Fond Thoughts of (Fill in Your Mission Here)…and Recipes

I’ve often wondered how much of an effect foreign missions have had on the culture of the church and its members.  I know that for individuals, two years or eighteen months living in a different culture is life changing.  Often missionaries return to change their majors, career plans etc.  I also know many returned missionaries who have chosen to live overseas, recognizing from their mission experiences that they enjoy the adventure of it.

What about the culture of the church?  Did missionary work force a rather insular people into interaction with a larger world?  Is the mainstreaming of the Mormon church in the 20th century tied up tightly with the missionary program?  Interesting thoughts, although I doubt there is a way to measure that.

What about me?  How did eighteen months in Russia as a college student change my life?  I’m not sure.  I was already majoring in Russian when I left.  I think it certainly gave me a sense of confidence and a feeling of capability to get myself into and out of scrapes in foreign countries.  It gave me an empathy for others that I probably lacked before–a sense of accepting them on their own terms.  But now I rarely interact with Russians, and I haven’t been back there in fifteen years. 

Apparently there is still a sense of cultural loyalty in me, though.  I was at a dinner party a month or so ago when someone mentioned Russian food, and some noses sniffed in a silent “yick” look.   I had to come to the rescue of Russian food.  “No, no, it’s really good!  I’ll make some for you.”  So, I invited over entirely too many people to my house this weekend, and cooked a Russian feast.  It was fun to smell beets and garlic in the kitchen, and to hear “Wow, this is good!”  You’re welcome, Russia. 

Here are some of my favorite Russian recipes.  Please share some of your favorite recipes learned on your missions  in the comments below.

Borscht  (Savory beet and vegetable soup)

Fill about half of a large stock pot with water, and mix in enough beef bouillon cubes or paste to make a savory broth.  Bring to a boil.

Mince 8-10 cloves of garlic and add to the broth.   Add two cans of tomato sauce, two bay leaves, and ¼ cup of red wine vinegar.  Continue to boil.  Add two cans of sliced beets, including most of the juice. 

Chop into bite size pieces and sauté the following in about ¼ cup of olive oil: 

8 carrots

2 large onions

6 celery stalks

Add all of the sautéed vegetables to the soup, scraping the olive oil into the pot.  

Chop 6 large potatoes into bite size cubes and add to the soup. 

Chop a small head of cabbage into bite size cubes and add to the soup.  

Cover and simmer on low for about an hour to let the flavors mix and the vegetables to soften.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and fresh chopped dill.  

 Pelmeni  (Siberian type of “ravioli”)

1 cup water

1 egg

1 tsp salt

2 ¾ cups flour

½ pound ground beef

½ pound ground pork

1 large onion chopped into small pieces

4 cloves chopped garlic (or adjust to taste)

Salt and pepper to taste

Sift together salt and flour.  Make a well.  Add egg.  Slowly add water, stirring into a dough.  Once flour is moist, take from bowl and vigorously knead for 10-15 minutes until a soft dough is formed.  (I hear there are new fangled machines that will do this automatically now).  Let dough rest for 20 minutes while making filling.  Combine meats, onion, garlic, and enough salt and pepper to make a savory filling (at least 1 tsp of each).  

Divide dough into quarters, and roll out into thin sheets (1/8 to 1/16 inch thick).  Using a glass, cut rounds of dough.  (Size matters not).  Put a spoonful of filling on the dough rounds and fold dough over to make a half circle.  Pinch dough to seal it into a half moon.  Take the two corners and pinch them together (will look like tortellini or a little hat).  Put on a greased and floured cookie sheet, careful not to let the pelmeni touch each other.  Freeze the pelmeni until you are ready to serve.  

To serve:  boil a large pot of water.  Drop a few pelmeni into the pot (6-8 at a time…no more than 1 layer depending on size of pot).  Once pelmeni rise to the surface they are ready (about 10minutes).  Remove with a slotted spoon.  Serve immediately with butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper.  (butter and sour cream melt together to make a creamy sauce). 

Eggplant Caviar (Poor man’s fake caviar dish developed in the Caucuses.)

2 eggplants (about 1 lb. each)

1 large tomato

5-6 garlic cloves

1 medium onion

6 Tbs white vinegar

3 tsp vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prick eggplant all over with a fork, and roast on a foil lined baking sheet for 30-45 minutes until soft.  Cut off tops, and make slashes in bottom, putting them into a colander standing up to drain out of the bottom as they cool completely.  Cut eggplant open and scrape out flesh and seeds onto a cutting board.  Discard skins.  Chop into small bits with a large knife (do not use a food processor).  Put into medium bowl.

