amount of oil and fry the meatballs in small batches for 10-15 seconds until browned. You don’t want to cook the meatballs fully, but only enough to sear the outsides to lock in the flavour. Place the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Repeat until all the meatballs are fried off.

Once all the meatballs are fried off, in the same large pot, turn the heat down to MED heat and sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and cook until the onion is transparent (~5 mins). Add in the celery and carrot and continue cooking until soft and easy to break apart with a spoon. (You can quicken this process by adding on the lid but be careful not to let it burn.) Next, add in the chicken stock, beef stock, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Bring the soup to a boil then turn the heat back down until a light simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 mins, add in the risoni pasta. Boil for 5 minutes then add in the fried meatballs. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the risoni is cooked and the meatballs are no longer pink inside. Turn off the heat and add in the spinach. Stir the spinach into the soup until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve! (Tip: This soup tastes better the next day once the flavours have infused a little more)

Summarized Recipe:

Italian Wedding Soup

Date Published: April 17th, 2022 | Last Updated: April 17th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups
Serves: 6 | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 45 mins

Ingredients:

  • Meatballs:
    • 500g extra-lean ground beef
    • 2 eggs, beaten
    • 1 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced finely
    • 1/2 medium onion, minced finely
    • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped finely
    • 1/4 cup basil, chopped finely
    • 2 Tbsps Parmesan cheese, grated
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • Soup:
    • 3 Tbsps olive oil
    • 3 cloves garlic
    • 1.5 medium onion, diced
    • 2 medium carrots, diced
    • 6 stalks celery
    • 6 cups (1.5L) chicken stock
    • 4 cups (1L) beef stock
    • 2 bay leaves
    • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    • 1 pinch of dried thyme
    • 1 cup risoni pasta (or acini di pepe if you can find it)
    • 4 cups (2 large handfuls) spinach, washed and roughly chopped
    • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Make the meatballs: mix all the meatball ingredients together in a mixing bowl (ground beef, eggs, panko, garlic, onion, parsley, basil, Parmesan, salt, and pepper). Roll them into 2 cm small meatballs.
    • This is a time-consuming process. I make it quicker by squeezing small amounts from my fist and then rolling it – sounds confusing, see photos above. (You can make them as big or as small as you like. I tend to make them about 2cm.)
  2. Fry off the meatballs (optional but adds more flavour): In a large pot on HIGH heat, add a small amount of oil and fry the meatballs in small batches for 10-15 seconds until browned. You don’t want to cook the meatballs fully, but only enough to sear the outsides to lock in the flavour. Place the meatballs on a plate lined with paper towel to soak up any excess oil. Repeat until all the meatballs are fried off.
  3. Once all the meatballs are fried off, in the same large pot, turn the heat down to MED heat and sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil and cook until the onion is transparent (~5 mins). Add in the celery and carrot and continue cooking until soft and easy to break apart with a spoon. (You can quicken this process by adding on the lid but be careful not to let it burn.)
  4. Next, add in the chicken stock, beef stock, bay leaves, oregano, and thyme. Bring the soup to a boil then turn the heat back down until a light simmer. Let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  5. After 20 mins, add in the risoni pasta. Boil for 5 minutes then add in the fried meatballs. Continue cooking for another 5 minutes until the risoni is cooked and the meatballs are no longer pink inside. Turn off the heat and add in the spinach. Stir the spinach into the soup until wilted. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve! (Tip: This soup tastes better the next day once the flavours have infused a little more)

Taiwanese Style Beerhouse Clams (台式九層塔炒海瓜子)


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, Asian, easy, mains, sides
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Jump to recipe |

This was one of my all-time favourite dishes growing up in Taiwan. My brother once got mad at me when we were kids when I ate them too fast, lol. The sauce is SO good, you MUST serve it over white rice to soak up all the delicious flavours. This recipe is commonly found in the beerhouses of Taiwan or seafood shops.

The clams that are traditionally used are called hai gua zi (海瓜子) which roughly translates to ‘ocean melon seeds’ – I think it has to do with the oval shape of them that resembles melon seeds? 🤷🏻‍♀️ They’re small oval clams with a patterned shell that are commonly found in the region. Any small species of clams can be used in this recipe as long as they’re fresh! I actually had a bit of a hard time finding fresh small clams for this recipe in Australia – even the local seafood shops didn’t have them. Surprisingly they were available at the Costco in Adelaide, SA however were a bit pricy at $20/kg for pipis (it was totally worth it though 😜).

Note the patterned shell and the oval shape of the hai gua zi –>

Image source: https://inf.news/en/nature/b6dd63ea2ba851d1cda05f356fb35732.html

What is a Taiwanese Beerhouse (啤酒屋)?

A Taiwanese beerhouse is a place where locals like to go afterwork to unwind, drink beer and eat hot stir-fry dishes. They’re not breweries, they’re just a place to drink and eat. If you’re a foreign visitor to Taiwan, chances are your host wouldn’t bring you to one of these beerhouses. They’re usually noisy, loud with drunk people, and no doubt lots of cigarette smoke. It’s frequented by people of lower socioeconomic classes and call girls as well as the average working man with their coworkers. It’s kind of like taking a guest to a rowdy grungy bar – it’s not for everyone, but the food is usually damn good. These beerhouses are becoming a dying culture and it’s getting harder to find them in Taiwan – possibly due to an attempt to elevate the social status of the area or maybe from the years of economic downturn and less availability of disposable income, or maybe it’s from Westernization 🤷🏻‍♀️. I remember my dad taking us out afterwork when I was a kid and getting out of the cab to see a long street of back to back beerhouses lit up with flashing neon lights (although in hindsight, beerhouses definitely aren’t the best place to bring children 😅). The last time I visited a couple years ago there were only two left on the street – the food was still just as good though!

