Eggplant in Garlic Sauce

Made this the other night. Eggplant is 99¢ a pound right now at my local Asian market so I’m buying them a lot this season. This is one of the veggie dishes found on Chinese menus that is okay for PKUers as long as they don’t over do it on its yummy and savory sauce (it does contain soy sauce). For my version, the aim is to preserve the flavor but making it more PKU friendly.

Tip: This is one of those dishes where it has a bold flavor.You can adjust the amount of garlic and chili pepper to your preferred taste. For me, I love it spicy hot and garlicky but Daniel is not as adventurous so my recipe is on the mild-medium side.

4 Chinese or Japanese Eggplant, sliced diagonally
1 tsp salt
Large bowl of water (big enough to soak the cut up eggplant)

Slice the eggplant into ¾ inch pieces. In a large bowl, place the eggplant and salt them. Add in the water to let them soak for about 15 mins. (This allows the eggplant to not absorb all the oil with we pan fry them.). Mine kept floating to the top so I had to give them a stir so they all had a good soak. Once time is up pat the slices dry.


Eggplant having a Spa day.

Next, get you wok hot and ready. I had mine on low medium heat and a light coating of oil. Frying in batches, place enough of the eggplant slices in a single layer and let them cook on each side for no more than 2 mins. As each batch is done, put them on a plate.


Last batch before the next step.

Time to work on the garlic sauce!

1 tbsp oil
½ tsp sesame oil
2-5 cloves garlic minced
1 inch piece ginger, sliced thinly
1-2 hot chili pepper(s) sliced diagonally
1 cup water or veggie stock
½ tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
dash of white pepper
Spring onion for garnish

In a small pan on low-medium heat, pour in your cooking oil and sesame oil. Once that is heated add in minced garlic, ginger and chili peppers (move them around with your utensil so the garlic doesn’t burn). Next add in the veggie stock/water, soy sauce, oyster sauce, Shaoxing wine and sugar. Once this heats up add in the cornstarch water mixture to thicken up your sauce. Add a dash of white pepper.


Mmmm garlicky!

Once your sauce is ready toss in your cooked eggplant and mix them into the sauce. Allow the eggplant to cook thoroughly and soften a bit. Sprinkle on the chopped spring onions. Serve with Low Pro imitation rice.




Mango Cobbler (Low Protein Version)

Gorgeous Spring day here and I have been looking forward to making this! Especially since I found fresh mangoes in my local Indian grocery store!!!! Yay!!! I used Ataulfo Mangoes. These can be hard to find when not in season. Many ethnic markets carry them and sometimes places like Costco do too. Another variety of mango called Kent can also be used (It’s a bit wider so less of them can be used, like about 6).


Ataulfo mangoes also know as Manila and Champagne mangoes. Super sweet and delicious on their own.

The recipe is very similar to the Mixed Fruit cobbler, but with a twist. Different fruit and different baking mix. This time I used Taste Connections instead of Cambrooke. The TC Multi mix produces an crumbly melt in your mouth biscuit crust.


Mango cobbler filling waiting for biscuit topping.

Tips: If you don’t want to do all the cutting, pre-cut mangoes can be used. Taste test a piece. My mangoes were VERY sweet, ripe and juicy,  so I didn’t need to add very much sugar.




8 ataulfo mangoes (about 4 cups) cubed
1 tsp sugar (if your fruit is on the tart side add more)
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tsp lemon juice
dash of cinnamon (optional)

Biscuit dough:
4 tbsp unsalted butter room temp
1 cup Taste Connections Multi Mix
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup Coffeemate creamer, regular flavor

Cut your mangoes. I prefer to cut them in thirds since there’s a big seed in the middle. Next take a spoon and scoop out the flesh from to the two side slices before I slice them in to cubes. If you want to or are able to, there’s quite a bit of flesh attached to the seed. Very carefully cut the mango away from it’s seed. It is slippery but also good for a snack later if you want to nibble the middle section of the mango. Cutting mangoes can be tedious since it’s slippery, sticky and very tempting to gobble up as you are cutting them. Pre-cut mango slices or cubed pieces are available in some stores if you prefer to use them.

In a sauce pan, mix the sugar and corn starch. Stir in the fruit and lemon juice. Keep stirring as the mixture heats up. Once it starts to thicken up and boil, remove from the stove top and pour the mixture into your square baking dish.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the butter into the baking mix. Add in the salt, baking powder and 1 tbsp of sugar. Stir in milk and knead the dough. My dough was on the watery side so I added more multi mix (roughly another ½ cup). Plop the dough on top on the warm fruit mixture. I like to shape mine into biscuits and place them side by side.

Bake for  25-30 mins until the the crust is golden brown. This is perfect as is, but can be served with whip cream or vanilla ice cream. Enjoy!



Ready to serve!

Taro and Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant

Another one of my favorite dim sum items is stuffed eggplant. For a PKU friendly version,  I replaced the minced shrimp with minced veggies. It doesn’t taste like shrimp, but is a nice substitute for it.


So fancy! I broke out my food processor!

Tip: You are going to need a food processor and steamer baskets for this.

Both taro and mushrooms get watery when minced. Your filling mixture needs to have the texture of ground meat. If it’s on the watery side, add mash potato flakes to thicken it up.