Separately, in a food processor, blend the remaining ingredients until liquified.  Add to the eggplant, and salt and pepper to taste.  Serve as an appetizer spread to go on Russian black bread (or pumpernickel if you can’t find any Russian bread). 

Russian Tomato Salad

2 yellow onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

3 bell peppers (your favorite color or a mix), chopped

1 european cucumber, chopped

1 cup sour cream

2 heaping Tbs fresh chopped dill. 

Salt and pepper to taste

In a medium bowl, toss all chopped vegetables together.  Separately, blend the sour cream, dill, and salt and pepper.  Combine all ingredients and toss together to coat.  Cover, and chill in the fridge until serving. 

Carrot Salad

4 medium carrots peeled.

2 cloves garlic minced.

1 cup chopped walnuts

1 cup chopped dried prunes

1 cup mayonnaise

Finely grate carrots.  Mince garlic and add to the carrots.  Finely chop walnuts.  Chop the prunes.  Add both to carrots.  Stir in the mayonnaise, using just enough to moisten. 

Babka’s Stuffed Cabbage Leaves (Time consuming!)

1 large green cabbage

2 cups uncooked rice

3 ¼ cups water

2 lbs bacon

2-3  large onions, finely diced

2 cans tomato sauce, or 4 cans V-8 juice  (plus a can or two more in reserve if needed)

½ to ¾ cup fresh chopped dill

Salt and pepper (to taste, about 2 tsps each)

Steam the cabbage until tender, removing outer layers as they are soft.

Cook rice in the water until it is just absorbed (doesn’t have to be fully cooked).

Fry the bacon until crispy and then crumble.    Reserve some drippings.

Fry the onions in the reserved bacon drippings until tender.  Mix the cooked rice, fried onion, salt, pepper, bacon, and chopped dill in a large mixing bowl.  (Can add some more bacon drippings if the rice is too sticky). 

Cut the larger cabbage leaves in half, removing the stem section.  Place a spoonful of the rice mixture on the leaf, and roll up, folding in the sides as you go.  (Kind of like a burrito).  Smaller leaves towards the center are easier to work with and fold up nicely around the rice mixture. 

Put some of the outer leaves of cabbage on the bottom of a casserole or roasting pan or dutch oven.  Add the rolls, tucking them in together and trying to keep them from breaking.  They can be stacked if your pan is deeper than it is wide.  (This recipe fills up my dutch oven roasting pan).  Mix tomato sauce with two cans water and pour over rolls.  (or pour all v-8 juice over rolls.)  The rolls should just be covered by the liquid.  Place more unused leaves on top of the rolls.  Cover with aluminum foil and the lid from the casserole.  Place in a 325 degree oven and cook for three hours, making sure the casserole doesn’t boil over.  Check the liquid level periodically to make sure rolls aren’t drying out.  Add more tomato soup mixture if they are.


  1. The Romanian version of the Eastern European classic the cabbage roll is far superior because it uses heads of cabbage that have been soaked and fermented in brine (basically sauerkraut made with the whole head instead of shredded cabbage). The sourness works to cut the sweetness of the tomato and the saltiness and umami-ness of the meat (most versions I have seen use ground pork and rice rather than bacon) and round out the flavors. Such cabbage rolls are best served with polenta (mamaliga) and sour cream on the side.

  2. Karen,
    I need to hide this post from my wife, because it looks horrible to me and I know it will look absolutely delicious to her.

  3. Also, since you didn’t list any, are we to assume that in Soviet Russia, the dessert eats you?

  4. Mm . . . Zwetchenknoedel, Kasespaetzle (but with gouda) . . Bratwurst, Kartoffelsalat (minus the meat) . . . Dampfnudeln . . . no one can say German food is nasty.

    And I’ve not even touched the bread and pastries. I’m amazed I wasn’t 300 lbs. coming back from my mission. *sigh* Anyone want a good German meal? I need an excuse to cook.

  5. Apparently, linking to recipes gets you put in Time Out.

  6. Sorry about that–I think it had more to do with leaving the meat out of Kartoffelsalat.

  7. Steve Evans says:

    I served in France. By bilateral treaty I am forbidden from posting up recipes, as they would make you all look bad.

    German food is nasty.

