28 February 2010

Miso Soup - Miso Shiru

I've finally got most of my backlogged posts published. Which considering the last two months was no easy feat. I never mentioned it before, but I was out of the country during the last two weeks of January and traveled back home to Perth to be with my extended family during Chinese New Year. Then I ended up scheduled to work every weekend since I was back in Sydney until now. I actually got most of my posts finished up last weekend, when I was working onsite. I had to wait for the other teams to finish before I had to do my part. That wait took 5 hours. Most data centers are like a large and very noisy walk-in refrigerator. This one was one of those. All I could think of while waiting (and typing up my posts), was that I wish I had a nice hot bowl of miso soup with me.

In that environment, I don't think there could be anything that could be as soul satisfying than sitting there with my hands cupped around a hot bowl of miso soup, sipping away, savouring each mouthful.

And you guessed it, as soon as my part was done, I got home, boiled some water, added some dashi granules, miso paste and some other ingredients found in my pantry and fridge and 10 mins later... ta-daaa.. Miso Soup...!

Miso is a great base for a seafood based soup too. Whenever I do have enough seafood bits and pieces on hand (and the spare time), I make a Fisherman's Soup with the off cuts of seafood (eg. Fish head, Mussels, salmon, prawn) with miso. But this time, it was just a simple miso soup with some Enoki mushrooms thrown in... And boy did it hit the spot. :)

Miso Soup - Miso Shiru
normally serves 2, or 1 in this case (if you want seconds)
  • 1 teaspoon Dashi granules
  • 3 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons White miso paste *
  • 1/2 tablespoon Mirin
  • 1 piece package Silken tofu (diced into cubes - 1 piece is about 75g)
  • 1 tablespoon Wakame seaweed
  • 70g Enoki Mushroom (washed, brown roots removed) - Optional

* you may need to adjust this depending on the type of miso used

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add in the dashi granules to the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to medium, pour in the mirin and whisk in the miso paste.
  3. Add in the Enoki mushrooms and seaweed.
  4. Stir in the tofu cubes.
  5. Simmer gently for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

18 February 2010

Beef Oyster Sauce

This is probably a dish that can be found on nearly every Chinese takeaway menu. But the same dish from two different restaurants can be very different. Nowadays, I think anything with beef, vegetables and a dollop of oyster sauce is just called Beef Oyster Sauce.

This recipe is slightly different to the Beef with Oyster Sauce you get from the Chinese takeaway shops.

Its main ingredient is Oyster sauce, and the beef is marinated in it for at least 2 hrs (overnight is ok in the fridge). The beef is then accompanied with some finely sliced ginger sticks and spring onion blades.

Ginger is quite fibrous, so take the time to slice the ginger sticks as fine as you can. You don't want to end up unpleasantly munching down on a large chunk of ginger. Also, try not to overcook the beef. This dish should only require about 4-5mins of stir frying in the wok.

I actually prefer this served on top of a piece of lightly buttered bread or toast, than as a dish accompanied with steam rice.

Beef Oyster Sauce

  • 250g Beef Skirt (sliced across the grains of the beef)
  • 3 tablespoons Oyster sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (finely sliced into sticks)
  • 1 Stalk Spring Onion (finely sliced diagonally)

  1. Marinate the sliced up beef with the oil, oyster sauce, salt, sugar and cornflour. Add a splash of water, about a tablespoon and continue to mix. Let sit for at least 2 hours.
  2. Heat some vegetable oil in a Wok, until the oil just begins to smoke, pour in the marinated beef and stir fry until the beef has started to turn pink. This should take about 2-3 mins
  3. Add in the finely sliced ginger, and continue to stir fry for another minute then toss in the sliced up spring onions.
  4. Stir the contents around the wok to make sure everything is mixed in together. Then turn the heat off and pour the contents on to a plate to serve immediately.

Duck Fat Potatoes - Pommes de Terre Sarladaise

This sign at my local butcher caught my eyes... Duck Fat $14/kg.

