Methi Muthia

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Capture 03/10/2017

Methi Muthia is a Gujurati breakfast or snack that is full of flavour and goodness. The main ingredient is fresh fenugreek leaves which I strongly advise seeking out as they are wonderfully aromatic and slightly bitter and warming.

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch fresh methi (fenugreek) leaves
  • 4-5 tbsp atta (or 2 tbsp each of plain and wholemeal flour)
  • 2 tbsp gram flour
  • 2 tbsp semolina
  • 1 green chilli, very finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil plus some for greasing your hand and for pan frying
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. Chop the methi leaves and place them in a colander with 1 tsp salt. After 5 minutes, squeeze the bitter juice from the leaves and discard it.
  2. Add the methi leaves to the remaining ingredients and knead to a soft dough by adding a little water. The consistency of the dough should be a little softer and wetter than a chapatti dough but not sticky. You don’t need much water so add sparingly.
  3. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions and grease your hands slightly so you can shape each portion into little logs easily.
  4. Place each little portion into a steamer and be sure to space them apart as they expand when steaming. Steam for 20 minutes then remove and cut each log into 1 inch slices.
  5. You can serve them just like this or heat a teaspoon of oil in a frying pan and place the slices in a single layer. Cook for a minute until the sides begin to crisp and turn golden then flip them and cook for another minute. Add a pinch of asafoetida and some sesame seeds for crunch and sizzle until they turn golden brown. Stir gently to mix the tempered spices then serve warm as is or with a fresh chutney or raita.

Capturel

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Curried Shitake Steamed Bao

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Screenshot_2016-08-12-23-29-46-1[1] 14/08/2016

One of my first ever posts was a recipe for Char Sui Chicken Steamed Buns. I have recently rediscovered my love for real authentic Chinese cuisine, especially dim sum. This is an alternative take on a steamed bun with a full flavoured, spicy mushroom filling encased by pillow-soft dough.

Makes 16

Ingredients:

For the dough:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (just warm to the touch)
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

For the filling:

  • 250g fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 250g fresh chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 garlic clove, grated
  • A knob of ginger, grated
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp Soy sauce
  • 100ml approx. Beef stock
  • Cornflour slurry (1 tsp cornflour mixed with 1-2 tsp water)
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • A handful of frozen peas

Method:

  1. The dough: Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the water and set aside for 1 minute to proof.
  2. Whisk in the oil to blend and dissolve the yeast. Set aside.
  3. Combine the sugar, baking powder and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon, moving from the centre toward the rim, to work in all the flour. (Add lukewarm water by the teaspoon if this doesn’t happen with relative ease.)  Keep stirring as a ragged, soft mass forms. Then use your fingers to gather and pat the dough together into a ball. Transfer to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth, fingertip-soft and slightly elastic. (You shouldn’t need any additional flour on the work surface if the dough was properly made. Keep kneading, and after the first minute or two, the dough shouldn’t stick to your fingers. If it does, work in a sprinkling of flour.) Press your finger into the dough; the dough should spring back, with a faint indentation remaining.
  4. Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise until nearly doubled, 30-45 minutes (timing will vary depending on the temperature of the room). The dough is now ready to use. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate the dough until needed.
  6. The filling: While the dough is rising, gently fry the onion, garlic and ginger in the oil in a wok until softened. Roughly chop the mushrooms and add to the wok. Fry for a couple of minutes to soften then add the spices and soy sauce.
  7. Stir everything to combine then add the beef stock. Add the cornflour slurry and mix well. The mushroom mix should be quite thick. Add more beef stock if you think it is too thick. Add the peas and season with pepper. Stir everything to combine then transfer to a bowl to cool.
  8. Assemble: Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured work surface, gather it into a ball and then pat it to flatten it into a thick disk.
  9. Cut the disk in half and keep the second half covered to prevent it from drying out.
  10. Roll the first half into a 12” log and then cut it crosswise into 8 even pieces.
  11. Flatten one piece of dough into a ¼” thick disk, moistening your hands with a little water if the dough becomes too dry.
  12. Use an Asian dumpling pin (or regular rolling pin) roll the pieces into circles about 3 ¼” in diameter, rolling the outer edges thinner than the centre.
  13. To assemble the buns:  hold a dough circle in a slightly cupped hand.
  14. Use a spoon or fork to centre about 4 teaspoons of filling on the dough circle, pressing down very gently and keeping about ½”- ¾” of the dough clear on all sides; your hand will automatically close slightly.
  15. Use the thumb of the hand cradling the bun to push down the filling; using the fingers of the other hand, pull up the dough edge and pleat and pinch the rim together to form a closed bun.
  16. Completely enclose the filling by pinching and twisting the dough closed.
  17. Place the finished bun on a piece of parchment, pleated side up. (The parchment is important otherwise the buns will stick to the steamer.)
  18. Repeat with the remaining dough and loosely cover the assembled buns with a kitchen towel until puffed and nearly doubled in size, 10-30 minutes, depending on the temperature in the room.
  19. Steaming: When the buns are almost ready, bring water to boil in a wok and placing a steamer basket on top.
  20. Place buns in the steamer basket, spacing them 1” apart and 1” away from the basket wall.
  21. Cover the buns and steam until puffed and the dough is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  22. Transfer the buns, still on their parchment paper squares, to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Repeat steaming until all the buns are cooked.
  23. Serve warm or room temperature with a sauce made from soy sauce and a bit of garlic chilli paste (sambal olek).
  24. Make ahead: Can be made up to 6 hours in advance – shape and fill the buns then keep refrigerated to slow the rising process.  Steam directly from the refrigerator.
  25. To freeze: May be frozen up to 2 months. Prepare the buns fully and after steaming allow to come to room temperature then place on a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze until solid.  Place frozen buns in a Ziploc for longer storage.  Allow to thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes then re-steam 12-15 minutes to warm through.

