Steamed truffled prawn, tofu & edamame dumpling with ponzu

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Preparation info

  • Makes

    16

    • Difficulty

      Easy

Appears in

Fusion: A Culinary Journey

Fusion

By Peter Gordon

Published 2010

  • About

I really love the experience of eating dim sum, partly because of the variety of tastes, aromas and textures but also the spectacle of the meal itself - sweet, sour, salty spicy and bitter dishes come out in chaotic order. If you’re in a dim sum restaurant pretty much anywhere in the world these days, you’ll probably have steaming trolleys pushed up to your table from which you’ll make your selection from small bamboo steamer baskets of steamed, deep-fried and, occasionally, grilled little dishes. A taro fritter here, a chicken’s foot there, some turnip cake, perhaps. In 2005, I was lucky enough to travel to Guangdong in China to film an episode for a TV show called Planet Food. It was an amazing experience and I have to say that one of the highlights was being force-fed by the alleged top dim sum chef in all of China, Ms Chen Xiao Hong. She ran an incredibly tight ship in her kitchen at Guangzhou Restaurant and I hope that if she were ever to make this recipe she’d approve! I had a few edamame left over so added them to the basket along with the dumplings when I cooked these. They’re delicious - just sprinkle with flaky salt or dip in soy sauce, popping the beans out into your mouth - don’t attempt to eat the pods!

Ingredients

  • 200 g raw prawn tails
  • 1 small thumb of ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 150 g silken tofu (it’s best to use Japanese firm silken tofu)
  • 15 ml (1 Tbsp) white truffle oil
  • 75 ml light Japanese soy sauce (if using dark Chinese soy sauce, use half this amount)
  • 2 Tbsp snipped chives
  • a handful of edamame (fresh soy beans)
  • 16 wonton wrappers
  • 30 ml (2 Tbsp) rice vinegar (or any white vinegar)
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) roasted sesame oil

Method

Place the prawn tails and ginger in a food processor and blitz for 5 seconds. Scrape the side of the bowl down then add the tofu, truffle oil, 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce (less if using dark Chinese soy sauce), three-quarters of the chives and ¼ teaspoon flaky salt. Squeeze the edamame pods to free the individual beans, and reserve 16 of the beans. Add the remainder to the food processor then blitz everything for another 10-15 seconds at which point the mixture should be fairly smooth, but don’t turn it into a paste.

Filling the wrappers is quite simple, but it takes a little practice. Assuming you’re right-handed, hold the thumb and forefinger of your left hand together to form an O. Lay a wonton wrapper over the O. Take a heaped teaspoon of the mixture and place it in the centre of the wrapper. Using your thumb and forefinger of your left hand, fold the wrapper up towards the top of the filling, but don’t actually seal it in. Using the thumb of your right hand to keep the base flat, form it into a ‘cube’ of filling sealed with the wrapper but with an open top. Alternatively, you can lay a wonton wrapper on a board, dollop on the filling then, using both hands, fold the wrapper over the filling. This will work just as well, but ultimately is a lot slower. Place a reserved edamame bean in the centre of each dumpling.

Line a steamer basket or two with oiled paper, bamboo leaves (as I did) or a banana leaf. Place the dumplings on the oiled surface as you make them keeping them at least 1 cm apart as they’ll stick to each other. Once they’re all done, put a tight-fitting lid on and place over a steamer running at full heat and cook for 5½ minutes. While they’re cooking, make the dipping sauce. Mix the remaining soy sauce with the vinegar, sesame oil and reserved chives.

To Serve

Simply take the steamer basket to the table along with the dipping sauce served in a wide dish and let people help themselves.