A kilo of duck fat. I wasn't exactly sure what I should do with 1 kilo of duck fat, so I asked if I could have 1/2 kg instead. And they happily obliged.

Hummm.. Roasted potatoes cooked in duck fat. Sounds soooo wrong... Yet so right :)

I didn't really know how much I would need, but 1/2 kg would surely be enough. After I spent a couple of minutes on Google, I realised I would probably only need about 3 tablespoons.

Crap...Now what am I going to do with 1/2kg minus 3 tablespoons of duck fat ????

I decided to try a slightly different method with the potatoes. Instead of parboiling them first and then roasting them in the duck fat later, I sliced the potatoes into thick 1cm chips and tossed them in a skillet pan with the duck fat, garlic and rosemary before finishing them off in the oven.

Let me just say... These were good.. Very good. A perfect side dish for our steaks.. :)

Duck Fat Potatoes - Pommes de Terre Sarladaise
Adapted from this recipe on Gourmet.com
  • 2 Cloves Garlic (Bruised with the flat side of the blade, skin left on)
  • 8-10cm Sprig Rosemary
  • 3 Red Skinned Potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons Duck Fat
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • Freshly grounded Black Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 180C
  2. Wash the potatoes, removing any dirt.
  3. Leaving the skin on, slice potatoes into 1cm-thick slices.
  4. Rinse in 2 or 3 changes of cold water until water runs clear. Drain and pat with a paper towel until potatoes are very dry.
  5. Heat the duck fat in a nonstick skillet pan over medium heat until melted.
  6. Add in the garlic and rosemary
  7. Toss in the potatoes with about 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Toss and turn the potatoes gently, until they are all coated with fat.
  8. Pour the contents of the pan into a oven baking dish and place into the oven for 20-25 mins.
  9. The potatoes should be golden in colour with a slightly crispy outer layer when done.

14 February 2010

Hollandaise Sauce

What to do with 3 slices of Jamon and about 1/2 a bunch of asparagus leftover in my fridge ?? I think I could just eat the Jamon as it is (they are THAT good) ... but with a little bit of Hollandaise sauce , I might be able to tie both of them together for a quick snack.

After all, this is the perfect sauce for eggs benedict, draping over asparagus or over salmon.

So...For a quick Hollandaise sauce...

The basic recipe portions are for each egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of water, add 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and approximately 5 tablespoons butter. Then season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper.

If the Hollandaise gets too thick, then you can get it back down to a pouring consistency by adding a bit of hot water.

Hollandaise Sauce
Portions are for two people, double the recipe as needed
  • 1 egg yoke
  • 1 teaspoon of water
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (may need a bit more depending on taste)
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  1. Bring a small saucepan 1/2 filled with water to boil, then reduce to a slow simmer.
  2. Using a Pyrex bowl or something similar, gently whisk together the egg and teaspoon of water
  3. Place the bowl over the saucepan (do not allow the bowl to touch the simmering water), and whisk in a tablespoon of butter at a time.
  4. Add in the lemon juice and continue whisking over the simmering water bath until the sauce thickens.
  5. Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you prefer the sauce to be a bit more tangy, simply add in a bit more lemon juice.
  6. Serve immediately.

13 February 2010

Steamed Minced Tofu with Dace Fish Paste

Ok. So after the Agedashi Tofu and Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste & Black Bean Topping, I still had leftover fish paste and about 1/4 pack of the tofu sitting in the fridge.

Fish paste can be kept in the freezer and defrosted when required. To prolong the life of the tofu, change the water the tofu is sitting in daily. The tofu should be able to last about a week after first open.

This dish is great when dealing with leftover bits of tofu and fish paste. Basically, you just mince and mix both ingredients together, add some seasoning and steam it for about 10 mins and your done.

I remember having it at my Aunt's place and she had jokingly told me this was a dish that was for toddlers and old people only. When I had asked why, she replied that this dish was designed for people with no teeth. Great. Still not sure who on the table this dish was aimed at, but I do recall it to be really tasty.