Screenshot_2016-08-12-23-23-16-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-12-23-24-08-1[1]

Screenshot_2016-08-12-23-25-24-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-12-23-27-33-1[1]

Prawn Wontons

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Screenshot_2016-08-08-20-21-22-1[1] 08/08/2016

Wontons are hands on. There’s lots of chopping and assembling but once you get into it, they’re uber simple and the combination of zingy ginger, juicy prawns, umami mushrooms and fresh vegetables is pure heaven!

Ingredients:

  • 12g dried shitake mushrooms
  • 150g raw peeled prawns, chopped finely
  • 3 sticks of celery, deveined and chopped very finely
  • 4 spring onions, sliced very finely
  • A knob of ginger, grated
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • Ground white pepper
  • ½ packet of wonton wrappers

Method:

  1. Place the shitake mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to rehydrate while you prep the other ingredients
  2. Add the chopped prawns, celery, spring onions, ginger, flour, soy sauce, sesame oil, Shaoxing rice wine and pepper to a mixing bowl and mix everything well. By the time you have done this, the mushrooms should be ready to drain, chop finely and add to the mix.
  3. The mixture should just hold together. If it is quite runny, add another spoonful of cornflour.
  4. To assemble, lay out a wonton wrapper, dampen the edges and spoon a small teaspoon of the prawn mixture into the centre. Bring the corners of the wrapper together to make a triangle and make sure the edges are well sealed so the filling doesn’t pop out when being steamed. Try to remove as much air as possible from the centre when sealing.
  5. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used up or, as in my case, you run out of wonton wrappers.

Screenshot_2016-08-08-20-28-25-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-08-20-29-55-1[1] Screenshot_2016-08-08-20-30-46-1[1]

6. At this stage you can pop the wontons in a single layer onto some greaseproof paper in a bamboo steamer in a wok of boiling water. Steam for 10 minutes then serve.

7. You can also freeze the wontons at this stage. Arrange in a single layer on a greaseproof lined baking tray and freeze for a couple of hours then remove the wontons to a sealable freezer bag and steam for 15 minutes from the freezer when ready to eat.

Sesame Salmon in Miso Broth

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IMG_20160118_165955[1] 26/01/2016

Salty samphire and umami-loaded miso go so well with sweet salmon in this East Asian-inspired dish. You can use any fish with this dish. Sea bream and Sea bass work particularly well. The delicate flaky fish and crispy skin contrast beautifully with the silky broth.

