Cabbage Appetizers


Caramelized Cabbage with Farfalle

serves 4 to 6 as an appetizer

3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons oil
I large sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head Savoy or green cabbage, cored and shredded
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons poppy seed
1/4 pound farfalle noodles, freshly cooked
and drained In a large skillet,

Heat the butter and oil. Cook the onion until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cabbage and cook until limp, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sugar and continue cooking until the cabbage turns golden-brown, about 20 minutes.

Stir in the pepper and poppy seed and toss with the farfalle.

Chicken Potstickers
Source: Casual Cuisines of the World - Far East Cafe
Makes about 24 dumplings; serves 6

Traditionally made with pork, Chinese potstickers work equally well with chicken. In a pinch, wonton skins may be used for the homemade wrappers; reduce the cooking time to 3 minutes.

Helpful Hints:
Chicken, Skinning and Boning

For Wrappers:

2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra as needed

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup boiling water

For Filling:

2 cups finely chopped napa cabbage

1/4 cup blanched spinach, chopped

1 pound ground dark chicken meat

1/2 teaspoon peeled and grated fresh ginger

2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic chives or green (spring) onion

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper

1 tablespoon light soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

For Sauce:

6 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

3 tablespoons light soy sauce

Chili oil

Vegetable oil for frying

FOR WRAPPERS: In a food processor fitted with the metal blade, combine the 2 cups flour and salt and pulse once to mix. With the motor running, slowly pour in the boiling water. Continue to process until a rough ball forms and the dough pulls away from the sides of the work bowl, 15-20 seconds. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and no longer sticky, about 2 minutes. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for 30 minutes.
FOR FILLING: Place the cabbage and spinach in a kitchen towel, wring out the excess liquid and place in a bowl. Add all the remaining filling ingredients and stir until combined. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Uncover the dough and knead briefly. Cut in half. Roll out one half about 1/8 inch thick. Using a round cookie cutter 3 1/2 inches in diameter, cut out rounds. Set the rounds aside, lightly covered with the kitchen towel. Repeat with the remaining dough and all scraps.
FOR SAUCE: Stir together the vinegar and soy sauce. Add chili oil to taste. Set aside.
FOR POTSTICKERS: Put 1 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of a dough round. Fold the round in half and pinch the edges together at one end of the arc. Starting from that point, make 6 pleats or tucks along the curved edge to enclose the filling. As each potsticker is made, place seam-side up on a baking sheet, pressing down gently so it will sit flat. Cover with the kitchen towel and continue forming and placing the potstickers on the baking sheet until all are made.
Heat a 9-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. When hot, add about 2 teaspoons vegetable oil. Arrange 8-10 potstickers, seam side up and just touching, in a spiral in the pan. Fry until the bottoms are browned, about 1 minute. Add water to come halfway up the sides of the potstickers and bring to a boil. Immediately cover, reduce the heat to low and steam-cook for 8 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep the pan wet. Uncover, increase the heat to high and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the bottoms are crispy, about 30 seconds longer. Transfer to a serving plate and keep warm; fry the remaining potstickers.
TO SERVE: Divide the dipping sauce among individual saucers. Serve the potstickers hot with the sauce.
Reprinted by permission of Weldon Owen. All rights reserved.    


Cabbage Turnovers

1/2 cup butter
4 cups finely shredded cabbage
1 small onion, chopped
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
3/4 cup grated brick cheese
1 pkg. (14 oz/397 g) frozen puff pastry, thawed
Dijon mustard
Sour cream

Melt butter in a large skillet, over medium heat.
Add cabbage, onion and caraway. Cook and stir until cabbage is completely wilted, 7 to 10 minutes. Cool. Stir in cheese.

Roll pastry into 12 squares. Brush each pastry squre with a small amount of Dijon mustard. Place equal portions of filing in the centre of each square. Moisten pastry edges with water, fold over filling to form a triangle. Seal edges by pinching together.

Place turnovers on an ungreased baking sheet. Slash tops to allow steam to escape. (Brush tops with egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water, if desired.) Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with sour cream. Makes 12 turnovers.


