Hello everyone! This is a new kind of post…and if you’re interested in seeing more cooking posts, please leave a comment saying so!
Anyway, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and I think one of the best ways to spend time with loved ones is cooking. We all know that food is the key to many peoples’ hearts, however the quality time spent preparing food is something to be cherished.
I’ve always been a fan of dim sum since it is a staple of every Chinese person’s life, but I had never ventured to make my own. I’d been told it was labour intensive and come on – I’m relatively lazy (just in the sense that I don’t like recipes with too many steps and/or ingredients.) I was recently sent a copy of “Have Some Dim Sum” by Evelyn Chau, a Toronto-based author who explains the most common dim sum dishes and includes several recipes for the classics. I enlisted the help of my loving boyfriend (aka The Handsome Foodie/HF) since he is definitely more of a master chef than I am (although I’m not too shabby) and after his recent first real experiences with dim sum (and meeting my dad for the first time) there were a few things he wanted to try to make at home. I picked up all the ingredients and put his knife skills to work as I read out the different steps. I was surprised at how simple the steps were and really, the ingredients were all pretty easy to find in my local Asian grocery stores (T&T in Mississauga, Tan Thanh Supermarket in Hamilton.)We decided on making 3 different dishes: pork siu mai, pork and veggie potstickers, and sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf. Fun fact: you have to let sticky rice soak for at least 2 hours and up to 24 hours before steaming it. Here’s the HF cooking the rice with the diced shiitake, shrimp, and Chinese roasted pork! Making the potstickers (aka pork and veggie dumplings) brought back memories of my childhood. I used to make dumplings with my mom and grandma. I remember standing around the table and being in awe at the speed they both had whereas I would be slowly making mine. We’d make trays of them to freeze and just be talking about anything and everything while we folded. Sadly, both my mom and grandma are no longer alive, so it was bittersweet to make dumplings without them. That being said, making them with the man I love was pretty great! NOTE: make sure you read the recipe properly before starting on dumplings. I was supposed to saute or blanch the Shanghai bok choy I used in the potstickers but I definitely didn’t. Fortunately they didn’t shrivel too much but still – I should’ve read it! Our siu mai turned out AWESOME! I’m not sure how they make the wonton wrappers yellow at dim sum restaurants so ours are just plain white. We also didn’t grab the flying fish roe for the tops, but really – it wasn’t necessary. It tasted just like the ones at the dim sum restaurants! The shiitake with the sesame oil and white pepper work wonderfully with the pork and shrimp.
The HF was most interested in the sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf. Another fun fact: lotus leaves are HUGE! I bought a pack at T&T (they come dried) and I didn’t realize until I opened the pack that they were folded in half…and even half was already gigantic. We decided to make 4 smaller pouches instead of the 2 larger ones that the recipe yields and WOW! It was totally worth the hours of rice soaking! I was a bit nervous that it wouldn’t taste the same as having it at a restaurant, but those lotus leaves just work their magic. The rice really gets infused with the flavour from the leaf and our mixture of mushrooms, shrimp, and Chinese roasted pork was perfect.
We will DEFINITELY be making these again! Final fun fact: dim sum actually translates to “touch the heart” so what better way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than to cook a delicious meal with your sweetheart? “Have Some Dim Sum” is celebrating its’ 10th Anniversary and is available online at http://www.havesomedimsum.com. It is also currently 50% off (so only $10 CDN!) so be sure to order soon if you want to have it in time for the big day.
What’s your favourite dim sum dish? Do you want to see more cooking posts? Let me know in the comments! Thanks so much for stopping by!
DISCLAIMER: This book was sent to me for the purposes of review, however I am receiving no monetary compensation nor does this post contain any affiliate links. The opinions expressed may not be the same as those of the author or any of their affiliates. All opinions are my own.