Friday, 2 May 2008

Touch The Heart

Have you ever eaten a starter in a restaurant and thought how content you would be to just have more of the starter? You know, something so delicious and moreish that you want more and then probably want to go home and make more? Indian starters spring to mind; every time I eat at an Indian restaurant, I go overboard on the delicious starters and then can't finish the main, secretly thinking that I wished I had just had a huge plate of starters.

The Chinese dim sum, a selection of small light dishes, are another example with one particular dim sum really getting my mouth watering; Chinese dumplings. Especially the ones that are all crispy on the bottom and light and juicy at the top. Although I indulge myself in most foods in my own kitchen, I had never attempted to make these before until I came across a certain Lizzie of the brilliant Lizzie Eats London.

Lizzie is new to this world of food blogging and her very first entry had me excited, as it was a simple recipe for the very dumplings that I adore but had no clue how to make. I made a couple of small changes to Lizzie's recipe and I was surprised at how incredibly simple they were to make. It made for probably the most memorable meal my wife and I have eaten this year. The best bit about it was having a huge amount of them to eat as a main course as opposed to the 4 or 5 you usually get in a restaurant. A dozen each to be precise. I served mine with a simple enoki mushroom, bok choy and pomegranate salad. Oh, and dim sum means 'Touch The Heart' in Cantonese. These certainly did. Cheers Lizzie.

Pork and Crab Chinese Dumplings

Makes 20-24 dumplings

For the dough
150g plain flour
Water

For the filling
75g minced pork
75g white crab meat (tinned is fine if you can't get fresh)
3 spring onions, finely sliced
1 thumb size of ginger, finely grated
1 red chilli, finely chopped
A handful each of coriander and mint, finely chopped
A squeeze of lime juice
1 egg white
1 tsp corn flour
Salt and pepper

Vegetable oil

1 - Tip the flour into a bowl with a little salt and pepper. Pour in water and stir until it comes together to form a stiff dough. Knead for a minute, wrap in clingfilm and leave aside.
2 - For the filling, mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl.
3 - On a floured surface, roll out the dough into a thin sausage. Cut off pieces and roll them all into little balls.
4 - Roll each ball into a circle approximately 4 inches in diameter. Don't worry if they are thin, it will work.
5 - Place teaspoons of the mixture into the middle of each circle of dough. Bring up the edges to meet each other and crimp together roughly until they form little parcels with a flat surface.
6 - Pour a little vegetable oil into a non-stick frying pan. Cooking in batches, add the dumplings to the hot oil and cook for 1 minute. Then pour in a little water and place on the lid. Steam for 7-8 minutes, checking to see that the water isn't boiling dry.
7 - Remove and serve with a simple dipping sauce of sesame oil, soy sauce and sesame seeds and a green salad of fried mushrooms, sliced bok choy, pomegranate seeds and fresh coriander. Delicious.

14 comments:

Lizzie said...

Hi David,

You're very welcome! So glad you enjoyed them.

I love the variations you've made, especially as crab and pork (also pork and prawn for that matter) are such a good match.

They freeze really well uncooked too, so you can just pop them in the frying pan for a steaming and a frying from frozen.

theboydonefood said...

hi matey, i love dim sum, did some thai ones a while ago, chicken, chilli, fish sauce, lemongrass and shallot. Pretty yummy. And you're right, dead simple!

Catofstripes said...

Also very easy to make veg*n by using a stir fried filling of finely chopped chinese cabbage and mushrooms, or with tofu or even WHY!

We love them.

Jan said...

I know what you mean about the starters in Indian and Chinese restaurants. Me and hubby, Mick, always order lots of starters, and one main course to share at.

These look and sound fab, I love dim sum. Another favorite is salt and pepper chicken wings, I don't suppose you could? No? I'll get me coat.

Pat said...

They look really yummy. Like you I love starters and sometimes if Hubby is having desert I will have a starter as mine. I prefer savoury to sweet now that I am older. Will be giving these a try. Thanks!!!!

aforkfulofspaghetti said...

That's me! All the time... When I have a Chinese meal, it's always just dim sum - nothing else!

Private Chef said...

I am a keen reader of food blogs but just stumbled upon yours. I really like the clean design and simple layout. I started blogging myself a year ago and always thought that clean design was key. The fact that you also have good photos does help a lot. I have just started a website for bloggers, chefs and foodies to meet and share all their photos, recipes and videos called www.ifoods.tv. Anyway keep the great work up on the blog, have it bookmarkd now and talk soon. Cheers

Helen said...

These dumplings are also my favourites! I've made them a few times but I've always just bought the wrappers from a Chinese supermarket. You get about 200 in a pack! I will try making them myself next time though. I had an awful experience in a Chinese restaurant recently that was recommended to me. It turned out to be one of the worst, we ordered the dim sum platter to share and when it arrived it was just a load of things that had been chucked in the deep fat fryer! Talk about gutted!

Pat said...

Hi David, just thought I would let you know you have been tagged on my blog for a literary Meme.

Anonymous said...

I saw Lizzie's first entry and thought it looked great - will be trying this with Freddie. Yours look great David!
Charlotte

cave renovator said...

Fantastic tapas and raciones. Now this is something we can make over here! Great combination.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I often make a meal out of starters and a salad. That way I can enjoy several different flavors. Thanks for introducing Lizzie too!

David Hall said...

Lizzie - seriously, thanks again, could eat them every day!

Wil - I'm not surprised to hear you love them, would like to taste your creations - so get up here and cook them for us!

COS - adaptable to every taste, absolutely!

Jan - you doing requests? :o) I'll see what i can do

Pat - starters, what is it about them? I reckon they just tempt you right in, often at false pretence!

FOS - same here!

Private Chef - thanks for getting in touch, will be checking out the site soon, thanks

Helen - honest, make them yourself, really easy and utterly delicious, no worrying about the contents if you made it!

Pat - thanks! Touched! Will sort this all out soon but I'm rubbish with memes!

Charlotte - Freddie will love them

CR - give it a go, the best!

Susan - my pleasure!

Wendy said...

Chinese dumplings are my favourite! I make lots and lots i one go then freeze them. They are all to easy to steam from frozen and snack on. I've never tried making them with crab before. Sounds delicious.