Let me first get this stupid sentence off my chest: I find the term dim sum ridiculously hilarious. Why? Because I say dim sum and I think “stupid math”. Get it? dim sum = stupid math? Get it? No? I did say it was stupid! I guess that says a lot about me.
I was WELL into my 20s the first time I eve heard of dim sum and the first time I had it was at Oriental City in Colindale London. My friend Kavey took me there one day and I was very hesitant at first since I’m somewhat picky but by the end of the meal I was ready to come the next day. I loved it. My favorite was the BBQ steamed pork buns. YUMMY! Oriental City is now closed, shame.
Miami has a lot of Chinese take out places but very few eat ins and only TWO dim sum restaurants. One of them (the closer but by no means close to us) has subpar food at an OK price. The other one, in South Beach, has great food at exorbitant prices. Needles to say, we never have dim sum (OK we did twice and that’s how we know what the food and prices are like). That is really, really, really sad considering Miami is supposed to be a melting pot. Sure, it’s a melting pot….of Hispanic cuisine! I can get that at home thank you very much!
So, if you can’t go to dim sum….what’s a girl who is REALLY craving it to do? Bring the dim sum to you! I have had a couple of dim sum books for over 2 years now but had not gotten around to using them. Making dim sum is an involved process and to make it worth your while (and be authentic) you really have to have more than one type of food. So, in a nutshell, I was very intimidated by the thought of making dim sum.
I grew a pair today and decided that today would be the day I ate…no, MADE….dim sum. I planned to make 5 different types; two chicken, one beef, one pork and one shrimp plus possibly a sweet one. I defrosted the meat and got to work in the dough for the pork buns. Halfway through assembling I said “screw it!, pork and beef plus dessert is enough!”. I spent the better part of 3 hours preparing the dim sum but it was worth it and I can’t wait to do it again. Next time though I will stagger the preparations over a couple of days so on the day I just have to prepare the yeasted rolls and cook the rest of the stuff.
Steam Fried Pork Rolls
150g (1/3 lb) all purpose flour
23g (1oz) sugar
1/2 tbsp oil
3/4 tsp baking powder
75 ml water
6g active dry yeast
150g (1/3 lb) cabbage
75g pork (raw)
1/4 chopped garlic chives (or any other chives/green onions)
1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp rice wine vinegar
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 cup water
Mix all the dough ingredients and knead until smooth. You can do this in a mixer or food processor. Allow rise in a warm place for 40 minutes.
Place the cabbage and pork in the bowl of a food processor. Process until everything is well minced and mixed together. Add the rest of the filling ingredients and stir to incorporate.
After the dough has risen, knead it lightly and divide into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece until they are approximately 3.5 inches in diameter. Place 1 tablespoon of filling in each piece of though. Gather the edges at the top and press to seal.
Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Arrange the filled rolls in the pan. Add one cup of water, cover then allow to cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes. After the water has boiled away, continue to fry the rolls until both sides are golden brown.
Beef Won tons
16 won ton wrappers
100g lean ground beef
1/4 cup chopped garlic chives (or any other chives/green onions)
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger
2 tbsp water
1/2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tbsp oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp baking soda
dash of white pepper
dash of rice wine vinegar
Mix all the filling ingredients well. Place 1 tsp of filling in each wonton wrapper and seal. To boil the won tons, bring a large pot of water to a full boil. Add the wontons and cook for 8 minutes.
To fry the won tons, bring a large part of oil to 350°F over medium heat. Fry the wontons until golden brown turning to fry all sides.
Serve with a dipping sauce.
Fried Banana Won tons
3 rice but firm bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
3 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
10 won ton wrappers
Oil for deep frying
Bring the oil to 350°F over medium heat.
Combine the banana, sugar and cinnamon. Fill the won tons wrappers with the bananas, seal the edges well. Deep fry until light golden brown. Remove from the oil and place them on a wire draining rack. Dust with powder sugar and serve.
Our favorites were definitely the pork rolls. So good! This was a very succsefull operation and I’m glad I took the time. It is a lot of work but worth it, especially if you have no other dim sum options, like us. Next time though I will definitely spread the work out!