Loretta Liu's cookbook Modern Dim Sum shares a selection of dishes served at Chinese yum cha restaurants, making it simple to enjoy this delicious food at home.
150 grams Asian white wheat flour
80 ml water
100 grams firm tofu, drained and sliced into small cubes
a pinch of salt
2 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 red onion, cubed
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
⅓ small head Chinese cabbage
200 grams minced lamb
2 Chinese chive stalks, white parts removed, finely chopped
a large handful of fresh mint leaves, shredded
1 spring onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
a handful of fresh mint leaves, finely shredded
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 small red shallot, finely chopped
1 fresh chilli, finely chopped
3 tablespoons soy sauce
Sheep are a plentiful cattle high up in the cold mountains of Mongolia, hence this speciality dish. With their strong, savoury flavour, these are delicious eaten steaming hot on a chilly day.
Prepare the wheat dough by placing the flour in a large mixing bowl and combining with the water to form a dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 20–25 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic. Separate and roll into two equal cylinders about 2½cm in diameter. Cover with a damp kitchen cloth and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Sprinkle salt over the tofu slices and set them aside for 30 minutes before squeezing out the excess water.
Place the rapeseed and cubed onion in a small frying pan and cook over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and fry until fragrant. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to let cool.
Remove any tough stalks from the cabbage and boil the leaves until soft. Drain well and wrap in a clean, dry kitchen cloth to remove any excess moisture. Finely shred the dry leaves and add to the onions in the mixing bowl. Add the lamb, herbs, spring onion, ginger, soy sauce and tofu and mix to combine.
To prepare the skins, use a sharp knife to slice the dough cylinders into 16 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, flatten each piece with a rolling pin until it has a round shape and a diameter of around 7½cm. Place a large teaspoon of filling into the centre of each skin. Dip your fingertips in a small dish of water and slightly moisten the edge of half the skin. Fold the skin in half over the filling, and pinch the corners together to shape into a traditional half-moon crescent. Add a few little folded pleats along the edge as you seal.
Put a pan of water on to boil and gently lower the dumplings into the boiling water. Cover with a lid. The dumplings are cooked when they float to the top.
Drain the dumplings and let them cool slightly. For the dipping sauce, mix the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Pan-fry the dumplings in the sunflower oil over a medium heat until lightly brown and crisp at the base. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately with the dipping sauce. Makes 16