Steamed Minced Tofu with Dace Fish Paste
  • 250g of tofu
  • 250g of fish paste
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Pinch of White Pepper
  • 1 Egg white
  • 1 teaspoon Re-hydrated Dried Shrimp (finely chopped) - Optional
  • Cooked oil
  • sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon light soy sauce
  • Spring onion (finely sliced - for garnishing)
  • Coriander (top half with leaves only - for garnishing)
  1. Using a fork, mash up the tofu and mix well with fish paste.
  2. Add in a pinch of salt, sugar, white pepper and egg white and continue mixing until its all combined and smooth.
  3. Scoop out the contents and set in a shallow dish. Gently level the surface with a spoon.
  4. If using, sprinkle about a teaspoon of finely chopped dried shrimp over the surface
  5. Cover the dish with some cling wrap, ready for steaming
  6. Bring some water to boil in a wok with a steamer tray. Using the wok as a steamer, place the dish in to steam for about 10-15mins on medium heat.
  7. Remove from the steamer and carefully remove the cling wrap (watch for the hot steam here), garnish with some spring onions and coriander leaves.
  8. Place a saucepan with about a tablespoon of oil on high heat
  9. Drizzle with some sesame oil and light soy sauce over the garnish
  10. Carefully pour the hot oil over the garnish, they should sizzle and cook immediately. The hot oil helps to bind the flavours of the soy, sesame oil, coriander and green onion together.

10 February 2010

Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms & Chinese Sausage

I often think about the Chinese dishes my grandma makes since moving to Sydney. Whenever I do, I try to replicate them with her helping me over the phone since she now lives 5hrs flight away from me. As a first-generation Australian, my grandma is the source of all my chinese, cantonese style cooking.

Yes... My grandma and not my mother, my mummy is a rather hopeless cook. Not that its her fault, its just not her forte, she was much better at running her business than being in the kitchen.

Now that she has retired, she has started cooking at home. And I've been kept sufficiently entertained by the horror stories my bothers have been updating me on her cooking attempts. The latest had something to do with a steamed fish dish my mummy tried to produce. Somehow, the thickest part of the fish ended up being too undercooked, semi-sashimi-like apparently. Instead of continuing to steam the fish in the wok. My mummy decided to put it into the microwave and nuke it for about 3 mins. Steamed fish is supposed to be moist and delicate, according to my brothers it was rather rubbery and tough. Opps...:)

My grandma had her fair share of laughs over this last attempt as my mummy complained to me about the convoluted instructions my grandma gave her. "Pour some soy sauce over the fish.. but not too much".... "Steam until you can just poke a chopstick through".... "Use just enough ginger to remove the fishy smell"....

Ahh.. the same instructions I've been getting from my grandma over the phone. Its taken me a few trial & error attempts to decrypt my grandma's instructions. But now I have gotten used to it. This dish is another one of my grandma specials. Sometimes she would make this for breakfast, but mostly it was for dinner and always to be served with steamed rice.

Oh...The sauce that is produced from this dish... I could eat a bowl of rice just with the sauce alone..yum... :)

Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms & Chinese Sausage
Original recipe from my grandma

  • 2 Chinese sausage (sliced diagonally)
  • 2 Maryland Chicken Thighs (cut into 3cm wide pieces)
  • 6 Chinese mushrooms (soaked, stalk removed, cut into half - water reserved)


  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 thumbsized piece of ginger (smashed)
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon corn flour
  • 1/4 cup water from the soaked mushrooms


  1. Mix chicken, mushrooms and sausage with marinade ingredients and let stand for 30 minutes. You may need to add more of the reserved mushroom water if the marinade mixture is too thick.
  2. Pour the marinated chicken, mushrooms and Chinese sausages in to a deep dish ready for steaming.
  3. In a wok, bring some water to boil. Place a steamer rack on top and then place chicken dish in for steaming.
  4. Steam for about 25 mins at medium high heat, or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Remove from steamer and serve immediately.

