Culinary Travel Party: China

China-inspired Deliciousness

Last night was that wonderful time again when Cass, Darlene, Monica, Brian and I go through the kitchen portal to some far-off exotic land to sample the cuisine.  Last night was China and it was delicious.  Some 15 HOURS later and I’m still full.

Here’s the menu:

Potstickers

– Homemade Pork Potstickers These little suckers are harder to pleat that you’d think, unless you’re Darlene.  Some were perfect, some were misshapen but all were delicious.  I love the process of frying, then steaming, then frying again — soft on top, crispy on the bottom.  We ate two pans full with a sauce made from chili oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce and red pepper garlic paste.

 

Green Onion Pancake

Green Onion Pancake– Like the filling for the potstickers the pancake dough arrived magically andexpertly created.  My contribution was rolling out the dough before they were fried to perfection.  We used the same sauce as the potstickers.

Ma Po Tofu

Ma Po Tofu – Brian has been fascinated with the effects of Sichuan peppercorns and wanted to make something that used them.  He added baby corn and bamboo shoots and fried the tofu in chili oil before adding it to the mix. The result was delicious, though he wanted it to be spicier.  I’ll be having some for lunch.

We rounded out dinner with baby bok choy sautéed with ginger and garlic.

Monica discovered our new favorite late summer cocktail: Red Lotus: equal parts vodka and lychee liqueur with a splash of cranberry for color.

Dessert was homemade Five Spice Ice Cream with Darlene’s gingerbread cake, which worked very well together.  Because dinner conversation tends to be about food and travel we discovered that Chinese Five Spice is made up of star anise, cinnamon, cloves, ground fennel and ground sichuan peppercorns.  We’d used the little tingly buggers a second time without even knowing.

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