So one thing that you may know about me by now is that I really like food. Mexican is still number one, however as mentioned recently Japanese is quickly making a play for the top spot. Unlike Mexican however, which is featured in our house at least once a week, Japanese is something I’ve never really considered attempting at home because it all seems a little intimidating. Intimidating it may be, but it is by no means impossible.

This all started when the BF and I were in a local supermarket and saw gyoza wrappers, not won ton wrappers, gyoza wrappers. Then the BF found a video on youtube for making gyoza. Then we had some pork mince in the fridge left over from meatball subs. Then the temptation just got too much…

IMG_1838And this happened. Excuse the slight blurriness of the photo, I was rather excited during the whole process. In the bowl is pork mince, finely chopped cabbage, red chilli, garlic, ginger, lemon grass and the green part of spring onions.

It sounded simple enough, take a wrapper, put a teaspoon worth of mixture in the centre, dab the edge with water, crimp one edge, seal.

IMG_1840Pretty crimped edges.

IMG_1839Gyoza, all in a row. Our crimping improved as we went on, as you’d expect. I also discovered that if you stretched the wrappers a little you could fit more in, and more filling is never a bad thing in my opinion. We ended up with soooo many. Enough to freeze some in zip lock bags for future gyoza snacking.

IMG_1841Sesame oil went into our pan followed swiftly by our little dumplings of goodness. First up you’ve gotta let the bottoms get good and brown. Then add water, we consulted a couple of recipes and they each said different things- we learnt after batch one that they needed more water and more time to steam. IMG_1842Not that I was complaining when these babies hit the plate.

IMG_1843Pork gyoza (adapted from here)
makes 40 approx.

250g pork mince
4 cups(ish) finely chopped cabbage
3 garlic cloves
1 knuckle ginger
Lemon grass
1/3 red chilli
2 spring onions (just the green part)
salt and pepper
Gyoza wrappers (I am guessing you could use won ton ones too)
Sesame oil

Locate a fry pan (skillet) that has a lid which fits tight.
Combine your pork mince and cabbage, season.
Mince garlic, ginger, lemon grass, chilli, spring onion together, we used a small food processor. Add it to pork-cabbage mixture and combine. At this point I’d recommend putting everything into your food processor and and pulsing it a few times so everything is mushed together.
Now take your wrappers and a small bowl of water, it’s filling time. Pop about a teaspoon’s worth of filling onto your wrapper, dab the edge (all the way around) with water, do you best crimping one edge then seal up with the uncrimped edge.
Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You’ll be a pro by the time this is done.
So, if you don’t want to eat all of them at once, stick some in the freezer on a tray, once they’re frozen portion them into zipock bags.
But naturally you’re going to want some now, and if you are anything like me, more than you probably should. Just do it, you made them and thus deserve to stuff yourself silly.
Get you fry pan (skillet) onto the heat, medium-high. Add a dash of sesame oil (about a teaspoon) and you dumplings with the crimped edge up, they shouldn’t touch, so fill the pan as much as you can while still giving them some space. Let their bottoms brown, it’ll take 2 or 3 minutes.
Once they’re brown you need to add water to the pan, this was where we found recipes differed, after a couple of tried we discovered that you pour in enough water to go half way up the dumpling, it will bubble like crazy for a moment or two. Now, lid on. Cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes or until the wrappers start to look translucent.
There will still be water in the pan, take your lid off and it will evaporate away. When it’s nearly all gone add another dash of sesame oil. Once the water is all gone, you should be good to go.
If they don’t seem quite done you can always add more water and pop the lid back on, the first time it will be by eye to a point. Don’t stress, you’ll know when they’re done.
Now eat! Ours were dipped in a sauce that was 2 parts soy sauce to 1 part mirin (rice wine vinegar), some chopped chilli and a dash of sesame oil, but you could go with straight soy sauce if you prefer.

Thai(ish) beef salad

I love it when you throw together a meal not quite knowing how it’s going to turn out and BOOM you find yourself with something that you add to the rotation without a second thought.

This is one of those meals. It’s super easy, quick, healthy and bonkers delicious (I may have just channeled Joy the Baker).


Step one: Prepare salad. This one has red and green peppers, a tomato, half an avocado, half a red onion, snow peas, red and green chilli (seeds removed because I am a chilli wuss), coriander (cilantro), mint, 1.5tsp fish sauce, the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper. I chop everything so it’s long and skinny, no particular reason, I just like the look of it.

IMG_1713Step two: Prepare beef. This was a job for the BF. Boy can cook a steak like no one’s business. Season it with a little salt and pepper then throw it on the bbq. Once cooked rest said steak. Once rested slice it up and add it to you salad.

IMG_1711Step three: Serve and eat.

Recipe wise this served 2. What you put in the salad is 100% up to you, I had carrots out on my bench too but they were neglected this time. The steak is eye fillet, but if you have a cut you prefer use that! If there is just one of you make a smaller salad and cook up just one piece of steak- and remember to half the amount of fish sauce, nothing stuffs up your salad quicker than too much fish sauce. It you’re cooking for a crowd load the bowl and bbq up.

Mexi dinner feast

A lot of Mexican food gets cooked in our house. It’s a go to cuisine whenever we’re struggling for ideas. Burrito bowls. Fajitas. Tacos. Tonight it was quesadillas, chicken quesadillas to be precise, at least for the BF anyway.

I was intent to fill my plate with vegetables, so rather than a quesadilla I ended up with stuffed mexi-mushrooms.

IMG_1597Stuffed with red and green peppers, red onion, coriander (cilantro) and shredded cheese. Ready for the oven. While these babies were baking away the BF was grinding up a spice mix and BBQ-ing the chicken, which would be stuffed into his quesadilla and popped on top of my mushrooms.

IMG_1598Voila! Stuffed mexi-mushrooms with BBQed chicken thighs and guacamole. Considering this creation was something I thought up while writing out the grocery list, I am pretty pleased.

IMG_1601And for those after a more traditional quesadilla… check out what the BF created. Filled with salsa, mdxi-beans, chicken and cheese. Topped with sour cream, guacamole, jalapeños and taco sauce. It was a monster of a thing and every last mouth full was eaten.

Perfect Sunday night feast.