What is beerhouse-style food?

Taiwanese beerhouses usually serve food that is made quickly over a high heat that packs a ton of flavour. These dishes are commonly very salty and/or spicy which goes great with a bowl of rice and a bottle of cold beer. Common dishes you’ll find are “three-cup” based recipes, which involve the triple threat for a lip-smacking combination: soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice wine. It is often sautéed with ginger, garlic, and Thai basil – the basis of classic Taiwanese beerhouse flavours. This clam recipe doesn’t diverge far from the beerhouse basics.

Thai Basil vs Italian Basil?

There are no substitutions for basil in this recipe. You MUST use Thai basil which is a lot stronger in flavour. Basil is a key component of this dish and without a good strong basil, the flavours just won’t be right. You’d have to probably at least double the amount of Italian basil to get similar results.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1kg fresh small clams (ie. Pipis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2-3 long Thai red chilis, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie. Shaoxing)
    • 1 Tbsp of black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 3 tsps white granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 LARGE handful (~3 cups) of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil for drizzling

Directions:

*This recipe cooks QUICKLY on HIGH HEAT! Make sure all your ingredients are chopped, prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

Rinse the clams thoroughly under running water. Optional: soak in salty water 15mins before.

Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.

In a wok on HIGH heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 2-3 mins until fragrant.

Add the clams to the pot and sauté for 30 seconds then drizzle in the sauce ingredients: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Mix around and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes then put the lid on. Let the clams steam for 3-4 minutes or until they all open up. Careful not to steam them for too long or else the clams will get tough and chewy.

Once the clams have opened up, add in the basil leaves and drizzle the sesame oil over the clams. Sauté for another minute and turn off the heat. Serve! Best served over white rice.

Summarized Recipe:

Taiwanese Style Beerhouse Clams (台式九層塔炒海瓜子)

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: Taiwanese, Asian, easy, mains, sides
Serves: 2-4 | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1kg fresh small clams (ie. Pipis)
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4cm ginger, peeled and thinly sliced into matchsticks
  • 2-3 long Thai red chilis, sliced (remove the seeds if you want it less spicy)
  • Sauce:
    • 2 Tbsps Chinese cooking wine (ie. Shaoxing)
    • 1 Tbsp of black vinegar
    • 2 Tbsps oyster sauce
    • 3 tsps white granulated sugar
    • 1/4 tsp white pepper
  • 1 LARGE handful (~3 cups) of Thai basil leaves
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil for drizzling

Directions:

*This recipe cooks QUICKLY on HIGH HEAT! Make sure all your ingredients are chopped, prepped and ready to go before you start cooking.

  1. Rinse the clams thoroughly under running water. Optional: soak in salty water 15mins before.
  2. Prepare the sauce by mixing all the sauce ingredients in a bowl: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, sugar, and white pepper. Set aside.
  3. In a wok on HIGH heat, add a drizzle of oil and sauté the garlic, ginger, and chilli for 2-3 mins until fragrant.
  4. Add the clams to the pot and sauté for 30 seconds then drizzle in the sauce ingredients: cooking wine, black vinegar, oyster sauce, and white pepper. Mix around and let the sauce simmer for 2-3 minutes then put the lid on. Let the clams steam for 3-4 minutes or until they all open up. Careful not to steam them for too long or else the clams will get tough and chewy.
  5. Once the clams have opened up, add in the basil leaves and drizzle the sesame oil over the clams. Sauté for another minute and turn off the heat. Serve! Best served over white rice.

Green Curry Fish Soup


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: mains, soups, vegetarian, easy, healthy, low-cal
Serves: 6-8 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 45mins

Jump to recipe |

I love a good Thai green curry but making the curry paste from scratch is always time-consuming since there are so many ingredients involved, however the end result is ALWAYS worth it so I always make a big batch of it and keep it stored in a large ice cube tray in the freezer. I freeze them in 1/4 cup portions so it’s easy for me to measure out and defrost when I need it. Since I always make a large amount, I’m constantly looking for new creative ways to use it. This recipe uses my homemade Thai green curry paste. It’s so easy and quick to whip up a large pot with enough portions to pack for lunch for the week!

Homemade Curry Paste vs Pre-made curry paste in a can?

I will always choose a homemade curry paste over one that comes in a can. The flavours of a homemade paste is so much fresher and more pungent compared to one in a can. You’ll find that in many recipes that use a canned paste, you always have to add aromatics to it such as ginger, garlic, or galangal to “freshen” it up and bring out the flavours of the paste first before you add in your main ingredients, however when you use a homemade paste, you don’t need to add in anything extra. You can just start sautéing it in the pan and add in your veg, protein…etc. Although it’s more time consuming to make the paste at the start, I found that it ended up saving me so much more time when I’m trying to whip up something quick.

A Healthy Green Curry?

Nearly all Thai green curries use coconut milk in the recipe which has a high saturated fat content – something I try to avoid as much as possible due to high cholesterol running in the family. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good Thai curry with the creamy coconut flavour, however for the sake of my health I’ve experimented with alternatives to make it healthier and still satisfy my green curry cravings. This recipe uses soy milk or oat milk as the replacement which is low in calories, no saturated fats, and overall healthier! You don’t get the coconuttiness however the flavours of the green curry still shine through.

A great recipe to clean out the fridge!

