- Season 1
- Episode 9
How To Make 8 Types Of Dim Sum
Released on 11/29/2021
[Chris] I'm Chris Cheung,
chef and owner of East Wind Snack Shop,
and author of Damn Good Chinese Food.
And today I'm gonna cook dim sum dishes for you
from these ingredients.
[dramatic drum music]
Every dim sum chef is rated
by the Holy Trinity of a dim sum menu,
the siu mai, har gow,
and roast pork bun that they serve at their restaurant.
So here we have all our finished doughs,
and I'm going to turn all of these ingredients
into fillings for our dumplings.
[gentle drum music]
Har gow is very simple,
two very common ingredients combined together
made one of the most popular dishes in all of Hong Kong.
There's lots of shrimp in Southeast Asia,
and bamboo basically grows like weeds in China.
Bamboo shoots are very easy to cut.
They're slightly fibrous.
So they do give a snap back on your knife.
Chinese cleaver is great to have in the kitchen.
As you can see,
you can scoop up all those vegetables
that you've cooked in one swipe.
It also has enough weight on it
where you can coarse chop things pretty easily.
It's really cool looking like a bad-ass in the kitchen,
carrying a big cleaver around.
The dumpling is mostly shrimp.
Now I'm gonna wrap the har gow dumpling.
Har gow dough is one of the more difficult doughs
to work with.
It's made with three different type
of starches and no flour,
which makes it a more complicated process to work with.
The first thing we're gonna do is roll it out into a log.
Then we're gonna cut the nuggets.
Nuggets are about tip of the thumb size.
One side of the cleaver needs
to have a little bit of oil on it,
so the dough lets go of the cleaver.
So this is an old school traditional technique
of making har gow skins.
And basically you're taking this special cleaver
and smooshing the nugget till it's a very thin circle.
For each har gow,
you're adding a little over a tablespoon of filling.
Keep your filling cold.
It makes dumpling folding a lot easier.
Then the technique is you're folding
the wrapper over the filling, making pleats,
and then sealing the dumpling together.
For dim sum chefs,
many know dozens of different folds and different pleats.
And each one goes with a different style of dumpling.
Har gow kind of has its own style where the pleats are made,
and then it's fanned out a little bit at the end.
That's how it's presented in the steamer basket.
So the siu mai is one of the pillars of the dim sum menu.
It is a open face dumpling,
and it's wrapped with a really thin skin and simply steamed.
The egg white will provide the pork
with a little bit of a lighter texture
when you bite into it.
The egg white, to soft peak,
takes about four minutes to wait.
Next, I'm gonna mince my ginger.
Everybody has their technique
to getting this skin off the ginger,
whether it's from a knife, from a dull spoon.
I don't like the dull spoon process
because it ruins the fibers on the outside,
and it makes the ginger a little bit soft.
[dramatic drum music]
This is a raw water chestnut,
and it'll cook with the rest
of the dumpling ingredients when it steams.
So the water chestnut adds a textural difference
to the meat in the dumpling,
and it adds a little bit of a crunch.
What it also does is it provides little pathways
for the juices inside the meat to flow,
and that makes for a tastier dumpling.
So the siu mai is primarily pork,
and you're adding the aromatics sparingly
for flavor and for texture.
This is a mixture of ground pork belly and ground pork fat.
So now I'm adding MSG,
the cornstarch, oyster sauce, and soy sauce.
And before I start mixing, I'm gonna add the egg whites.
We're mixing this until it's fully incorporated,
and you want all the air out of it.
Now I'm gonna wrap the siu mai.
So the first thing we'll do is add a little bit
of water to the perimeter of the wrappers.
This is a open-faced dumpling,
but if you add a little water,
it will stick to the meat and not fall apart
when you eat them after steaming.
Siu mai dumplings are the easiest to fold
because you don't need any pretty pleats,
but it is a nice way to introduce yourself
on how dumpling skins form around the ground meat
that you're using.
Pinch your pleat around each side of the dumpling,
and then just squeeze it together,
so the air comes out of the filling.
There's no rule to how many pleats you get.
Anywhere from five to seven is fine.
Roast pork is the staple of Chinese barbecue.
It can't be re-used the next day,
so it found its way into things like roast pork fried rice,
roast pork lo mein, and roast pork buns.
Fermented black bean adds salt, savoriness,
and just a little bit of sweetness.
With roast pork, you never wanna cut it too thin.
The thinner you cut barbecue, the drier it becomes.
However, you also want to make sure
that it's cut small enough to fold into the bun nicely.
So first thing we would add is the chili paste,
a little bit of pork broth, hoisin sauce, sugar, and salt.
The thing you wanna watch out for is,
you don't want it too saucy,
or else it will interfere with the bun.
We are now gonna fold our roast pork bun.
