My pantry

Losing Our Wilsons….A Farewell Yum Cha.

July 18, 2012

Recently, my dear friend, G. Peorge (AKA Mrs Wilson) said ‘Sometimes, you meet someone and you just have a connection’.

I hoped for a minute she was referring to our relationship, which had blossomed from neighbours to dear friends….alas, no. She was referring to D Man and herself.
They used to live downstairs in our building B.B. (before ‘burbs) and Mrs W and I became firm friends whiling away Friday afternoons with a ‘play date’ accompanied by cheese and wine, as play dates ought to be. Our sons played together and became each others’ first real friends, they’re names being amongst each lads first words.
We progressed to dinner parties, and baby sitting, and sleepovers and our friendship grew. Our family’s have grown close over the last two years, but the love between her and D Man is truly a beautiful thing. He worships her. He talks about her all day, and I think he may even love her just a tiny bit more than I do.

Occasionally people come into your life and they just feel like they’ve been there forever….and you hope they’ll stay forever. You don’t need to have known them for a long time, but you know that they’ll remain a solid in your life from now on.

That’s the Wilsons.

There has been laughter and tears, wine and tea, and a hell of a lot of food. Those Wilsons sure can cook, and eat…… Oh, and the desserts…….We love the Wilsons.
But, if there’s one thing you can bank on in this life (aside from death and taxes), it’s change, and in a move that is going to be fabulous for them, we’re losing our Wilsons.

They’re moving south of the border.

You may remember back on my Winter To Do List, I vowed to challenge myself with home made Yum Cha. What better way to send off dear ones than with a labour of love type meal?

None of these elements on their own are particularly difficult. A little time consuming, sure, but not hard. All of them together?? Wouldn’t want to be in a hurry. I’ll admit I started a few days early and I froze them as I went. The prawn ones I made on the morning of the extravaganza as I don’t dig on frozen seafood.
You will note that I have used how gee wrappers which are actually made of wheat. At Yum Cha, many of the dumpling are in a rice kind of wrapper…..I tried to find it ready made, and they don’t do it. It’s not actually rice as such, it’s a little pancake made from potato starch and rice flour and I sure as shit wasn’t making 50 of those……yes, I’m trying something new, no, I’m not busting my ass to do so!!!!

You will need soy sauce and Chinese chilli sauce for serving to make it authentic yum cha. I also did Chinese Broccoli (and maybe I bought some egg tarts, but I’m not telling)

Here’s how I pulled off the Yum Cha Extravaganza…..

Pork and Coriander Dumplings

Yield : 25 dumplings

You will need :

  • 300g pork mince
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ketcap manis (Indonesian sweet soy)
  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander
  • 1 egg white
  • 25 gow gee wrappers
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

dipping sauce

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fish sauce

1 large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

Place the mince, shallots, sauces, coriander and egg white into a bowl and mix well to combine. Place a heaped teaspoon in the middle of each wrapper.
Brush the edge with a little water  and fold to enclose the filling. Pinch the edges any way you think is styley.

At this point I stuck them in the freezer……

To cook, you add your oil to a fry pan that has a lid. Pop your dumplings into the oil and fry until the bottoms are browned.
Add 1/2 cm water to your pan and pop the lid on for a further 3-5minutes, depending if they were frozen or no.
To make dipping sauce, put all ingredients into a bowl and stir until sugar is dissolved.

Prawn and Bamboo Shoot Dumplings

Yield: 25

You will need :

  • 300g prawn, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese cooking wine
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 egg white
  • 25 gow gee wrappers

Place prawns, onions, bamboo shoots, oyster sauce, wine, sesame oil and egg white into a bowl and mix well. Make the same as the prok dumplings. You can change the shape if you’re talented enough!!!
To cook, place a saucepan quarter filled  with water on to boil. Place your dumplings into a steamer (I put them on a little baking paper for the anti-stick factor) and cover with a lid.
Steam for 3 minutes.

Steamed Pork Buns

Yield : 10

You will need :

For bun dough

  • 1/2 package dried yeast
  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 1 tablespoons sesame seed oil

For pork filling

  • 250g Char Siu pork (Chinese BBQ pork), finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped
  • 2cm ginger, grated
  • 2 cloves, garlic
  • 1 heaped teaspoon sugarPreparation:
Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water. Add 1/2 cup of flour. Mix thoroughly. Cover with cloth. Let rise 1 hour, until bubbles appear.
Dissolve sugar and vegetable oil in 1/4 cup boiling water. Stir well. Cool until lukewarm. Pour into yeast mixture. Add remaining flour.
Knead dough on lightly floured board until smooth. Put into extra large, greased bowl in a warm place. Cover with damp cloth. Let rise until double in bulk, about 2 hours.
In the meantime, in a pan cook your garlic and ginger in a little peanut oil. Add finely chopped pork, sauces and sugar. Toss in your coriander and stir until well combined. In a tiny amount of water, mix cornflour into a thin paste and add to mix. cook for two minutes and remove from heat.
Take out dough and knead 2 minutes. Roll into roll 12 inches long and 2 inches wide. Cut into 10 pieces.
Flatten each piece with palm of hand. Roll with rolling pin into 3 inch circles.

So, with this meal, we fare thee well. I think we Holsbys will have a Wilson shaped hole left in our lives, but we now have a Wilson shaped house to go and stay at in Melbourne. Or as we like to call it, Mexico.

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  • Reply Fabulous Mommy July 18, 2012 at 7:58 am

    What sad news for both your families.

    What is it with Ozzies and Yum Cha? I was there in 2000 and my uncle (who is a chef) was banging on about it until he convinced my parents to go with him to a Yum Cha breakfast. They still tell horror stories about the experience. There was apparently jellyfish and other slimy things. My folks are not adventurous eaters. I think the experience was wasted on them. I would have loved it. I’ll eat anything once.

    From your recipes though it seem like my parents were being overly dramatic about the evils of Yum Cha as it seems mostly to be pretty innocuous. I love steamed buns. I usually cheat though and go buy lotus seed paste buns pre-prepared from our local Chinese store.

  • Reply Ian Wilson July 18, 2012 at 10:47 am

    The Holsbys have become soul mates in such a short time, from the wroxton, bexley to mexico may the good food, wine, BEER (Go Bluesky) and friendship live strong, BIG love. z Wilsons xoxoxo

  • Reply Sayonara Winter, you bitch « Keeping Up With The Holsbys August 31, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    […] If you can excuse a moment of absolute immodesty, I smashed this one out of the park. Although none of the elements of this lunch were particularly difficult, I really felt a sense of pride and joy sitting down with our dear friends and eating this meal. My pork buns may not have been as fluffy as at the Chinese restaurant, but I wouldn’t change a single thing. If you love a dumpling, these are tasty and simple. Check out the post here. […]

  • Reply Our Wilsons | Keeping Up With The Holsbys June 5, 2013 at 7:32 am

    […] may remember about a year ago I made our dear friends a Yum Cha lunch to wish them farewell as they were moving to […]

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