The vegetables I’ve chosen in this recipe are the common veg I usually have in the fridge but feel free to change it up to whatever you like. I’ve thrown in leftover cabbage, carrots, potatoes…etc. I’ve also chosen fish as the protein for this soup due to health reasons, but you can easily substitute with chicken, beef, pork, or even no protein at all and keep it vegetarian.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup homemade green curry paste
  • 4 cups (1L) unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (concentration of 1 cube = 1 cup)
  • Vegetables: *feel free to substitute with whatever vegetables you like*
    • Butternut pumpkin – 2 cups
    • 1-2 zucchinis, diced
    • 1 roasted eggplant, diced
    • 1 can bamboo shoot slices
  • 600g white fish fillets (~3 fillets) (ie barramundi, ling fish or any white fish that won’t disintegrate easily in a soup)
  • 2-4 Tbsps fish sauce to taste

Directions:

Sauté the green curry paste in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil over MED heat until the paste dries out a bit and turns slightly brown.

Add in the soy milk, chicken stock, and chicken stock cubes. Mix it around and bring the heat up to HIGH until the liquid boils, then turn it back down to LOW-MED. Make sure there are no clumps of curry paste.

Add in the pumpkin and zucchinis. Let the soup simmer with the lid on until the pumpkin is cooked, then add in the roasted eggplant, bamboo shoots and fish.

Let the soup come to a boil again and turn the heat off once the fish is cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Green Curry Fish Soup

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author:
Abby | Category: mains, soups, vegetarian, easy, healthy, low-cal
Serves:
6-8 (1 large pot) | Prep time: 20mins | Cook time: 45mins

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup homemade green curry paste
  • 4 cups (1L) unsweetened soy milk or oat milk
  • 4 cups (1L) chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 2 chicken stock cubes (concentration of 1 cube = 1 cup)
  • Vegetables: *feel free to substitute with whatever vegetables you like*
    • Butternut pumpkin – 2 cups
    • 1-2 zucchinis, diced
    • 1 roasted eggplant, diced
    • 1 can bamboo shoot slices
  • 600g white fish fillets (~3 fillets) (ie barramundi, ling fish or any white fish that won’t disintegrate easily in a soup)
  • 2-4 Tbsps fish sauce to taste

Directions:

  1. Sauté the green curry paste in a pot with a drizzle of olive oil over MED heat until the paste dries out a bit and turns slightly brown.
  2. Add in the soy milk, chicken stock, and chicken stock cubes. Mix it around and bring the heat up to HIGH until the liquid boils, then turn it back down to LOW-MED. Make sure there are no clumps of curry paste.
  3. Add in the pumpkin and zucchinis. Let the soup simmer until the pumpkin is cooked, then add in the roasted eggplant, bamboo shoots and fish. Let the soup come to a boil again and turn the heat off once the fish is cooked. Add fish sauce to taste. Serve!

Healthy Fudgy Red Bean Brownies


Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: dessert, healthy, low-cal, Asian, easy
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 1hr | Cook time: 30 mins

Jump to recipe |

These guilt-free brownies are rich, dense, flourless, butter-free, and sugar-free. They’re naturally sweetened with dates and are a healthy alternative to regular brownies. Best of all, they’re so easy to make and there aren’t many ingredients involved. I will admit that I’d still choose a regular buttery brownie over this healthy alternative, however these are still pretty damn good and you can eat them guilt-free without getting a sugar crash. Toby liked them so much that he ate half a batch in one sitting 😅! The original recipe is from Hey Nutrition Lady which has a ton of nutrition information on this recipe – highly recommend checking it out.

What are Red Beans?

The term “red bean” can be synonymous with different types of beans that are red in colour. In Western culture, red bean commonly refers to ‘kidney beans‘ which have an earthy plain taste but absorbs flavours easily so they’re commonly used in stews or sauces. In Eastern Asian culture, red bean is the ‘adzuki bean‘ which is much smaller than the kidney bean and has a sweet flavour. This recipe uses adzuki beans. You’ll commonly see red/adzuki bean paste baked goods at Chinese bakeries. At OG Chinese restaurants they often serve red bean soup as dessert. Beans are starchy by nature which is the perfect substitute for flour in this recipe.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1.5 cups adzuki beans
  • 1.5 cups (200g) Medjool dates
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 180g milk or dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

Prepare the beans: Soak the adzuki beans overnight (the longer the better to soften the beans). Once soaked, boil the beans in a pot of water for 1 hour, then drain and set aside. (Make sure the water is at least 2-3cm above the beans since they will expand and absorb water as they cook).

Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Line a brownie pan (8″x11″ or 20cm x 30cm) with baking paper.

Prepare the dates: soak the dates in boiling hot water for 10mins, then drain and set aside.

In a food processor, add in the cooked adzuki beans and the dates. Blend until you get a chunky thick paste (see photo). Next, add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and eggs. Continue blending until you get a smooth paste.

Stir in half of the chocolate into the batter and pour the batter in the prepared brownie pan. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate over the top. Bake for 25-30mins until the edges are set and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for 10mins before slicing. Enjoy!

Ta-da!

