Author Archives: SDCWA Webmaster

Joong (zongzi)

(From the kitchen of Rose Hom and Kathy Ma)
(Yield: Enough to feed a really big crowd)

1 1/2 lb. bamboo leaves
10 lbs. sweet glutinous rice
1 lb. Chinese sausage (Lop chang), cut in half vertically then into thirds
2 lb. ham, sliced into 1 1/2″ x 1/2″ thick strips
1 lb. dried shrimp
1 lb. dried peanuts
2 dozen shiitake mushrooms
2 dozen salted egg yolks (recipe below)

Soak bamboo leaves in a large container. Clean the leaves by rubbing two together, changing the water, repeat for 4 days. The night before assembly, places leaves in the dishwasher rack with 1 cup vinegar for a cycle of washing. Leave in dishwasher to cool to prevent the leaves from cracking. Keep the leaves submersed in water during preparation.

dsc07429-smallWash rice until the water is clean, cover with water and soak overnight. Drain the rice well and add 1/2 c. vegetable oil and 2 Tbsp. salt and mix well.

dsc07428-smallSalted egg yolks
(Prepare these 6 weeks in advance!)
Use 1/2 to 1 whole egg yolk per joong so adjust recipe accordingly

1 dozen eggs (chicken or duck)
1 qt. water
1 c. salt

Make a brining solution with the salt and water–bring to a boil.  Stir until salt is dissolved.  Cool brine completely.  Place whole raw eggs in a glass container and cover eggs completely with the brine.  Stuff the top of the jar with crumpled wax paper (this will help keep the eggs submersed under water), place another sheet of wax paper over the top of the jar, and secure it with a rubber band.  Put the jar in a cool dark place (not refrigerator) for 6-7 weeks.  Crack open the eggs and separate the yolks from the whites before using.  Discard the egg whites (they’re too salty to eat).  Discard any “rotten” eggs (they will be easily identified with their off-color and off-smell).  Freeze any unused yolks.  Note that yolks should be cooked before consuming.


Filling for joong: Mushrooms, peanuts, ham, and Chinese sausage

Joong come in different shapes, depending on the region.  The traditional way to wrap them is by hand, using 2-3 bamboo leaves, depending on their size.


Here are step-by-step instructions on how to wrap joong using a mold.


Lay one bamboo leaf, rib side against the mold (smooth side facing you). Ideally, line the rib of the leaf with the top edge of the mold. You will need the extra leaf at the top.



Take a 3rd leaf, preferably a big fat one, and fold “bunny ears” to form a cone shape


Place the “bunny ears,” cone-side down into the mold to cover it completely making sure the leaves overlap to prevent any open seams or holes. Now you are ready to fill your mold!


Add about 1/3 c. rice to the bottom of the mold.


Add desired fillings: 2-3 pieces of meat, a spoon of peanuts, 2-3 pieces of mushroom, 1 or 1/2 salted egg yolk, enough to cover the surface.

Add enough rice to fill the mold to the top. Pat the rice down flat so that it's flush with the top of the mold.

Add enough rice to fill the mold to the top. Pat the rice down flat so that it’s flush with the top of the mold.

Add a 4th leaf to cover the rice.

Add a 4th leaf (smooth side down, rib side up) to cover the rice.

Fold the sides of the bamboo leaves towards the center, one side at a time, as if you were wrapping a present or burrito.

Fold the sides of the bamboo leaves towards the center, one side at a time, as if you were wrapping a present or burrito.

Turn the mold upside down to release the joong. Use scissors to trim errant leaf edges as needed to keep the packet neat.

Turn the mold upside down to release the joong. Use scissors to trim errant leaf edges as needed to keep the packet neat.

Tie up the joong with kitchen twine to keep its shape.

Tie up the joong with kitchen twine to keep its shape.

Cook the joong in boiling water for 2-4 hours. The cooking time will vary depending on how many you cook at a time.


Rainbow Jell-O

For a printable Word version, click here.
(From the kitchen of Margie Hamaguchi)
Servings: 36+


1 sm (3 oz.) box of each Jell-O flavors – Lime, Lemon, Orange and Strawberry
6 envelopes Knox Gelatin
5 C boiling water
1 (15 oz.) can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk

Jell-O Mixture:  Dissolve each package of Jell-O with 1 envelope Knox Gelatin in 1 cup boiling water in a separate small bowl.  (Stir well so that gelatin does not settle).

Milk Mixture:  Dissolve 2 envelopes of Knox Gelatin in 1 Cup boiling water and mix in 1 can sweetened condensed milk.  Divide mixture into 3 equal parts (a little less than ¾ cup each).

