Sunday, October 27, 2013

#foodpost - give Gyozas a go!

I've been trying to figure out an easy gyoza recipe for quite a while now as living in Spain has a major downfall for me... There are few (if any) decent Japanese restaurants. You can get an okay sushi place every now and then if you're prepared to pay over the odds and travel to the outskirts of town but having a beautiful, city centre flat comes at a price... all directions leading out of the centre are uphill which doesn't bode well when I'm hungry. So.. I'd come to conclusion that if I'm craving these lovely dumplings so much then maybe I should learn how to make them.

Yuzu Manchester LUNCH MENU Gyoza served with Japanese rice, Miso soup and Garnish (£7.95)

After finding a long lost business card from my favourite Japanese place in Manchester, Yuzu, I've decided to type up the recipe that I recently used to make gyoza dumplings.

It's much easier to use dumpling wrappers bought from your local Asian supermarket but over here they're impossible to find so I've added the recipe to make them yourselves. They're not as difficult to make as you'd think... It's simple, easy and fairly quick where dumplings are concerned so here it goes.


380g ground pork, approx.
2-3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
1 tbsp spring onion, chopped
1 tsp oil
1 tsp crushed chilli
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp ginger, grated or minced
(optional) 2 tsp miso paste, red/dark

Dumpling wrappers
2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of boiling water

Ok, let's go...

First, if necessary, you need to make your gyoza wrappers...
Sift your flour into a large bowl and add the salt. 
Add the boiling water, slowly, using a chopstick or spoon to stir until the mixture forms a dough ball. You might need to add a little bit more water depending so keep an eye on it's consistency.
For 1 hour, leave the dough sitting in a bowl covered with a damp cloth.
Once the hour's up, knead the dough on a floured surface until smooth (approx. 5 mins) then shape into a log. Try to make your log as cylindrical as possible, it helps create better circles when rolling out. Once rolled, cut the log into 40 slices.
Sprinkled extra dust on the slices to make sure they don't stick and you can start rolling.
Roll each piece into the size of a 3-inch circle. If possible, you can use a biscuit cutter to do this but if you don't have one, like me, then just roll a rough circle.

And that's your wrappers done. Stack them up and put them to one side whilst you prep your filling.
Add the pork, ginger, garlic, onion, oil, chilli and sugar into a large mixing bowl and mix with your hands.
Scoop the mixture into a ball, lift and throw back into the bowl. This sounds a little strange but repeating this several times tenderises the meat and gives it a softer texture.
Before you start to make your gyozas, have a small bowl of cold water ready in order to stick them shut and you can start making.
Lay a wrapper down and place a teaspoon of the mixture in the center.
Moisten fingertip and trace a line along half of the edge.
Fold the wrapper and pinch around the edge creating a pleat. You should have a pleat along the top and a flat bottomed side for frying.

Continue to place, fold and pleat until you've done all 40 ( a hard task I know) and you can start cooking.
Place the amount of gyozas you'd like into a hot frying pan with a tablespoon of oil and let them fry until the bottoms are brown.
Once browned, add a a cup of boiling water into the base of the pan and cover for about 6-8 minutes allowing the gyozas to steam. 
When all of the water has evaporated then you're ready to plate them up. Serve with rice, veg and a soy, vinegar and chilli dip.

I promise you... I'm an impatient cook and I could do this so I'm sure you can! It really doesn't take as long as you'd think...

If you are out and about in Manchester and haven't been to Yuzu then you should give it a go. The lunch menu is cheap and cheerful and the food is unreal. Although, I think I should pre-warn you... it's not the biggest of places so sometimes it's worth booking.
100% worth it!

Monday, October 14, 2013

#stylepost - Skater slip-ons

I love my ankle boots with a heel as much as the next person but when it comes to living in a town where the streets are cobbled and the best bars are down tiny little lanes, signposted by a few wonky steps and a dusty path, then sadly my feet and calves don't agree half as much.

I've always been a fan of Converse on girls but with the recent come back it all feels a little... same-y. Now that the recent fashion weeks have settled down, plus a pinch of back-to-work blues, I seem to be browsing the internet more than ever... shopping online, scouring blogs and topping up my addiction for And so I've ditched my Converse and found a new love for the Slip-On. A little different from the classic sneaker.. a handful of animal print, some with tassels and others venture down the metallic road; they all spruce up those black skinnies and bomber jackets we're all so into.

CĂ©line, Givenchy, Tory Burch..

They're all doing it,
they're all beautiful,
they're all out of my pre-Christmas price range.

I have found one exception though and it comes in the form of the Zara Bamba Hair Tassel Sneaker; adored by fashion bloggers of the minute, including Danielle Berstein AKA WEWOREWHAT.COM, and they cost £69.99 (€59.95).

Zara Bamba Sneakers
                Givenchy Paisley Slip-Ons (£370)                               Michael Kors Metallic Slip Ons (£80)

All Studio Nicholson's SS13 campaign styled with Celine slip-ons.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

#stylepost - MANGO A/W13 Collection Picks

A small post to show the best picks from Mango's A/W collection, along with a few designer look-a-like steals.

For me, the key reasons to shop at Mango are the facts that the clothes are always amazing quality, overall, it's reasonably priced and unlike other high street shops, you rarely have the problem of bumping into others wearing your outfit.

Each item is versatile and can be worn a ton of times without it being spotted as 'that shirt she wore the other day.' This is my 'payday wishlist' that I'll slowly be working through this October.

Beaded Wrap Miniskirt (£59.99)

Below is the ISABEL MARANT Silver Preson Embroidered Georgette Skirt for a tear jerking £1200

Adjustable waist IKAT dress (£34.99)

Metallic Jacquard Bomber Jacket (£59.99)

Satin Jacquard Bomber Jacket (£59.99)

Cowboy Suede Ankle Boots (£69.99)

Maxi Buckle Wide Belt (£34.99)

Velvet Ribbon Wool Fedora (£29.99)

Metallic Shoulder Bags (£29.99)

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#musicpost - 3 Reasons Why I Love Haim

They're not exactly new on the music scene but I thought I'd spend this Wednesday lunchtime declaring my love for Haim to you. Apologies in advance.

Reason #1 - 80's vibes
They just don't make soundtracks like they used to. A huge part of growing up for me was watching 80's and 90's films on TV on a Sunday afternoon while my nan was round for Sunday lunch. If I wasn't focused on how cool River Pheonix (Yes... Stand By Me) and Tom Hanks (let's face it, a billion other classics...) were being then I was growing an unhealthy love for the best soundtracks of all time.

The Lost Boys
The Breakfast Club

All of them either made me want to ball my eyes out or dance around the living room with my scrunchie in hand, repping my zig zag patterned pjs.
Anyway, back to Haim... this is the exact reason why I love listening to Haim. It brings back those Sunday afternoons when shimmying was my biggest worry and every song made me want to do the cheesy nod thing (you know it).

Reason #2 - Sisters
They're 3 sisters. They're in a band. And they know how to look cool on bikes.
 Enough said.

Reason #3 - Bridesmaids
I try to involve the film Bridesmaids in to my life as much as possible, hopefully the reason's obvious... it's hilarious (and I want to be Kristen Wiig in it).
For me, it's slightly uncanny (not that uncanny) the sound similarity between the final song scene with Wilson Phillips and Haim... see for yourselves.

(maybe it's a littttllee cheesier and a lot less cool but please tell me you see what I mean?)

And that's why I love Haim.

Haim - The Wire

Haim - Falling