Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes?

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Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes?

Postby John F » Sat Jul 08, 2006 9:50 pm

I bought my bamboo steamer yesterday in Tokyo's Kappabashi "Kitchen" district - so now I n eed to use it.

Was looking for some dim sum dumpling type ideas as well as any other uses for this blasted thing!

Thanks
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby Paul Winalski » Sun Jul 09, 2006 11:48 pm

Here's one from my much-treasured cookbook "Chinese Snacks" by Huang Su Huei, published by the Wei-Chuan food company in Taiwan back in the 1970s. I don't know if it's still in print. If you're seriously into cooking your own Dim Sum items, this book is the Bible.

So here's a couple of recipes for you:


Basic Yeast Dough

This is the wrapper for the various leavened-dough sort of Dim Sum items such as the various steamed buns (bow; most famously cha siu bow, or Roast Pork Steamed Buns) and Shanghai steamed pork dumplings. It's a very conventional sort of yeast dough, prepared a bit on the sweet side.

6 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup warm water
1 TBS dried yeast (or equivalent cake yeast, or yeast starter)
2 TBS shortening

1. Dissolve the sugar and yeast in the warm water. Let stand until the yeast activates and foams.

2. Mix flour and shortening. Add the yeast mixture and mix together to form a dough.

3. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic.

4. Cover dough with a damp cloth. Let sit in warm place for 2-4 hours or until doubled or tripled in bulk.

NOTE: Lard would be the traditional shortening here. Vegetable shortening would be a substitute, but given the trans-fat situation, IMO you're better off with lard or butter. A neutral-flavored vegetable oil might work--I've never tried it; do so at your own risk. Personally, I think this is one of the places where traditional fats still have a proper place.


Shanghai Steamed Dumplings

[In the cookbook, these are called "Little Juicy Steamed Rolls"]

Skin: 1/4 recipe Basic Yeast Dough

1/4 cup jellied pork or chicken stock aspic (or plain gelatin, set)

Filling:
2/3 pound ground pork
1/4 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 TBS sesame oil
1 TBS chopped scallion (green onion)
1/2 TBS chopped ginger root
6 TBS water

24 2" x 2" wax paper squares

1. Mix together the filling ingredients. Divide into 24 pieces. Also cut the jellied stock (or gelatin) into 24 pieces. Similarly divide the dough into 24 pieces.

2. Flatten each piece of dough into a 2" circle, with the middle thicker and the edges thin. Place one portion each of the filling and the aspic onto the center on top. Gather the edges of the dough together in pleats to form a rounded "igloo" shape that is fully sealed. Place each finished dumpling on a wax paper square.

3. Place the dumplings (on their wax paper squares) in a bamboo steamer. Steam over vigorously boiling water for 8 minutes. Remove and serve.

In every Chinese restaurant I've ever been to, these have been accompanied by thinly sliced shreds of fresh ginger. It's a wonderful combination I can't improve on.

NOTES: The trick here is to WORK QUICKLY. Otherwise the dough continues to rise as you're laboring, and the finished products are way bigger and fluffier than they're supposed to be (but still delicious).


Shiu Mai

30 round wonton skins (or trim 30 regular wonton skins into rough rounds)

1/4 medium-sized carrot, minced finely
30 cilantro leaves

Filling:
12 oz ground pork
4 Chinese dried black mushrooms
1 canned bamboo shoot (about 1/3 cup or so)

1 egg white
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tsp rice wine (or dry sherry)
1 1/2 TBS corn starch

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in boiling water for 1/2 hour, then squeeze dry and dice finely. Dice the bamboo shoot finely.

2. Mix the pork, mushrooms, and bamboo shoot with the rest of the filling ingredients. Divide into 30 portions.

3. Place one portion of filling in the center of a wonton skin. Using your index finger and thumb, draw up the skin around the filling, gathering the edges together to make a waist. Use a spoon dipped in water to flatten the top of the filling to be level with the top of the skin.

4. Arrange the finished shiu mai in a steamer about 1/4" apart. Steam 5 minutes over high heat.

5. Sprinkle a bit of carrot over the top of each shiu mai, put a cilantro leaf on top, and serve.

NOTE: Round wonton skins work best for this, but square ones cut into octagons work well, too. Freshness is a plus with wonton skins. Even though they're widely available in supermarkets, when I can I go to Boston's Chinatown for wonton skins because the ones there are so much fresher.

Use diced shrimp in place of the pork of you want shrimp shiu mai. Or use a combination of the two meats.
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby John F » Mon Jul 10, 2006 9:50 am

awesome - thanks very much for your response

Couple of questions:

- How critical is it to make your own dough vs. using square or circular wontons I can buy in supermarket

- cornstarch : not so easy to find in Tokyo - how critical?

Thanks again for your help - these look great
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby Larry Greenly » Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:33 am

- cornstarch : not so easy to find in Tokyo - how critical?



Just a guess, but there are numerous thickening agents in Oriental cuisine, water chestnut powder, potato starch, arrowroot, etc., that would probably work.
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby Paul Winalski » Mon Jul 10, 2006 2:25 pm

John F wrote:- How critical is it to make your own dough vs. using square or circular wontons I can buy in supermarket

- cornstarch : not so easy to find in Tokyo - how critical?


Cornstarch: what you're looking for here is non-glutinous, very fine starch to absorb some of the liquid and help bind the filling together. Arrowroot starch, water chestnut powder, potato starch--any of those will work, and in fact would be more authentic. I put cornstarch in the recipe because that's what's readily available here in the USA.

Wonton skins: Sorry, I wasn't clear--for shiu mai, you want to use pre-made wonton skins. The dough recipe is for the raised dough for the Shanghai steamed dumplings, not for shiu mai. You could make your own wonton skins, especially if you have a pasta machine, but IMO it's not worth the bother.

For the Shanghai steamed dumplings, you want a yeast bread dough. Bread dough from the supermarket would work OK, but not wonton skins.

-Paul W.
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes?

Postby Jenise » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:34 pm

John, bringing up the rear here behind Paul, but I just posted one for you.
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby Sonia Hambleton » Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:31 pm

I'm so glad you posted the dough recipe. My grandma used to make it and I've been asking how to for the past few visits. Last visit she finally said - "I don't remember - it's too much work!"

She did use lard though :-)
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby Jenise » Tue Jul 11, 2006 6:57 pm

Paul, speaking of bao and cilantro leaves, when I make bao I inevitably make two different fillings. Then I'd get 'em mixed up. So to differentiate one from the other, the last time I made them I placed a cilantro leaf on the top of the flavors. It dissolved--literally melted--into the bun--looks BEAUTIFUL. I would do that now even if I were only doing one flavor.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Re: Does Anyone Have Dim Sum recipes/

Postby Paul Winalski » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:43 pm

Jenise wrote:Paul, speaking of bao and cilantro leaves, when I make bao I inevitably make two different fillings. Then I'd get 'em mixed up. So to differentiate one from the other, the last time I made them I placed a cilantro leaf on the top of the flavors. It dissolved--literally melted--into the bun--looks BEAUTIFUL. I would do that now even if I were only doing one flavor.


That's a common technique I've seen in dim sum restaurants. The bao with roast pork filling will be unadorned, the vegetable-filled ones have a leaf on top, the bao with sweet bean filling marked with a dot of red food coloring, etc.

-Paul W.
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