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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Take a Trip Down Dim Sum Lane

Gorgeous eggplant
Happy Thursday! Last night I had a little fun with Asian-inspired dishes. When I was looking through my books for what to cook, I was drawn to the dim sum section of a Tyler Florence book. I'd always wanted to try my own shumai and I was surprised to see I already had many of the ingredients! Wanting to make a more well-rounded meal, I added a green veggie, and spicy eggplant (gorgeous local eggplant is on sale in all different shapes and sizes at Whole Foods right now!). This also gave me the chance to test out my bamboo steamer that I received as a wedding present last year. Here we go!

Szechwan Eggplant Stir-Fry
Tyler Florence and JoAnn Cianciulli


  • 5 Asian eggplants, about 2 pounds 
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced on a diagonal
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 fresh red chile, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
  • Thai holy basil and fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Spicy eggplant
  1. Cut the eggplants in 1/2 lengthwise and then slice crosswise into wedges, no more than 1-inch wide.
  2. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high flame and add the oils; tilt the pan to coat all sides. When you see a slight smoke, add a layer of eggplant, stir-fry until seared and sticky, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the eggplant to a side platter and cook the remaining eggplant in same manner, adding more oil, if needed.
  3. After all the eggplant is out of the pan, add the green onions, ginger, garlic, and chile; stir-fry for a minute until fragrant. Add the broth. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, and cornstarch until the sugar and cornstarch are dissolved. Pour the soy sauce mixture into the wok and cook another minute, until the sauce has thickened. Put the eggplant back in the pan, tossing quickly, until the sauce is absorbed. Garnish with sesame seeds, Thai basil, and cilantro and serve.

Shrimp and Ginger Siu Mai Dumplings
Tyler Florence

For the Shrimp Filling:

Before siu mai were cooked...

  • 1 pound shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (I substituted all shrimp since I don't eat pork)
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, grated
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce, plus some for dipping
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
For the Wrappers:
  • 1 (10-ounce) package round wonton wrappers
  • Canola oil, for brushing the steamer
  • Savoy cabbage, for lining the steamer, optional
  • Into the steamer!
  • Micro Arugula, for garnish
Special equipment: wok, bamboo steamer

  1. To make the shrimp filling: Pulse all the ingredients

    in a food processor until partly smooth but not completely pureed. It should have a little texture. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. To assemble dumplings: Hold a wonton wrapper in your hand. Dip a spoon in cold water and then drop 1 tablespoon of the filling onto the center of a wrapper (dipping the spoon in cold water first will make the filling come off easier). Gather the edges of the wrapper up around the filling and squeeze the sides slightly with your fingers. The sides will naturally pleat, leaving the filling slightly exposed. Tap the dumpling on the table so the bottom is flat and it stands upright. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling. (You can freeze the leftover filling for 2 or 3 weeks.)
  3. Open steamer!
  4. Lightly oil the bottom of a 10-inch bamboo steamer and line it with the whole cabbage leaves. Stand the dumplings in the steamer in a single layer and don't let them touch. You should be able to get 12 siu mai in the steamer at a time. Bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a pot. Set the bamboo steamer over the pot, then cover it with the bamboo lid. Steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until the filling feels firm and is cooked through. Serve in the steamer basket and garnish with micro arugula and soy sauce.

Ta da!

1 comment:

  1. Yummy. I am definitely craving Asian foods. Beautiful!