• Sunday, September 24, 2017

How to Make Dim Sum

An Emperor’s Feast
By , Cooling Your Jets Contributor
November 2, 2011

You may not be flying off to Hong Kong this weekend, but you can bring home the regional dim sum cuisine. This is a meal that is perfect for a large crowd – the more variety the better.  You don’t have to be a hero though and make everything from scratch.  Your local gourmet Chinese restaurant can serve as your sous chef.  Just make sure to stock up on bamboo steamers, take out containers to hold chopsticks and little Chinese soup spoons to arrange the delicious little bites.  Presentation is just as important as the food in creating your own Emperor’s Feast. 

Steamed Pork and Chive Dumplings

Ingredients

Filling

½ lb ground pork
1/3 cup Chinese chives, minced (use white and green)
1 t ginger, grated
1 t salt
1 t white pepper
2 T soy sauce
1 T rice wine
2 t sesame oil

Egg Wash

1 egg
1 t water

 

Directions

Dumplings are to Chinese dinners what pastas are to Italian festas. This basic recipe can be adapted by adding any filling of your choice.

Yields 50 dumplings

 

Place all ingredients for filling in a food processor and pulse until mixed well. Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg and water. 

Take one dumpling wrapper and add one tablespoon of filling mixture to the middle of the wrapper. Dip one finger into the egg wash and “paint” the edges of the dumpling wrapper. Bring up the bottom side of the wrapper, fold over and press to shape into a half-moon, encasing the filling. 

Place on baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining wrappers. When all dumplings assembled, you can cook immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to several hours. 

To cook, fill a large pot half-way with water and bring to boil.  Add in 1/3 of the dumplings.  When water returns to the boil cook for 6-8 minutes.  Repeat with remaining dumplings

Serve with sesame-ginger dipping sauce (recipe below)

Sesame-Ginger Sauce

1 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 T sesame oil
1 T ginger, grated
1/2 cup water
1 t white pepper

Directions

Whisk ingredients together.  Garnish with sesame seeds

Har Gau - Steamed Shrimp Dumplings

Ingredients

Filling

½ lb shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/3 cup Chinese chives, minced (use white and green)

1 t ginger, grated

1 t salt

1 t white pepper

2 T soy sauce

1 T rice wine

2 t sesame oil

Egg Wash

1 egg

1 t water

Directions

Dumplings are to Chinese dinners what pastas are to Italian festas. This basic recipe can be adapted by adding any filling of your choice.

Yields 50 dumplings

Place all ingredients for filling in a food processor and pulse until mixed well

Prepare egg wash by whisking together egg and water

Take one dumpling wrapper and add one tablespoon of filling mixture to the middle of the wrapper

Dip one finger into the egg wash and “paint” the edges of the dumpling wrapper

Bring up the bottom side of the wrapper, fold over and press to shape into a half-moon, encasing the filling

Place on baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and repeat with the remaining wrappers

When all dumplings assembled, you can cook immediately or cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to several hours

To cook, fill a large pot half-way with water and bring to boil

Add in 1/3 of the dumplings

When water returns to the boil cook for 6-8 minutes

Repeat with remaining dumplings

Congee

Ingredients

20 pieces dried scallops
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup long grain white rice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ginger, minced
6 oz. ground pork
¼ cup scallions, sliced thin
¼ cup roasted peanuts

Directions

Think of Congee as chicken soup’s Eastern soul mate: it soothes a sick patient, erases stress after a bad day, warms the body after getting stuck in the rain, and is full of nostalgia. If you don’t have ground pork, feel free to use a different cut of meat; also, add various spicy or pickled accoutrements if you’re looking for a kick.

Serves 6

Soak scallops in 2 cups of chicken stock for 30 minutes. Drain scallops, reserving stock.

Rinse rice well and drain. Add rice, sesame oil, salt, and remaining 6 cups stock to pot and soak for 30 minutes. Bring to a boil. Add dried scallops, stock, and ginger. Boil for 2 minutes and reduce heat to simmer. Partially cover pot and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Add ground pork and simmer an additional 15 minutes. Divide congee into serving bowls and garnish with peanuts and scallions. 

Steamed Fish with Scallion, Ginger, and Soy

Ingredients

2 tablespoons sesame oil

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

¼ cup soy sauce

2 whole red snapper or black sea bass, cleaned, scaled, and gutted

2 scallions, green parts only, julienned 

Directions

Sometimes simple is best, and this dish is the perfect example. Steaming the fish whole adds an incredible amount of flavor to the meat and keeps the texture nice and flaky—just be sure not to overcook it and buy the freshest you can find. (You can tell a fish is fresh if its eyes are clear, not cloudy, and the gills are bright red. It should also smell like the sea and not fishy at all.)

Serves 2

Add 2 tablespoons oil to wok on high heat.  Add ginger and garlic and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add soy and cook an additional minute. Remove sauce and reserve.