Summarized Recipe:

Healthy Fudgy Red Bean Brownies

Date Published: Feb 16th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 16th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: dessert, healthy, low-cal, Asian, easy
Serves: 6-8 | Prep time: 1hr | Cook time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups adzuki beans
  • 1.5 cups (200g) Medjool dates
  • 2 tsps vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup (50g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 180g milk or dark chocolate, chopped

Directions:

  1. Prepare the beans: Soak the adzuki beans overnight (the longer the better to soften the beans). Once soaked, boil the beans in a pot of water for 1 hour, then drain and set aside. (Make sure the water is at least 2-3cm above the beans since they will expand and absorb water as they cook).
  2. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (350˚F). Line a brownie pan (8″x11″ or 20cm x 30cm) with baking paper.
  3. Prepare the dates: soak the dates in boiling hot water for 10mins, then drain and set aside.
  4. In a food processor, add in the cooked adzuki beans and the dates. Blend until you get a chunky thick paste (see photo). Next, add in the vanilla extract, cocoa powder, coconut oil, and eggs. Continue blending until you get a smooth paste.
  5. Stir in half of the chocolate into the batter and pour the batter in the prepared brownie pan. Sprinkle the rest of the chocolate over the top. Bake for 25-30mins until the edges are set and a toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool for 10mins before slicing. Enjoy!

Vegan Parmesan


Date Published: Feb 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, healthy, how-to
Serves: 1.5 cups | Prep time: 1 minute | Mix time: 30 seconds

Jump to recipe |

I’m not vegan, nor could I ever go vegan, but I do often try to cut down my intake of dairy for health reasons. The hardest part of cutting down dairy is the cheese. My idea of a perfect picnic is a giant cheese board with crackers and fruit pastes. Mmmmmm. I could eat cheese all day every day. I’m a cheese fiend!

Although I have yet to find a replacement for an ooey gooey cheese, I have found a replacement for Parmesan from Minimalist Baker. This recipe uses nutritional yeast as the source of its cheesy flavour and it’s super easy to whip up. Although it won’t melt, you can still use it anywhere you’d use Parmesan. I sprinkle it over pizza, pasta, and add it to savoury baked goods like tuna cakes.

What is nutritional yeast?

Nutritional yeast is a strain of deactivated yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) that is often used in baking, brewing, and wine-making. The yeast is grown, deactivated, dried, and packaged. It has its own nutritional benefits, but best of all it has a nutty cheesy flavour. It’s a very popular vegan product as a cheese replacement. You’ll usually find nutritional yeast in the health food section. A little goes a long way!

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 180g (1.5 cups) cashews (raw or roasted/salted)
  • 6 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (skip if you’re using salted cashews)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you get a consistency that looks like parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Done! Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Summarized Recipe:

Vegan Parmesan

Date Published: Feb 8th, 2022 | Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2022
Author: Abby |Category: basics, easy, healthy, how-to
Serves: 1.5 cups | Prep time: 1 minute | Mix time: 30 seconds

Ingredients:

  • 180g (1.5 cups) cashews (raw or roasted/salted)
  • 6 Tbsps nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp salt (skip if you’re using salted cashews)

Directions:

  1. Add all the ingredients to a blender or food processor and blend until you get a consistency that looks like parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust salt if needed. Done! Use immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Mama Hung’s Apple Potato Salad


Date Published: Dec 25th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides, salads, easy, appetizers, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 (one large bowl) | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 1 hour

Jump to recipe |

Happy holidays everyone! Wherever you are, I hope you’re filled with good food for the holidays. 😊

‘Tis the season for potato salads! Potato salads are pretty much a staple at most big family dinners – maybe because they’re easy to make? I’ll admit, I’ve never been a huge fan of them because they always seem to be the same combination of potatoes, mayonnaise, eggs and carrots. Not that I have anything against a potato salad, but I just find it pretty bland and just a filler between the mains. However over the last few Christmases, I’ve been happily proven wrong. Last year Toby’s mom made a traditional Czech potato salad with mustard and pickles which sounded weird to me at first, but was really delicious – I just posted that recipe earlier today and I highly recommend trying it 😊. Three Christmases before that, I celebrated the holidays with my friend Janice and her family in Point Cook and her mom made this delicious potato salad with apples, pineapples, corn and shrimp! The fruit in the salad was so refreshing, I kept going back for more! It’s like a cross between a fruit salad and a savoury potato salad. (We actually had a work Christmas party a few days ago and I couldn’t decide which potato salad to make so I brought both 😜.)

This recipe is technically easy, but labour-intensive (like most potato salads). The recipe instructions seem long, but it’s pretty much just describing how to boil the vegetables. It also takes some time due to waiting around for the vegetables to boil, so I’d recommend doing this on a lazy afternoon while playing some Netflix in the background. All of the work is in the chopping of the potatoes, carrots, apples, pineapple, shrimp, and eggs. The rest is just boiling and mixing together. This potato salad is best served chilled for at least an hour or overnight. I love recipes that are better made the day before because it frees up plenty of time for me during the day of a party and all I have to do is scoop it into a bowl to serve. 😊

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1kg (~4-5 large) white potatoes, diced to 2cm pieces (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 500g (~3-4 large) carrots, diced to 2cm pieces
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 can (430g) pineapple, diced to 1cm pieces (you can use fresh pineapple as well)
  • 1 can (420g) of cooked sweet corn kernels, strained
  • 3 apples, cored and diced to 1cm pieces
  • 300g cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, chopped to 2cm pieces (you can use thawed cocktail shrimp)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (good quality)*
    • I prefer whole egg mayonnaise or kewpie mayo. Do not buy the cheap stuff – I made that mistake earlier and the generic brand mayo was so nasty that I nearly had to throw out the whole salad. 🤢
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

*Note: if you have the space, you can boil the potatoes, carrots, and eggs all at the same time in separate pots to save time, or if you prefer to do less clean-up, you can do them one after another.

Boil the Potatoes: In a large pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced potatoes and fill the pot with hot water until all the potatoes are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~30mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water). Do not over boil the potatoes or else they will be too mushy.

Boil the Carrots: While the potatoes are boiling, in a medium pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced carrots and fill the pot with hot water until all the carrots are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the carrots are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~20mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water).

