16 Tasks for the Festive Season - Task 11 - Donghzi Festival

Yes! I was waiting on this one! I have been to Hong Kong and on my goodness! I fell in love. Do you know how good Chinese food is that is not made in America where apparently everything is always a little bland?

 

I was traveling with people from State and USAID a few years ago (yeah, this is not me giving you a clue about who I work for by the way :-) I worked for neither of these agencies at the time and remember thinking how welcoming these people were and how much fun I had traveling with them. They were also both foodies. I was in kind of in love with the male counterpart on this trip cause he was hot, loved food, and kept telling me I needed to eat more and would dump food on my plate.  

 

I never had dim sum before in my life and to get to point and eat and drink tea and just stuff myself silly with food was fantastic. 

 

I wish I had taken some pictures to share, I had some in an old photo album, but must have lost them in a move. I looked last night since I wanted to post. 

 

So what is dim sum you are asking?

 

Dim sum /ˈdimˈsʌm/ (Chinese: 點心; pinyin: diǎnxīn; Cantonese Yale: dímsām) is a style of Chinese cuisine (particularly Cantonese but also other varieties) prepared as small bite-sized portions of food served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum dishes are usually served with tea, and together form a full tea brunch. Dim sum traditionally are served as fully cooked, ready-to-serve dishes. In Cantonese teahouses, carts with dim sum will be served around the restaurant for diners to order from without leaving their seats. The Cantonese tradition of having endless cups of tea and dim sum is also called Yum Cha (飲茶), which means "drink tea" in Cantonese.

 

Steamed buns:

 

Char siu bao.jpg

 

Chinese Steamed Buns with Barbecued Pork Filling

 

1 (.25 ounce) envelope active dry yeast

1 cup lukewarm water

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons shortening or vegetable oil

1/2 cup boiling water

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 green onion, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 pound Asian barbequed pork, cubed

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

2 tablespoons oyster sauce

1 tablespoon white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

2 tablespoons water

 

Place the warm water in a large bowl, and sprinkle the yeast over the top. Stir in 1 cup of the flour, and mix thoroughly. Cover with a cloth, and let stand until bubbles appear, about 20 minutes.

 

Dissolve sugar and shortening in boiling water, and allow to cool to lukewarm. Stir into the yeast mixture along with the remaining flour. When the dough becomes too stiff to stir, turn out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth, about 10 minutes.

 

Coat a large bowl with sesame oil, and place the dough inside. Turn over to coat, and cover the bowl with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size.

 

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add green onions and garlic, and stir-fry for about 30 seconds. Add pork, and fry for a minute, then stir in the soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sugar.

 

Dissolve cornstarch in 2 tablespoons of water, then stir the mixture into the pork. Cook, stirring constantly until the pork is coated with a thickened glaze. Remove to a bowl, and allow to cool.


Remove the dough from the bowl, and roll it out into one long log.

 

Slice the log into 1 inch pieces. Flatten each piece into a 3 inch circle using the palm of your hand or a rolling pin.

 

Place 2 tablespoons of the pork filling onto the center of each circle, and gather up the edges around the filling and pinch together to close the bun.

 

Place each bun seam side down onto a square of aluminum foil. Cover with a towel, and let rise for about 1 hour.

Bring a couple inches of water to boil in a wok. Place a few buns at a time in a steamer, such as a bamboo steamer for a wok, or a fitted steam tray.

 

Cover, and steam buns over briskly boiling water for 10 minutes. Repeat with remaining buns.

 

Tasks for Dōngzhì Festival: If you like Chinese food, tell us your favorite dish – otherwise, tell us your favorite desert. (Recipes, as always, welcome.)