  8. Okay, Steve. I rescind the “love you” comment on the other thread. You are now shunned by all sane people.

  9. French cuisine consists of various ways to mix butter and sugar and make it look as if it is food.

    ‘Nuff said.

  10. SilverRain,
    Since I don’t really care for French cuisine, I can’t be accused of just sucking up to Steve when I say that German food is lousy.

  11. German food is better than Scottish, I’ll give you that much.

  12. I’m pretty sure a friend who served a mission in Germany came home with a love for Turkish food. I’m not sure whether or not that is a commentary on German food.

    I don’t mind German cookies. Pfeffernusse – I think that’s how it spelled. Good stuff.

  13. I’d post my recipes for the staple of my mission which was pop tarts and kool-aid, but I suspect that those are copyrighted

  14. Yay for Russian food. Sala and Xolodets for everyone!

    I used to do Russian piri for my in-laws on new year’s eve. They haven’t been as crazy appreciative as is appropriate.

  15. mmiles says:

    We all know how you feel about other cultures and their food.

  16. mmiles,
    You’ll note the absence of any Finnish recipes from me.

  17. Beets are evil, in all their incarnations.

    French food is celestial.

    German food is tasty.

  18. Beets are the food of God’s. Ignore the philistine from the South of France! What do those people know about good food.

  19. All I can offer from the stateside mission of Ohio, Columbus is the tip that all vegetables you would normally heat/cook in water should be immersed in butter instead- No matter how many sticks it takes to cover the veggies. Ask me how I gained 35 pounds.

  20. How did you gain 35 pounds, Sunny?

  21. mmiles says:

    Whoever said veggies were good for you?

  22. Ah Scott, thanks for asking. But that’s really personal and I’m a little offended you’d bring it up.

  23. Also, can I get more butter with this?

  24. Nothing beats lupulu and lusipi. Except otai. And of course, poi.

  25. Kristine says:

    danithew, that’s a commentary on German immigration trends.

  26. Living in zion says:

    Perogies rock, and you can get them in the frozen food section at Wal-mart. Straight from Poland to you with love and butter, salt and pepper to taste.

  27. Aaron Brown says:

    It’s an unwritten rule of Argentine missions that you have to rave about dulce de leche, alfajores, facturas and hierba mate. But here’s the cold hard truth:

    1. Argentina alfajores aren’t very good. (Except this one brand sold only in Buenos Aires, which is decent).
    2. Mate is blah.
    3. Facturas are gross, and any elder who says he prefers them over American donuts is full of crap.
    4. Dulce de leche is caramel without flavor. But since it doesn’t stick in your teeth as badly, I suppose it’s possible to prefer a lack of flavor over a strenuous workout for your jaw.

    Anyone who disagrees with the above is a liar or a poseur. The pose is one of culinary sophistication and multi-culturalism and it’s unpersuasive, people.

  28. Guatemalan recipe:
    Scramble 2 eggs
    Cook a slop of black beans
    Put it on a plate
    Eat with tortillas and salt

  29. Rusty,
    That’s not a recipe. That’s called “nothing in the fridge left to eat.”

  30. Since we’re Mormons and we love our Jell-O, this variation (affectionately called “fruit mucus” by missionaries) on a chilled fruit dessert should please all:

    Rhubarb & Strawberry Kiisseli
    (6 Servings)

    3 stalks of rhubarb
    1/2 liter water
    1/2 deciliter sugar
    1 deciliter cold water
    1/2 liter strawberries, smashed into a chunky puree consistency
    6 Tablespoons potato flour or corn starch

    Rinse rhubarb stalks and dice them (about 5 deciliters worth).
    Boil water, sugar, and rhubarb for approximately 10 minutes. Add corn starch/potato flour to cold water, and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into the hot water/rhurbarb/sugar mixture slowly while mixing continuously and vigorously.

    Allow the mixture to heat again just until it starts to bubble and then remove immediately (like, as in, 1 bubble!). Add the strawberries to the mixture.

    Pour the “kiisseli” into a serving dish/pan and sprinkle sugar over the surface to prevent a starchy film from forming over the top of the kiisseli, then allow to cool.

    Serve with sugar and either heavy cream, either as is or whipped. (I prefer regular cream to whipped)

  31. Living in zion says:

    #28, #29 – Sounds like high-falutin’ cooking skills for the average missionary without a microwave oven.