Hard boil the Eggs: Gently place the eggs in a medium sized pot and fill the pot with cold water until it is 2cm above the eggs. Turn the heat on HIGH. Once the water comes to a hard rapid boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let it sit for 12 minutes then submerge the eggs in cold water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the shells and dice the eggs into 1cm cubes.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add together the cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, hard boiled eggs, apples, pineapple, corn, shrimp and mayonnaise. Mix until combined. Salt and pepper to taste and add more mayonnaise if needed.

Place the salad in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for at least an hour before serving, or best if chilled overnight. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Mama Hung’s Apple Potato Salad

Date Published: Dec 25th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides, salads, easy, appetizers, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 (one large bowl) | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1kg (~4-5 large) white potatoes, diced to 2cm pieces (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 500g (~3-4 large) carrots, diced to 2cm pieces
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 can (430g) pineapple, diced to 1cm pieces (you can use fresh pineapple as well)
  • 1 can (420g) of cooked sweet corn kernels, strained
  • 3 apples, cored and diced to 1cm pieces
  • 300g cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp, chopped to 2cm pieces (you can use thawed cocktail shrimp)
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (good quality)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

*Note: if you have the space, you can boil the potatoes, carrots, and eggs all at the same time in separate pots to save time, or if you prefer to do less clean-up, you can do them one after another.

  1. Boil the Potatoes: In a large pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced potatoes and fill the pot with hot water until all the potatoes are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~30mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water). Do not over boil the potatoes or else they will be too mushy.
  2. Boil the Carrots: While the potatoes are boiling, in a medium pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced carrots and fill the pot with hot water until all the carrots are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the carrots are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~20mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water).
  3. Hard boil the Eggs: Gently place the eggs in a medium sized pot and fill the pot with cold water until it is 2cm above the eggs. Turn the heat on HIGH. Once the water comes to a hard rapid boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let it sit for 12 minutes then submerge the eggs in cold water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the shells and dice the eggs into 1cm cubes.
  4. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add together the cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, hard boiled eggs, apples, pineapple, corn, shrimp and mayonnaise. Mix until combined. Salt and pepper to taste and add more mayonnaise if needed.
  5. Place the salad in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for at least an hour before serving, or best if chilled overnight. Enjoy!

Czech Potato Salad (bramborový salát)


Date Published: Dec 25th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides, salads, easy, appetizers, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 (one large bowl) | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 1 hour

Jump to recipe |

Merry Christmas everyone! Wherever you are, I hope you’re filled with good food for the holidays. 😊

What is bramborový salát?

Bramborový salát is a traditional Czech potato salad. Toby’s mom first made it about a year ago (it actually may have been for Christmas, exactly a year ago) and it was SO GOOD. I usually find most potato salads pretty boring and they all taste the same, but this one was different. It’s made with potatoes, carrots, onions, eggs, and pickles. Yes, pickles! It sounded weird to me at first, but trust me it totally works. The salad dressing has the addition of mustard which gives it an extra kick that pairs fantastically with the rest of the salad. Bramborový salát is also often made with the addition of parsley root (kind of like a cross between carrot and celery) but I’ve decided to skip it in this recipe because A) its difficult to find in Australia, B) I’m not a huge fan of celery anyway, and C) there’s already so much chopping involved and I cbs doing more 😜. Besides, when I made this salad for the first time, Toby said it tasted just like his mom’s and his grandma’s (who are Czech, btw) and ate 4 servings in one sitting, so I’d say the parsley root wasn’t missed 😂. If you want to make it more traditional, feel free to add it in the same amount as the carrots in the recipe. If you can’t find parsley root, Toby’s mom said you can replace it with either a celeriac or parsnip.

This recipe is technically easy, but labour-intensive (like most potato salads). The recipe instructions seem long, but it’s pretty much just describing how to boil the vegetables. It also takes some time due to waiting around for the vegetables to boil, so I’d recommend doing this on a lazy afternoon while playing some Netflix in the background. All of the work is in the chopping of the potatoes, carrots, onion, pickles, and egg. The rest is just boiling and mixing together. This potato salad is best served chilled overnight to allow the flavours to marinate through (its definitely worth the wait). I love recipes that are better made the day before because it frees up plenty of time for me during the day of a party and all I have to do is scoop it into a bowl to serve. 😊

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1kg (~4-5 large) white potatoes, diced to 2cm pieces (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 500g (~3-4 large) carrots, diced to 2cm pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced to 0.5cm pieces
  • 2.5 cups dill pickles, diced to 1cm pieces
  • 5 eggs
  • Dressing:
    • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (good quality)
    • 1/4 cup pickle juice
    • 2 Tbsps dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

*Note: if you have the space, you can boil the potatoes, carrots, and eggs all at the same time in separate pots to save time, or if you prefer to do less clean-up, you can do them one after another.

Boil the Potatoes: In a large pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced potatoes and fill the pot with hot water until all the potatoes are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~30mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water). Do not over boil the potatoes or else they will be too mushy.

Boil the Carrots: While the potatoes are boiling, in a medium pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced carrots and fill the pot with hot water until all the carrots are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the carrots are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~20mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water).

Hard boil the Eggs: Gently place the eggs in a medium sized pot and fill the pot with cold water until it is 2cm above the eggs. Turn the heat on HIGH. Once the water comes to a hard rapid boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let it sit for 12 minutes then submerge the eggs in cold water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the shells and dice the eggs into 1cm cubes.

Make the Dressing: Add all the ingredients of the dressing to a bowl and whisk together until combined: mayonnaise, pickle juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.

Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add together the cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, hard boiled eggs, diced raw onion, and diced pickles. Mix in HALF the amount of dressing and taste. Add in more dressing to taste.

The amount of dressing required will depend on personal taste and also how big or small you cut up your potatoes and carrots. I usually find I need less dressing if I cut up the veggies smaller and vice versa. We also like our potato salad mayo-y and will usually use up most of the dressing.

Place the salad in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for at least an hour before serving, or best if chilled overnight. Enjoy!

Summarized Recipe:

Czech Potato Salad (bramborový salát)


Date Published:
Dec 25th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 25th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: sides, salads, easy, appetizers, vegetarian
Serves: 6-8 (one large bowl) | Prep time: 1 hour | Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

  • 1kg white potatoes, diced to 2cm pieces (peeled or unpeeled)
  • 500g carrots (~3-4 large), diced to 2cm pieces
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced to 0.5cm pieces
  • 2.5 cups dill pickles, diced to 1cm pieces
  • 5 eggs
  • Dressing:
    • 3/4 cup mayonnaise (good quality)
    • 1/4 cup pickle juice
    • 2 Tbsps dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Directions:

*Note: if you have the space, you can boil the potatoes, carrots, and eggs all at the same time in separate pots to save time, or if you prefer to do less clean-up, you can do them one after another.

  1. Boil the Potatoes: In a large pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced potatoes and fill the pot with hot water until all the potatoes are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the potatoes are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~30mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water). Do not over boil the potatoes or else they will be too mushy.
  2. Boil the Carrots: While the potatoes are boiling, in a medium pot on HIGH heat, add in the diced carrots and fill the pot with hot water until all the carrots are submerged. Once the water boils, turn the heat down to MED and keep to a rolling simmer until the carrots are soft enough to cut easily with a fork (~20mins). Strain and set aside to cool (or if you’re impatient, run it under cold water).
  3. Hard boil the Eggs: Gently place the eggs in a medium sized pot and fill the pot with cold water until it is 2cm above the eggs. Turn the heat on HIGH. Once the water comes to a hard rapid boil, turn off the heat and cover the pot with a lid. Let it sit for 12 minutes then submerge the eggs in cold water. Once the eggs are cool enough to handle, peel the shells and dice the eggs into 1cm cubes.
  4. Make the Dressing: Add all the ingredients of the dressing to a bowl and whisk together until combined: mayonnaise, pickle juice, dijon mustard, salt, and pepper.
  5. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, add together the cooked potatoes, cooked carrots, hard boiled eggs, diced raw onion, and diced pickles. Mix in HALF the amount of dressing and taste. Add in more dressing to taste.
    • The amount of dressing required will depend on personal taste and also how big or small you cut up your potatoes and carrots. I usually find I need less dressing if I cut up the veggies smaller and vice versa. We also like our potato salad mayo-y and will usually use up most of the dressing.
  6. Place the salad in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for at least an hour before serving, or best if chilled overnight. Enjoy!

How to Cook Dumplings – 2 ways!


The only type of dumplings I ever had growing up were boiled dumplings because my mom always said it was the healthiest and didn’t need any extra oil. It was also the fastest and easiest method to cook them when you’re whipping up a large batch to feed a family of 5! When I moved out from home, I learned how to pan-fry them from my fellow dumpling-loving friends. Pan-frying takes a little extra effort, but the yummy crunchiness is worth it. I find boiling is best for dumplings that have a filling with a stronger flavour such as my lamb and onion dumplings. Pan-frying is better in fillings with a lighter flavour such as these vegetable dumplings where you can notice the extra fried toastiness.

Every Asian household tends to have their own little variation in how they cook their dumplings and there are a few methods to cooking them. In this entry, I’m sharing the two ways I cook my dumplings: pan-fried and boiled.

A. Pan-frying

You’ll need a flat wok or pan with a lid for this method. The method is essentially first steaming the dumplings with a bit of water and oil. The steam from the water cooks the filling and the skin of the dumpling, then the remaining oil cooks the bottom of the dumplings for crispiness. 👌

1. Heat up a flat wok or pan on MED heat. Add a drizzle of neutral oil and place the dumplings fat side down on top of the oil then add in 1cm of water.

Try not to crowd the dumplings so they don’t stick together and makes it easier to flip.

2. Put a lid on over the wok and let the dumplings steam.

3. Once all of the water evaporates, remove the lid and check the bottom of the dumplings for a golden brown colour and flip them over. If they’re not yet golden brown, continue cooking the dumplings.

4. Once the bottoms are golden brown, flip them over and cook the other side of the dumplings until golden brown. You can add a little oil to the pan so they brown up a little faster.

5. Serve while hot with your favourite dipping sauce!

B. Boiling

This method is a lot more straight-forward. You’re essentially boiling the dumplings until the insides are cooked. Make sure your dumplings are sealed well, otherwise the filling will fall out in the boiling process. Try not to over boil it, or else the skin will become too soggy and break apart. If your dumplings are stuck together from the freezing process, just throw them in the pot altogether. Do not try to break them apart of else the skin will break. They will naturally separate in the pot.

1. In a large pot, fill 2/3 of the pot with water and bring it to a boil.

2. Once the water is boiling (we want a big boil where the water is moving vigorously, not just a simmer), gently drop in the dumplings, careful not to splash yourself!

3. When the water starts boiling again, add in a cup of cold water.

4. When the water starts boiling again, add in ANOTHER cup of cold water.

5. When the water boils a fourth time, the dumplings should be ready. The dumplings should be floating and you’ll see little pockets of air under the skin to signify the inside is cooked. If not, boil them for a little longer.

