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
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
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.