Pour 1st layer of Jell-O into 9”x 9” Tupperware pan lightly greased with mayonnaise.  (This is a little trick to keep Jell-O squares from sticking to pan.)  Set pan on level shelf in freezer for 12-14 min. until Jell-O is firm.  Then add 1st layer of milk mixture and set in freezer for 12 min. until firm.  Repeat this layering process with the remaining Jell-O and milk mixture.

Note:  If the Jell-O or milk mixture gets lumpy or thick towards the end, microwave for a 10 seconds and stir thoroughly before pouring it on the next layer.  Be careful not to leave in the freezer too long so that crystals form around the edges because it will cause the layers to come apart when served).  Chill overnight in refrigerator.  Cut into squares.  Serves 36+



Chinese dumplings

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Disappearing dumplings

For our May 2016 program, Gui-Lan and her daughter-in-law came to show us how to make dumplings.

Dumpling dough

6 cups all purpose flour

In a big mixing bowl, slowly add 2 cups of cold water (room temperature) in the center and stir clockwise (or counterclockwise, choose one and keep that direction) and knead the dough until the bowl is clean. The water amount is approximate because it will vary depending on the weather and humidity. As you’re kneading the dough, add little bits of water as needed to incorporate any remaining dry flour. If it’s too dry or wet, the bowl will still have bits of dough. Knead until the bowl is clean–that’s when the dough is ready to rest. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for 1-2 hours.

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See how the sides of the bowl are clean? The dough is ready to rest!

While the dough is resting, prepare the filling.

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Pork dumpling filling
(with cabbage or Chinese chives)

5 lbs. ground pork
2 Tbsp. minced ginger
8 cloves garlic, minced
8 stalks green onion, chopped fine
3-5 lbs. Chinese (napa) cabbage (white part only)*
1 bunch Chinese chives, chopped
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. white pepper
2 eggs, beaten

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients and stir in the same circular direction until well mixed.

*If using napa cabbage, prep it using one of the following methods:

  1. Finely chop cabbage. Mix 1/2 tsp. salt into chopped cabbage, let rest until wilted, and squeeze the water out.
  2. Dip cabbage leaves in boiling water for 2-3 mins. Chop the cabbage and squeeze the water out.
Pork and chive filling

Pork and chive filling

After resting for 1-2 hours, the dumpling dough looks like this. There are no dry spots and it’s dense and heavy like clay. To test the dough for readiness, remove a small piece, and stretch it. If it breaks easily (like Play-doh), it’s not ready. When the texture is elastic and soft, it’s ready to use.

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Roll the dough into 1″ diameter log and cut in into 1″ pieces. Roll the pieces into small circles with a wooden rolling pin to prevent sticking.


Rotate the circular piece of dough as you thin out the edges. The edges of the dough should be thinner than the middle. Place 1 heaping tsp. of pork filling onto each skin, fold and close the edge (crescent fold). Set dumplings aside on a lightly floured surface until ready to cook.


Set dumplings aside on a lightly floured surface until ready to cook.

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To cook the dumplings, boil a big pot of water. Drop 20-30 dumplings into the boiling water. When the dumplings float to the top and the water boils again, add a cup of cold water to the pot and bring it to a second boil. Add another cup of cold water to the pot and bring it to a boil a 3rd time. When it boils the 3rd time, use a slotted spoon or spider strainer to remove the dumplings from the water. The 3x boiling action ensures the filling is cooked thoroughly and creates the chewy skin.

Keep a pot of cold water nearby for the thrice boiling action

Keep a pot of cold water nearby for the thrice boiling action

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And last but not least, serve the dumplings with various accompaniments and condiments such as slivered ginger root, chili oil, chili sauce, and/or a dipping sauce.

Dippin0515161351g sauce

1/4 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. sugar
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. chopped green onion and cilantro
1 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
Chili sauce (optional)

Mix all ingredients together and serve!


Ulander Pang’s Chinese Pasta Salad

Evelyn Chan shares the delicious Chinese Pasta Salad recipe she brought to the November 2012 general meeting.