08 February 2010

Chinese Braised Pork Belly - Dong Po's Pork - 東坡肉

Ok. I promise this is going to be my last pork belly dish. Its not that I think my waistline can't take it.. (my motto: eat first.. think later)... but I think my flatmates will revolt against me if I continue to cook any more pork belly recipes.

There are many recipes on the web for Dong Po's Pork that calls for the pork belly to be deep fried first, or braised in wine and stock with star anise, cinnamon, fennel seeds and citrus peels. For this attempt, I've tried to stick to a simplier and probably more traditional version, which calls for only soy sauce, Chinese rice wine, spring onions, ginger and block sugar.

The resulting fat wasn't really fat anymore. Well it was still fat.. but all the oil had been rendered out from the hours of braising and steaming. After all the braising and steaming, the fat was so soft, it would just melted in your mouth.

Although the next time I make this... (and I will probably make this again).. I will throw in 1 or 2 star anises. Just to help the flavour along a bit more. :)

Chinese Braised Pork Belly - Dong Po's Pork 東坡肉

  • 1kg pork belly
  • 100g spring onion (white part only)
  • 100g block sugar
  • 500ml yellow chinese rice wine (绍酒)
  • 50g ginger (smashed)
  • 100g light soy
  • 20g dark soy

  1. Bring some water to boil in a large pot or wok
  2. Remove any coarse hair on the skin with a tweezer then wash the pork well. Blanch the pork in boiling water for 5 mins, then remove from the pot and place on a chopping board or plate to rest. The water can be emptied out.
  3. Divide and cut the pork belly into large cubes (about 4cm wide). You should be able to get about 4 large or 6 smaller cubes out of a 1kg piece of pork belly.
  4. Tie the pork up with some cooking string. This helps keep the pork cubes in shape and also makes it easier to remove from the claypot afterwards.

little parcels of pork... humm... :)

  1. Place spring onions and ginger at the bottom of a claypot
  2. Lay the pork cubes on top of the shallots and ginger, then add sugar, light soy and dark soy
  3. Pour in the yellow rice wine last. Just enough to cover the pork
  4. Turn the heat up and bring the wine to boil. Then reduce to a low flame and cook for about 3 hrs, until pork is meltingly soft and you can use a chopstick to poke through a piece with minimal effort.

After braising for 3hrs...

  1. There should be a significant layer of fat being released from the pork cubes. To remove this, place the claypot with the sauce into the fridge (overnight is Ok if you are serving this the next day) and let sit until the fat layer starts to turn white. When the fat has hardened, use a spoon to skim off the fatty layer.
  2. Place the pork, skin side up and put into a baking dish or bowl and cover with cling wrap.
  3. Using a wok and some water for a steamer, bring the water to boil, place a steamer rack inside the wok and place the dish of pork belly on top. Steam for about 45mins
  4. With the sauce still in the claypot, bring it back to boil and leave it boiling for another 10 mins or so to reduce the sauce and intensify the flavour a bit more.
  5. Once the steaming has completed. Take out the pork, cut and remove the cooking string and arrange on a serving plate. Pour some of the fat-removed sauce over the pork cubes and garnish with lots of sliced spring onions and coriander.
  • 2 cups or 500ml of chinese rice wine does seem like a lot. But you do need enough to cover the pork cubes. Also, the long hours of braising does cook all the alcohol out, and all that is left is a very rich and intense soy-based stock.

06 February 2010

Agedashi Tofu

After making the Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste & Black Bean Topping, I still had quite a bit of tofu leftover. In a standard box of 900g Silky Firm tofu, you get about 12 pieces. I still had 6 pieces remaining after yesterday night's dinner. I also still had a bit of fish paste left, but I'll leave that for later. Right now I just wanted a quick snack.