Pot Stickers
Source: Noodles - The Essential Kitchen
Serves 4



8 oz ground lean pork

1 onion, finely chopped

1 cup finely shredded green cabbage

2 teaspoons peeled and grated fresh ginger

1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon white pepper

24 round wheat wonton wrappers

4 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 cups chicken stock, or as needed

Light soy sauce for serving

In a bowl, combine pork, oinion, cabbage, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce and pepper. Mix well.
Place wonton wrappers on work surface and cover with damp kitchen towel. Working with one wrapper at a time, lay it on work surface and place 1 teaspoon filling in middle. Brush edges with water, fold wonton in half and press edges together to seal. Using your fingertips, pinch frill around each folded wonton if desired. Set aside, covered with plastic wrap. Repeat with remaining wrappers.
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in heavy-bottomed pan over medium-high heat. Swirl to cover entire bottom of pan. Working in batches, fry filled wontons until golden brown on both sides, about 1 minute. Coat pan as needed with remaining 3 tablespoons vegetable oil.
Return pot stickers to pan and add enough stock to come halfway up the sides of pot stickers. Cover and simmer until stock is almost absorbed, about 10 minutes. Uncover and cook until stock is completely absorbed and bottoms of pot stickers are crisp. Repeat with remaining pot stickers.
Serve pot stickers warm with soy sauce.
Reprinted by permission of Periplus. All rights reserved.
Shanghai Dumplings (Potstickers)
Source: The Heritage of Chinese Cooking
Makes about 10 dumplings

Records show that these dumplings were made more than four centuries ago. They are still a favorite in Shanghai and Beijing (Peking), where hundreds of specialty stalls make nothing else in order to satisfy the appetites of the locals. The dough, make from wheat flour, is rather heavier than that of the South where rice flour is often used, and the technique of frying first, then steaming in chicken broth (stock) makes them a very substantial snack. They should be eaten with a dip of vinegar and shredded fresh ginger. Sometimes these dumplings are called "pot stickers" because the base of the dumpling is crisped and browned in oil before steaming.

Other necessary recipes:
Family Chicken Broth

For Filling:

1 cup stems of Chinese cabbage

7 oz ground sirloin (topside) steak

1 oz fresh pork fat, ground

2 tablespoons cilantro

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

Good pinch of pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry

1 tablespoon cornstarch

For Dough:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons peanut oil, for frying

1/2 cup Family Chicken Broth (see recipe) or water

FOR FILLING: Blanch the cabbage in a pot of boiling water just to soften, drain well. Squeeze the water out between paper towels.
Combine the cabbage with the remaining filling ingredients in a large bowl. Beat and knead until the mixture is soft and clingy. Chill in the refrigerator.
FOR DOUGH: Sift the flour into a stainless-steel bowl. Add the boiling water gradually, mixing with a wooden spoon until a fairly thick, soft dough forms. Cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 30 minutes.
Remove the dough to a floured work surface, and knead for another minute or 2 until the dough is smooth and pliable. Divide mixture in half.
Roll each piece of dough into a 3/4 x 5-inch sausage. Cut each sausage into about 10 pieces. Press each piece into a circle with the palm of the hand and roll into 3-inch rounds.
TO ASSEMBLE: Place 1 1/2 teaspoons of the filling into each round, close the edges together, pleating the side farthest away and seal together. (The dumpling is slightly curved because of the stretching of one side.)
Place the dumplings into a bamboo steamer and steam over boiling water for 15 minutes. Remove and let cool. Place the dumplings into a thick-based skillet. Add enough peanut oil to cover one-third of the dumplings. Raise the heat and fry the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, until the bottoms become crispy and lightly browned. Sprinkle a little water into the pan to create a little steam, cover with a lid, and reduce heat to prevent burning the bottoms of the dumplings. Shake the pan a little from time to time and continue to pan-fry and steam for another 4-5 minutes. Remove and serve.
Reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved. --
Traditional Wontons
Source: Food & Wine
60 Wontons

These wontons can be deep-fried, steamed or boiled and may be served with any one of the accompanying dipping sauces.


2 cups shredded napa cabbage

1/2 pound ground pork or chicken

1/2 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped

2 scallions, minced

1 garlic clove, minced

1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

1 teaspoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

60 wonton skins

2 to 3 cups vegetable oil, for deep-frying (optional)

Soy-Vinegar Sauce, Orange Sweet-and-Sour Sauce, Spicy Fish Sauce or Spiced Salt

Soy-Vinegar Sauce:

Makes 1/4 Cup

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce and vinegar.

Orange Sweet-and-Sour Sauce:

Makes 1 Cup

1 whole small dried red chile

2/3 cup fresh orange juice

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons orange marmalade

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a small nonreactive saucepan, simmer all the ingredients over low heat for 5 minutes. Let cool.

