Glutinous Rice Shumai

glutinous rice shumai

I’ve caught the flu recently that’s the reason I haven’t replied to all of your comments recently, really sorry about that but I hope you can understand a person like me who has to work 48 hours in 3 days with flu basically doesn’t have any extra energy to do other thing else.

I know a lot of people love Dim Sum so I decide to make this Glutinous Rice Shumai. It has a different filling compared to normal yellow pastry shumai that people usually order in a Cantonese restaurant.

I have completely forgotten the first time when I tried to make this shumai but the flavour of it is very unique. When Chris tried it for the first time he wasn’t too sure about the taste but after trying one, he tried another and then before you know it they were all gone.

Shumai is a dish that grows on you. It’s really cheap to make, very tasty and very filling. A perfect snack.

I searched for the history of this dish and shumai was created in Yuan Dynasty. For those who aren’t sure, the ruler of the Yuan Dynasty was from Mongol, of which the most famous ruler was Genghis Khan. I always thought Shumai was created by Cantonese or Chinese people but amazingly I found out it was actually created by the Mongolian people. This is another benefit for writing a blog. I have learnt another lesson from history by researching the ingredients for my blog.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Glutinous Rice Shumai

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 3 people

Ingredients

Ingredients for Shumai pastry

  • 1.5 cups bread flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup cold water

Ingredients for Shumai

  • 1.5 cups glutinous rice
  • 2 dried shiitake mushroms soak in hot water for 10-15 minutes to soften then chop finely
  • 1 tbsp dried shrimps also soak in hot water for 10-15 minutes then chop finely
  • 150 g pork belly remove the skin an cut into 2.5cm dices. We will use this pork belly to make a stewed pork for shumai filling

Seasonings for Shumai filling

  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • Couple pinches black pepper

Seasonings and ingredients for stewed pork for Shumai

  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 thin slice ginger
  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 pinch cinnamon
  • 1/2 star anise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Some water to cover the pork

Instructions

Procedures for Shumai pastry

  1. Mix flour together and pour the boiling water in the flour, mix with a pair of chopsticks and add 1/3 cup of cold water.
  2. Use your hands to knead the dough until it’s smooth and cover by wet kitchen napkin of tea towel. Leave it on aside for 20 minutes and separate to small portions (depends on what kind of size you like).
  3. Use a rolling pin to flatten the small dough from step 2 and use your finger tips to make the pastry have some wrinkle bits (looks a bit like flower petals).

Procedures for stewed pork for shumai

  1. Heat a wok with 1 table spoon of oil. Stir fry the ginger, spring onion and garlic first for 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar into wok and wait for it melt. Add the pork into the wok and stir fry it until the pork get a little bit colour.
  2. Add all the seasonings and spices into the wok and stir fry it for another 2 minutes. Place everything into a small soup pot or small sauce pan with lit and cover the pork by water.
  3. Use full gas power to boiling the pork first then turn to lowest power to simmer the pork until it is soft.
  4. After the pork cooked, place it into a bowl or plate and cool it down. After it cool down, chop it and use for shumai filling.

Procedures for Shumai fillings

  1. Cook glutinous rice by rice cooker. 1 ½  cup rice : 1 ½ water. Because it’s glutinous rice so I will put another 2 tablespoons water to cook it.
  2. Mix Shitake mushroom, dried shrimps, chopped pork, soy soy sauce, black pepper with hot glutinous rice together and make sure it mix evenly.
  3. Take one pastry we made earlier and put 1 teaspoon of filling in the middle.
  4. Use your hand to close the “waist” part and the shumai should look like a “vase” shape. Put a little bit more filling on top of it.
  5. Use bamboo steamer to steam for 10~15 minutes and ready to serve.

 

Beijing Roast Duck

Beijing Roast Duck

Due to the recession Chris and I had a really tough year in 2009. Chris was out of work for around nine months and I had three months off work sick following working part time for several months, so things were difficult.

Finally we both now have full time jobs and we’re earning fairly good money between us. So, I decided to cook one of our absolute favourite things, Beijing roast duck.

Duck has always been one of my favourite foods, especially Beijing roast duck. We went to a Chinese restaurant in Shanghai called “Duck King” before and they service this amazing Beijing roast duck. The roast duck there is incredibly juicy and tasty but not too rich.

I searched for many recipes for this roast duck and I changed it a little to make it easier to cook at home for both myself and you.

One of the most difficult parts of Beijing roast duck is the preperation of it. In China they block air between the skin and duck to make the skin really crispy. But there are no restaurants in the UK that do this and it’s certainly impossible for us to do this without a considerable investment.

