Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Dim girl does the Sum

Since everything small is beautiful (as long as it comes in a Tiffany box anyway), I've fallen in love with dim sums, the gems of the Cantonese cuisine.

You can stuff them with mince (inspired by the Chinese I have found the courage to use pork), those prawns I love so much or our favourite: duck. I have used confit, because the gamey taste and the texture of its meat, pulled from the bone has worked better than the meat left over from the roast duck from the night before. And because it's cheap here. But sure, this is part of the whole recycling yesterday's leftovers at its most exotic.

I have toyed with the idea of making the dumplings myself. I even have a recipe for it- one that doesn't even seem that technical but... Ever since I found an Asian supermarket in Torremolinos that stocks the froze gyoza wrappers I though whattahell. If they're good enough for the Chinese and so on. And the couple of euros they cost is a small price for sanity.

And so these days we have a packet waiting in the freezer, waiting for the inevitable craving to take over.

As someone of Karelian descent I had expected to possess the kind of nimble fingers needed for crimping those Karelian pies. I was sure the skill was lying dormant in my genetic make-up right next to the other Karelian trait of  infectious laughter. 

Needless to say, that wasn't the case. The appearance of my dim sums would hardly warrant prizes at WI fairs, but I suppose I'll get there eventually...?

We  had The Gentleman's colleague over for dinner some time ago and we took a culinary round the world cruise that night. The menu included those award-winning coconut prawns with mango-chillisauce, k√∂ftes with tzatziki and pomegranate seed tabbouleh. Busy preparing the feast, just guess if I actually remembered to write the recipe down? Naah. But it did go something like this...

makes 20

1 cooked duck leg confit , meat shredded
1 tbsp chopped spring onions
1 tbsp grated carrot
1 tbsp chopped oriander leaves
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1/2 tsp finely chopped chilli
1/2 lime, juice and grated zest
slightly shy of 1 tsp oyster sauce
20 gyoza of wonton wrappers

Squeeze the excess liquid from the grated carrots and chop the longest shreds into smaller pieces. Mix into rest of the ingredients. Add the lime juice and the oyster sauce to achieve a moist, workable consistency. Fill the wrappers. Don't overstuff- 1 tsp of stuffing is enough (trust me, when ever I'm warning about overstuffing or over-crowding a pan that's exactly what I'll end up doing myself...) Only take out a couple of wrappers at a time and keep the remaining ones covered to prevent them from drying.

Glue the edges together by a little bit of water with the tip of your finger. Crimp them facing the same direction, starting from the middle and working your way towards the end.

Alternatively you can pinch the edges together from the centre to one end and then divide the remaining half in two- resulting in a triangle-like shape pictured on the right. 

Heat a little oil in a frying pan. Then place he gyozas in the pan, allowing the bottom to get crisp and golden brown. Then add appr. 1/3 dl of water and cover the pan with a lid. In 5 minutes the steam will have cooked them through.

You can also deep fry them. Just guess which method The Gentleman prefers...

Serve with Hoisin or Peking- sauce.

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