Spicy Fish Sauce:

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fish sauce*

1 teaspoon chili paste

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh cilantro

*Available at Asian markets

Combine all the ingredients and stir to dissolve the sugar thoroughly.

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Spiced Salt:

Use this flavored salt as a dip for any fried food or as a dry rub in cooking.

Makes About 1/4 Cup

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons coarse salt

In a small dry skillet, toast the cumin seeds, fennel seeds and Szechuan peppercorns over moderately low heat, stirring often, until aromatic, about 3 minutes.

Let cool. Grind in a spice grinder or in a mortar and transfer to a bowl.

Add the ground pepper and salt and mix well.

In a saucepan of boiling water, blanch the cabbage for 2 minutes. Drain and let cool slightly. Then squeeze out the excess water.
In a bowl, combine the cabbage with the pork, cilantro, scallions, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Toss well.
Lay out 10 wonton skins on a work surface; keep the remainder covered. Place a rounded 1/2 teaspoon of filling in the center of each skin; dampen the edges and fold over to form a triangle. Press out the air and seal the edges. Dampen the two points farthest from each other and pinch them together to form a hat, or tortellini, shape. Put the wontons on a flour-dusted baking sheet and cover with a clean towel. Repeat the procedure with the remaining skins and filling.
TO DEEP-FRY THE WONTONS: Heat the oil to almost 400 degrees F. in a wok. Add the wontons in batches of 10 and cook, turning once, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels to drain.
TO BOIL THE WONTONS: Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the wontons in batches and cook until they float to the top. Transfer to a colander to drain.
TO SERVE: Transfer the wontons to a platter and pass one or more of the dipping sauces separately.
VARIATION: For vegetable wontons, in place of the pork, steam 1 1/2 pounds stemmed fresh spinach until just wilted, squeeze dry and coarsely chop. In a small saucepan, mix 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water and simmer over low heat until thickened, about 1 minute. Stir in the spinach. Add to the bowl in Step 2 and proceed.
Reprinted by permission of Food and Wine. All rights reserved.     
Crawfish Egg Rolls with Hot Sesame Drizzle
Source: Emeril's New New Orleans Cooking
Makes 8 first course servings

Chinese food in New Orleans? Absolutely. Light and crispy on the outside, moist and spicy on the inside, these egg rolls are a snap to make, using egg roll skins available in supermarkets. The twist is the Creole-seasoned crawfish, but if you like, you can substitute either lobster meat or shrimp.

Other necessary recipes:
Emeril's Creole Seasoning
Hot Sesame Drizzle

1 cup Hot Sesame Drizzle (see recipe)

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup finely diced onions

1/2 cup finely diced celery

1 cup, finely shredded napa or white cabbage

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1/2 cup finely grated carrots

1/2 pound (1 cup) peeled crawfish tails

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 teaspoons untoasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon salt, and 6 turns freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon Emeril's Creole Seasoning (see recipe)

4 large eggs, lightly beaten in 2 separate bowls (2 eggs per bowl)

8 egg roll skins

6 cups vegetable oil

1/4 cup dry mustard, combined with 1/4 cup water

Prepare the Hot Sesame Drizzle, and set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over high heat. When the oil is hot, add the onions, celery, and cabbage and saute for 2 minutes. Add the garlic and carrots and saute, stirring and shaking the skillet, for 1 minute. Add the crawfish tails and saute, shaking the skillet, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and pour the mixture into a bowl.
To the crawfish mixture, add the sesame oil, sesame seeds, salt, pepper, Creole Seasoning, and 2 of the eggs.
Lay the egg roll skins on a flat surface and brush them with some of the remaining egg. Place one-eighth of the filling on one end of each skin, leaving a 1/4-inch border at the top and sides, and roll up, tucking in the ends after the first roll.
Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan or wok over high heat. When the oil is very hot, about 375 degrees F., fry the egg rolls until they're crisp and golden brown, for about 2 minutes. Drain thoroughly on paper towels.
While the egg rolls are frying, reheat the Hot Sesame Drizzle over low heat, stirring once or twice.
TO SERVE: Paint each of 8 dishes with a zigzag of mustard. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of the Hot Sesame Drizzle over the mustard, and top with an egg roll.
Reprinted by permission of Harper Collins. All rights reserved.