This might sound a little crazy but I was thinking about buying a pump to help roast this duck.

A lot of the recipes I read however did say that for those who are unable to blow air between the skin and meat you can pour boiling

As I read a lot of recipes and they said people who don’t have the right tool to blow the air into duck can pour the boiling hot water onto the skin to make it crispy.

After making this dish I think the skin was pretty crispy but definitely not as crispy as the duck skin in China. However, my roast duck is still really tasty and both Chris and I love it. I hope you will enjoy my roast duck recipe and have fun cooking it.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

Beijing roast duck wrap

 

Beijing Roast Duck

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 duck
  • 1 orange only use the juice

Seasonings

  • 1 leaf tangerine peel
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 slices dried liquourice
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 tbsp maltose
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

Ingredients for Beijing Duck Wraps

  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup cold water

Instructions

Procedures

  1. Wash the duck and use kitchen napkin to dry the duck and stuff a wine bottle into duck and make it can stand up.
  2. Pour the boiling water on the duck for a few times and leave it on aside.
  3. Use a small sauce pan to cook sugar (the way I prepare this duck preparation is a bit like prepare caramel for cream caramel) and when you cook the sugar use a wooden spoon to gently stir it to help the sugar melt quickly and then add maltose and all the spice into the sauce pan when the sugar turn into a nice caramel colour and start to add a little bit of orange juice, rice wine and vinegar each time (please stand a safe distance as the sugar will splash when you pour the liquid onto it and can be incredibly hot) Make sure the mixture of sugar looks a bit runny but still dense.
  4. Brush the sugar mixture we made in steps 3 on to duck and make sure you brush every inch of the duck skin. Leave it to dry for 1 hour and we brush again. Do this procedure for 3~4 times at least.
  5. Preheat your oven to 240℃ and roast the duck for 20~25 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on your duck in case it burns. Turn the oven temperature down to 160℃ and roast for another 20~30 minutes (I put a rolling pin into the duck and hang the duck in the oven).
  6. Serve with some Beijing duck wraps (Dan Bings), hoisin sauce, cucumber or any kind of salad leafs you like. I used a bit of watercress as I like the taste of watercress. We also serve the roast duck with spring onion as well but we only use the white part of spring onion. I personally don’t like my duck wrap with spring onion in it because I can’t stand the taste of raw spring onion.

Procedures for Beijing Duck Wraps

  1. Place all the flour into a big mixing bowl and pour 1 cup of boiling water in the flour and use a pair of chopsticks or a spatula to mix them evenly.
  2. Add 1/3 cup of cold water into step 1 and knead the dough by your hands until the dough is smooth.
  3. Leave the step 1 for 15~20 minutes and cover by a wet kitchen napkins.
  4. Use a knife to separate the dough we made into small balls (Depends on what kind of size of pancake you like) and use a rolling pin to roll it to thin and flat.
  5. Heat a non-sticky frying pan with lower heat without oil to bake the pancake until the surface get bubbles and turn it over to bake again. This procedure will take 20~30 seconds for each side.

Recipe Notes

We call the Beijing Duck Wraps Dan Bings in Chinese. They're like a cross between a pancake and a crepe but for simplicity I've just called them Beijing Duck Wraps for this recipe

 

Chicken Chow Mein Recipe

chicken chow mein

My friends and family are always fascinated to know what kind of food Chris and I eat at home. Most people think we eat really posh Chinese food, like we have a large feast with peking duck, dumplings and so forth, but actually most of the time we eat fairly simple food and often a lot of junk.

While we both love eating Taiwanese and Chinese food, especially Chris, usually once a week we eat an amazing 14” pizza from Asda but the rest of the time we eat things like chow mein.

Listening to people while I’ve been living in the UK, a lot of people are really fascinated about chow mein and think it’s a really complicated dish, but for me it’s a simple, tasty and quite importantly, a cheap meal.

Chow mein in my country is like chicken and mushroom pie here. It’s just normal food. So, for my loyal readers, this is what we eat on a very regular basis. If it’s not this, it will be something equally simple like fried rice or Korean fast noodle. Sadly Taiwanese fast noodles, which are simply awesome, are very difficult (if not impossible) to buy here.