Tofu.. Snack ? Agedashi Tofu ?

Fried tofu with dashi stock ... humm.. yes pls.. :)

If your not looking for an over rubbery version of Agedashi Tofu, then Potato starch probably works best, better than cornflour actually. Also try to look for Silken Firm Tofu in the grocery store. The softer tofu types makes it a bit harder to handle during the coating and frying process. I actually had quite a bit of dashi stock still leftover, feel free to halve the dashi stock or just fry more tofu pieces. I prefer to retain some of the crispiness of the tofu pieces. To do this, just avoid pouring the stock over the tofu pieces and only pour enough so that it comes to about 1/2 way up the tofu pieces.

Agedashi Tofu
  • 3 pieces of Silken Firm Tofu
  • Potato starch (with a couple grinds of salt) - enough for dusting the tofu pieces
  • Grapeseed oil - enough for shallow pan frying
  • 3/4 cup dashi stock (1 tablespoon dashi granules dissolved in 3/4 cup of hot water)
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1/2 tablespoon light soy sauce
For the Toppings:
  • Daikon - Japanese white radish (grated)
  • Roasted seaweed strips
  • Bonito flakes
  • Spring onions (finely sliced)
  1. Place the tofu pieces on top of paper towels, and let sit for about 15 mins to remove the excess moisture. Carefully turn the pieces over let sit for another 5 mins.
  2. While the tofu pieces are drying, mix the dashi stock with mirin and light soy sauce and set aside.
  3. After the tofu pieces have dried, coat them thoroughly with the lightly seasoned potato starch.
  4. In a saucepan, pour in enough oil so there is about 0.5cm layer. Enough to shallow fry the tofu pieces. Carefully put the coated tofu pieces in to fry, turning every couple mins on each side. When every side has turned golden, remove and drain on paper towels to remove the excess oil.
  5. Place the tofu pieces in a bowl. Garnish with roasted seaweed strips, grated daikon, bonito flakes and sliced spring onions. Pour some of the dashi stock into the bowl (not over the top of the tofu pieces), until it reaches about 1/2 way up the tofu pieces and serve immediately.

05 February 2010

Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste & Black Bean Topping

Fish paste is available at most Asian grocery stores and most Asian fishmongers would actually make their own 'ready to cook' version. If you want to make your own fish paste at home, then this post by Red Cook would probably be what I would recommend.

The fish paste I buy from the fishmonger is already seasoned. If you aren't sure if yours are, drop a teaspoonful of the paste into some hot boiling water and taste it. If it isn't seasoned, then add in about 1/2 teaspoon of salt and mix well.

The cling wrap used while steaming helps to keep the water from the condensation out of the tofu. This is an optional process as you can always just pour the water out. But after the time when I lost one of the tofu pieces.. it fell into the sink as I was trying to pour the water out.. doh!.. I've just used the cling wrap method instead. If you are employing this method, use a good quality known brand cling wrap, like GLAD or something similar, so that it wouldn't break and will survive the steaming temperatures.

This dish is like a steamed version of 'Yang Tau Foo' - which is like a fried tofu stuffed with fish paste - that I've had in Singapore before.