  32. Mark Brown says:

    SilverRain, have you ever found a way to make Rotkohl that tastes right? Every time I have tried it, it comes out too vinegary. I’m guess the secret is more bacon, since that is the secret to so many things.

    My favorite recipe was homemade plain yogurt. In the morning before leaving the apartment, fill the container with milk and starter and plug it in. When you get home at night, place the container in the refrigerator to chill. In the morning, mix the plain yogurt with any combination of preserves, raw oatmeal and nuts. It’s the breakfast of champions.

  33. mmiles says:

    Confess. Is that a Finnish recipe? and you really do like it don’t you.

  34. Yep, it’s 100% pure Suomi-food. And it tastes great; it just has the consistency of a warm loogie.

  35. mmiles says:

    So like a strawberry rhubarb flavored oyster. You could market that.

  36. Stephanie says:

    Re 28 – my neighbor is from Guatemala. They’ve had us over a few times, and that is essentially what they serve, except that they grill meat instead of the eggs. And they laugh at DH and I because we put the meat, beans and “crema” (is that how you say it?) in the tortillas.

  37. DW says that in SoCal (Upper Mexico) she gained 35 pounds in her first 3 months because las familias never gave them silverware, just a pile of homemade tortillas to use as the spoon/fork.

    Then there was the jar of jalapenos on the table. One of the members in an area was told by his doctor to stop drinking the juice, and that would fix his ulcer problem. Go figure.

    As for me, we ate a lot of German food in Chile. Tortas de hoja made with jam and manjar made up for having to drink the Ecco.

    There was a great candy bar called “Mantecol”; manteca being Spanish for lard. Also, this:, but substitute fried pork rinds for the currant.

  38. I only served 30 minutes from home so it wasn’t that much of a culinary jump for me. I did get a lot more boiled vegetables than I was used too (England).

    The only really English dish I make regularly is a basta**ized version of Trifle. It is a quick and easy dessert and a fan favorite among the kids.

    2 boxes of Sugar free Jello*
    Once that has set then
    1 box of Instant Sugar Free Pudding* on top
    Once that has set then
    1 container of Fat Free Cool Whip on top
    Then some sprinkles.

    So it is relatively low calorie and fairly quick to make (once Jello has set), plus it uses Jello so it has the Good Prophet seal of approval. To be more authentic use good custard instead of pudding and real whip cream instead of cool whip. I also liked fruit and/or pound cake submerged in the Jello.

    *NFI in Jello brand, but quite a bit in just about every major private label/store brand.

  39. Check out this book chapter by Jill Terry Rudy about the food experiences of missionaries:

  40. That’s not a recipe. That’s called “nothing in the fridge left to eat.”

    What, Scott, are you making fun of our poorer Guatemalan brothers and sisters who don’t have fridges? It may not be a recipe but it’s what I ate for 2 meals a day for 2 years. Yum.

  41. I like German food, but the world must bow down to the French. It’s simply a fact.

    And I keep trying to like beets. They’re so pretty. I buy them, fix them a new way, marvel in their beauty… then take a bite. Yup- still a mouthful of dirt.

  42. Antihero says:

    I’ll eat pretty much any Brazilian food. Except this horrible yellow little fruit that they had called pequi.
    I do still like beans and rice.

  43. I’m with Rusty. If you’ve been down to Guatemala you will miss the simple foods they served up there.

    For an early morning snack I used to eat fresh hot tortillas with a little bit of salt or this crumbly white cheese. Not a lot could beat that for me. [Don’t picture the tortillas you get in the store.]

    Also, tamales.

    And Morcafe with pan dulce.

    I don’t have any recipes to offer.

  44. Beets are indeed marvelous.

    German food is wonderful. In East Germany, you get some of the Russian influence as well (at least you did in the early 1990s) so some of Karen’s recipes were familiar to me.

    But I agree with Steve that French food trumps all. How could one not agree with that? It is impossible. Only people who have not experienced it can possibly even hazard an argument.

    Let’s put it this way: recently in France I wasn’t even phased when I found a rotting tomatoe slice in my salad. The meal was so good I just set that aside and kept going.

  45. Mmmmmm…. Swiss food….

    Too bad I can’t really cook any of it since their culinary skills are far above mine. Except raclette.
    1. Boil potatoes
    2. Mash potatoes on your plate and put a slice of pineapple on them.
    4. Melt cheese
    5. Scoop melted cheese on top.
    6. Sprinkle with paprika.
    7. Not salt. (Heathens.)

