I have tons of cookery books, a cupboard full of everything from £1.99 bargains through TV chef spin-offs to the bible that is La Gastronomique and I can say that I under-use all of them. I tend browse for the basics and then go…freestyle. With mixed results its fair to say
Now, I make a fair bit of Chinese food during the week as it’s fast, and (providing you watch the oil) healthy. The only problem I have is that I can’t say I’ve nailed a recipe or particular dish in the same way I can make, for instance, specific pasta dishes, they tend to be concoctions of whatever I have in the fridge. This was different though – I got the iPad (other tablets are available…) edition of Ken Hom’s Complete Chinese Cookbook recently and was keen to try his recipes with the ingredients as instructed. Being a big fan of dim sum thought I’d try the relatively straightforward open steamed dumplings. Although the implementation probably wavered a bit, I used the ingredients as Mr Hom instructed and they were delicious.
I bought in the wanton cases as we were in the local Chinese supermarket recently. They keep brilliantly in the freezer but there’s nothing too hard about making them. The recipe quoted about 40, but I in fact made 20 presumably large versions. They didn’t seem so big, so who knows, but it didn’t seem to matter. I served them up with a dipping sauce made from soy sauce, chilli oil, dried chilli flakes, sugar and ginger. I kind of did it off the cuff, so don’t remember the proportions, but it was very much ‘to taste’ anyway!
I made my own mince using some good quality belly pork as Mr Hom specified fatty pork mince. I just blitzed it in the food processor and it worked nicely.
So, via Ken Hom’s Complete Chinese Cookbook:
- 100g/4oz uncooked prawns
- 350g/12oz pork belly, minced or food processed (or fatty pre-minced pork)
- 2 tbsp bacon lardons
- 100g/4oz water chestnuts, tinned. Well rinsed.
- 2 tsp ginger, finely chopped
- 3 tbsp finely chopped spring onion
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp dark soy sauce
- 1 tbsp dry sherry.
- 1 egg white
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt and a twist of black pepper
- 20 wanton skin
Defrost the wanton wrappers at room temperature if needed. This takes a surprisingly short amount of time.
Prepare the pork by mincing or blitzing the pork belly in a processor. Finely chop the prawns and bacon and vegetables.
Then, simply place the the whole lot into a bowl and mix very thoroughly.
Spoon a couple of teaspoons of the mixture onto the middle of a wanton wrapper.
Bring up the sides, pinching firmly and turning as you do to make the open wrapping. Tricky – I’m sure practise makes perfect!
Boil a little water in the bottom of a steamer. Use the bottom of the steamer insert and cut out some greaseproof paper to line the inside. I used a skewer to push though the holes to let the steam through.
Place the dumplings in, not too tightly packed, and steam for about 15 minutes. I used a probe to check the temperature in the middle and they were well done by this time, but may need longer – the recipe said about 20mins.