(See in the photo how the dumplings are floaty and pillowy with small pockets of air in them –>)

6. When the dumplings are cooked, strain them from the pot and transfer to a plate. Add a drizzle of sesame oil (or neutral oil) and mix it around to prevent them from sticking together. Serve with your favourite dumpling dipping sauce!

Dumpling Recipes:

Lamb and Onion Dumplings


Date Published: Dec 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, < 30mins, mains
Serves: 100 dumplings | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

Every time Toby and I travel, we’re always looking for the best local eats with the highest reviews. We might be stingy on hotel rooms, but we never skimp on good food. When we were exploring Alice Springs, a local dumpling house came up on our radar called Confucius Palace Dumpling Restaurant. I always question the authenticity of Chinese restaurants especially when they’re in a rural setting with very few Asian people around and even more skeptical when most of the reviews were posted by non-Asian people. I didn’t hold my breath because I’ve been let down too many times, but we were both pleasantly surprised! We ordered a few different types of dumplings, but our favourite was the lamb and onion (their chicken and corn wasn’t bad either). I had never had lamb in a dumpling until now and it was delicious! It went straight to my list of things to recreate when I got home and here it is! This recipe took a little trial and error, but I think I’ve got it pretty close to what it was in the restaurant. The filling is surprisingly basic and contains minimal ingredients. Most dumpling fillings include a lot of chopping, but not this one! You can whip up the filling in as quick as 15 mins and the rest is just wrapping. If you’re ever in Alice Springs, I’d highly recommend trying out that dumpling place!

You can pan-fry them or boil them (scroll to the end to see instructions on how to do either). I find boiling is best with this type of filling. They’re best served hot and eaten straight away. They’re not quite as good when microwaved.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Filling:
    • 2.5 cups onions diced (1 large or two small)
    • 1kg lamb mince
    • 6 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 3 tsps white pepper
    • 1/2 cup shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • Dumpling wrappers (2 packs = ~100 wrappers)

Directions:

Sauté the onion in a pan with a drizzle of oil until the onion becomes translucent and softened. Then turn off the heat and set aside to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients to a mixing bowl: lamb, soy sauce, white pepper, shaoxing wine. When the onion has cooled, add it to the bowl and mix everything together. You’re ready to wrap!

After wrapping them, you can either cook them straight away (see instructions below), or freeze them. When freezing, arrange the dumplings neatly in a tray and try not to let them all touch or else they’ll stick together when frozen. Once the dumplings are frozen, you can place them in an airtight container or bag.

How to Cook Dumplings:

Check out this post on detailed step-by-step instructions.

How to Cook Dumplings – 2 ways!


In this entry, I’m sharing the two ways I cook my dumplings: pan-fried and boiled. I find boiling is best for dumplings that have a filling with a stronger flavour. Pan-frying is better in fillings with a lighter flavour where you can notice the extra fried toastiness.… Continue reading →

Summarized Recipe:

Lamb & Onion Dumplings

Date Published: Dec 24th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 24th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: Asian, easy, < 30mins, mains
Serves: 100 dumplings | Prep time: 15 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • Filling:
    • 2.5 cups onions diced (1 large or two small)
    • 1kg lamb mince
    • 6 Tbsps soy sauce
    • 3 tsps white pepper
    • 1/2 cup shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
  • Dumpling wrappers (2 packs = ~100 wrappers)

Directions:

  1. Sauté the onion in a pan with a drizzle of oil until the onion becomes translucent and softened. Then turn off the heat and set aside to cool.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to a mixing bowl: lamb, soy sauce, white pepper, shaoxing wine. When the onion has cooled, add it to the bowl and mix everything together. You’re ready to wrap!

Check out post above on how to cook dumplings

Vegetable Dumplings


Date Published: Dec 16th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 16th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, vegetarian
Serves: ~100 dumplings | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Jump to recipe |

These veggie dumplings are a mix of carrots, cabbage, shiitake mushrooms, and chives. The slight crunch of the veggies with the umami soft mushrooms make these my go-to dumplings to make! They’re also great to bring at parties when you don’t know everyone’s dietary preferences. I think they’re best pan-fried but you can also steam or boil them too.

Warning: this recipe makes a buttload of dumplings (~100), but don’t worry, they last ages in the freezer and is perfect for those days when you don’t feel like putting in any effort to feeding yourself or if you just want something quick and easy. This is pretty much the rule of most Asian households when it comes to making dumplings. You either make a ton of dumplings for yourself and cram it in the freezer to slowly eat them throughout the next year or gift them to friends and family. When you break it down, on average I’ll eat about 15 dumplings per meals (20 if I’m really hungry), which only results in 6-7 meals.

Fun story: at the start of the COVID pandemic when everyone was raiding all the supermarkets, Toby and I bought a ton of minced pork and made 500 dumplings in one night incase there actually was a food shortage or if the pandemic became too out of control and we couldn’t safely leave the house to buy groceries. From memory the pork wasn’t too expensive, but the napa cabbage we used was like $10 😐.

Anyways, without further ado, here’s the recipe! If you have any comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear from you in the comment section! You can follow me on instagram, youtube and facebook to see all the recipes I post!

Happy cooking!

Recipe adapted from: Woks of Life

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • 2 Tbsps minced ginger
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms*, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 cups carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 cups garlic chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps sesame oil
  • 6 Tbsps Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 4 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 packages of pre-made dumpling skins (~100 skins) (follow the original recipe if you want to make your own skins instead)

* You can use either fresh shiitake mushrooms or the dehydrated ones and rehydrate them by soaking in hot water for 10 mins. You’ll have to cut off the hard woody stems before chopping. I find the dehydrated mushrooms to have better umami flavour than the fresh ones.

