I have several friends living in the US from Oceania and the Pacific Islands. I was excited because my Hawaiian friend was coming to stay with me last weekend. I don’t often cook food from this region, so I decided now was the opportunity to knock some socks off. I always feel like I want to riff a friend’s traditional foods when they stay and give them a loving little taste of home.
It’s a bit tragic to me that many people think Hawaiian food is just adding pineapple, teriyaki, or spam to anything and call it good. From the couple years I lived in the islands, I got the vibe that Hawaiian food is an amalgamation of Filipino, Indonesian, Portuguese, Japanese, and Chinese dishes. Good ones. Trust me when I say going to an Auntie’s house for dinner is better than anything you’ll ever get in the hotels or most anything you’ll find in tourist areas. I smashed out this dish with love, and it was a winner all around. Spicy, tender, unctious, sweet, and oh so savory. Bonus: Slap in the middle of the Summer CSA, you can make this from almost everything in your share! Enjoy!
Steamed Napa Chicken Dumplings with Curried Beet Coco-Crema and Spicy Herb Oil
Special Equipment Needed
Pressure Cooker (instant pot)
Meat grinder (or a food processor would probably work in a pinch)
Some type of magic bullet mini blender (regular in a pinch, but it’s less efficient)
immersion ‘stick’ blender
2 large beets or 3 medium red or candy cane beets, peeled and roughly chopped
1 can coconut cream
2 Tbsp Thai Green Curry Paste
2 Tbsp palm sugar (or the like)
1 Tbsp soy sauce
Napa Cabbage Chicken Dumplings:
3 large chicken thighs
½ lb shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch carrots (the tops kind)
4 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp soy sauce
4 Tbsp fish sauce
1 Tbsp palm sugar (or the like)
1 head napa cabbage
Spicy Herb Oil:
1 cup tulsi basil leaves
1 cup cilantro
1 small serrano pepper
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced
¼ cup avocado oil
- For the Beet Crema:
- Add beets and coconut cream to pressure cooker and cook on high for 15 minutes
- After cooking (and cooling off a bit!), add curry paste, sugar and soy and puree with a stick blender
- For the Dumplings:
- Roast the carrots whole (remove tops) @375F for 45 minutes
- Run chicken, carrots, and shiitake mushrooms through the grinder
- Add garlic, soy sauce, fish sauce and palm sugar to the mix. Combine.
- Boil ~10 cups of water and submerge each napa leaf for about 15 seconds or until slightly wilted.
- Take a large spoon of the dumpling filling and add to the stem side of the leaf.
- Roll the leaves up with the filling and add seam side down to an oven safe dish with a lid
- Steam bake @375F for about 25-30 minutes or until they are bright green and have an internal temperature of 165F
- For the Spicy Herb Oil.
- Add ginger, serano, basil, cilantro and avocado oil to a small blender and puree to a silky consistency of bright dark green.
- Spoon beet coco-crema onto a plate. Top the mixture with 2 or 3 steamed dumplings. Spoon the spicy herb oil to finish.