Ulander Pang’s Chinese Pasta Salad
(Serves 10-12)

Pasta Sauce
4 Tbls. vinegar
4 Tbls. sesame oil
4 Tbls. sugar
1⁄2 cup salad oil
1⁄2 Tsp. salt
1⁄2 cup soy sauce
1⁄2 Tsp. garlic powder
1⁄2 cup oyster sauce
1⁄4 Tsp pepper
4 Tsp. French’s prepared mustard

1 lb. On Lee Chinese egg-flavored thin dried noodles (or your favorite brand)
1⁄2 medium cabbage – shredded
1 bundle green onions – sliced, including white part
1⁄2 bundle cilantro – sliced, including stems
1⁄2 pound ham OR Chinese BBQ pork, sliced julienned

● Soak dried noodles in water to soften & separate.  Place in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and remove to strainer and run under cold water.  Refrigerate overnight.

● Shred cabbage & marinate overnight in apple cider vinegar and sugar to enhance flavor.

● Mix all ingredients for pasta sauce. Pour over noodles and allow to marinate for a few minutes.  Mix in green onions, cilantro, shredded marinated cabbage (drain vinegar), and about 3⁄4 of the julienned meat.

● Top with remaining meat and allow salad to sit at room temperature before serving to develop flavors.

Savory pretzels

Were you trying to figure out the flavors for the Savory Pretzels at the January 2014 meeting?  The recipe below will let you know how accurate your taste buds were.

This recipe is shared by Emma Hom who first sampled these pretzels at a restaurant in Honolulu. She later found the recipe in a Hawaiian cookbook she brought back.  Enjoy!


Savory Pretzels
(Yield: About 2-1/2 quarts)

3-4 packages (10 oz each) pretzels
1 cup melted butter
1 package Ranch Dressing dry mix
2 tablespoons garlic powder
1/3 cup Furikake (rice seasoning)
3 tablespoons dill, optional

Place pretzels in a re-sealable 2-gallon plastic bag. Add butter and seal bag; shake until evenly coated.  Mix together Ranch Dressing mix, garlic powder, and Furikake in a bowl.  Add mixture to the bag; toss to coat pretzels evenly. Transfer to a cookie sheet to air-dry for about an hour.  Store in airtight containers.

Taiwanese beef noodle soup

For a printable version, click here.

taiwanese beef noodle soup
Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup
(from the kitchen of Lei Wai)

You may prepare way ahead. Served 27 people on Soup Day.

Part A

6 pounds of beef short ribs. Important – bones are needed in the soup making. Do not separate the bone from the meat. Do not cut.
5 garlic cloves
2 inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 bunch of scallions, cut in 2 inch
5 medium sized tomatoes, I used the vine ripe type. Any kind is fine, the fresher, the juicer is better.
1 tsp Chinese five spice power
2 Tsp brown sugar
rock candy – about 2 Tsp
8 whole star anise pods
2 Tsp brown peppercorns
10 whole dried red chile peppers (the one used for Kung Pao Chicken). Do not break it, let it stay whole
1⁄2 cup rice wine. If you do not have, any kind wine is fine.
5 Tsp dark soy sauce. Add more if necessary
2 Tsp regular soy sauce
12 cups water (adjust during the simmering stage, add a little more if necessary)

Part B

Optional – 1 (14.5 oz) can chicken stock – use this if you think the liquid is not enough to serve

Part C

1 lb baby bok choy – wash and clean, cut to 1 or 2 inches pieces.
1 bag Taiwanese noodles*
One bunch of green onions, a handful of cilantro – cut to size of M&M
Optional – 1/2 bag of Pickled Mustard Green – cut to small pieces, the size of M&M

*(The fresh type you can get at Ranch 99, there are about 15 balls of noodles in one bag. You may freeze the uncooked noodles for a while). I use one ball of noodles (the size of a fist) per person. The beef noodles will be the dish for my family. For the SDCWA soup day, I used 5 units. You may use any kind of noodles including Ramen, but I like the Taiwanese ones the best.

Cooking Instructions

In a large pot, cover the beef short ribs with water and bring to a boil for another 4 or 5 minutes. Drain the water, remove any foaming bone marrows. Clean the pot, and ribs so they are free of marrows. Back to stove, medium heat, put the beef ribs in the cleaned pot, add all the ingredients of part A. Keep an eye on the soy sauce to adjust to your taste. Add more to ensure the meat get a nice dark color, then add water. Bring to a boil. Taste it and add salt to your liking. Reduce heat, simmer for 2 1⁄2 or 3 hours or until the meat is tender.

Wait until the soup is cold. Take the meat out. Do not worry about if the bones fall off. Keep the bones. Use a colander to remove all other ingredients. Save the soup and put the meat back in.

Refrigerate overnight. The flavor will improve and the chili spice will subdue a bit. Skim off the fat.

You may freeze it up to 2 weeks, or, you may keep it in the refrigerator for 3 days.

