Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (The Wrapper Dough)

The dough  for xiao long bao is the regular hot water dough that you make for any Chinese dumpling. Flour, salt and  warm water that is then kneaded until smooth and elastic. Since this dough usually has only three ingredients—flour, salt, and water—you would think this would be simple.

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (the complete recipe in one post)

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

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Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (Finishing Off the XLBs)

While the dough is resting set up an assembly station. You will need a floured flat surface and a small rolling pin. Put the meat mix with a spoon on one side, the cabbage pieces—drained and dried—and a steamer basket on the other.

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (the complete recipe in one post)

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

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Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

Xiao long bao (小笼包, literally “little-basket bun”) is the hot new food in San Jose this year—several restaurants have opened or recently started specializing in these Asian delights. XLBs—for short—is a kind of dim sum that falls somewhere between a steamed bun (baozi) and a dumpling (jiaozi). Both of these are usually filled with meat and/or vegetables. Boazi tend to be dry both inside and out. Jiaozi may be moister inside, but are frequently put into a soup. With xiao long bao the hot savory soup is actually already inside the bun with the filling. Son-in-law Chris has challenged me to learn to make this uniquely Shanghai dish.

Note: Although the Taiwanese claim it as their own.

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

Karl’s Xiao Long Bao (aka XLB or Soup Dumplings)

Note: Of particular interest—to anyone wishing to make Chinese dumplings—will be the discussion of the science of dumpling dough. Continue reading

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Karl’s Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs

I made some deviled eggs for Jan’s Ethno Breakfast—a local (Bay Area) meeting of corporate ethnologists. We had some leftover smoked trout and I thought I would experiment with it, in case  Jan asked me to make another dish for the next event. Plain deviled eggs are an infinite canvas for creative new dishes.

Karl’s Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs

Karl’s Smoked Trout Deviled Eggs

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Karl’s Drunken Chicken Mole

Since Jan discovered she is ¼ Cora23&Me, long story—she has become interested in discovering what that means. She has taken an interest in learning Spanish and is taking Mexican food far more seriously. For her birthday, she asked for chicken mole.

Karl’s Drunken Chicken Mole

Karl’s Drunken Chicken Mole

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Karl’s Drunken Pinto Beans

Adapted from an America’s Test Kitchen recipe

When Jan asked for chicken mole for her birthday, the email at the top of my list was from America’s Test Kitchen with a video about chicken mole and drunken beans. The beans sounded like a good side dish for the mole, so I decided to make it myself.

Karl’s Drunken Pinto Beans

Karl’s Drunken Pinto Beans

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Karl’s Avocado, Mango Slaw with Lime Dressing

I am making Jan’s birthday meal of chicken mole, beans, and rice. That is a lot of meat and starch, but Jan also likes to be vegetable forward. My original idea was for a mango and avocado salad, but for seven people that would either be very small serving for each person or very expensive.

Karl’s Avocado, Mango Slaw with Lime Dressing

Karl’s Avocado, Mango Slaw with Lime Dressing

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Karl’s Mexican Brown Rice II

Technique drawn from Mel’s Kitchen Café

I am making Jan’s birthday dinner of chicken mole and drunken beans. We are having company so I decided to add a rice dish. Jan is pushing me to use more “low glycemic” starches in my diet so I made it with brown rice.

Karl’s Mexican Brown Rice II

Karl’s Mexican Brown Rice II

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Karl’s Potluck Curried Deviled Eggs

Being the cook of the family, Jan frequently asks me to make something when she needs a mitzva meal or a dish for a potluck. Last week it was Ethno Breakfast—a local (Bay Area) meeting of corporate ethnologists. Since all except the largest firms hire only one person in this discipline, this can be an isolated job—one anthropologist amongst an entire company of engineers and MBAs. Jan has been pushing this field for several years, so some of the local practitioners are her former students. Ethno Breakfast provides a community to share ideas and problems once a month.

Karl’s Potluck Curried Deviled Eggs

Karl’s Potluck Curried Deviled Eggs
Packed up and ready to go

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Karl’s Orange Dinner

In the continued effort to make meals for Jan that she doesn’t have to do any biting—she has two front tooth temporary caps—I suggested salmon for dinner. She thought yams were a good soft starch to go with the fish. She then suggested that this was an Orange Dinner.

Karl’s Orange Dinner

Karl’s Orange Dinner

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Filed under California Fusion, Main Dishes, Potatoes, Salads, Side Dishes