Sunday, March 18, 2012

Because you asked so nicely


Here is my version of dad's pork baodze.

1/2 lb ground pork
3/4 lb green cabbage
1/2 of a medium onion
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 tablespoon dark soysauce

Chop the onion and cabbage coarsely then puree them in a food processor. I am not exaggerating. Process the veggies until they are a fine mush, or slurpee texture. Squeeze as much liquid out of the veggies as you can, then mix all the ingredients together.

Use the dough as described previously.  Assemble the baodze in the usual manner, proof for 20-30 minutes, then steam or fry for about 15 to 20.

I hope that demystifies things for you all.

As usual, here are some tips.

1. If you cut the dough into marshmallow size bits, that seems to be just right.
2. Don't put more than 1 1/2 ounces by volume of filling in each one, or they will take to long to cook.
3. This recipe makes about a dozen baodze, and you will have some dough left over. If you cut the left over dough into slightly larger blobs and steam those after they have risen, you will have mantoh, which are traditional, and more to the point, taste good with soup.
4. The type of veggies is not altogether important. I had cabbage, so that's what I used. The finished product will have subtle differences in taste depending on what you put in it.  Dad frequently used other things, typically a mix of napa and celery, or skipped the veggies entirely. "That's pure meat! No cheating stuff!"

You'll notice that this recipe is is made in human-size portions. Dad only ever seemed to make these by the gross, otherwise it was "not worth the trouble". It is true that when I was small, he was cooking for a household of 3 adults and 4 growing children, so vast amounts of food were probably in order. On the other hand, these days, who does that? That's just crazy. Personally, I am finding it very well worth the trouble to make a dozen baodze at a time.

Also, watch out while eating them. They make a sort of puddle of their own broth inside the dough which can scald an unwary or impatient eater.

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