Steamed, baked or fried, we all love a good dim sum – a savoury collection of mouth-watering dishes served on little plates and steamer baskets. A mainstay cuisine in Cantonese teahouse culture, or yum cha, dim sum is southern China’s most famous culinary export, enjoyed by people across the world especially in the Chinatowns of world cities.
So, when the craving strikes or if it’s not convenient to head out to a dim sum restaurant, why not make your own at home with these simple recipes of perennial dim sum favourites?
HAR GOW (SHRIMP DUMPLING)
PREP TIME: 1 hr
COOK TIME: 20 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 20 mins
Makes 18 dumplings, 3 dumplings per serving.
- 225g raw shrimp (peeled, de-veined and patted dry)
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- ¼ teaspoon white pepper
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon ginger (minced)
- ¼ cup bamboo shoots (finely chopped)
- 1 cup wheat starch
- ½ cup corn starch (or tapioca starch)
- 1¼ cups boiling water
- 3 teaspoons lard (or oil)
For the filling:
Mix everything together, except the bamboo shoots. Whip in one direction for a few minutes until the mixture starts to look sticky. Add bamboo shoots next and mix everything together. Cover and refrigerate while preparing the dough.
For the dough:
Mix wheat starch and corn starch in a mixing bowl. Add boiling water slowly while stirring rapidly. Now add the lard and continue stirring. Knead the dough for a couple of minutes until it turns into a smooth dough ball. Roll the dough into a long cylinder, and divide it into 18 equal pieces. Cover the dough pieces with a damp paper towel.
Assembling and cooking the dumplings:
- Turn on the stove to pre-boil the water in the steamer. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a 3” diameter circle. Add a spoonful of filling and fold the dumpling. Continue assembling until all the dumplings are made.
- When the water in the steamer is boiled, steam the dumplings for 6 minutes using high heat and serve hot. Make sure they each have an inch and a half to expand during the cooking process.
PREP TIME: 40 mins
COOK TIME: 8 mins
TOTAL TIME: 48 mins
Makes 25 – 30 dumplings.
- 500g skinless chicken thigh fillets – cut into small pieces for food processor
- 8 medium-sized prawns – peeled, deveined and diced for food processor
- 2 black fungus mushrooms, chopped into thin threads
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
- ½ tablespoon finely chopped scallion/spring onion, white part only
- ⅛ teaspoon sesame oil
- 3 pinches white pepper
- ¼ teaspoon chicken bouillon/soup powder
- ½ tablespoon corn starch
- ½ tablespoon egg white
- Pinch of salt
- Round wanton or shumai wrappers
- 1 finely chopped carrot
- Peas, a few coriander/cilantro leaves for garnishing
- Ground the chicken with food processor. Make sure it’s coarsely grounded.
- Mix the chicken with other ingredients and seasonings.
- Set aside in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Wrap about a tablespoon of filling with the wrapper. Gather up the sides and leave the centre open. Flatten the base so that it can sit steadily on the steamer.
- Garnish the top with chopped carrots and peas.
- Steam over high heat, put the lid on for 8 minutes.
- Serve hot.
PREP TIME: 25 mins
COOK TIME: 35 mins
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr
- 140g taro (weight after removing the skin)
- 20g Chinese sausage
- 20g Chinese cured meat
- 10g / 2-3 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms
- 20g dried shrimps
- 2 shallots
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- ½ teaspoon five-spices powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- 120g rice flour
- 20g potato starch (or corn starch)
- 430ml soaking liquid plus water
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Remove taro skin. Then cut into small cubes.
- Deep-fry the shallot until golden brown. Drain and keep the shallot oil.
- Cut the Chinese sausage and cured meat into small cubes.
- Soak the dried shiitake mushroom, then cut into small dice.
- Soak the dry shrimps, drain, and chop roughly.
- Fry all the savoury ingredients with the shallot oil until aromatic.
- Add taro and ingredient B. Mix and set aside. Reserve one quarter for cake topping.
- Combine ingredients C to form a batter. Cook over low heat until it turns into a thick paste.
- Combine the fried ingredients with the rice paste.
- Transfer it to a greased mould. Spread the remaining quarter of the sausages, cured meat, and dried shrimps on top of the taro cake.
- Cover with aluminium foil.
- Steam for 35 minutes.
- After steaming, store in the refrigerator for a few hours.
- Remove and cut into small pieces.
- Serve by topping with fried shallots and chopped scallions.
Have an appetite for good Chinese fare?
Then join us for Sumptuous Cantonese Cuisine at a CC near you and learn how to whip up delicious Cantonese dishes at home!