Ingredients:

  • 2 nests (140g/5oz) medium or thick egg noodles
  • 2 fillets sustainable salmon, skinned or white fish, skin on, scaled and pin-boned
  • 4 tsp sesame seeds
  • 3 tsp sunflower or vegetable oil
  • thumb-sized piece ginger, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2 tbsp dry sherry
  • 90g pack samphire
  • 1 x pak choi
  • 2 x 18g sachets (or 2 tbsp) miso soup paste
  • bunch spring onions, shredded
  • little sesame oil for drizzling

Method:

  1. Cook the noodles following pack instructions. As soon as they are just tender, drain in a colander, rinse under the cold tap and set aside.
  2. Slash each piece of fish 3 times on the skin side. Season well and press the sesame seeds over the skin in an even layer. Heat the oven to low, ready to keep the fish warm. Put a couple of wide bowls in to warm, too.
  3. Heat 2 tsp oil in a non-stick frying pan, the sturdier the better. Add the fish, and fry for 5 mins on the crusted side until the seeds are pale golden and the flesh of the fish has changed colour almost all the way through. Turn the fish over, cook for a few seconds more, then remove to a plate and transfer to the oven. Put the kettle on to boil.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and sizzle the ginger for 30 seconds. Add the samphire and pak choi, cover again and cook for 1 min more until bright and just tender. Make up the miso in a jug with 450ml boiling water. Run boiling water through the noodles to reheat then pile into the warm bowls. Spoon over the ginger, samphire and pak choi plus the spring onions, then pour over the miso and top with a piece of crisp fish, sesame-side up. Drizzle with a little sesame oil then dig in.

 

Chinese Appetisers

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IMG_20140809_084345[1] 10/08/2014

Another Chinese feast. This time a selection of appetisers to choose from. This is definitely a meal to prepare when you have a bit of time on your hands but it is really worth the effort.

There are a nice mix of textures with crunchy flavoursome toast, velvety soup and soft, meaty dumplings.

You can’t beat homemade for flavour either. From the pan and straight to the table without sitting in a sweaty container in the back of a delivery car for half an hour means you achieve fresh clean flavours.

IMG_20140810_224249[2] Sesame Prawn Toasts (Serves 6-8)

You can use any bread you like, but don’t go too posh. As far as I’m concerned, cheap white bread is definitely your friend here.

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 (depending on size) slices of bread
  • 150g raw prawns, de-veined
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • A thumb of root ginger
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 red chili, deseeded
  • 1 egg
  • A generous splash a soy sauce
  • A splash of sesame oil
  • Rice flour – just enough to bind the mixture so it’s not too sloppy
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sunflower oil for deep frying

Method:

  1. Roughly chop the prawns, garlic, ginger, onions and chilli and stick the lot in a food processor with the egg, soy and sesame oil. Blitz until you have a paste, adding a little bit of rice flour if your mixture is too sloppy.
  2. Spread the mixture generously over the slices of bread, with more in the middle than the edges. Pour you sesame seeds into a bowl big enough to fit in the sliced bread and dunk it, prawn mixture side down, into the seeds to stick. Cut your slices into two or four triangles (again, this depends how big your slices are or how hungry you are).
  3. Heat up the oil in a wide heavy-bottomed pan and use a fish slice to carefully place them in the hot oil, sesame side down. Leave them for 3-4 minutes or until golden brown, before carefully flipping them over in the oil for another minute or so to brown the other side. Do this in batches, so you don’t overcrowd the pan. If you put too many in at once, your oil will cool and your toast will get soggy. Once it’s nicely golden, fish your prawn toast out of the oil and drain it on kitchen paper, before serving.

IMG_20140810_224133[1] Crab and sweetcorn soup (Serves 4 bowls)

 Ingredients:

  • 1 teaspoon corn oil
  • 2 cups sweetcorn, canned super-sweet works well
  • 2 cups fish stock – mix 2-4 Tbsp fish sauce with water
  • 8 oz shredded crab meat, pre-cooked
  • 1 or 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • A little salt to taste

Method:

  1. Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the corn, and fry for about 30 seconds. Pour in the fish stock – add several slugs of bottled fish sauce and water to thin; and season with salt and pepper. Simmer over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Turn off the heat and drizzle in the egg while slowly stirring the soup to create a white swirl. This dish is now ready.
  2. To serve, add the shredded crabmeat to the 4 serving bowls and add the soup over it. Garnish with finely chopped spring onions, parsley, or whatever you have handy if you like.

