A Blast From The Past! No. 2

Robin Boyle Chinese, Dinner, Entree, From the Archives, Lunch, Miscellaneous

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Elizabeth Chong’s Pork Dumplings

Some decades ago we would often hear Elizabeth Chong’s name mentioned. In particular, from various friends who had attended her cooking classes in Melbourne. They would recreate the recipes for us, producing memorable meals of Cantonese cuisine, based on freshness and elegance combined with simplicity. Our experience is that Cantonese cooking, and Chinese cooking in general, over recent decades has moved away from those clean lines, with over-use of convenience methods based around processed ingredients and bottled sauces.

Thus, we were so pleased to find a recent publication of one of her “old” recipes, for pork dumplings. We knew it would be free of unwanted additives and so we were keen to try it.

The Delicious magazine recipe can be found here: Elizabeth Chong: Pork and shiitake siu mai.

We tried the recipe as is except we used sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms and Chinese cabbage (wombok). We used square wonton wrappers from our supermarket and first we folded the four corners into the middle to help wrap them. We went to our trusted local butcher to ensure the pork mince was free range from female pigs, avoiding the nasty taint from male pork. We made up our own soy and vinegar sauce for dipping (recipe below).

If you have not been used to making dumplings, this recipe is a terrific starting point for your own experimentation. The first two photos below are of our dumplings ready to be put into the steamer. The last two are after steaming and ready to serve.

Soy and vinegar sauce
  • 50ml mirin and/or 50 ml sake or dry vermouth
  • 70 ml quality soya sauce
  • 25 ml red wine vinegar and/or lemon or lime juice
  • 1 dstsp g finely sliced and diced ginger
  • 1 dstsp chopped spring onion, shallots or equivalent
  • (sliced hot fresh chilli, slices garlic, optional)

Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and warm gently. Set aside until required. Serve warm or cold. Keeps well refrigerated for a week or two.

Equipment: Suitable steamer.

Difficulty: 3/5, Moderately Difficult. 30 to 40 minutes preparation of the dumplings, plus 5 to 7 minutes steaming.

Serve: Serve piping hot, with a suitable sauce accompaniment.

Contributions welcomed!

If you have an old, forgotten favourite, please be in touch, especially if you can provide your recipe and some history. (Not essential, but provide good quality photos if you have any.)