Archive for the ‘Dim Sum’ Category

* Coconut Tartlets

Posted on March 29th, 2015 by Linda. Filed under Bake, Chinese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Dessert, Dim Sum.


What’s not to like about these dim sum favorite coconut tartlets?  Coconut in condensed milk – a macaroon – in a cookie shell!

90gm butter, diced
48gm powdered sugar, sifted
24gm eggs
144gm pastry flour, sifted
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
A pinch of kosher salt

250gm frozen shredded coconut, thawed
60 gm butter, melted
125 ml condensed milk
1 egg yolk

8 mini tartlet moulds

Preparing the pastry
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the butter for a few minutes until soft, slowly add sugar on medium speed and beat until sugar dissolves and is pale and fluffy about 3 minutes. Beat in eggs in two separate batches, until incorporated. Add vanilla. Reduce speed to low and add flour (dry) mixture, mix until just combined. Remove dough and form into a disc. Avoid overmixing the dough. Wrap with plastic and refrigerate until firm.

Preparing the filling
Add the melted butter to the thawed shredded coconut. Then add condensed milk, and egg yolks. Stir to combine.

Preparing the tartlets

Preheat the oven 350F
When dough is firm, break dough into 8 equal parts and gently roll into ping pong size balls. Lightly dust the working surface with flour and roll each ball into a circle, about 4 mm thick and 3 inches diameter. Use a cookie cutter to get a perfect circle. Line the ungreased tart moulds with short pastry, thumb up to the sides then trim the edge to have a clean finish.

Fill with filling, up to ¼ inch from the edge with a slight mount in the center. Do not pack the filling. Place onto baking tray and bake at 350F for 30 mins, or until the crust is golden, and the filling is golden.   Let cool 5 minutes, remove tartlets from mould. Place into paper liners.

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* Pork and Cabbage Steamed Buns

Posted on March 29th, 2015 by Linda. Filed under Appetizer, Breakfast, Chinese, Cooking Method, Course, Cuisine, Dim Sum, Pork, Snack, Steam.


This bao dough is fluffy and light.  It goes well with the pork and cabbage filling which is more delicate than the bun dough that accompanies my other cha siu bao recipe.  The wheat starch puts back the gumminess loss from using cake flour, but the cake flour is essentially for the tender bun.

1 portion of Basic Yeast Dough (See recipe below)

1 lb ground pork

1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 Tablespoon fish sauce

1 Tablespoons sesame oil

1 Tablespoons Chinese rice wine / sherry
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon ginger juice, from 1 Tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

3 cups napa cabbage
1/2 cup green onions
16    pieces of 2 x 2 wax paper.


Prepare the dough: Make 1 recipe of Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns. Make sure you cover the finished dough with a damp tea cloth.

Preparing the filling: Mix pork with marinade ingredients – soy sauce, fish sauce, sesame oil, Chinese wine, sugar, cornstarch and ginger. Taste for seasoning.

Take a dough portion, work into a round ball about 1 ½ inch in diameter. Flatten it into a 5-inch round with a rolling pin about 3/8 inch thick. Make sure the edges are half as thin as the center. Place a heaping Tablespoon of filling into dough. Pull the sides to meet at the center, making a ruffled fold as you work. Pinch the top together and give it a twist to seal. Pinch off any extra dough at the top. Place onto a piece of waxed paper.

Place buns in steamer about 2 inches apart and cover with a damp cloth. Allow buns to rise in a draft-free place for about 20 minutes. Spray buns with water mist

Place steamer over the simmering water for 20 minutes, or until bun is well risen and the internal temperature is 145F.   Add water if necessary so that wok is not dried out.

Basic Yeast Dough for Steamed Buns
Serves: 8

10 oz /280g cake flour
100g wheat starch
60g powdered sugar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 packet instant yeast (0.25 oz or 7g)

1/2 cup + 2 Tablespoons / 160ml lukewarm water
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon / 20g shortening

1 teaspoon / 10g baking powder

Part 1: Making and proofing the dough.

Sift flour, wheat starch, sugar and salt into a large bowl. Add yeast and stir to mix. Make a well in the middle, and add water and vinegar and stir to incorporate the flour until dough holds together and just come away from side of bowl.  Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead. Incorporate the shortening. Lightly flour your hands if necessary. Knead (by using the heels of your hands and your body weight to push away from you, pull it back and fold in the sides of the dough towards the center. Turn the dough right angle every few kneads) until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Form into a ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl, put the dough into the bowl and turn the dough so that all sides are coated. Cover the bowl tightly with a plastic wrap/damp tea cloth and let dough rise in a warm (75-80°F), draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1-2 hours. The dough is ready when it does not spring back when poked with a finger.

Part 2: Finishing the dough – Using the doughUncover the dough, punch it down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface.   Flatten it. Sprinkle baking powder over the dough, gather up the sides and fold to the center to incorporate the baking powder. Knead lightly for a few minutes till it becomes a ball again.  Divide the dough into two cylinders about 1½ inch thick. Cut each into 6. Make 12 1½ -inch ball portions. Cover dough with a damp tea cloth as you work. Proceed with dumpling recipes

Note: This basic dough can be used for steamed meat bun recipes, or plain steamed man tou recipes.

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* Do Fu Hua

Posted on August 27th, 2011 by Linda. Filed under Cantonese, Cuisine, Dessert, Dim Sum.

