Tag Archives: Asian

How to Make Momos: South Asian Steamed Dumplings Filled With Chicken and Shrimp

We first fell in love with momos while travelling through Nepal. Momos are steamed dumplings traditionally from the Nepal and Tibetan regions. They’re warm, light, extremely flavourful and very filling (especially when you eat a ton of them, which you inevitably will). Here, we wanted to bring out the punchy Asian flavours that work on all the taste receptors: salty tamari, sweet sesame oil and honey, spicy ginger and sour rice wine vinegar. By combining shrimp and chicken as the filling, you achieve a lighter texture with a stronger depth of flavour.

Bunching up the momos into little packages is also half the fun. You can make your own dough, but for this recipe, we opted for pre-made wrappers from the grocery store. We find wrapping the dumplings to be a fun social experience if done with friends and family, or it can be quite meditative if you’re cooking alone. Achieving the perfect fold may take a few tries, but you’ll get there. For an easier alternative, make the classic crescent moon shape by folding the wrapper in half. Here, we went a little fancy and created a round version secured together with cinched pleats. Go ahead and try out these petite parcels of perfection for yourself!

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Shrimp & Chicken Ginger Tamari Momo Dumplings

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Wrap Time: 1 hour
Steam Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings: 45 momos

Ingredients:

1 inch piece of ginger, peeled
½ small red onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup loosely packed cilantro leaves
½ cup shiitake mushrooms (about 6 mushrooms)
1 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined (cooked or uncooked)
1/2 lb ground chicken
1 egg
1 tsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp tamari
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 tsp honey
45 momo/dumpling wrappers

Directions:

1. Turn on your food processor, and as it’s running, toss in the ginger, red onion and garlic through the feeding tube.

2. Once these aromatic ingredients have had a few spins, add in the cilantro and mushrooms. Pulse until well chopped, then add in the shrimp until it’s minced into pieces.

3. Take out the mixture and place it in a large bowl. Add in the ground chicken.

4. Whisk the egg on one side of the bowl, or whisk separately and pour into the food processor.

5. Then pour in the sesame oil, tamari, rice wine vinegar and honey. Now begin combining everything so the entire mixture is well seasoned.

6. Take out the momo wrappers and cover with a damp cloth to keep from drying out.

7. Hold one wrapper in the palm of your hand. Have a bowl of water nearby, and wet the perimeter of the wrapper with your finger.

8. Place one tablespoon of filling into its centre. Slowly pinch the dough together, moving around in a circular motion, until the wrapper is securely closed into a parcel shape. Dip your fingers back in the water and pinch the top together.

9. Repeat the above steps for each momo. The first few dumplings may look messy, but practice makes perfect! *If you prefer to prep ahead, freeze the momos at this step, prior to steaming.

10. To steam, you’ll require a steamer basket, steamer pot or bamboo steamer. Bring a pot of water to a boil. Brush the steamer with oil, or if you’re using a bamboo steamer, line it with parchment paper or cabbage leaves, and brush with oil.

11. Place the momos inside the steamer. Don’t overcrowd them or they’ll stick together. Place the steamer onto the pot of boiling water. Cover with a lid and steam for 15 minutes.

12. Take out the dumplings and repeat until all the momos are steamed. Enjoy with tamari or your favourite hot sauce.

Still hungry? These Indian recipes are even better than takeout. You’ll also love these healthy dishes from around the world, and a must-try coconut shrimp taco recipe (trust us, it’s cheaper than taking a vacation).

Singapore Chili Sauce: You’ll Want to Put This All-Star Sauce on Everything!

Late-night eats call for those foods that hit all these crave-worthy notes: crunchy, salty, fatty, tangy, bright. These are the flavours and sensations the judges were looking for in the seventh episode of Top Chef Canada: All-Stars where the chefs had to create their ultimate late night eat.

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Dennis Tay felt panic as the judges approached his station, but he was needlessly worried; they loved his Fried Shrimps with Singapore Chili Sauce and Green Garlic-Butter Rice Noodles and he was in the top four for the challenge. (Resident Judge Mijune Pak was literally dancing as she ate the dish; there’s fewer compliments higher than that.)

Inspired by his own cravings after service for noodles and fried seafood, Dennis created a dish that combined those with his love of Asian flavours.

Since we can’t have Dennis whipping up fried shrimp with a Singapore Chili Sauce for us at home, the next best thing is to make chili sauce ourselves.

Typically used in combination with crab or as a condiment for Hainanese Chicken, this spicy sauce combines the hot, sour, sweet and salty flavours that Southeast Asia is known for. The key is in the balance. Yes, it should be delightfully spicy – it is a chili sauce, after all – but not to the point it overpowers the tang of lime and vinegar, the heat of the ginger and the garlic flavour. Tasting it to get all those flavours in equilibrium is essential.