Don’t drain the sweetcorn. Add the juice in the can to the stock for a lovely sweet flavour.

Recipe 2

This is not really an alternative recipe but a few optional extras to add to the basic recipe that I think make it a bit more authentic.

Extra ingredients:

  • 1 Tsp (light) soy sauce.
  • 1 Tbsp Chinese rice wine
  • 2 Tbsp cornflour
  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a large pan. Add the sweet corn, crabmeat, rice wine, seasoning and soy sauce. Allow to simmer for 4 – 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the cornflour and water or stock and add a spoonful of the hot soup. Adding a spoonful from the pot is a very important step, do not compromise on this point.
  3. Return the mixture to the soup slowly while stirring occasionally and bring back to the boil. Simmer until the soup thickens.
  4. Turn off the heat. Whisk the eggs briefly and very slowly stir into the hot soup just before serving so fine ribbons appear. Do not to stir too harshly. Serve as soon as the egg whitens into silky strands.

IMG_20140810_224355[1] Chinese Pork Dumplings

For the dough:

  • 140g/5oz plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 125ml/4fl oz very hot water

For the stuffing:

  • 110g/4oz minced pork
  • 75g/3oz Chinese leaves or celery, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp finely chopped ginger
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • ½ tbsp dark soy sauce
  • ½ tsp light soy sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-3 finely chopped spring onions
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cold chicken stock or water

To cook:

  • 1 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 75ml/3fl oz water

Method:

  1. For the dough, place the flour into a large bowl and stir the hot water gradually into it, mixing all the time with a fork or chopsticks, until the water is incorporated. Add more water if the mixture seems dry.
  2. Tip the dough mixture onto a clean work surface and knead it with your hands, dusting the dough with a little flour if it’s sticky. Continue kneading until it is smooth – this should take about eight minutes.
  3. Put the dough back in the bowl, cover it with a clean damp towel and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
  4. For the stuffing, while the dough is resting, combine the stuffing ingredients in a large bowl and mix them together thoroughly. Set aside.
  5. After the resting period, take the dough out of the bowl and knead it again for about five minutes, dusting with a little flour if it is sticky.
  6. Once the dough is smooth, shape it into a roll about 23cm/9in long and about 2.5cm/1in in diameter, using your hands.
  7. With a sharp knife, slice the roll into 16 equal-sized pieces (each piece is about 15g/½ oz). Using your hands, roll each of the dough pieces into a small ball and then, with a rolling pin, roll each ball into a small, round, flat, ‘pancake’ about 9cm/3½in in diameter.
  8. Arrange the round skins on a lightly floured tray and cover them with a damp kitchen towel to prevent them from drying out until you are ready to use them.
  9. Place about two teaspoons of filling in the centre of each ‘pancake’ and moisten the edges with water. Fold the dough in half and pinch together with your fingers.
  10. Pleat around the edge, pinching with your fingers to seal well. The dumpling should look like a small Cornish pasty with a flat base and rounded top.
  11. Transfer each finished dumpling to the floured tray and keep it covered until you have stuffed all the dumplings in this way.
  12. To cook, heat a large lidded frying pan (preferably a non-stick pan) until it is very hot. Add the groundnut oil and place the dumplings flat-side down into the pan.
  13. Reduce the heat and cook for about two minutes until they the dumplings are lightly browned. Add the water, cover the pan tightly and simmer gently for about 12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Check the water half-way through and add more if necessary. Uncover the pan and continue to cook for a further two minutes before serving.

Dim Sum

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IMG_20140801_215218[1]02/08/2014

Ok so this isn’t strictly baking, it’s steaming but I feel a break from all that sweetness was needed and what better way than with a plate full of soft, fresh dim sum to plant your face into.

