Thursday, September 21, 2006
Boy, do I love dim sum. The ultimate appetizer meal, I think. So of course I took a class on them last week. I've made steamed hom bow before, but nothing else. I really wanted to learn some of the wrapping techniques, like how you get all the little pleats in the ha gao (shrimp balls). I did, and it was fun. We also made baked shrimp toast, sticky rice in lotus leaves, shu mai, potstickers (but we steamed them, so I guess they weren't really potstickers!) and a few other things. Fun but hot and hard work. The sticky rice packets are also some of my favorites, so I was happy to get a chance to try those. We used fresh lotus leaves and soaked them in hot water, but I think you should use dried, pre-cooked leaves and then soak them. The leaves just disintegrated when we tried to fold them around the rice and meat filling. Also, I think the rice needs to steam a lot longer, either before or after putting it in the leaf. Only 15 minutes wasn't enough to get the nice sticky texture and get the flavor of the leaf infused into the rice. Good things to learn. Other thing I learned was that I had some shrimp toast topping left over and I put in into a couple of potsticker skins and put them into the steamer -- it was great. So great, in fact, that I made that at home last weekend for dinner, along with some pork potstickers using filling left over from class. We really enjoyed them. Turns out that Dave is really really good at shaping the potstickers with very even little pleats. I still rush too much so mine aren't nearly as precise. But then, I've never been a real patient cook, one of the things I fight in myself all the time.