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While spicy heat is key, I’ve called for juicy, long red chilies here for spiciness that doesn’t completely suppress the other flavours. To really spike the spice, either leave in the seeds or consider throwing in a bird’s eye chili or two.

Singapore Chili Sauce
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: Makes about 1 cup

Ingredients:
4 long, red chilies
3/4-inch piece of ginger, about as thick as a thumb
3 cloves garlic
2 tabelspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons lime juice
splash sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 to 4 tablespoons chicken stock, hot

Directions:
1. Chop off the chili stems, slice in half lengthwise and remove the ribs and seeds.
2. Peel and roughly chop the ginger and garlic.
3. To a food processor, add the chilies, ginger and garlic and blitz a few times before adding the vinegar, lime juice, sesame oil, salt and sugar. Puree thoroughly.
4. Depending on how thin of a sauce you want, add a few tablespoons of the hot chicken stock. Puree the sauce again.
5. Check the seasonings, adding more salt, sugar, lime or vinegar if needed.
6. This sauce will keep for several days in the fridge.

Easy Hot and Sour Soup with Shanghai Noodles

Crunchy wood ear, soft tofu cubes, silky egg ribbons, tangy vinegar, and an umami-laden chili broth makes the classic hot and sour soup a delicious bowl of bold flavours and textures that are surprisingly easy to throw together. If you’re celebrating Chinese New Year, you’re going to want to start the feast with this appetizer, or do what I did and throw in fresh Shanghai noodles to soak up the delicious soup and make it into a main.

While hot and sour soup was never much of a fixture at our family’s Chinese New Year’s dinners (a good chunk of my family can’t even handle the spice of black pepper), my mom and resident Chinese-cooking expert Uncle Simon gave me some tips when I was developing this recipe. For them, the key is using “toban jan”, a fermented paste made of chilies and beans used throughout in Sichuan cooking. This is what’s going to give you that deep reddish-brown colour and that signature spicy umami kick. You can find this in the Asian aisle at the supermarket and it goes wonderfully with tofu, chicken, stir-frys, and on top of rice and noodle dishes. Think of it as Chinese sriracha.

For the sour component, I was advised by both of them to use ketchup. I love them both (especially if they’re reading this post) but I substituted the ketchup with a sharper, less sugary rice vinegar that turned out quite well. If any readers decide to listen to my mom and use ketchup, please tweet me @karonliu and let me know how it goes. A tip I did use was cooking the noodles separately in water rather than in the soup. This is because the noodles have a light coating of flour, which would leave a chalky taste in the broth.

One final note: wood ear mushrooms are sold dried at the Chinese grocer and need to be soaked in boiling water for 30 minutes before they’re ready to be eaten. Shimeji mushrooms can be found fresh at the Asian grocer (along with the Shanghai noodles), but if you can’t find them use another slightly chewy mushroom like enoki or shiitake.

Hot and Sour soup recipe Food Network Canada

Ingredients:

For the soup base
1 litre no salt-added chicken broth
3 tablespoons Chinese chili-bean paste (the anglicized name is “toban djan”)
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch

For the pork
1/2 pound pork loin, sliced into long and thin strips (about a cup)
1 teaspoon dark soy sauce
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

For the toppings
4 wood ear mushrooms
2 ounces shimeji mushrooms (about a cup)
1 cup firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 large egg
4 ounces fresh Shanghai noodles (about 1/4 package)
Chopped green onions for garnish

Directions:

    1. If your wood ear mushrooms are dehydrated, reconstitute them by soaking them for 30 minutes in boiling water. Do this ahead of time, or even the day before. Store the hydrated mushrooms on a plate with a damp paper towel draped on top.
    2. In a medium-sized soup pot, bring the chicken broth to a boil.
    3. In the meantime, mix all the ingredients for the pork together (meat, soy sauces, sugar, cornstarch, and ginger) in a bowl. Set aside and let marinate for five minutes.
    4. In a slightly oiled pan, sear the marinated pork until it starts to brown, about one or two minutes. Set aside.
    5. When the broth is boiling, add the chili paste and vinegar. Stir until the paste has completely dissolved. Chop the wood ear mushrooms into smaller slices and add them to the pot along with the simeji mushrooms. Stir and add in the cornstarch to thicken the soup. Bring to a boil and add the tofu and pork. Whisk the eggs together and add them to the boiling soup very slowly in a thin stream. Keep the soup to a simmer.
    6. Bring a fresh pot of water to a boil and cook the noodles until they are al dente, about two to three minutes. Drain and set aside.
    7. To plate, pour 3/4 of the soup into a large bowl. Pile the cooked Shanghai noodles high on top in the centre, and then ladle the rest of the soup around the noodles. Garnish with green onions and serve immediately. Serves two as an appetizer, or one as a main dish.

734863_10151322355189438_2070375187_n Karon Liu is a freelance food writer based in Toronto who is slightly lactose intolerant but will otherwise eat and cook anything.