Dim Sum

By Stephanie Smith, Nutrition student with Journalism focus

Every Wednesday Karen Jacobs EdD, OTR/L, CPE, FAOTA hosts the Sargent Choice Test Kitchen in Stuvi 2 Apt. 2302 from 8-11pm. She invites the BU community into her home to test new Sargent Choice recipes while we cook, drink tea, and play board games.

This week’s test kitchen was dedicated to Asian cuisine and culture: Dim Sum was on the menu. To be honest, I wasn’t all to familiar with what Dim Sum really was, before the test kitchen. I had gone to a restaurant in Chinatown for Dim Sum one time and really enjoyed it. The waiters and waitresses pushed carts around the crowded restaurant and as they passed by you would pick which dishes you wanted. It was an interesting experience, but I didn’t understand what Dim Sum really meant.

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When I was told we’d be making Dim Sum, I was pretty confused.


To me Dim Sum was more of an experience than a meal–one where people wheeled carts around for you to choose the food you wanted. Were we going to be making several different Chinese dishes all in one night?

I quickly realized that Dim Sum is actually a style of Cantonese food prepared as small plates or finger food-type dishes. That sure cleared things up. So we were gonna be making a small dish at the test kitchen. We’d be making pot stickers.

Pot stickers, or dumplings as they are often referred to as, originated in China and have since been adopted by many Asian cuisines, each made with different ingredients and different preparation methods. Pot stickers are usually stuffed with a meat filling, or often times with vegetables. At the test kitchen, we decided to go for vegetarian pot stickers, to be sure that everybody was able to enjoy the dish.

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There are also different preparation methods used to make pot stickers: boiling, steaming, or frying. We steamed the pot stickers using traditional steamer baskets over a pot of boiling water.

Karen and many of the test kitchen veterans had made this recipe before, so they knew it was going to taste great. But they also had quite a few recommendations on ways to make changes and fix things.

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We changed a lot to this recipe, making it even simpler to make and easier to find and buy ingredients. Our first initial change was to make them without the rice. Karen and students agreed that the rice was just not necessary. As far as the other ingredients, we added only the vegetables and sesame oil. We combined the spinach, mushrooms, water chestnuts, ginger, garlic, and oil. We left out the cornstarch and eggs, though we were a bit weary about how everything would stay together without them, but we gave it a shot. And they turned out great!

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Karen also had some leftover frozen butternut squash from last week’s test kitchen, so we used that too and added some butternut squash to a few of the pot stickers. Those were a hit, too!

All in all, everyone loved the pot stickers and they were so simple to make since we reduced the number of ingredients. They were light and had a great balance of texture between the water chestnuts and the spinach and mushroom.

Pot stickers are traditionally dipped in soy sauce, which is what we did. But we did find that if you don’t dip into soy sauce, they lacked flavor and could have used a pinch of salt. It’s important to remember that soy sauce is high in sodium, so you wouldn’t need to add any additional salt if you were planning on dipping in soy sauce.


Sargent Choice Spinach Pot Stickers
Yield: 30 pot stickers
1 cup boiling water
1 (8 ounce) package dried shitake mushrooms
½ cup cooked brown, long-grain rice
1/3 cup finely chopped canned water chestnuts
1 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
1 garlic clove
Optional: ½ cup cooked brown, long-grain rice; 1 tablespoon cornstarch; 1 egg white

30 wonton wrappers
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 cup water, divided

1. Combine boiling water and mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain; discard stems, and mince caps.
2. Combine mushroom caps, water chestnuts, cornstarch, gingerroot, sesame oil, spinach, egg white, and garlic. Stir well.
3. Spoon 1 tablespoon of filling mixture into center of each wrapper.
4. Moisten edges of wrapper with water, and bring 2 opposite corners to center and seal. Bring other two corners to center and seal. Pinch 4 edges together firmly to seal. Place pot stickers on a large baking sheet sprinkled with cornstarch. Cover loosely with a towel to keep them from drying out.

Nutrition Facts:
Per pot sticker

Calories: 60; Fat: 1 g; Saturated Fat: 0 g; Protein: 2 g; Carbohydrate: 11 g; Fiber: 1 g



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