Today there are not one, not two, but three recipes for dim sum. The first is my take on char siu bao. Traditionally, these steamed, yeasted buns are filled with pork in a sweet sticky marinade but roast chicken is what I had left over and it works beautifully.

You could also bake these buns. After stage 24, egg wash the rolls and place in a preheated oven at 200C for 15 minutes but you don’t quite get the same chewy, succulent texture.

BBQ Chicken Bao (Makes 16)

For the dough:

  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 cup lukewarm water (just warm to the touch)
  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 ½ cups plain flour
  • For the filling:
  • 1 Tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups cooked shredded chicken (approx ½ of a whole pre-roasted chicken)
  • 1 ½ Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic chilli paste (sambal olek)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornflour
  • 2 Tablespoons room temperature water

Method:

  1. The dough: Put the yeast in a small bowl, add the water and set aside for 1 minute to proof.
  2. Whisk in the oil to blend and dissolve the yeast. Set aside.
  3. Make the dough: Combine the sugar, baking powder and flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast mixture. Slowly stir with a wooden spoon, moving from the centre toward the rim, to work in all the flour. (Add lukewarm water by the teaspoon if this doesn’t happen with relative ease.)  Keep stirring as a ragged, soft mass forms. Then use your fingers to gather and pat the dough together into a ball. Transfer to a work surface and knead for about 5 minutes, until smooth, fingertip-soft and slightly elastic. (You shouldn’t need any additional flour on the work surface if the dough was properly made. Keep kneading, and after the first minute or two, the dough shouldn’t stick to your fingers. If it does, work in a sprinkling of flour.) Press your finger into the dough; the dough should spring back, with a faint indentation remaining.
  4. Let rise: Lightly oil a clean bowl and add the dough.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and put in a warm, draft-free place to rise until nearly doubled, 30-45 minutes (timing will vary depending on the temperature of the room). The dough is now ready to use.
  6. If not using immediately, cover and refrigerate the dough until needed.
  7. The filling: heat 1 Tablespoon of oil in a wok or skillet over high heat until smoking hot.
  8. Dissolve the cornstarch in the 2 Tablespoons of water and set aside until needed.
  9. Stir-fry the scallion and the garlic for 30 seconds.
  10. Add the shredded chicken and stir-fry for 1 minute.
  11. Add hoisin sauce, oyster sauce, sesame oil and chilli paste.  Mix until thoroughly combined.
  12. Add the cornstarch mixture and stir-fry quickly until the chicken is glazed.
  13. Turn the filling out into a bowl and allow to cool. Note: filling can be made up to 1 day ahead, keep refrigerated.
  14. Assemble: Transfer the dough to a very lightly floured work surface, gather it into a ball and then pat it to flatten it into a thick disk.
  15. Cut the disk in half and keep the second half covered to prevent it from drying out.
  16. Roll the first half into a 12” log and then cut it crosswise into 8 even pieces.
  17. Flatten one piece of dough into a ¼” thick disk, moistening your hands with a little water if the dough becomes too dry.
  18. Use an Asian dumpling pin (or regular rolling pin) roll the pieces into circles about 3 ¼” in diameter, rolling the outer edges thinner than the centre.
  19. To assemble the buns:  hold a dough circle in a slightly cupped hand.
  20. Use a spoon or fork to centre about 4 teaspoons of filling on the dough circle, pressing down very gently and keeping about ½”- ¾” of the dough clear on all sides; your hand will automatically close slightly.
  21. Use the thumb of the hand cradling the bun to push down the filling; using the fingers of the other hand, pull up the dough edge and pleat and pinch the rim together to form a closed bun.
  22. Completely enclose the filling by pinching and twisting the dough closed.
  23. Place the finished bun on a piece of parchment, pleated side up. (The parchment is important otherwise the buns will stick to the steamer.)
  24. Repeat with the remaining dough and loosely cover the assembled buns with a kitchen towel until puffed and nearly doubled in size, 10-30 minutes, depending on the temperature in the room.
  25. Steaming: When the buns are almost ready, bring water to boil in a wok and placing a steamer basket on top.
  26. Place buns in the steamer basket, spacing them 1” apart and 1” away from the basket wall.
  27. Cover the buns and steam until puffed and the dough is cooked through, about 15 minutes.
  28. Transfer the buns, still on their parchment paper squares, to a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Repeat steaming until all the buns are cooked.
  29. Serve warm or room temperature with a sauce made from soy sauce and a bit of garlic chilli paste (sambal olek).
  30. Make ahead: Can be made up to 6 hours in advance – shape and fill the buns then keep refrigerated to slow the rising process.  Steam directly from the refrigerator.
  31. To freeze: May be frozen up to 2 months. Prepare the buns fully and after steaming allow to come to room temperature then place on a parchment lined sheet pan and freeze until solid.  Place frozen buns in a Ziploc for longer storage.  Allow to thaw at room temperature for 15 minutes then re-steam 12-15 minutes to warm through.