 

Chicken Chow Mein

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Carrot
  • 1 chicken breast
  • 2 cloves garlic chop finely
  • 1/2 Chili chop really finely
  • 2 Spring Onions chop finely
  • 1 thin slice ginger chop finely
  • 1 pepper any colour, I used green
  • 50 g Chinese white chive cut 2cm lengthways
  • 150 g Chinese dried noodles available in any Chinese supermarket

Seasonings

  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Couple pinches Black Pepper

Marinade for the chicken

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 pinch Black Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chinese rice wine

Instructions

  1. Cut the chicken breast into fine stripes and marinade for 30 minutes at least.
  2. Julienne the carrot and green pepper.
  3. Cook the Chinese dried noodle in a pot of boiling water until al dente and rinse under cold running water and drain again. Drizzle with a dash of sesame oil and toss through to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other.
  4. Heat a frying pan with some oil with full strength gas power to fry the chicken breast until the meat turned white colour and turn off the stove and leave it on a side. (At the time of writing this article I haven't found a good wok in the UK. I tried a Ken Hom wok but every time I try to stir fry of food with a bit of potato starch in it it always sticks to the wok really badly, effectively ruining the wok). These woks are completely useless.
  5. Heat a wok with 1 tablespoon of oil and stir fry chilli, spring onion, ginger and garlic first then add all the vegetable. Stir fry all the vegetables until it’s soften.
  6. Add noodle and chicken into wok and keep stir fry for a couple minutes then add all the seasonings for chow mein and give it a good stir fry for another couple minutes.
  7. Place it into a plate and serve.

 

Stewed Egg Salad (Lu Dan)

Stewed Egg Lu Dan Salad

Stewed Egg is a very common dish in Taiwan and we call it “Lu Dan”. I loved to order a stewed egg with my lunchbox when I live in Taiwan or I will order stewed egg with my mince rice or mince noodle. Stewed egg is just simply the best friend with a lunchbox.

I always remember the first time my husband tried this stewed egg at home his face looked like he had been struck by lightning. After the first time he tried this stewed egg he fell in love with it. He always asks me to cook this stewed egg if he knows I’m going to cook stewed pork or chicken.

This stewed egg needs to cook in soy sauce and spices for a while and soak in the sauce for few hours to make sure eggs has all the fragrances from the sauce. So, you can imagine this egg has a lot of flavour in it.

 

Stewed Egg Salad (Lu Dan)

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours
Servings 2 people

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 thin slice ginger
  • 1 spring onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 chili

Seasonings

  • 1.5 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 cm cinnamon stick
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp Sichuan pepper use a Chinese spice bag if you have one

Instructions

  1. Use a little bit of oil to sauté ginger, spring onion, garlic and chilli.
  2. Place all the seasonings into a sauce pan and boil it by full strength gas power.
  3. After sauce boiling we turn the gas power to the lowest and simmer for 2 hours.
  4. Take out the eggs from fridge and leave it aside for while to make sure it’s reach room temperature.
  5. Cook the eggs from cold water and keep moving them when you cooking. (This way can make sure the egg yolk will stay in the middle.)
  6. After the water is boiling we turn the gas power to medium and cook for another 5 minutes.
  7. After 5 minutes we take the eggs out of the hot water and soak it in cold water. Peel the eggs when they have cooled down.
  8. Place the eggs into the sauce we made and cook them for 40 minutes.
  9. After 40 minutes just soak them in the sauce for a couple hours. You will see the eggs turning a light brown colour and it’s ready to eat. My grandma always cook the egg a day before and soak them over night.

 

Dumplings shui jiao

Chinese dumplings shui jiao

Dumplings, or shui jiao, are one of my favourite foods. They are really tasty but also the perfect food for a working couple like Chris and I, for whom both of us work shift patterns.

Living in the UK is so different to living in Taiwan. Taiwan has many 7-11 shops which are open 24 hours, night market which are open until midnight and a lot of 24 hours restaurants such as Swensens, N.Y. Bagel and Citystar 24 hours Dim sum restaurant.

Whenever I make dumplings I always make at least 100 to 150. Compared to dumplings that you can buy in restaurants here, which normally cost about £1 each, we can make 100 hundred at home for approximately £10. This works out at around 10p each.

When I’ve made the dumplings I put them in the freezer in case we run out food or feel hungry in the night or just come back home from work.

This recipe is just one of the methods of making dumplings that I have used for a very long time. It’s a very common but also basic flavour in Taiwan. Of course there are so many different kind of filling that you can put it into your dumplings such as shitake mushroom, scallops, cabbage, cucumber, chinese white chive, carrots, prawns and so on.

Maybe you can try different filling at home and you could easily create your own special kind of dumplings!