Steamed Tofu with Fish Paste & Black Bean Topping
makes 6 pieces

For the Tofu:
  • 6 pieces of silky tofu (usually 1/2 the packet)
  • 300g fish paste
  • dash white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
For the Topping:
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon fermented black beans (coarsely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine (Shaoxing wine recommended)
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili (finely chopped) - optional
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Fresh Coriander and Spring Onions (finely sliced diagonally) - Optional
  1. In a bowl, mix the fish paste with the white pepper and cornflour.
  2. Place a piece of tofu on your palm, then using a butter knife or a small spatula, take some of the fish paste mixture and spread it over the top of the tofu.
  3. Repeat until all the fish paste has been evenly divided amongst the pieces of tofu. Arrange on a plate and cover with cling wrap ready for steaming.
  4. Bring some water to boil in a wok and place a steamer rack inside.
  5. While you are waiting for the water to boil, prepare the black bean topping.
  6. In a small bowl, add the garlic, fermented black beans, light soy, sugar, Chinese rice wine and chilli (if using) and mix well.
  7. Once the water in the wok is boiling, turn the heat down to medium-low and place the plate of tofu on top of the steamer rack. Steam for about 10 mins, until you can see the fish paste is no longer transparent and is cooked.
  8. While the tofu is steaming, in a small saucepan, pour in 1/2 of the oil and turn the heat on high.
  9. Once the oil from the saucepan is steaming hot, pour it over the garlic and black bean mixture. This will cook the black bean and garlic.
  10. After 10 mins, remove the plate from the wok and discard the cling wrap.
  11. Pour in the remaining vegetable oil back into the same saucepan and place it back on high heat.
  12. Carefully spoon on top of the fish paste about 2 teaspoons of the black bean and garlic mixture. Drizzle the remaining soy sauce over the tofu pieces.
  13. Garish with coriander and some finely sliced spring onions.
  14. Once the oil is hot, remove from the heat and carefully pour (bit by bit) over the coriander and spring onions so that it sizzles and cooks. This helps to release the aroma and also makes the strong flavour of fresh coriander a bit more subtle.

04 February 2010

Steamed Minced Pork with Shiitake Mushrooms

In Chinese cooking, when Shiitake mushrooms are called for in recipe, it would mean using dried Shiitake and not fresh Shiitake. Dried Shiitake has a much stronger flavour than fresh Shiitake mushrooms. I think if you use fresh Shiitake mushrooms in most Chinese recipes, then the flavour would just be lost amongst the other ingredients. When using dried Shiitake, rinse the mushrooms through some cold water to remove any grit or dirt on the mushrooms, then reconstitute them in some warm water for at least 1 hour. Depending on the number of mushrooms you are soaking, you would probably need to use about 1 cup of water. At least enough to cover all the mushrooms. Always reserve the water used to soak the mushrooms and use it instead of water (if required) for some extra flavour.

This is another one of my grandma's recipes. Like most of her other recipes, this is a dish to have accompanied with a bowl of hot steamed rice. My grandma would use her double choppers to mince up the Pork Neck, but my arms don't have the stamina to wield double choppers to that effect, so I use Petals instead - My red Magimix food processor. Cut the meat into small cubed pieces, then place into the food processor and pulse until it has a consistency of a coarse mince. Try not to over do it, we don't want pork puree here. :)

In most Chinese restaurants, you can get steamed minced pork with salted fish or with salted duck eggs. Think of this dish as a variation of one of those. If I can get my hands on some quality salted fish, I might try that version next time.

Steamed Minced Pork with Shiitake Mushrooms
Original recipe from my Grandma
  • 300g of Pork Neck (coarsely minced)
  • 6 Dried Shiitake Mushrooms (reconstituted in warm water for 1hr - water reserved)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce.
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  1. Remove and discard the stalks of the reconstituted mushrooms. Slice and dice the mushroom into small pieces (just slightly less than 1cm in width).
  2. Take the mince pork and marinate with the oil, soy sauce, salt, sugar, oyster sauce and cornflour.
  3. Add in the diced mushrooms and mix well.
  4. Slowly add in about 1/4 cup of the reserved mushroom water and continue mixing.
  5. You should have a wet mince mixture that is easy to stir, add a bit more water if the mixture seems a bit too dry.
  6. Bring some water to boil in a wok and place a steamer rack inside.
  7. Scoop the pork mixture into a plate that could could be used to hold some liquid. Spread the pork mixture around evenly. And place the plate into the wok.
  8. Steam on medium-high heat for about 20 mins.
  9. Serve with some steam rice

01 February 2010

Egg Skin Dumpling with Pork and Spring Onions

From all the recipes my grandma has passed to me, these are my absolute favorites. Basically, its like making pan-fried dumplings. Only the meat is wrapped in a thin layer of egg - hence the name 'Egg Skin Dumplings'. To do this, you need a hot pan with quite a bit of oil. Once you place about a chinese soup spoonful of egg into the pan, the egg mixture will bubble up and start to cook. Before it completely cooks, you have to drop in another spoonful of pork and green onion mince into the egg and using a spatula or something similar, fold it in half and wrap the semi-cooked egg around the pork mince. If the egg is completely cooked, then it wont stick to the pork mince. So each step has to be kind of done immediately one after another.