So this is a little different than our other dumplings.
This bun is made with sourdough.
Same thing, we're gonna take a log of the dough,
cut our nuggets.
To make many dumplings and buns on the dim sum menu,
you need a special rolling pin.
The one I'm using here is a very thin wooden rolling pin,
and you need it to make the circles for your dumplings.
We're not adding that much filling.
We're just adding enough filling
so you can comfortably wrap the bundle.
So with this particular pleat,
we are sealing the dumplings at the top.
This twist is different
than the other styles of dumpling folding,
and it's made a lot for buns.
You'll see variations of this in soup dumplings as well.
When you steam the dumpling with this fold,
the steam will make the bun kind of pop out at the top.
These are the wrapped roast pork buns.
And so now I'm gonna start making the filling
for the spring roll.
[dramatic drum music]
So these are shiitake mushrooms.
These mushrooms have been dried,
and then we rehydrate them in a little bit
of water overnight.
In Chinese cuisine, we dry a lot of mushrooms.
Shiitake mushrooms are very common.
However, there is a grading system,
and they can get very expensive.
Next, we're just gonna thinly slice some of them.
I'm gonna slice these carrots,
and it's a lot easier with the big cleaver.
For the spring roll filling,
I like to keep the integrity of the vegetables.
Nice, even strips tend to do that.
This is red cabbage,
provides a nice crunch and a beautiful color to the filling.
Love the slightly butteriness of the Napa cabbage.
The spring roll originated from primarily Shanghai.
It's part of the spring festival.
It's not an original part of the dim sum menu,
but any dim sum house in New York,
you're gonna find it on the menu.
So the spring roll filling's a little bit different here.
We are going to cook the vegetables
before we roll our spring rolls.
First thing we're gonna do is lightly saute
our ginger and garlic.
We're just looking to sweat it till it becomes translucent.
Then we're adding our onions, cabbages, mushrooms,
and letting that cook down to a first low.
Now that the vegetables have cooked down a bit,
I'm gonna add the Shau Shin wine.
So I like to add the water
that we reconstituted the mushrooms with.
It adds a lot of great flavor and savoriness.
And then we're gonna add some oyster sauce.
Then just gonna add a little bit more oil
and some salt.
Because you fill a wrapper and then deep fry this,
if the filling is too wet,
you may get some explosions while cooking.
Take the filling, put it in a perforated container.
Top it with some plastic wrap, put a weight over it,
and then let the liquid drain out of the filling overnight.
So here, we're gonna wrap our spring roll,
cut the filling down just a little bit,
so it's easy to roll up,
and you're gonna see these scissors
in every Chinese kitchen.
Basically, you wanna place your filling
below the middle line,
and I'm gonna use a little slurry,
made with flour and water,
just to make sure these stay sealed.
And then fold the two corners over, and then just roll up.
It's very important to do it this way,
because you will get your wrapper fully tight
over the filling,
and that will prevent any explosions going forward.
[dramatic drum music]
Dim sum menus are traditionally known for their dumplings.
However, potstickers made their way
onto the dim sum menu from places like Beijing and Shanghai.
First, I'm gonna slice some scallion rounds.
Then we're going to chop some fermented black bean.
Then we're going to peel and mince our water chestnuts.
Then we're gonna add our ground pork,
and then our ginger and garlic.
Then add some soy sauce.
With this, you're mixing so all the ingredients
are fully together, and there's no air in the filling.
We have our potsticker dough that's been rested,
and we're going to make our log and cut our nuggets.
The logs should be one inch thick.
Then I'm gonna flour the surface,
using my hands to get the shape as closest to a circle
so I can get a little bit of a headstart.
So this technique is your standard
making a pretty pleaded dumpling style.
We'll take the filling, put it in the dumpling wrapper,
fold the dumpling like a taco.
And then we're going to push the edge
of the wrapper into pleats all along the front side,
and then seal it, and then just shape our dumpling,
and squeeze the air out.
That is a potsticker.
These are all of the assembled fillings,
and here's our wrapped dumplings.
Here's a spring roll, and it's simply deep fried.
To achieve a perfect golden crispy spring roll,
have clean hot oil set at about 325 degrees,
and then drop your spring rolls into that oil.
I'm gonna keep it moving inside the oil
to make sure I get a crispy wrapper all around.
So the filling in the spring roll was already pre-cooked.
So you're looking for hot throughout and a crispy skin.
Here, we're gonna steam our dumplings,
and pan fry our potstickers.
We're going to start with a roast pork bun.
For these, I'm gonna add a little bit of oil
to the bottom of the steamer basket so it doesn't stick.
So I've added a couple of levels to make sure
that the water doesn't hit the bottom
of whatever I'm cooking,
and you can steam them all in the same time,
because you will be using bamboo steamer baskets
that stack on top of each other.