4 large Chinese eggplants, cut diagonally into 2 inch pieces with a slit in the center
Oil for frying
Water for steaming

1 small Taro (about 4 inches tall), cubed
4 oz Mushrooms, sliced
½ cup mash potato flakes (optional if mixture is watery)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine (dry sherry can be subbed)
2 spring onions finely chopped

In a food processor, toss in your cut up taro and mushrooms. Pulse it until the mixture is minced. Don’t over do it or it will liquidity. Remove mixture and put it into a bowl. Add in your seasonings. The filling needs to be thick, if it’s watery, add in the potato flakes to stiffen it up.


I promise it tastes better than it looks!

Time to assemble! Stuff the eggplant pieces. Don’t let the  stuffing over flow or it will seep out when cooking. In a pan add enough oil to coat the bottom add more oil as you go to keep the  eggplant from sticking to the pan. Cook both sides. Cover with a lid if needed to help cook thoroughly.


*sizzling noises*

Remove from pan and let it rest while we get our steamer set up. In a pot, add enough water for your steamer basket and get your pot steaming. When it is ready, gently and carefully place in the pan fried stuffed eggplant. Cover with the steamer and pot lids. Let this cook for 7-10 mins. The eggplant needs to be soft.


Ready to steam. This is one eggplant cut up and stuffed.


While this is steaming, lets work on our sauce.

1 tsp oil
½ tsp sesame oil
1-2 cloves garlic minced
½ cup water or veggie stock
½ tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
½ tsp sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tbsp water
dash of white pepper
Spring onion for garnish

In a small pan on low-medium heat, pour in your cooking oil and sesame oil. Once that is heated add in minced garlic (careful, these burn easily). Next add in the veggie stock/water, soy sauce, oyster sauce and sugar. Once this heats up add in the cornstarch water mixture to thicken up your sauce.

Remove the eggplant from the steamer and plate it. Drizzle on the sauce to coat it and garnish with spring onions.



Perfect as dim sum or Friday night dinner.


Low Protein Veggie Jiaozi (Chinese Dumplings)

Adding to the PKU Dim Sum Menu and another versatile snack where the filling options are endless. I basically threw in the veggies that we had in the fridge for this one. Also there are two different wrapper skins. One that’s for steamed only and the other for steamed and pan fried.

The low pro baking mix ones can be made in large batches and frozen for later use! Makes great quick meals or lazy dinner options (even I have days where I don’t want to make anything). Place raw dumplings on a baking sheet lined with wax paper (keep from sticking) and place in the freezer. Once frozen they can be stored in a tupperware container or a freezer proof zip-lock bag. Shove it back into the freezer. When ready, cook them the same way as the fresh ones!


Pan fried version with the low protein baking mix dough and dippy sauce.

Tips: Anything can be used as filling for these. The jackfruit and mushroom filling for the Por-KU Buns are tasty too! For a more balanced cabbage to mushroom ratio, use 16 oz of mushrooms to 1 head of cabbage. The filling amount is enough to make both wrapper options and then some!

1 cabbage finely shredded
8 oz white mushrooms, minced
2 carrots, minced
2 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp white pepper
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 tsp five spice powder
2 spring onions, chopped
oil for cooking

In a large pot, heat up your oil. Once warm, toss in the cabbage, mushrooms and carrots. Allow the cabbage to wilt  and soft a bit. Next add in both soy and oyster sauces, white pepper, onion, ginger, garlic and five spice powders. Let this cook thoroughly, stirring occasionally. Your veggies should be tender enough but not mushy (if it’s too hard, it’ll poke holes in the wrapper). Sprinkle chopped spring onions if desired)

While the filling is cooling, lets work on the dumpling wrappers.

As I said before, I made two different kinds that are PKU friendly. The first is a wheat starch wrapper that’s actually used for Har Gao (shrimp dumplings)! While shrimp is not low pro, the wrapper used for Har Gao is! YAY!!!!! The second is using a low pro baking mix to mimic wheat dough wrappers. To make the dumpling wrappers into flat circles, I use my tortilla press lined with wax paper. Super easy with low pro mixes, not to mention faster than a rolling pin.

Dough 1:
1 ½ cup wheat starch
1 cup boiling water
1 tbsp lard or veggie shortening

Mix ingredients together and knead into a smooth dough. Dough will be hot so be careful if you are mixing and kneading by hand. Separate dough into small balls. I managed to get about 20 wrappers (2½ inches diameter) out of this amount. Cover with cling wrap to prevent the dough from drying out as you assemble the dumplings.


Wheat starch dough is kinda sticky so make sure they do not stick together in the steamer.

Fold in 5-6 pleats on one side of the wrapper, place in your filling  and press together with  the unpleated side. Place on cabbage/parchment paper lined bamboo steamers. Heat up your pot with ½ a inch of water. Once the water is steaming,  add in your baskets and close the lid. Steam each set for 5 mins ONLY. Too long and the wrappers become brittle. Remove promptly, plate and serve with dippy sauces.



Great as an appetizer and also as a meal!

Dough 2:
3 cups Taste Connection Multi-mix
1½ cold water

Mix together the ingredients and knead into a smooth ball. Separate into small dough balls about an inch around. I got about 18-20 wrappers, 3 inches in diameter, out of it. These dumplings can be assembled the same way as the previous ones or press into half moon shapes. In a frying pan, heat up oil and place your dumplings in and fry each since evenly. (optional: if you want to pan fry-steam them add some water to the frying pan and cover the pan with lid). Plate it and serve with dippy sauces.


Pan fried goodness!

Dippy Sauce:
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
3 tsp ketchup
1/8 tsp five spice powder
2 tbsp water
chili or sriracha sauce (optional for a spicier kick)

Mix together ingredients together. Sauce should be on the thin side, add a bit more water if needed. Sauce amount is enough for the entire plate of dumplings.