I really have a thing for Chinese dim sum! Whether they’re delicately steamed or deep fried, I love them all. Dumplings are great, but they’re a real pain to make – or so I thought.
Fortunately, my Chinese friends Kenny and Sophie are masters at making them, and they have invited me to many of their dumpling cook-offs, where they’d teach me how to make and fold the delicate dough.
Still, I have to admit that I find it way too hard and labour intensive to make my own dumpling dough, so I just use frozen dumpling wrappers. A big thanks to Kenny for sharing the recipe for this delicious dumpling filling.
Makes 35 dumplings • Prep 1h • Steaming 7’ per batch • A little effort
250g pork mince
1 1⁄2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine
1 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1⁄2 tsp dark soy sauce
1⁄4 tsp salt
2 tbsp chicken stock or water
35 defrosted wonton wrappers
Chinese chili oil, to serve
Finely chop the chives and put into a bowl with all the other ingredients, except the wonton wrappers. Stir until everything has come together and become a homogenous mass.
Put a heaped teaspoon of the pork mixture in the middle of a wonton wrapper. Dip your index finger into a small bowl of water, and moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper, so that a half circle is wet.
Fold the wrapper over to enclose filling. Hold in both hands and, starting at one end, pleat the edges by making small overlapping folds, pressing to seal as you go. Transfer each finished dumpling onto a floured tray until you have stuffed all the dumplings in this way.
To steam: cut out a piece of baking paper to fit inside of a bamboo steamer. Place some dumplings flat side down onto the baking paper. Put the bamboo steamer into a large wok over a high heat. Pour some boiling water into the bottom of the wok – it’s important that the water level is lower than the platform on which the dumplings sit, so that the dumplings are steamed and not boiled. Place the lid onto the bamboo steamer and steam for 7 minutes. Repeat with the remaining dumplings.
Serve with Chinese chili oil.
I love ordering a bowl of these comforting spicy noodles every time I’m in Chinatown. Think of this Chinese dish as an Asian version of spaghetti Bolognese. It’s basically stir-fried beef mince on top of spicy, brothy noodles – all served with pak choi (Chinese cabbage) to make sure you eat your greens.
Serves 4 • Prep 30’ • Easy
2 pak choi
600g fresh Asian egg noodles
For the sauce:
120ml chicken stock
4 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp peanut butter
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2-4 tbsp chili oil
4 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp sugar
For the beef:
6 spring onions
2 tbsp oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
500g minced beef
2 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry (optional)
Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl, set aside.
Trim the spring onions and finely slice. Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the spring onions, crushed garlic and ginger and fry for a minute. Add the beef and stir-fry for about 5 minutes until the meat starts getting brown and crispy on the outside. Add the rice wine, sherry or 2 tablespoons of the sauce to deglaze the pan.
Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Wash the pak choi and cut into 5cm pieces. Cook the pak choi in the water for one minute, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Turn off the hob, put the noodles into the hot water and leave to stand for a couple of minutes or until the noodles are heated through.
Heat up the sauce in a saucepan.
Drain the noodles, put into serving bowls and pour the sauce over them. Top with the crispy beef and pak choi.
TIP: You can use 250g dried Asian egg noodles for this dish, in that case, cook them according to the packaging’s instructions.
Salt and Pepper Tofu
This is one of my favourite Chinese starters, and it’s really easy to make. The crispy tofu is always a crowd-pleaser at my parties. This recipe calls for silken tofu, which can be found in most Asian supermarkets. It works marvellously well in this recipe since its texture is softer than regular tofu. If you want, you could also replace the tofu for squid.
Serves 4 as a starter or side • Prep 10’ • Cooking 6-10’ • Quick & Easy
5 spring onions
1 fresh red chili
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
sunflower oil, for frying
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
soy sauce, for serving
Gently pat the tofu with kitchen paper until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Cut into bite-sized chunks.
Trim the spring onions and cut into thin slices. Finely chop the chili. Peel and crush the garlic cloves, and set aside.
Put the cornflour onto a shallow plate and season with the salt and pepper. Turn the tofu in the cornflour.
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with sunflower oil and put over a medium heat. Once the oil is hot, drop the tofu cubes into the oil. Fry for approx. 5 minutes, tossing regularly, until they turn golden and really crisp. Remove and put onto a piece of kitchen paper.
Discard the oil from the pan and put the sesame oil into it. Place over a medium heat and fry the spring onions, chili, garlic and ginger for a minute, until the spring onions start to soften.
Take off the heat, put the tofu back into the pan, toss in the chili mix and put onto a serving plate. Serve with soy sauce.
Recipes from the book Anne’s Kitchen, Editions Schortgen : http://anneskitchen.co.uk/the-book/