IMG_20140801_215536[1] Siu Mai

As promised, the second recipe; an open topped dumpling with a pork and prawn filling.

As you can tell from the picture, I love broccoli. This is not a traditional accompaniment but it tastes so good.

Siu Mai (Serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • Wanton wrappers
  • 4 oz raw prawns, shelled and deveined, chopped
  • 8 oz minced pork
  • 5 oz canned water chestnut, chopped finely (about 10 water chestnuts)
  • 3 tablespoon spring onions, white part, minced
  • 1 tablespoon grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoon Chinese rice wine or pale dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoon cornflour
  • ½ teaspoon caster sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 large thick carrot, cut into thin rounds

Preparing the filling:

  1. Mix all the ingredients together.
  2. Place the wrapper in your palm. Place 1 teaspoon of filling into wrapper.
  3. Gather up the edges of the wrapper.  Hold the dumpling between your thumb and your fingers, lightly squeezing it to form a cup.  Squeeze with your index finger to form a waist.  Use a spatula or your thumb to push the filling down.
  4. Flatten the base by tapping on a floured surface. Smooth the top with a knife dipped with water.
  5. Place in a steamer, setting each dumpling on a slice of carrot rounds.
  6. Steam over simmering water for 15 minutes. Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.

Again, these freeze very well. Put them in the freezer on a baking tray lined with grease proof paper. Once frozen, transfer to a freezer bag. To serve, steam from frozen for 15-20 minutes.

IMG_20140802_095828[1]   Lo Mai Gai/ Steamed Glutinous Rice Parcels

And finally, a very filling but exceptionally yummy bundle. Traditionally flavoured with everything from salted egg yolks and dried shrimps to Chinese sausage, my version uses chicken and mushroom and a handful of peanuts for a bit of texture variation.

Ingredients :

  • 150g sliced chestnut mushrooms
  • 8-10 dried shitake mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes then chopped
  • 800g Brown chicken meat cut into small chunks
  • 2 cups glutinous rice, soaked for 3 hours
  • Lotus leaves soaked in hot water for 1 hour
  • Handful of raw redskin peanuts (optional)

Seasoning for chicken:

  • 3 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine/shaoxing wine
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger and juice
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil

Seasoning for glutinous rice:

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five spice
  • 2 tbsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp white pepper
  • 3 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

TO ASSEMBLE:

  1. In a medium bowl, stir together the marinade ingredients and add the chicken pieces. Stir well and refrigerate. Soak the sticky rice for 3 hours, drain and steam for 40 minutes until cooked. Stir in the seasoning mixture and set aside.
  2. Over high heat, add 2 tablespoons oil to your wok. When the wok is smoking slightly, add the mushrooms and stir-fry until they’re browned, tender, and most of the moisture has evaporated. Remove from the wok and set aside.
  3. Brown the chicken in the same wok. Stir-fry for a couple minutes to let the flavours meld together.
  4. Mix this chicken mixture with the steamed rice. Add the rice seasoning and incorporate everything well. Now you’re ready to wrap them in the lotus leaves. Brush a small section on one end of each leaf lightly with oil. Put about ¾ cup of the mixture on the oiled area. Wrap each into a rectangle, tie with kitchen string, and steam for about 25-30 minutes.
  5. You can serve immediately or allow them to cool, place into freezer bags, and freeze for later! When you’re ready to eat them, just steam them right out of the freezer for about 20-30 minutes.