Archive for the ‘Dim Sum’ Category

“When you present dumplings with this sauce, the combination may recall an italian pasta dish, but the sauce zesty qualities resemble the latin flavors of Mexico…” – Andrea Nguyen, Asian Dumplings book…
Guess what dumplings she’s serving? Mongolian lamb with caraway: “The creative use of a few ingredients is a hallmark of Mongolian cooking…Caraway leaves its warm yet sharp imprint on the filling…”
Well caraway is also very popular in Russia, and the tomato sauce is quite close to Adjika (georgian).
Wait a minute, so with this one dish we just zigzagged Europe, America and Asia! Isn’t this amazing?..
Okra is not in Andrea’s book but i consider it a natural dumpling. And it’s a truly international ingredient too – asian, southern european, southern american, african…incredibly tasty and healthy! (at this point i think i pretty much reached the per post limit on the exclamation marks 🙂 )


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Came up with a new filling: chicken and eggplant.
Two globe eggplants (about 1.5 lb) halved, deeply scored, salted, sprinkled with cumin seeds and brushed with olive oil and roasted on thyme branches in 425F convection oven until sligtly charred and soft. The flesh is scooped out and drained. Don’t discard a skin before trying snacking on it – delicious! The flesh is whizzed in food processor, stopping before it turns to paste.
1lb of boneless skinless chicken thighs partially frozen, cut in 0.5″ cubes and pulsed in food processor until finely cut, in two batches. Mixed with eggplant and some thinly sliced scallion greens added. Salt and a lot of black pepper.
Panfried gently.
Served with greek yogurt and zaatar. And spanish ketchup (minced piperade).

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The original recipe came from Ezard, and called for roasting duck legs, shredding the meat for filling etc.
I didn’t have much time or duck legs but i had a freezer full of chicken meaty bones waiting there to be used in stock. So the solution was obvious – roast the chicken, pull the meat off and use it instead of duck.
The recipe for filling was promising – hand shredded roasted meat, tiny dice of shiitakes and scallion whites, bound by the paste of raw chicken breast, egg white and heavy cream.
Making a filling was a bit time consuming especially shredding the meat into small pieces. But it once again proved the point that a great dim sum can’t be cheap.
The dish in the Ezard’s book call for steaming dumplings and serving them in a light asian broth.
My easy way was to cook them as potstickers serving with kimchi, radishes, watercress and an excellent tofu tamari dip.
A perfect end of the week dinner. And the funny thing that when i asked Alex what’s is the filling he said duck and simply couldn’t believe it’s a roasted chicken!

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There is a certain irony in what is the luxury food vs thrifty… Back in my childhood in Far East of Russia there was a scarcity of meat but the still the abundance of seafood including the wild salmon so the traditional russian pelmeni (aka dumplings) filling of pork and beef was reinvented with salmon. And wasn’t this rendition great – in fact one of my favorite food memories…
So that was my inspiration for tonight’s dinner – that as well as other traditional russian dumplings, served with crisped pork fat bits, onions browned in the same fat, and sour cream.

salmon dumplings

i rendered a fat from some pancetta, then browned white onion dice in it, mixed with chopped salmon and filled in wonton skins.
Cooked then into patstickers but tomorrow i’ll steam them – seems like this will be a better idea for a delicate salmon filling.
But other than that – great stuff!

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Recession Delicious

Couple of weeks ago i got some family pack of chicken thighs (bone in skin on). Cut the meat around bones for fried chicken bits i made that day and froze the rest, meaty bones that is. Yesterday pulled it out and made a stock for thai chicken galanga soup…
I had a package of wonton skins in the fridge lingering there for couple days because of plans changed. And all of a sudden it occurred to me that i can use the cooked meat as a filling for dumplings: pulled the meat off the bones, shredded, squeezed garlic out of skins (several cloves cooked as part of the stock aromatics) . Added chopped parsley and some chopped kalamata olives and made meat boxes moistened with a bit of the stock. Delicious 9 large dumplings made like from nothing!

Chcken Meat Boxes

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Elusive Bun, or Dreams Shattered

For quite a while (make it couple of years) i’ve been trying to find a recipe for some korean bun from my childhood. A haunting memory of a large white steamed bun filled with a mix of minced pork and cabbage, spicy and tasty. It was called "pyan-se" and sold by koreans on the streets of Yuzhno-Sakhalinks. I found several recipes on far eastern russian food sites but somehow i was convinced that no way the dough could be yeast or whatever leavened – i remembered it quite thin and though white not resembling dough in chinese buns…

Finally after failing to find a dough recipe that would match my mental image i decided to try one of those found on the web. Now imagine this: the resulting bun looked and tasted so familiar but oh well… so disappointing…


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Quote of the Day

"Hong Kong chefs are always dreaming up new recipes to make their mark in the world of dim sum" – Martin Yan in Feast.

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