For the har gow,
I'm gonna add a little bit of oil to the bottom
of the steamer basket,
so it doesn't stick after you cook them.
Ideally, you wanna leave a little bit
of daylight between each dumpling.
For the siu mai,
I've added a little oil to the bottom of the basket as well.
Six minute steam on each one.
So while those are steaming,
I am going to cook some potstickers.
I added a little bit of oil to a hot pan.
So there's a legend
about how the potsticker was originally made.
The royal chef was making dumplings for the emperor.
But as he started to cook the dumplings,
he realized that he forgot to get the sauce.
He went downstairs, and when he came back up,
the water boiled out of the pot,
and the dumplings were sticking to the bottom of the pot.
He had no choice but to scrape the dumplings off the bottom
of the pan and put them on a plate with the sauce
and serve them to the emperor.
The emperor wound up loving the dumplings so much
that it became a regular dish.
Now I'm gonna present our steamed dumpling.
Next, I'm gonna braise some chicken feet.
I believe that most of the best cuisines
in the world originated from a peasant cuisine.
In instances of sustainability,
you want to use every part of the animal
that you're going to eat.
It just turns out that chicken feet taste good.
First, I'm going to flash fry them.
I have my oil to about 340.
You're going to have the oil a little hotter than normal,
because it's a flash fry, not a deep fry.
I would suggest to somebody who is hesitant
of eating chicken feet to expect a bite
that is different than what you're used to,
but still very savory and very good.
So for the braise,
we're going to add some ginger and garlic.
We're adding a little bit of broth, some wine,
some oyster sauce, some of your fermented rice,
and the fermentation of the rice adds a great tang
to whatever you're cooking.
We're gonna add some soy sauce, some sugar,
and a little bit of chili.
We are not making this spicy.
The chili is added for a little bit of a balance of flavor.
This needs to braise
to make the chicken feet soft enough to eat.
I'm gonna leave this on a very low simmer
for a little over an hour,
gonna thicken it up with a little bit
of a cornstarch slurry.
You're gonna add about a tablespoon
of slurry per two cups of broth.
And I'm gonna bring it back to a boil
just so I can get the right consistency.
The braising liquid is actually your sauce
for the chicken feet.
Chicken feet are plated,
and I'm just gonna add some scallions.
Now we're gonna make some black bean clams.
It's basically freshly sauteed clams
with a black bean garlic sauce.
Black bean garlic sauce is one of the more famous sauces
that comes out of a Chinese kitchen.
So first, I'm gonna take this red bell pepper,
and break it down.
And so we're just getting the insides
of the bell pepper cut off,
and then we're gonna cut it into a small dice.
And then for our scallions, just slice them up rather thin.
And now we get to heat our pan.
I'm looking for medium heat on the pan,
because you're gonna add your aromatics first.
If the heat is too high,
they tend to burn before you add the rest
of your ingredient.
Black bean clams are really popular
in the dim sum experience.
A lot of times, they'll bring the cart over to you,
and cook the clams in a mini wok on the cart.
Then we're gonna add the liquids,
including the broth and the wine.
That's gonna create the steam for the clams.
And now we're going to cover and cook.
So you're gonna leave these covered until the clams open,
four to five minutes.
If they don't open, don't eat them.
So once the clams have all opened,
then you can start plating the dish.
I'm gonna add a little bit of the sauce over the top,
top it with some scallions, and you're ready.
And here, we're gonna bake our dan tat,
a custard tart staple on the dim sum menu,
part of many of the coffee shop menus
along many Chinatown streets,
and a favorite treat for us as kids.
So I'm cutting my dough down.
[dramatic drum music]
Using my rolling pin, again,
I'm gonna roll the dough out into a circle,
and then I'm gonna form it into the shell.
The normal pastry for the dan tat can be flaky,
or it can be mealy.
It comes in a lot of different styles.
We're gonna use a basic pie dough here.
We've docked our dough,
and we're just going to egg wash it a little bit.
So I'm going to put my pastry in the oven for just a minute.
Now I'm gonna make the custard.
We're adding some cream.
We're gonna use about nine eggs to a cup of cream,
add some sugar to the cream and the eggs.
I'm gonna bring up the temperature on the cream,
and then temper it into the eggs.
We want the cream just as it hits the simmer,
and then just wait a second for it to come just below that.
Whip your eggs slightly as you add your cream.
I'm gonna add a tiny bit of custard
to the bottom of the tart,
and put them back in the oven for just a few minutes
to protect the bottom from soaking.
Now I'm gonna add the rest of the custard,
and then I'm gonna throw them back in the oven
for about four to five minutes.
I'm gonna let these cool for a few minutes
to set the custard.
Here's all the dim sum that I've cooked for you today.
And no dim sum meal would be complete without tea.
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