Until I had figured out this process, I've always screwed these up. By the time I managed to scoop up right amount of mince filling to add into the egg, the 'egg skin' would already be over cooked. And so the egg would end up separated from the pork mince. Or I'll ended up burning the egg skin before the pork mince has had a chance to cook properly.

So .. here's how to do it.

The trick is to have the mince proportions 'pre-rolled' into small oval balls - about a soup spoonful - think dumpling size here. And laid out on a plate before you start making the 'egg skin'. Arrange everything around the frying pan so its easily accessible. The beaten eggs in one bowl with a chinese soup spoon and the mince pork with green onions balls on a plate.

Place about 2 tablespoons of oil into the pan, wait till it heats up. Yes.. it is quite a bit of oil, but any less and the eggs will start to stick to the pan.

Get 1 spoon of the egg mixture ready. With one hand, carefully pour 1 spoon of the egg mixture into the pan. As it starts to cook and bubble up, with the other hand, drop in one of the oval shaped balls of pork mince and fold and close up the egg dumpling with the spatula. Place spatula back down on the empty plate (which will be used to collect completed dumplings later), and repeat the process.

Lightly press down on each dumpling as they cook. Turn each Egg dumpling only once. They should only need about 2 mins on each side. After that remove from the pan and place onto the plate. The pork will cook in the later steps.

You should only have a maximum of about 4 egg dumplings cooking in the pan at any time. Over crowding the pan just makes your life harder.

Egg Skin Dumpling with Pork and Spring Onions
Recipe from my grandma - makes about 18 dumplings

For the Pork:
  • 250g pork neck (coarsely minced in a food processor)
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cornflour
  • 1 cup of green spring onions (finely sliced)
  • couple of dashes of sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup of water
For the eggs:
  • 6 eggs
  • pinch of salt
  • Additional oil for pan-frying
  1. Prepare the pork mince mixture. Process the pork neck (you can use any part of the pork) and the food processor until its turned into a coarse mince. Try not to over mince it into a pork puree!
  2. Season the pork mince with the above ingredients listed, then add in the spring onions. Add in half of the water first and stir to combine the mince and spring onions. Continue to add the remaining water until the pork mince and spring onions are well combined.
  3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat with a fork or pair of chopsticks until the whites and yokes have broken down. Season with a pinch of salt
  4. Place the pan on medium-high heat, and add about 2 tablespoons of oil in the pan.
  5. Carefully pour in 1 soup spoonful of egg mixture, then add in the 'pre-rolled' pork mixture, then fold and close up the egg skin and cook for 2-3 mins on each side. Press lighly on the dumpling as it cooks to make sure the egg skin sticks to the mince, turning only once.
  6. Remove egg dumpling from pan once it has cooked for 2-3 mins on the 2nd side and place on a plate
  7. Add more oil to the pan if it starts to dry out. Repeat until either there is no more egg mixture or pork mince.
  8. Once you have reached the last dumpling, carefully return the dumplings on the plate back to the pan.
  9. Arrange the dumplings to fill up any gaps on the pan.
  10. Turn the heat up and pour in the remaining 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan and let the dumplings cook\steam for a further 4-5 mins. This will make sure the pork is cooked properly.
  11. Remove the cover and carefully transfer the dumplings to a plate. - Its handy to have good chopstick skills here. Tongs with silicon covers will also work.
  12. Serve with some steam rice.

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