Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Cheater" Dim Sum with Vegetable Stir-Fry

Have you ever had dim sum? Do you know what dim sum is? You may have heard of it; perhaps your trendy, slightly yuppie friends have talked about going for dim sum, and you just shook your head like you knew what they were talking about, when in reality you thought, "that sounds like an insult". If this is the case let me enlighten you and perhaps you can tell your "cool" friends a little more about dim sum and move up the social ladder.

"Dim sum is a Cantonese term for a type of Chinese dish that involves small individual portions of food, usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate. Going for dim sum is usually known in Cantonese as going to "drink tea"."

"Dim sum is an integral part of Chinese cuisine, closely associated with the tradition of yum cha, or taking tea. Dim sum means "small heart", suggestive of a small snack that touches the heart. Dim sum can be found all over China and in many parts of the West, where dim sum is a popular meal. Dim sum is usually served in the late morning through the early afternoon, although some dim sum establishments are open later. It is a meal that should be lingered over, in multiple courses that traditionally have a set order." (Want to know more? Follow this link.)

Lastly the reason I call this recipe "cheater" is because traditionally dim sum is steamed in a bamboo basket. And while I actually have a bamboo steaming basket, I believe that most kitchens don't, plus mine is quite small and would only hold 3 dim sum at the most. So I went with a less traditional cooking method and enlisted the modern day oven. Additionally we decided to make a simple vegetable stir-fry to eat alongside our dim sum, making this a dinner menu rather than a morning or afternoon menu. I should note though that I did eat the leftovers for lunch, so hey it is an afternoon meal afterall!

"Cheater" Dim Sum and Vegetable Stir-fry
Recipe and pictures by Caroline
Serves 6

Frozen roll dough, thaw approximately 24 rolls (you can make your own bread dough, but I wanted something easy)*
3 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced very thin
1 Tbl oil
1 Tbl dry minced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
1 tsp zested orange peel
2 Tbl soy sauce
¼ cup honey or brown sugar (better yet, mix the two)

Thickening sauce
1/2 cup honey
3 tsp soy sauce, to taste
4 tsp vinegar, to taste
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1/4 cup apricot jam


1. Defrost frozen rolls according to package directions and set aside.
2. Heat oil in large skillet; add chicken, onion, garlic, pepper flakes, pepper, orange peel, soy sauce and honey; stir fry until cooked through.
3.Combine thickening sauce ingredients; pour ½ of the sauce over chicken and heat until sauce thickens and coats chicken pieces. Remove from heat and let cool.
4. Once meat is cooled enough to handle; take a roll of dough and form about a 4-inch circle. Place 2 Tbl of meat filling into round. Pull edges up and around filling, twist to seal. Place on greased baking sheet. Let rest a few minutes, while making the others.
5. Bake at 350 degrees about 15-20 minutes or until golden on a greased baking sheet.

Vegetable Stir-fry
1 Tbl oil
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery sticks, diced
¼ cup diced red onion
1 garlic clove, minced
½ red pepper, diced
1 large stock broccoli, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


Heat oil in large skillet or wok. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic; stir fry 2- 3 minutes. Add  red pepper and broccoli; stir fry a few minutes more. Season with salt and pepper. Pour remaining thickening sauce over vegetables and cook until sauce thickens and coats the vegetables.

 *Another option is to use fewer rolls and either freeze the leftover filling or add it to the stir-fry. I would guess that most people will eat 3, possibly 4 dim sum rolls.

1 comment:

Erin said...

This is great! I can't wait to try it out. I have gone to im sum several times with Joe's family. This will be a great addition to our menus.

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