Directions:

Over MED heat, cook the minced ginger in some oil until fragrant (~30secs). Then add the onions to the pot and stir-fry until translucent.

Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook until tender.

Add the cabbage and carrot to the pot until veggies are tender and the released liquids have been cooked off. Transfer the entire mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.

Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl: chives, white pepper, sesame oil, cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and salt to taste (the soy sauce is usually enough).

Mix all the ingredients together. You’re ready to wrap! (If there’s too much liquid, you can add some cornstarch to thicken the liquid, but some liquid pooling at the bottom will be inevitable due to the salt drawing out the fluids from the veggies.)

After wrapping them, you can either cook them straight away (see instructions below), or freeze them. When freezing, arrange the dumplings neatly in a tray and try not to let them all touch or else they’ll stick together when frozen. Once the dumplings are frozen, you can place them in an airtight container or bag.

How to Cook Dumplings:

Check out this post on more detailed step-by-step instructions.

How to Cook Dumplings – 2 ways!


In this entry, I’m sharing the two ways I cook my dumplings: pan-fried and boiled. I find boiling is best for dumplings that have a filling with a stronger flavour. Pan-frying is better in fillings with a lighter flavour where you can notice the extra fried toastiness.… Continue reading →

There are a few methods to cook dumplings, but my favourite way is to pan-fry them for that extra crunch. If you prefer to be a little healthier, then boiling them would be the way to go.

A. Pan-frying

You’ll need a flat wok or pan with a lid for this method. The method is essentially first steaming the dumplings with a bit of water and oil. The steam from the water cooks the filling and the skin of the dumpling, then the remaining oil cooks the bottom of the dumplings for crispiness. 👌

  1. Heat up a flat wok or pan on MED heat. Add a drizzle of neutral oil and place the dumplings fat side down on top of the oil. Try not to crowd the dumplings so they don’t stick together and makes it easier to flip.
  2. Add 1 cm of water to the pan and put the lid on.
  3. Once all of the water evaporates, remove the lid and continue cooking the dumplings until the bottoms are toasty golden brown. Then flip the dumplings over and cook the other side of the dumplings until it’s golden brown. You can add a little extra oil into the pan to help the other side brown. Serve!

B. Boiling

This method is a lot more straight-forward. You’re essentially boiling the dumplings until the insides are cooked. Make sure your dumplings are sealed well, otherwise the filling will fall out in the boiling process. Try not to over boil it, or else the skin will become too soggy and break apart. If your dumplings are stuck together from the freezing process, just throw them in the pot altogether. Do not try to break them apart of else the skin will break. They will naturally separate in the pot.

  1. In a large pot, fill 2/3 of the pot with water and bring it to a boil.
  2. Once the water is boiling (we want a big boil where the water is moving vigorously, not just a simmer), gently add in the dumplings.
  3. When the water starts boiling again, add in a cup of cold water.
  4. When the water starts boiling again, add in ANOTHER cup of cold water.
  5. When the water boils a fourth time, the dumplings should be ready. The dumplings should be floating and you’ll see little pockets of air under the skin to signify the inside is cooked. If not, boil them for a little longer.
  6. When the dumplings are cooked, strain them from the pot to a plate and add a drizzle of sesame oil (or neutral oil) and mix it around to prevent them from sticking together. Serve!

Summarized Recipe:

Vegetable Dumplings

Date Published: Dec 16th, 2021 | Last Updated: Dec 16th, 2021
Author: Abby |Category: mains, Asian, vegetarian
Serves: ~100 dumplings | Prep time: 30 mins | Cook time: 15 mins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsps minced ginger
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cups shiitake mushrooms*, chopped
  • 3 cups cabbage, finely chopped
  • 3 cups carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 cups garlic chives, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1.5 Tbsps sesame oil
  • 6 Tbsps Shaoxing cooking wine or dry sherry
  • 4 Tbsps soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ¼ cup oil
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 packages of pre-made dumpling skins (~100 skins) (follow the original recipe if you want to make your own skins instead)

* You can use either fresh shiitake mushrooms or the dehydrated ones and rehydrate them by soaking in boiling water for 10 mins. You’ll have to cut off the hard woody stems before chopping. I find the dehydrated mushrooms have better umami flavour.

Directions:

  1. Over MED heat, cook the minced ginger in some oil until fragrant (~30secs).
  2. Add onions to the pot and stir-fry until translucent.
  3. Add the mushrooms to the pot and cook until tender.
  4. Add the cabbage and carrot to the pot until veggies are tender and the released liquids have been cooked off. Transfer the entire mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool.
  5. Add the rest of the ingredients to the mixing bowl: chives, white pepper, sesame oil, cooking wine, soy sauce, sugar, oil, and salt to taste (the soy sauce is usually enough).
  6. Mix all the ingredients together. You’re ready to wrap! (If there’s too much liquid, you can add some cornstarch to thicken the liquid, but some liquid pooling at the bottom will be inevitable due to the salt drawing out the fluids from the veggies.)

How to Pan-Fry Dumplings:

  1. Heat up a flat wok or pan on MED heat. Add a drizzle of neutral oil and place the dumplings fat side down on top of the oil. Try not to crowd the dumplings so they don’t stick together and makes it easier to flip.
  2. Add 1 cm of water to the pan and put the lid on.
  3. Once all of the water evaporates, remove the lid and continue cooking the dumplings until the bottoms are toasty golden brown. Then flip the dumplings over and cook the other side of the dumplings until it’s golden brown. You can add a little extra oil into the pan to help the other side brown. Serve!