Play With Your Food: Felt Asian Dumplings (Mandoo, Gyoza)

This week’s play food is felt Asian dumplings.

{ TO PLAY }

Asian dumplings
pwyf #004

As a child, I would help my mother make dumplings (mandoo). Her technique was to pinch along the edge with both layers of the dumpling together. My Japanese sister-in-law likes to fold only one side as they are sealed together. She says it helps to keep the dumpling (gyoza) lay flat when steam-frying them Japanese style. For these felt dumplings, I used Mariko’s folding technique.

Asian dumplings

{ TO EAT }

One of the tastiest way to cook dumplings is to steam-fry them, as I learned from Mariko. The resulting dumplings have a combination of textures with the softness of steaming and the crispiness of frying. It took me a bit of trial and error to master the art of steam-frying dumplings and I will post my tips in the future.

Mariko likes to make dumplings with ground pork or shrimp, along with tofu, shiitake mushrooms, scallions or Asian leeks, sake, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. I don’t have any measurements so here are some other dumpling recipes in the interim:


http://steamykitchen.com/5874-gyoza-recipe-japanese-pan-fried-dumplings.html


http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/04/homemade-fried-dumplings-pork-chinese-appetizers.html


http://aboxofkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/02/shrimp-gyouza-japanese-steam-fried.html

맛있게 드세요!

Play With Your Food: Ravioli

This post is a little late, but as a follow-up to the previous week’s bowtie pasta, the latest felt food is ravioli. Ravioli is another easy pasta to replicate in felt which doesn’t require much time or materials. This time I used green felt to make spinach ravioli.

{ TO PLAY }

Felt Ravioli
pwyf #003

Supplies/Tools: felt, polyfil, hot glue, pinking shears, ruler, (optional: cutting mat and rotary cutter, or scissors)
Felt Ravioli

{ TO EAT }

This recipe was adapted from a Whole Foods circular. The pea puree is quick, easy, and light; a nice change from the typical tomato or cream sauces used with ravioli. I topped it with pea pod sprouts from Trader Joe’s that I happened to have in the fridge. They were nice because it added a nice element visually, but also taste-wise texturally by adding a crunch. Fresh spinach ravioli from Dave’s Pasta was also used rather than frozen ones. Continue reading

Foraging in the Park

It’s apple picking season.
Rather than picking apples, the other day I helped a Vietnamese friend to forage some “cherries” in a local park in Watertown. She and her mother had already picked all the ones within their reach, but she wanted me to help her to pick the higher ones. And boy was there a bounty.

Foraged fruit

They are firmer than cherries. I can’t comment on their flavor because I haven’t tasted them yet.

It was fun and free. Once we were able to reach the branches full of cherries, we were able to go crazy harvesting them as quickly as we could. The ones we harvested would have just fallen and rotted on the ground and there were still so many cherries left. My friend Thien plans on pickling them.

Does anyone know what they are? If you do, please comment. Thanks.

Play With Your Food: Bowtie Pasta (Farfalle)

Farfalle is a great pasta to make into play food because of its distinctive look that is easy to replicate.

{ TO PLAY }

Felt Farfalle
pwyf #002

Tutorial to follow.

{ TO EAT }

I improvised this recipe years ago by simply replacing the powdered cheese with deli cheese slices. It’s as easy as macaroni and cheese from the box because it follows the same directions and doesn’t take much more time. I usually like to add broccoli and occasionally some grape tomatoes (if I have them on hand).

Continue reading

Play with your Food – Felt Macaron (macaroon)

Earlier this week Mr. Rabbit surprised me with a trio of macarons from Paris Baguette which inspired me to make my own.

Macarons (macaroons)

This project reuses Vitamin Water caps, paperboard from junk mail, eco-felt and batting. I would have made more, but I didn’t have enough Vitamin Water caps. Besides, the proportions were not ideal. Ideally, the height of the cap should be a touch narrower, but the plastic was too thick to cut safely.

Felt Macaron - covered
pwyf #001

Play With Your Food – Launch

Ok, so I’m a bit obsessed with food – real and fake.

I’ve made some play food (knit and felt)  in the past, but this picture of a felt food market inspired me to create more with a renewed zeal.

Plus, I am happy that the nephews and niece love to play with the play food I’ve made in the past, particularly the knit strawberries and felt green beans. They are the perfect size for their little hands.

I also intend to make a play kitchen some day; there are tons of examples for inspiration.

In order to work my way towards slowly building my market goods and stocking a potential future play kitchen, I’ve decided to make and post an item a week.  Occasionally, I will include an appropriate recipe with the made item.