Monday, February 14, 2011

Eggplant Gyoza, Orange Tempeh with Udon Noodles & Green Beans

Gyoza is a dumpling popular in Japan similar to a potsticker. Cooking methods vary. They can be steamed, deep-fried, boil or pan fried. Gyoza wrappers are slightly thicker than wonton wrappers and are circles rather than squares. Since it is Valentine's Day, I sealed them then stamped them out with a heart cutter (festive I know). I prefer to boil my gyoza but pan-frying them afterwards to crisp and brown the bottoms adds a nice touch. Since the orange tempeh in this dish is pan-fried, I kept these gyoza soft from just a quick boil.

Caramelized eggplant, jalapeno and thai basil stuffed in gyoza wrappers and quickly boiled. Sweet and spicy orange tempeh, marinated first then fried until crispy and coated back in the thick, fresh orange sauce. Served with crisp green beans and udon noodles.

Eggplant Gyoza
Japanese potstickers
1 eggplant, peeled, sliced into 1/2" slices
4 tbl extra virgin olive oil, divided
1 yellow onion, minced
1/2 serrano pepper, seeded and minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp organic cane sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tbl black sesame seeds
8 thai basil leaves, chiffonade
gyoza wrappers

Heavily salt both sides of the eggplant slices, lay on paper towels and let the salt draw out the excess moisture for 30 minutes. Pat dry and dice into small cubes.
Saute the onions and jalapeno with 2 tbl oil over medium heat until soft and fragrant, 7 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, 1/2 tsp salt, pepper and sugar. Toss. Add the eggplant and remaining 2 tbl of oil and saute over medium-high heat until the eggplant is soft and has caramelized, 10 minutes. Add the sesame oil, black sesame seeds and basil and remove from the heat and let cool.
Lay out 10 wrappers and wet the borders with some cold water. Fill the center with 1 tsp of filling and add another wrapper on top, sealing the sides down. Continue until all the filling has been used.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add 5 or 6 gyoza at a time and boil for 4 minutes or until they float to the top and the wrapper is cooked through. Drain and serve hot.
Optional- Heat 2 more tbl of oil up in a saute pan and quickly brown both sides to crisp after boiling.

Chinese-Style Orange Tempeh
1 1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
zest of one orange
4 dried red chilies
2 scallions, both green and white parts, roughly chopped
1 cup organic dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbl lemon juice
1/2 cup rice vinegar
3 tbl tamari
3 garlic cloves, minced

1 square tempeh, cut into cubes
1/2 cup ap flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbl cornstarch
2 tbl water
1 orange, sliced thinly for garnish

Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a small pot. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes to thicken. Pour over the tempeh cubes and marinate for at least 2 hours.
Drain the tempeh from the marinade, reserving the sauce.
Combine the flour, salt and pepper in a bowl or bag and toss the tempeh to coat.
Pan fry in olive oil until crispy. Drain on a paper bag or towel.
Combine the cornstarch in water in a small bowl and whisk until smooth.
Wipe the excess oil out of the pan and add the reserved marinade, bring to a boil. Add the cornstarch slurry and whisk to combine until dissolved. Add tempeh, reduce the heat to medium low and and cook the tempeh for 5 minutes in the sauce.
Garnish with orange slices and scallions

Udon Noodles and Green Beans
6oz fresh udon noodles
8 oz fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 tbl extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 425.
Arrange the green beans in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil and salt and pepper to taste. Roast for 10 minutes until slightly charred but still crisp.
Bring a large pot of boiling water to a boil. Add the noodles and cook until tender, 2-3 minutes or according to the package instructions. Drain and serve hot with orange tempeh.

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