Posted in Cook, tagged asian, chinese, dim sum, dumpling, har gao, prawn, scallop, seafood, XO Sauce, yum cha on February 18, 2014 |
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Prawn and Scallop Dumplings
A few years ago I attended an eight week career development session with a group of very talented and ambitious ladies from work. There was a lot of coaching on how to communicate effectively and change your approach depending on who you were talking to and self-confidence building exercises (One of them was that we had to come up with a one or two liner for when we came face to face with the company’s CEO in the elevator – which never actually happened!).
In one of the final sessions we were asked to reflect on our goals and aspirations for the rest of the year and we all went around the room to share. Some of the ladies talked about aspiring for a promotion within a few months, other talked about how they had been so focussed on their career for the last few years that they wanted to make sure they also had time for their families. The lady beside me had her turn come up and she said she wanted to get healthy and lose 5 kilos… My turn was up and I said that my goal was that I would like to make a transition in to doing a different role at work, given I had been doing the same thing for a few years already.
That’s what I said…
In reality – I was thinking about how I wish my fingers were nimble enough to pleat dumplings like the har gao you could find in the dim sum restaurants. Yes, my definition of success was to be a dim sum master!
A few months later, I moved companies, and moved roles and in career terms, I’ve never looked back…
Occasionally, (like last weekend) I’ll make an attempt at perfecting the pleats – but they never turn out right. Instead, I settled for making little dumpling balls filled with prawns and scallops. The filling (yum!) more than made up for the lack of pleating skills and the dough still came out translucent and delicious.
Alas, my dream to be a dim sum master seems to be more elusive than ever.
Prawn and Scallop Dumplings
For the dough
- 150 grams wheat starch
- 85 grams tapioca flour
- pinch of salt
- 265 ml boiling water
- 10 g lard or shortening
- In a bowl mix the wheat starch, tapioca flour and salt together. Slowly add the boiling water and then the lard. Using a pair of chopsticks, mix the dough until you form a ball of dough. Place the dough on your work space and start to knead (careful as it will be very warm). Knead for around 10 to 15 minutes. The dough will also be quite sticky, so you can use a pasta scrapper to help remove the dough from your work surface. Cut it into four equal pieces and place these in a plastic sandwich bag to rest.
- Take one of the pieces and roll it into a log around 20 cm long. Cut this into 8 equal parts place the pieces, except for the one you are going to work with back into the sandwhich bag.
- Get two sheets of plastic (you can use another sandwich bag, cut in half for it, alternatively, use two pieces of baking paper) and lightly oil the bags. Put the piece of dough in the middle of the two bags (or baking paper) and press down on the dough with the palm of your hand to flatten. Then take a rolling pin and roll out the dough until around 5 cm in diameter. Alternatively, use a tortilla wrapper to flatten the dough.
- Place a spoonful of the prawn and scallop mixture in the middle of the dough then pinch the ends together to seal and so you form a little dumpling ball.
For the prawn and scallop filling
- 150 grams raw scallops, chopped
- 250 grams peeled, deveined
- 30 grams bamboo shoots, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 tablespoons tapioca starch
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons spring onions, white part only, chopped
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil plus more for serving
- XO Sauce to serve
- pinch of salt and white pepper to taste
- Finely chop the scallop and prawns and place in a bowl with the bamboo shoots, tapioca starch, egg white, oyster sauce, sugar, spring onions, sesame oil and salt and pepper.
- Using your hands, mix the scallop and prawn mixture well and cover with some cling wrap. Allow to marinate at least an hour in the refrigerator.
- Use the prawn mixture as per instructions above.
- Steam the dumplings for six minutes over high heat.
- Serve immediately with a mixture of XO Sauce, soy sauce, and a dash of sesame oil.
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Posted in Cook, tagged asian, chinese, chinese cuisine, crystal steamed, dimsum, dumplings, food, gar gau, har gow, prawns, recipe, steamed dumpling, yum cha on February 27, 2011 |
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Prawn Dumplings with XO Sauce
A year ago I attempted to make har gow and failed miserably. It might have been because I used wheat flour instead of wheat starch and the resulting dough was so sticky that I had to throw the “ball of glue” away. The experience was enough to turn me away from trying to make them for a very long time. That is until I had a monumental craving for these dumplings. Cravings so intense that I had har-gau for lunch, FIVE straight days. I would go to one of the nearby yum cha places and order take-away. By the third day it was not only getting expensive – it was also getting slightly embarrassing to arrive at the restaurant and have the waiter smile knowingly, and then signal the lady in the dumpling cart to bring the har gow for me.
By the fourth day I felt like an addict trying to hide a bad craving. My husband called at 11:30 asking whether I wanted to have Japanese for lunch. My heart being set on the dumplings, “I can’t, I have an important meeting that I need to prepare for.” I told him.
By the fifth day I had to admit that things were getting out of hand and vowed to try my hand at making them again.
So here’s the result. If you are thinking of having a go at making these crystal prawn dumplings, this is a great place to start. This version of har gow is delicious – just like the ones in the yum cha place.
Here’s the thing – after having them for five days straight and then making them on my own on the sixth day, I’ve suddenly gotten over my craving.
My husband however, is a different story.
He can’t get enough of them.
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Posted in Cook, Thermomix, tagged asian, coconut, coconut milk, custard, food, jam, kaya jam, recipe, thermomix on November 16, 2010 |
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Coconut Custard Jam on toast with butter
“Are you trying to kill me?” My husband asked as I put a plate infront of him.
“Ha! Not yet.” I told him. “I have get some life insurance on you first!”
The reason for his outburst was because infront of him was this toast, slathered with a caramelized coconut custard and a considerable amount of sliced butter. I had been finding ways to use up my twenty egg yolks from my last macaron class and had started with making pasta with six egg yolks. Then I made some portuguese custard tarts (another four there) and used up six to make some ice cream. All this time my husband was the lucky recipient of all the egg yolk laden dishes.
So down to four egg yolks I decided to make some Coconut Custard (Kaya Jam). I learned about a recipe from Amy Beh which I had seen floating around the internet and was keen to try. I must confess that I used the thermomix to make this as I have no patience to continuously stir for more than an hour which is what the recipe requires. I used the first two egg yolks for the first test batch where I followed Amy’s recipe but thought the resulting custard wasn’t caramelized enough for my liking. The next batch I caramelized the sugar and poured hot coconut milk into the caramel creating a darker and richer base for the custard. The result was what I was hoping for – my husband enjoyed it and mentioned that it tasted like latik which is a highly addictive Filipino fried coconut milk curd.
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Braised Oxtail with Asian Flavours
How I wish you could meet my Aunt Jenni. She’s my sister’s mother-in-law and twice a year we head over to Canberra for the long weekend where she generously welcomes our whole family for Christmas and Easter lunch. She cooks for over 20 or so people and I’ve never once seen her stress about it. She’s all about simple, delicious and as much as possible, “make ahead” recipes.
Jenni came to Sydney this weekend to celebrate her son’s birthday. “Jenni, you MUST MUST give me some recipes to blog about!” I told her. She did better than that – she gave me two of her well-used recipe journals that contain her tried and tested recipes!
Here’s one of Jenni’s recipes I had over the weekend (Yes! She cooks even while she is in Sydney). The recipe of Braised Oxtail with Asian Flavours is from New Zealand food celebrity and cookbook author Annabel Langbein.
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