Jason Truesdell : Pursuing My Passions

A life in flux. Soon to be immigrant to Japan. Recently migrated this blog from another platform after many years of neglect (about March 6, 2017). Sorry for the styling and functionality potholes; I am working on cleaning things up and making it usable again.

Shipping woes, mustard greens jiaozi

jason

I have been frustrated for the last few days with some shipping issues… it reminds me of my very first dragon beard candy shipment, when the competence to book the cargo seemed to fail my shipping vendor, which at that time was Yamato transport.

This time was more of a comedy of errors and miscommunications: between my supplier and myself, between my supplier and a new freight company, and between that freight company and me. I didn’t always know when some problem was still unresolved because of some slow responses.

Fortunately, these appear to be resolved and the shipment is supposed to be on its way. Aside from irritating my customers, the only big remaining risk is the usual risk of customs clearance and FDA delays. If I’m lucky, everything will be ready by Monday, but if I’m not, it could take another 4 days of “fax and wait.”

In the meantime, dinner has been uninspired. Most of the week I made things that I’ve recently cooked variations of. Tonight was my first stroke of creative energy.

I like the tangy bite of mustard greens. They don’t require a lot of intervention; on most occasions I just cook them with a little olive oil and a splash of vinegar, salted to taste. Because such simple preparations work so well, I rarely push the envelope with mustard greens, but I wanted to do something more.

I massaged a bit of coarse salt into the leaves, let them sit a bit, and rinsed them. This technique hinders further shrinkage of the greens after cooking, which was important because I was turning them into a stuffing. I chopped the leaves fairly finely, and did the same thing with some mung bean sprouts. Afterward, I added some momen tofu (momen-doufu), some grated ginger, and some salt.

Karashina-tofu

Karashi-na Gyouza

I turned the filling into gyoza, or potstickers. I used my big, not terribly evenly-heating cast-iron pan. After cooking them in oil on two sides, I added some katakuriko mixed with water and covered the pan for several minutes, which contributes a nice crispiness and some aesthetic advantages.

Karashina gyoza

Mustard greens mellow out quite a bit in such an application, but contribute a nice pungency… next time I might sneak a bit of vinegar into the dumplings. I was hesitant to do so because I remember so many of my least favorite dumpling-eating experiences in Beijing were sour… but it might work well here.