Asian Hot Pocket

jiucai knish featured header

jiucai knish featured header

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But whom am I kidding?  EVERYTHING I make apparently is very confused!  I mean what is THIS!??  I was previously calling it “Asian chive knish”, and now it’s “Asian hot pocket”???!!  But it really looks more like an Asian meat bun BUT WITH Jewish pie dough!!  OMG… I’m going schizo!!  In what twisted and baffled universe did I come up with this demented child??  Well, in the universe where I ordered a few chives but CAME A FARM, which had coincidentally happened when a pie dough recipe had been lurking in the back of my head for awhile…  And this apparently is what came out.  Oh my goodness… does this only makes sense to me?!  I’m crazier than I thought…

I’m gonna point fingers and blame this complete abomination on the corner grocer who had CLEARLY deceived me.

“Hi, I would like to order some Asian chives.”

“Sure, how much do you want?  How about a bundle?  They come in bundles.”

“A bundle?  OK… sure I guesss.”

THIS!  THIS IS “A BUNDLE”!!  What a despicable deception!  For people who might be confused, Asian chive is a GARNISH, like scallions!  A few dangling sprigs to accompany noodles.  I only ordered them for the sticky rice ball dish I made a few days back and that only took 5 lousy sprigs!  Now I have… 200!  The only sane way to consume this amount of chives is to chop them up and stuff into dumplings.  OR, a pie that literally translates into “Asian chive box”, which resembles something of a Western hot pocket.  Yeah, so here I am.  Hot pocketing away.

Someone might say, “Wait, but this looks NOTHING like an Asian chive box!”.  Well, yes they don’t.  Because they aren’t.  I’ve never been fond of that Asian chive box…thing…  It’s always soggy and greasy.  It’s too “chivy” and frankly, they’ve never been all that.  I suspect that their sole existence was also, originally born out as a solution of dealing with too much chives… must be the chive farmers… probably thought it was ingenious.  Aaaaanyways.  So naturally, this knish dough recipe from Smitten Kitchen (Hi Deb!  You are not watching but… love your work!) that I’ve always wanted to try, seeped into my head and replaced the traditional “chive box” dough.  Jewish knish dough with Jewish potato filling, turned into Asian hot pocket with Asian chive…  Yeah what the heck, why not.

However I didn’t intend for these to actually LOOK like Asian meat buns.  They’re “hot pockets” remember?  Not meat buns!  For some reason in my head, I saw something more… elegantly upper class.  But they completely took on a life of their own and had absolutely no regards to my high expectations!  Defiant children…  Aaaarrrrgh they are the worst.  But as responsible parents, we shall love them nonetheless and eat them with lots of affection.

What’s up with the B/W photo?  Well as it is apparent, there’re eggs in this recipe.  LOOOOTS of eggs… in BOTH pie dough and the fillings.  I figured my body can survive the low content of eggs in the dough, but NOT this filling…  I mean look at it.  That will set my pores, which is still recovering from the hot spring eggs, on fire.  So I made myself 2 pockets… uh without.. eggs…  Sniff, sniff… so this is what life has come down to??  Eating eggless things by myself alone in a corner under dim lights?…  Buuuaaaahhhh……

Oh I hate drama queens…

Servings: 16 hot pockets

Pie Dough: adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • 2 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of sugar
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of duck fat
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of water

Filling: (there may be some leftovers)

  • 300 g of chopped Asian chives
  • 350 g of ground pork
  • 1 tsp of corn starch
  • 1 tsp of sesame oil
  • 2 tsp of soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp of dark soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of bonito stock powder (if available)
  • 1/2 tsp of white pepper
  • 6 eggs (1 tsp of salt + 4 tbsp of olive oil + 1 tsp of white pepper)
  • 1 onion (3 tbsp of olive oil + 1 tsp of salt and white pepper)
  • (optional) 5 tbsp of panko

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg + 1 tsp of water

First make the dough.  Mix the flour, salt, sugar and baking powder in a large bowl.  For the wet ingredient, I happen to have 1/4 cup of duck fat laying around (who doesn’t?), so I mixed that with 1/4 cup of olive oil to make up 1/2 cup of grease in total.  Or just use 1/2 cup of vegetable oil as the original recipe.  Mix the egg with the fat/oil and water, then pour into the dry mix.  Mix with a fork to have them come together first, then take the dough out onto a surface and knead until smooth.  I did that for about 2 min.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1 hour (the oil may ooze out of the dough, just knead it back when using).

Now, despite my epic effort, I still only managed to use HALF of those chives… the other half is still laying in my fridge shriveling away…  Wash the chives and cut them into very short segments around 1/3″/1cm.  Scramble the eggs with 1 tsp of salt + 4 tbsp of olive oil + 1 tsp of white pepper.  Try to break them up with a wooden spatula and let the eggs pieces “toast” a bit until it’s lightly browned and fragrant.   Mix the ground pork with corn starch, sesame oil, soy sauce, dark soy sauce, salt, bonito stock powder and white pepper.  Dice the onion finely then saute in a pan with 3 tbsp of olive oil + 1 tsp of salt and white pepper, until lightly browned.  Split the ground pork into 2 portions.  Add 1 portion to the onion and brown up the pork nicely as well.  Take everything out of the pan and let it cool down.  The filling consists of both sauteed pork AND raw pork.  Because I want the flavor from the caramelized pork bits as well as the raw pork that’s gonna bind everything together.

When the sauteed pork is cooled down, mix it up with the chives, eggs and raw pork.  At this point, I also added 5 tbsp of panko to absorb the juice.  But it’s totally optional.

Preheat the oven to 375°F/190°C.  Now take a piece of dough about a 2″/5cm ball.  Flour the board and rolling pin and roll the dough out into a 1/8″/0.5cm thick sheet.  Take 2 tbsp of the filling and place in the center of the sheet.  Bring the dough together from the side and pinch it together on the top relatively tight.  There WILL be access dough.  Snip it off with a kitchen scissor then twist/pinch the top of the bun together again.  This is kind of a “buns for dummies” I came up with.  Place them evenly on a baking sheet with parchment paper and brush with egg wash on top.  Bake for 30 min until golden brown.

I ended up with 16 hot pockets, with some leftover fillings.  Those would make a good omelet for breakfast.  And must I eat everything with hot sauce?  Yes, I do…

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