Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Squid and Seafood dumplings

One of the first things I did once my exams finished (*ahem* more than two weeks ago) was to bake a batch of crème caramels (which I must blog about some day….once I get it perfect!) as I’d been receiving requests from my family for them since ages ago. It’s been a while since I’ve made a relatively successful dessert and I was quite happy to be in the kitchen again measuring and whisking away. It's been quite a while since I've been in the kitchen making a nice dessert, as you may have noticed from the things I post on this blog. I do however, bake and cook a lot more than I blog- don’t worry, I haven’t completely stopped baking! I’ll admit that I’ve been quite lazy with blogging this year and too often, just can’t be bothered to photograph food nicely or to write something which doesn’t make me sound like an idiot (which, might I add, takes quite a lot of effort!) to publish here.


My second creation of these holidays, which I'm quite proud of, are these squid shaped (yess....they're supposed to look like squid!) shrimp dumplings, which took me and my mum about 1.5 hours to make! The recipe comes from a cookbook I bought at the airport at the beginning of the year, on the way back from Hong Kong, Trendy Dim Sum in Hong Kong . Dim sum is one of my favourite things to make (though probably not as much as desserts and pastries!), despite me not liking yum cha that much, because it's a really category of its own- with its unique techniques and methods, some of which are quite challenging.

I've been itching to try some recipes from this particular book though, because it has got to be the most creative dim sum book I've ever seen. Think pea shaped dumplings, turtle shaped pastries, chrysanthemum pastries just to name a few!

Dumplings before streaming

My mum often makes har gow (steamed prawn dumpling) at home, from a trusty recipe she obtained from a cooking course she attended ages ago (which I might have to share here some day) so making these dumplings wasn't too much of a challenge for us. The dough/wrapper was a little different in this recipe because it's supposed to be a crystal wrapper- that is, it's supposed to be transparent. Which didn't exactly happen to ours, as you can see in the pictures, and the addition of a tapioca starch paste to the dough made it incredibly sticky and difficult to handle. We didn't exactly follow the recipe because we didn't have a whole lot of seafood in our pantry so we basically made the filling with prawns and water chestnuts and minced some squid to stick all the filling ingredients together.

The squid shape was a lot harder to make than it looked and we ended up using so much time to perfect our squid shapes- probably a lot more time than it was worth but it was fun! They didn't end up tasting as good as the har gow we usually make from my mum's recipe but still quite good. And I thought they were pretty cute too!

Squid and Seafood Dumplings
Recipe from Trendy Dim Sum in Hong Kong

Crystal Wrapper
75g tapioca starch (can substitute with corn flour)
114g water
225g boiling water

150g wheat flour/starch (tang flour)
225g boiling water

300g chopped squid
300g cuttlefish
38g cooked shark's fin
38g diced water chestnut
38g soaked white fungus
19g diced spring onion
19g diced bell pepper

4g salt
8g MSG
15g grandulated sugar
19g corn flour
19g oil

Some black sesame seeds for making the eyes

Crystal Wrapper
1. Mix the water and tapioca starch of (A) together. Then add in the boiling water, stir until the starch becomes half done. (I'm not quite sure what it means exactly by half done, but this should be a thick paste)
2. Pour the boiling water of (B) into the wheat flour until totally done (this should become a thick paste)
3. Mix the above mixtures together and knead the mixture into a smooth dough. Then divide to 20 portions, 11g each. Roll them into round, thin slices. We didn't bother weighing the dough out- we divided them into fishball sized portions.

1. Wash the squid, mince and strir vigorously until sticky, add in the seasoning and then mix with the remaining filling ingredients. Set aside.
2. Wrap about 15g (~ 1 teaspoon) of the filling with a portion of crystal wrapper and knead into a squid shape, and then stick 2 black sesame seeds as eyes.
3. Steam in a steamer on high heat for aout 3 minutes. Serve with broth.

The shaping probably needs a bit of clarifying here. What we did was to roll the dough into a circle about the size of a mug, place the filling within and then fold it in half and pinch together the dough to seal. We then cut horizontally along the top of the semicircle so that the filling remained sealed. One of the ends of dough, we shaped into a ball, flattened slightly and then cut into strips. The other end, we pinched into point. With the extra dough we rolled that into a thin triangle and pinched it back onto the pointy end to make the tail.

P.S: Sorry for disappearing for so long- sleeping in and doing nothing just feels too good ;)


Kristy Sayer-Jones @ Southern In Law said...

Oh no way, these are SO cute! I don't think I could stand to eat them :P Though, I'm not a seafood fan - they'd be safe with me!

Glad to hear you're enjoying your holidays :)

Anonymous said...

From Joy,
V.exquisite...I would most likely enjoy staring ..at those
little dim sum.
Very impressive, Von!
u know,i hv a very soft spot for dim sum...they just blow my mind away!
So, please ...share with us ur mom's trusty recipe on har gow?

Coraine said...

HIhihi! =) Welcome back to blogging! hope u had great marks for your exam!!!
I showed these squids to my hubby and he said that they are ultra cute!!! Your mum and you must be really good in Art..and pls share the har gow recipe soon..hehehehe.waiting...

grub said...

it's so cool how you cook with your mum. my mum is busy so we hardly do it anymore. hrm the dumplings tend to stay in their shape before they are steamed, but i bet they are still yummy!

Unknown said...

omg!!! how cuteee! i totally understand what you meant. I had a lot of fun making hello kitty sausages :D

WendyinKK said...

Can you help me find my jaw?
I think I lost it.

Serious effort! Absolutely speechless. I don't know what to say!

chocolatesuze said...

omgs so cute!

Cooking Gallery said...

Wow, wow, wow...!! I am in awe...! I am a dim sum lover and I especially adore shrimp dumplings with translucent skins. But I never saw squid-shaped dumpling in my life until today! Wow, you've done such a great job and I think this is such a brilliant idea, which I am sure I'll also try to replicate in the future! Thanks for sharing :D)!

muppy said...

I love them!!! so cute :) definitely worth the effort.

OohLookBel said...

Those dumplings remind me of the Davy Jones character in Pirates of the Caribbean - except yours are more cute and delicious!

Viv said...

these squids are too cute - how creative you and ur mum are! im surprised they only take 1.5 hrs to make too...ive always had this idea that dim sims are super time consuming!
dont be lazy..blog more lol..i know what u mean...a lot of times i jus cant be bothered taking out my camera or write abt the food!

Lynn said...

Awww! How cute :)

Christine Ho said...

Very cute dumplings. Love love dim sum. Share more dim sum recipes with us please.

Simon Leong said...

oh dear, they just look wrong to me. like baby larvae. i hope they taste better than they look ;-)

sugarpuffi said...

wow! the squid/shrimp dumplings looks fantastic! you're an awesome cook :D

can u come cook for me?...please? ^-^

Zoe said...

You are so creative and did well shaping these dumplings. They are so delicate and yet beautifully-shaped. Great job!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

These are crazy brilliant! I am glad I did not miss this one! Making dim sum requires alot of skill and patience. You've done an outstanding job!

Anonymous said...

Not sure if I did something wrong.. Dough was so soft and sticky I found it really hard to work with so I added a lot more tapioca starch and wheat starch to even roll the dough out! It tasted nice but kept breaking when I tried to wrap my filling :( Any tips would be appreciated! Maybe I should freeze my filling first?

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