New Years impromptu Chinese dinner

I love making wontons.  I’ve only made my own wrappers once, but seeing as how I wanted to try making a few dishes without spending all night on my feet, I went to my freezer to grab ready to use wrappers.

My original idea was to make wontons, however, my husband called to tell me the grocery store ran out of minced pork.  He asked if they could grind a cut of pork, but the guy said “oh, we just cleaned that!”. With 2 hours until closing, that’s a pretty lame excuse to me. Granted, they don’t have a real meat counter / butcher operation, but still.  Grinding is not hard.

Anyway, I made a shrimp filling (Cantonese ha-gow) with 6 deveined and minced prawns, 3 peeled and minced water chestnuts, 1/2 beaten eggwhite, a pinch of cornstarch, 1/4 cup hydrated shiitake mushrooms, soy, sesame oil, cooking wine, white pepper powder, and vegan hoisin.  I put all the dumplings in a steamer to cook through.


I found a recipe for braised, stuffed bitter melon online that was super simple and yummy sounding. Click for the recipe .  Of course, this was using pork, as well, but I improvised with fatty ground Chuck.  The brown chopped shiitake

mushrooms add a little texture.
Gotta blanch the rings of bittermelon first, but it was really fun to stuff them.  I bought 1/4 lb of Chuck, which was way too much filling.  So I froze the rest as patties for later.  My aunt used to make very delicious meat pancakes from extra fillings and serve it over steamy hot rice.  Mmmm.


I wanted fresh noodles, but not living close to any Asian markets, I had to make due with a packaged Annie Chun egg noodle type from the store.  Braising the stuffed gourds was a breeze in a liitle black bean, garlic and sesame oil mix.  Added a little broth and jalepeƱo to add some zing!

This dish has no name.  It’s just a few things put together in a bowl.  I really wanted some bitter, astringent, spicy flavors, but a little sweetness from the proteins made it work out well. 

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