    *sniff* I’m still in mourning for the consolidation of all southern German missions. How Zurich/Vienna/Munich are all supposed to get along are beyond me.

    Because Austrians are weird. That’s why.

  46. John Mansfield says:

    Argentina alfajores aren’t very good. (Except this one brand sold only in Buenos Aires, which is decent).”

    Havanna alfajores are made in Mar del Plata, and there are outlets besides those in Buenos Aires. By coincidence, this post was put up on May 4th, the same day as our family’s 13th annual empanada day. (Also my birthday, and as noted at this web site in previous years, the anniversary of the endowment.) Unlike in Argentina, though, we give plates to the guests, so they are not required to poke their forks into the common salad bowl; most wouldn’t like it if we did that.

  47. Scott—My dad served in Finland and unleavened Finnish rye bread is heavenly.

    Not to mention pulla, which is as close to manna as humankind can get.

  48. Steve (#11) The Blarney Stone tastes better than Scotch food.

    It’s okay. I admit that French food has its place. It’s perfect for those who aren’t attached to substance in their meals. ;)

  49. Mark—The secret to Rotkohl is to eat it with Schnitzel and potato dumplings. You put a little of everything on one fork. Much like horseradish or Dijon mustard, Rotkohl is mostly meant to add zing, not to be eaten straight.

  50. John—I suppose I’ve hung out with too many chefs. French food is overcomplicated and clichéd. German food is just plain, good eatin’.

  51. Researcher says:

    Mmm. German food. German bread. German pastries. Brötchen. Streusel-topped kuchen. Those amazing cakes that my first landlady made. The fish. The white asparagus. The mushroom gravies. The schnitzels. The soups and stews. The sausages. The cheeses. The delicious butter and yogurt and quark. The gyros and döner kebabs. (Okay; so that’s not strictly German.) The Persian food. I miss it all, and I won’t even mention the chocolate.

    But I didn’t gain any weight like a Midwestern missionary might; we walked and biked too much.

    I made Rouladen for dinner last night. If I had time I would have made Knödel as well (the potato dumplings that SilverRain mentioned). My kids love Rouladen, even though they know what’s in them.

  52. I tend to agree that German food is decent. French food is just buttery pride in small servings. You can get lots of German food at the local World Markets and its usually pretty good.

    Now I really like Tex Mex and Italian.

    My mission food was South African. Lots of mutton, game, ostrich, roibos tea, sausage etc. It was really good.

  53. Butch Bowman says:

    Alfajores Bagley rock.

    Tea of Yerba Mate (mate cocido) rocks. (Oh how I pine for just one cup of that hot drink.)

    Living in Argentina where they eat every part of the cow, pig and chicken and where the butcher shops are filled with flies and stink like Satan himself led me to reread D&C 89 and say, “Oh…it really does say that….”)


  54. NJensen says:

    Behold the almighty, ultimate Canadian, Nanaimo Bar!

    Nanaimo Bars

    Bottom Layer
    ½ cup unsalted butter (European style cultured)
    ¼ cup sugar
    5 tbsp. cocoa
    1 egg beaten
    1 ¼ cups graham wafer crumbs
    ½ c. finely chopped almonds
    1 cup coconut

    Melt first 3 ingredients in top of double boiler. Add egg and stir to cook and thicken. Remove from heat. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts. Press firmly into an ungreased 8″ x 8″ pan.

    Second Layer
    ½ cup unsalted butter
    2 Tbsp. and 2 Tsp. cream
    2 Tbsp. vanilla custard powder
    2 cups icing sugar

    Cream butter, cream, custard powder, and icing sugar together well. Beat until light. Spread over bottom layer.

    Third Layer
    4 squares semi-sweet chocolate (1 oz. each)
    2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

    Melt chocolate and butter overlow heat. Cool. Once cool, but still liquid, pour over second layer and chill in refrigerator.

  55. I propose a little friendly competition: next SLC Utah bloggersnacker, I’ll bring some German bread, homemade kaesespaetzle, and authentic pastries from Vosens, and you can bring whatever French puffballs you wish. Then, the truth will be out.

    Although, as long as American food can claim cheesecake, it is certainly in the running. If only it weren’t for that unfortunate incident with the processed “food” product they call cheese.