Add 3 inches of water to wok and bring to a boil. Place each fish in a separate bamboo steamer and stack both on top of wok. Cover and steam until fish is just cooked through, about 8-9 minutes.

To serve, place open fish on serving plate, top with sauce, and garnish with scallions.

Spicy Eggplant with Ground Pork

Ingredients

½ cup peanut oil

3 Asian eggplants, stems removed, sliced in quarters lengthwise and cut into 1 ½’’ pieces

1 (4 oz.) center-cut pork chop, with some fat, minced

2 tablespoon spicy bean sauce

2 tablespoons garlic, minced

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

½ cup chicken stock or water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon Chinkiang black vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

2 scallions, julienned

Directions

Serve this dish the next time you cook for someone adverse to vegetables and watch their reaction—we bet they’ll go back for second and third helpings. The sweet, fiery, and tangy taste of the bean sauce, vinegar, and fried eggplant combined with the richness from the pork makes it irresistible.  Feel free to add other vegetables, if you prefer, and substitute chicken or beef for the pork.

Yield: 4 servings

Heat ½ cup of oil in a wok on high. When oil is hot, add pork and stir constantly, until just cooked through, about 4-5 minutes. Remove pork and drain. Add additional oil, if necessary, to fry eggplant. Add eggplant and stir constantly until outside is browned and inside is soft, about 3-4 minutes. Remove eggplant and add to pork. Wipe out all but 1 tablespoon of oil and add bean sauce, garlic, and ginger. Cook for less than 1 minute. Add chicken stock, soy sauce, vinegar, and sugar and cook 1 minute. Add pork and eggplant and stir. Add cornstarch and cook until sauce thickens, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add scallions, stir, and serve immediately. 

Bok Choy with Garlic and Oyster Sauce

Ingredients

3 bunches bok choy, rinsed well and ends removed

2 tablespoons peanut oil

1 tablespoon ginger, minced

1 tablespoon garlic, minced

3 tablespoons oyster sauce

2 tablespoons chicken stock

1 tablespoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water

Directions

This is super easy and fast way to prepare beautiful green vegetables. Blanching the bok choy before stir frying keeps its bright green color and cooks it through so its crunchy but not raw. Making a slurry with cornstarch and water is a quick way to thicken a sauce and give body to the overall dish.

Serves 4

In a pot of boiling, salted water, add bok choy and cook for 20 seconds. Remove bok choy and place immediately in bowl of ice water. Drain bok choy.

In a wok on high heat, add oil. Add ginger and garlic and cook for less than 1 minute. Add oyster sauce and chicken stock. Cook 1 minute.  Add bok choy and cornstarch mixture. Cook for 1 minute, until mixture thickens, and serve immediately.

 

Red Bean Pudding Cake (Boot chai go)

Ingredients

 

¼ cup red (adzuki) beans

¼ cup sugar

6 oz. rice flour

½ tablespoon wheat flour

½ tablespoon tapioca starch

5 oz. cane sugar

Directions

Serves 4

In a pot, add beans and cover with cold water by 2’’. Soak overnight. Drain beans and cover again with 2’’ of fresh water. Bring a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until beans are tender, about 1 ½ hours. Drain beans and return to pot. Add sugar and cook on low until it has dissolved. Transfer mixture to a food processor. Pulse until a thick paste forms with half of beans still intact.

In a medium bowl, combine rice flour, wheat flour, and tapioca starch. Add ¾ cup warm water and mix well. Allow to rest 15 minutes. Add ¾ cup cold water. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add cane sugar. Stir until dissolved. Cook until caramel is golden brown and bubbly, about 1 minute. Add caramel to flour mixture and whisk well. Pour mixture into 4 ramekins.

Add 3 inches of water to a wok and bring to a boil. Add 2 ramekins to each bamboo steamer and stack on top of wok. Cover for 2 minutes and cook. Add 1 heaping tablespoon of bean paste to each ramekin. Cover and cook and additional 15 minutes. Remove ramekins from steamer and allow to cool. Remove cakes from ramekins and serve.

 

Mini egg puffs

Ingredients

¾ cup cake flour

1 teaspoons baking powder

1 tablespoon custard powder

1 tablespoons tapioca starch

½ cup superfine sugar

2 eggs, lightly beaten

½ cup evaporated milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 tablespoons melted unsalted butter

¼ cup water

cooking spray, for waffle maker

Directions

These egg-shaped puffs are a favorite street food and best described as a lighter version of waffles. If you want the authentic egg shape—which is great to pull apart and contributes to the airy quality of the dish—pick up a Nordic Ware Egg Waffle Pan (available at Williams-Sonoma); if not, using a traditional waffle iron will suffice.

Serves 4

In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, custard powder, tapioca starch, sugar and mix well. Add eggs, milk, vanilla, melted butter, water and whisk until combined. Heat waffle maker or egg waffle pan and coat gently with cooking spray. Add about ½ cup batter to and seal. Cook until just set, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from waffle iron and serve immediately. 

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