By the way, some Chinese provinces have a new year’s tradition which is when the people will eat dumplings for New Year’s Eve and sometime they will put a coin inside the dumpling. The person who has the dumpling with that coin will be the luckiest one in the coming year.

Credit: These photos were taken by Chris at Chris Radley Photography

 

Dumplings Shui Jiao

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 3 hours
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Servings 150 dumplings

Ingredients

Ingredients

  • 150 dumpling pastry sheets 1 pack usually has around 50 sheets
  • 600 g pork mince you can also use beef mince
  • 400 g pork fat or pork belly without skin fat or fatty meat will improve the texture and taste
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 handful dried shrimp soak in warm water for 15-20 minutes to soften then chop finely
  • 300 g Chinese chive chop finely
  • 30 g ginger chop finely

Seasonings

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Couple pinches white pepper

Instructions

  1. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings evenly and leave it on aside for 30 minutes.
  2. Make dumplings as the procedures photo shows. You can use a little bit of water to help the edge of dumpling pastry to stick together.
    how to make Chinese dumplings
  3. Place the dumplings onto a plate with some flour on the plate to prevent dumplings stick on the plate.
  4. Boil a big pot of water and cook dumplings in the boiling water.
  5. When the dumplings float on the top of water they are cooked and ready to be served.

Recipe Notes

The amount of time to prepare these depends on how many you make. I'm pretty quick at making dumplings and I'll make anywhere between 80-150 each time. Typically I'll spend 2-3 hours making dumplings.

 

Shengjianbao

shengjianbao

Shengjian mantou, also known as Shengjianbao, is a common and popular dish in both Taiwan and Shanghai. It’s very popular in Shanghai for breakfast and we eat it pretty much any time in Taiwan.

We usually make Shengjianbao with mince and cabbage in Taiwan and people usually use only mince and spring onion in Shanghai.

My recipe for this Shengjianbao is mince with carrots and spring onion because my husband doesn’t like the taste of cabbage so I change the recipe a little bit. I guess people who doesn’t like cabbage will like this dish as well.

Most people tolerate carrot more than cabbage and carrot has special vegetable sweetness for this dish. On the other hand, carrot is also a healthy vegetable and I tried my best to make sure my husband have his daily vegetable all the time to ensure he is happy and healthy.

Here is the recipe for this Shengjianbao.

 

Shengjianbao

Course Main Dish
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 20 Shengjianbao

Ingredients

Ingredients for filling

  • 100 g beef mince
  • 200 g pork belly remove skin and chop into small dice first
  • 1.5 medium carrots use food processor to mince it
  • 2 spring onions chop really finely
  • 2 thin slices ginger chop really finely

Seasonings for filling

  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp sugar

Ingredients for the pastry

  • 250 g white bread flour
  • 250 g plain flour
  • 1 cup water
  • 7 g yeast
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/4 tsp sugar

Instructions

Procedure for making Shengjianbao

  1. Mix yeast and water together. After the yeast melt, mix everything together.
  2. Knead the dough until it’s smooth without lumps and cover by cling film or clean wet kitchen napkin. After covering it up just leave it on aside for 30~40 minutes to allow it arise.
  3. Mix all the ingredients and seasonings for filling together. Use both of your hands to mix it evenly.
  4. Use a scale to weight up the dough 40g per one and after knead the small dough into round shape.
  5. Use a rolling pin to flatten the dough and put 1 tablespoon of filling onto the flatten dough.
  6. Fold it as in the procedures photos you can see and leave the Shengjianbao on aside for 10 minutes to allow the pastry arise again.

Procedure for cooking Shengjianbao

  1. Use a frying pan with a lit or use 2 frying pan but 1 is bigger than the other to fry the Shengjianbao that we made.
  2. Heat up a tablespoon of oil in the big frying pan with medium gas power. Put the Shengjianbao into frying pan with some space between them because the Shengjianbao will get bigger after heat it up.(I put 5 of them in one go and my frying pan is around 9” wide from IKEA.)
  3. We only fry it until Shengjianbao’s button getting a little bit of  colour. Pour 1 cup of water into the pan and cover the lit or the smaller frying pan on top. We use the steam to cook the Shengjianbao.
  4. Cook the Shengjianbao for 8~10 minutes until the water is dry out then it’s cook.

Recipe Notes

In most of the Chinese and Taiwanese cuisine for the filling that we like to use a little fat to make the texture taste better, such as dumplings, Chinese bun. I use pork belly because it’s easy to buy it in supermarket and it has the fat also the skinny part of meat.