My neighbor in the house I grew up in Old Town PJ sold “tow foo fah” on a bicycle-powered pushcart.  The dofuhua would be in a big wooden pot, and had a cover wrapped up in muslin cloth.  He would skim the water and bubby top off the dofuhua before layering out thin silky clouds of the dofuhua onto a bowl.  Smooth, creamy, and full of beany flavor.  Whenever it rained, and it rains a lot in Malaysia, he would not be able to sell his tofu for the day and would bring them over to us….sans syrup.  I always wondered why he didn’t check the weather forecast ahead of making the big pot of tofu, esp when he and his wife would hand grind the beans every night.  My family didn’t have much money either, so, instead of spending money on sugar for the syrup, we turned the “dessert” into a savory dish by adding fried shallots oil, dark soy sauce, some light soy and a sprinkle of chopped green onions.

Fast forward 30 years later, I tried making dofuhua, and omg, it is perhaps the most difficult thing I have ever made.  It’s so temperamental.  You’ve gottaa watch the temperature real closely, have a light quick touch and have loads of patience.  The soymilk part is easy, but waiting for the dofuhua to gel or not, is a different story.  And as hard as I try to be consistent, I made half a dozen batches and they all came out differently.  Some are perfect, some became a base for firm tofu.  Whenever it wouldn’t set nicely, I would place the curds into a cheesecloth, like as if I am making ricotta, and had nice sweet pressed tofu for dinner….see picture below.  Drizzle with fried shallots oil, dark soy sauce, some light soy and a sprinkle of chopped green onions.  Deja vu.

So when I ran into Minh of Hodo Soy last week and had a quick chat about making dofuhua and he said it was easy, and how he had taught chefs serving table-side dofuhua  the secret in making the dish, it dawned upon me he is the “dofuhua whisperer”.  Many years ago, when I asked him about his yuba, he went into a long discussion about soy protein brix concentration, and I suspect that might also explain how to achieve perfect dofuhua.  When I crack the code, I will share, but now, here is the recipe that most likely would work.  Good luck!

UPDATE: Fast forward another 5 years, and I now see how wrong my blog above is.  I started working with Hodo Soy a few years ago, and needless to say, I now know a lot more about tofu!  Well, it turns out my hunch was correct – that soymilk brix is key to perfect douhua.  That’s the good news.  The bad news is, contrary to what I thought that the soymilk is the easy part, it’s actually the most difficult part!  But fear not, just buy the Hodo soymilk, and douhua is a breeze.  Serious.  Just add a tablespoon of coagulant (we use edible gypsum at work), and then dilute with some water to make a milky slurry.  Then pour in half a gallon of hot soymilk ~140F in one big swoosh.  Same principle applies – do not stir, do not move it.

Chef’s tip: Nigari or magnesium chloride as the coagulant makes for a sweet tasting tofu but leaves a slightly bitter aftertaste.  Edible gypsum or calcium sulfate makes for a cleaner tasting tofu. You can get the former at health food stores or Amazon, and the latter from beer making supplies stores or Asian grocery stores.  And don’t move the dofuhua after it has set.  Frankly, I don’t know how my old neighbor is able to peddle all over town with the big vat of dofuhua and yet not make it break.

Here’s the original recipe.

1  1/4 cups organic soy beans, soaked overnight, drained
5 cups water

1/2 teaspoon nigari
1/4 cup water


Making the fresh soymilk:
1.     Pick over beans for impurities.  Rinse beans several times.  Cover beans with water, leaving at least 2 inches of water above the beans level.  Soak beans at least 8 hours or overnight in the refrigerator.  Remove skins off beans.  Drain.
2.     Place soybeans in a food processor.  Add 1 cup water.  Pulse till it becomes smoothie-like.
3.     Transfer puree into a big pot.  Rinse food processor with 3 cups water and add to  pot.  Bring to boil, stirring constantly.  When the foam begins to rise, remove from heat.   Transfer content into a conical sieve placed over a heat proof bowl.  Let the milk drain through the sieve.
4.     Transfer solids into a cheesecloth.  Add remaining 1 cups of water and gently knead into the soybean solids (okara).  Then squeeze as much milk and add to the earlier milk.
5.     Pass milk through a clean cheesecloth placed over a sieve.  Measure out the milk – you should have at least 4 cups of soymilk.  Otherwise, add a little more water to the okara and squeeze as much as you can to make up  the 4 cups.
6.     Bring milk to a boil and then gently simmer 10 minutes, stirring constantly so that milk does not burn.  At this point, the soymilk is ready as a beverage, or continue further to make dofu hua.

Making the Do Fu Hua:
7.     In a small bowl, mix nigari with water.
8.     Warm a deep bowl by swirling it with hot water.  Drain.  Wrap bowl bottom with some towels to keep warm.  Transfer the nigari mixture into the warm bowl.  Place bowl in a place where you don’t move it for the next 20 minutes.
9.     Cool the boiled soymilk slightly, about 5 minutes.  Remove any milk in excess of 4 cups. Check that the soymilk temperature is 185F, warm or cool further if needed.   Pour the 4-cups of milk in one big swish into the bowl containing the nigari, creating enough turbulence so that the nigari is thoroughly mixed with the soymilk.  Do not stir.  Lance off any bubbles on top with a toothpick.  Cover with a tea-towel wrapped lid. And do not move the bowl for 20 minutes.
10.  After 20 minutes, ladle off the whey and any parts that looked bubbly.  Ladle thin layers of dofu hua with a big flat spoon and transfer to individual serving bowl.  Ladle in two tablespoons of syrup or more, and serve hot.



6 inches ginger, finely sliced
2 cups sugar
2 cups water

Making the ginger syrup:  Bring ginger, sugar and water to boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes, until reduced by half and syrup is thick.  Pass through a sieve to remove ginger bits.  Store in fridge.

Serves: 6

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