How to cook frozen Sheng Jian

How to cook frozen Sheng Jian

Here is a link to cooking Sheng Jian straight from the freezer. For fresh ones, it’s the same process but you can use less water and shorter cooking time. Tips: Use the smallest non-stick pan that will fit. Add the sesame and spring onion after the baos have been steamed for a few minutes so they stick to the top. It took 10 minuts from adding water to get a nice crispy bottom in this batch. If there’s still water left at the end, open the lid to dry it out. It’s important to cook till you hear sizzling and there’s no visible water left in the pan. This makes the bottom...
Suzhou Style Pork Mooncake Recipe 鲜肉月饼

Suzhou Style Pork Mooncake Recipe 鲜肉月饼

It’s the Mid-Autumn festival this coming Sunday, and we have been busy perfecting the recipe for the Suzhou style meat-filled mooncakes that are popular in Shanghai. This seasonal treat has a rock-star status in the Shanghai street food scene; people would queue for up to 12 hours just to get their hands on them and have to fight off scalpers for spaces in the queue. Here is what the scene looks like. Suzhou mooncakes have a distinctly flaky pastry which is very different to the Cantonese style mooncakes that are prevalent here in the UK.  The stuffings can be savoury, sweet or a combo of both. The most famous and popular version is this pork-filled Xian Rou Yue Bing 鲜肉月饼。 Here is what you need to make 8 mooncakes. For the water dough: 100 g flour 30 g butter or lard 50 g warm water 5 g sugar 5 g salt Mix all the ingredients well until they are combined. The warm water helps to soften the butter/lard, so you don’t need to leave it at room temperature to soften. The dough feels sticky like bread dough, so you can throw it a few times onto the work surface to help work up the gluten. It helps the dough to be elastic and allows it to be repeatedly folded and rolled out without breaking apart. Wrap the worked dough in cling film and set aside for 30 minutes. For the oil dough: 100g flour 50g butter or lard, at room temperature Mix the flour and butter/lard well and wrap in cling film for 30 minutes For the stuffing: 200 g minced pork 1...
Wonton recipe: Green pak choi and pork

Wonton recipe: Green pak choi and pork

Wonton is the most commonly eaten type of dumpling in Shanghai, and is typically served in a soup as a quick meal anytime of the day. It comes in two varieties: the large wonton with meat and vegetables stuffed in a satisfyingly chewy wrapper, and the small one with a dainty dollop of meat and shrimp stuffed in a papery thin wrapper. Unfortunately it’s difficult to find the chewy wrappers in London, so I use a wrapper that’s more commonly used in Cantonese cooking. It’s much thinner than I like but until I start making my owner wrappers, that’s the best alternative I’ve found. Ingredients: 250g minced pork 250g green pak choi (also kknow as qin cai) 50 wonton wrappers Seasonings: 20g minced ginger 1 tbsp Shaoxing wine 1/2 tbsp soy sauce 1/2 tbsp salt 1/4 tsp sesame oil 1/2 tsp sugar a small pinch of white pepper 1 tbsp of stock, optional Making the stuffing: Wash the green pak choi well to remove all dirt and sand. Blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes with 1 tsp of salt until the stems start to turn soft. Remove and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Squeeze out some of the water from the green pak choi, and chop them finely. The left bunch in the picture shows what it looks like after squeezing. Mix all the seasoning into the meat evenly, add some of the liquid from the green pak choi if needed to make the meat into a liquidy paste.  Add the chopped green pak choi and mix evenly.   Wrapping: Put a small teaspoon of stuffing (roughly 15g) onto the wrapper....
Celery and tofu salad recipe

Celery and tofu salad recipe

I admit, celery was not a vegetable high on my favourite vegetable list, until I rediscovered this simple dish.  When reminiscing with my mother about the homemade dishes we used to enjoy back in Shanghai, celery came up again and again as a dinner table stalwart.  In Shanghai cooking, celery has a bright green color, a crunchy texture without the stringy bits and a light fragrance. It is the quick blanching that transforms it from a side show to a main attraction. Combined with the protein rich tofu, it makes a satisfying main.  When I gave my 9 year old to taste without telling him it was celery, he ate almost a third of the bowl and declared he’s now a fan. So am I ! Ingredients: 5-6 stalks of celery 2 pieces of five spice tofu Seasonings: 1/2 tsp sugar 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tbsp sesame oil or more if you like a strong sesame taste Steps: Boil water until it’s bubbling, turn off the heat, and put the tofu in and cover for 5 minutes.  This allows the tofu to soften and puff up a little. Wash and then cut the stalks of celery into the same length as the tofu, then slice thinly into sticks. Cut the tofu in half then cut it height wise into 3 pieces. Then slice into thin sticks similar in size to the celery. Heat up the water that’s used for tofu. When it’s boiling, blanch the celery sticks for 30 seconds then rinse to cool them down. To do this quickly, I put the celery in a strainer and dunked it in the boiling...