Monday, February 2, 2009

Feb 02: Water Chestnuts

Found some fresh water chestnuts at the local Asian market. Water chestnut is a corm that stores sugars and starches for the water chestnut plant. The centers are crunchy and sweet which can be eaten raw or cooked.

Preparation is straight forward.
Trim the top and bottom.
Peel the skin off the sides.... Now it's ready to slice and dice.
The flavor of a raw piece was sweet. The texture was reminiscent of a crisp apple.

With fresh water chestnuts, I decided to make a pork dumpling - shu mai.

A shu mai is pretty much a pork meat ball wrapped with a thin won ton wrapper and steamed.

I've never made shu mai so I wanted to give it a shot.
This recipe is a work in progress.

Shu Mai - Pork Dumpling
1 pound Ground Pork
3 Water Chestnut, minced (about 1/4 C)
1/2 tsp Ginger, Grated
2 Green Onions, chopped
2 T Bamboo Shoots, finely chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1 Dried Mushroom, reconstituted and chopped
1/2 tsp White Pepper
3 T Soy Sauce
2 T Oyster Sauce
1/2 tsp Sesame Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
1T Corn Starch - used to give the ground meat a smooth texture

Combine and thoroughly mix all of the ingredients.

I found round wrappers in the market.
Place 1 T of filling into the center.
Fold the edges up and use your fingers to maintain a cylindrical shape. Use the thumb from your opposite hand to tamp the filling down (to remove air bubbles too).

Shu mai arranged on a steamer which was sprayed with Pam.
I'm not sure which is the best way to steam... open face up or open face down so I tried both.

My improvised steamer using an old pie tin with holes added to form the base.

Cover and steam for 10 to 15 minutes.

Served with a quick soy sauce vinaigrette... soy sauce, vinegar, sesame seed oil and chili sauce. Rough quantities,
1 T Soy Sauce
2 T Vinegar
1/4 tsp sesame seed oil
chili sauce to taste.
A little chopped green onion

The shu mai was okay... The filling is best made ahead of time so the flavors can meld. Also, could use more ginger, green onion and garlic. I should look up some shu mai recipes for a point of reference.

Finally, the best way to steam is open face down. When the wrapper touched the steamer, the shu mai tended to stick to the steamer.


Arlette said...

Hello there
this is a very interesting meal
I love the way your cooked them
I am going to try it and let you know.. I only can get the water chestnuts in cans .thanks for sharing...

Anonymous said...

I really like how you do Asian food waterchestnuts is so good I love the crispness of them. Your dumplings look super to me just like from China Town. Interesting about the burgers and the difference bewteen 15% and 7% mince. Do you think they put in more water into the 7% mince to make it the same cost to them. Lovely photos of the bugers and the GFG is something that is popular here in Australia also.

Eat4Fun said...

Arlette: The dumplings are usually a lunch/brunch type item as part of a dim sum meal.

Audax: I doubt the 7% is water enhanced. Usually, the butcher keeps trimmed meat and fat. To increase the fat content, fat is added to the mince. Sounds like George Foreman is an international superstar.