To serve, before you heat the soup, take the meat out and slice it to 1⁄2 inch pieces (or chunks). You may discard the bones now. Bring the soup to a boil, add the chicken broth if you need more liquid. While the soup is boiling hot, add the meat back to the soup, simmer while you prepare the noodles.

On another pot, boil water. Blanch the bok choy for 2 or 3 minutes based on how tender you prefer. Remove the bok choy. Reuse the water, bring to a boil, cook the noodles to how you like them.

Put noodles to individual bowl, ladle the beef soup into the bowl. Garnish with chopped green onions and cilantro. If you add pickled mustard greens, you may skip vinegar. Otherwise add a tsp of vinegar to the bowl will enhance the flavor. Optional – Add a tsp of sesame oil, this aroma will wake up everyone’s appetite. Serve it when piping hot, enjoy it.

Corn torte

From the kitchen of Terri Wemett

1 cup corn meal
1/2 cup milk
1 cup cottage cheese
3 cups jack cheese (I used pepper jack)
1/4 cup oil
1 (15 oz) can creamed corn
1 can Niblets corn (drained)
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1 can chopped green chilies
8 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients except butter together and pour into 9 x 13 greased pan. Dot with the butter. Bake at 350 for 55 minutes or until done. Enjoy…

Crockpot breakfast potatoes

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Crockpot breakfast potatoes
(adapted for the crockpot from numerous recipes)

•    2 lbs. potatoes
•    1 can condensed cream of potato soup (or your favorite flavor condensed cream soup) reduced-fat, reduced sodium okay
•    1 c. non-fat plain Greek yogurt (or non-fat sour cream)
•    1 onion, chopped and sauteed (or 1/2 c. dried minced onion, rehydrated with a couple Tbsp. of water)
•    1 c. shredded cheese (such as cheddar), optional
•    ½ tsp. black pepper
•    crumbled bacon, optional

Wash and peel the potatoes (or not).  Cut the potatoes into bite-sized pieces (1″-1.5″ cubes).  Boil the potatoes until a fork pierces easily.  Drain and cool.

Mix the soup, yogurt, and onion together in a large bowl.  Add the potatoes and ½ c. cheese and mix well.

Throw the mixture into a greased 3.5 qt. crockpot (spray with cooking spray) and sprinkle the top with remaining ½ c. cheese.  Optionally, you may just mix all the cheese into the potatoes instead of putting any on top.  You can put your crockpot insert into the fridge at this point and cook it in the morning.  Otherwise, cook on high for 1.5 to 2 hrs. until the edges are starting to brown and the potatoes are heated through.

Dr. Weil’s Kale Salad

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Dr. Weil’s raw kale salad

(recipe featured in Whole Living)

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice*
  • 3 cloves garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp coarse salt
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale (about 14 oz), ribs removed and leaves sliced into 1/4-inch shreds*
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Grana Padano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus shavings for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp whole wheat breadcrumbs, toasted (optional)

In a large bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper flakes. Add kale and toss to coat.  Let sit at room temperature for 10 to 30 minutes.

Add grated cheese and breadcrumbs and toss.

Garnish with shaved cheese before serving. Cover and refrigerate leftovers up to two days.

*Notes: I used equal parts olive oil and lemon juice to make the dressing and only needed ¼ c. total.  I also used baby kale leaves which don’t need trimming.

Lemon curd

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Lemon Curd
(from the kitchen of Jessica Wemett)

8 whole lemons
2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) butter
8 whole large eggs, beaten

Finely grate the zest of the lemons into a medium saucepan.  Squeeze juice from the lemons.  You should have around 1 1/2 cups of juice. Add lemon juice to the saucepan, along with the sugar.  Cut butter into small pieces and add to the pan.  Set the pan over low heat, and stir until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved.  Strain eggs through a fine-mesh sieve into the lemon mixture.  Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring constantly.  As the mixture begins to steam, it will thicken, take on a creamy consistency, and coat the back of a spoon.  When lemon curd is thick and creamy, remove from the heat.  Fill hot sterilized jars with the lemon curd to within 1/8 inch of rims.  Wipe rims clean and top with hot lids.  Screw bands onto the jars until finger tight.  Process jars in a hot water bath (212 deg F) for ten minutes.  Remove jars immediately and set upright on a clean towel, or wooden surface, away from drafts.  Let jars sit undisturbed for 12 hours.  Check for proper seals.  Label the jars and store in a cool, dry place for up to a year.  Makes 7 half-pint jars.