  56. SilverRain,
    Pulla is indeed a close approximation of manna from heaven. My wife makes killer korvapuusteja…

  57. Cardamom is highly underrated in America. I agree that Pulla is the best way to display it’s divineness.

  58. SilverRain:

    if we’re talking about a classic American cheescake made with cream cheese with a sour cream topping, then I agree. Otherwise, all bets are off. Oh, and, give me the crushed ginger snaps for the crust rather than the graham cracker crumbs.

  59. My bro tells me there are 2,500 types of potato in Peru. He thinks he sampled only 30% of them so far.

    Not sure that he’ll ever eat or even be able to look at another potato!


  60. Well, if I ever get to go to a bloggersnacker, I’ll bring pulla, too.

  61. Coming in late, but I would indeed be ungrateful if I didn’t take this opportunity to express my gratitude for having served in a wonderful mission, even the Puerto Rico San Juan Mission.

    (Sorry, just came from reading today’s post.)

    I ate versions of this every day while I was there, and never got tired of it:

    ___Puertorrican Rice and Beans___
    First, you need to make sofrito: cut up into medium-sized chunks
    -a cubanelle or green bell pepper
    -a yellow onion
    -a clove or two of garlic
    Put them in a blender with a bunch of cilantro and a little water or oil (corn or veg.) if needed. Puree to a coarse paste. Adjust the proportions of these ingredients to your liking.

    Now that you have your sofrito, you need some medium-grained rice. “Calrose” works just fine; I’ve seen it sold under the “Nishiki” brand in many places. Put two parts water to one part rice in a heavy pan with a little oil and salt to taste, bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes.

    Meanwhile, heat up enough oil to cover the bottom of a saucepan. Put in a few heaping tablespoons of sofrito and stir, enjoying the fragrant aroma. After about five or 10 seconds, put in a packet of sazon Goya (if you can’t find this, you can use cumin and Greek oregano — and infuse your oil with annato seeds if you want to be hardcore) and stir for another five seconds or so. Then, pour in:
    -a can’s worth (about 14 oz?) of cooked pink beans (pintos will also work, and so will black, but those are more Cuban, sabe),
    -a small can of tomato sauce
    Salt to taste and simmer while the rice is cooking.

    I learned to put the rice on one side of my plate and the beans on the other, and to mix them together with my fork as I ate them.

    Sliced avocadoes are wonderful on the side, as are fried pork chops, thin steaks stewed with tomato sauce and onions, double-fried green plantain slices (tostones: eaten with fry sauce!), and green olives.

  62. Researcher says:

    Thanks for the recipe, CStanford. I’ve been trying recipe after recipe for years now trying to match my husband’s Puerto Rican Rice and Beans (he was also on his mission there) and came close one time, but never got it quite right. This one sounds like what he’s been trying to describe. I’ll have to make that next week.

    In the meantime, we’re having bulgogi tonight. We were introduced to that by the wonderful Korean students we knew in student family housing.

  63. Chad Too says:

    Since no one else has stepped up, I suppose I could to try to represent Tokyo —

    Homemade Gyoza:

    1/2 pound ground pork
    1/2 small cabbage head
    5 cloves garlic
    1 bunch green onion
    vegetable oil
    120 gyoza skins

    sauce: (or buy a commercially prepared sauce)
    1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
    1/4 soy sauce (ponzu is better if you can find it)
    Peel garlic cloves and green onion, peel and cut tips off green onion, core cabbage and cut into about 8 pieces. put all veggies in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

    Add the pork to the mixture about a meatball’s worth at a time, pulsing the food processor well between each addition until all the meat is incorporated into the veggies.

    place a teaspoon or so of the mixture into the center of the gyoza skin. Moisten the edge all the way around (i use a spray bottle of water to speed things along) and fold over to make a half-moon. Seal the edges well. You can try the fanfold if you’d like. I bought presses at an oriental food store that to it for me (link: )

    Now choose your cooking method. You can drop these in hot-and-sour soup to boil, or even deep-fry until golden brown. I prefer the fry/steam method. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium-warm non-stick fry pan and add about 20 gyoza. Let them heat over medium flame for about 90 seconds then pour 1/3 cup of water into the pan and cover. Continue heating over medium flame until the water all evaporates; about another 90-120 seconds.

    Serve with sticky rice and dipping sauce. You can make these meatless by replacing the pork with some well-drained tofu instead.

    I got more Japanese recipes, we’ll see how many others post first. Also, I planted a nashi tree in my yard and it looks like it’s going to fruit for the first time this year. I never would have heard of them if not for the mission. I can hardly wait.

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