Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Japanese Onion Soup, Ginger Salad Dressing, Steamed Pork Buns & Shu Mai

Our family are big fans of dim sum - this is a type of Chinese cooking/restaurant. I first had this when living in Ottawa way back in the mid 80's. I was a legal secretary and my boss, Michelle, would reward me for working long hours or weekends by taking me out for lunch. She took me for "dim sum" and I fell in love. You sit at a table and these Chinese ladies wander around with carts and different kinds of dishes. There are many different kinds of things - mostly tiny little parcels of food and on saucers of 3 or 4 of the same thing. You choose what you like - and keep doing that til you are full. When you are done eating they add up the individual little plates that the food is served on.

Over the years - many of the places that we have lived have not been near a Dim Sum restaurant. It is something I look for when travelling/visiting different places. It is my absolute favorite type of food - hands down!! We have made some of the foods at home - but it is hard work and fiddly - and so much better when you are being served - lol.

I have also discovered that many Chinese markets/groceries carry some dim sum in the freezer section - so we fill up when we can.

A week ago Friday we found ourselves in Cleveland and found a sweet little Chinese grocery with a wonderful couple who run it. We bought a bunch of dim sum, steamed pork buns, dumplings & shumai (a little parcel of shrimp and other yumminess).

Another restaurant I love is a Japanese Steakhouse/Hibachi style. I love the soup and the salad dressing they serve. I did some searching on the internet and found recipes for both...so for supper tonight I decided to make soup, and salad and steam some pork buns and shumai.

Here goes - pictures and all!!

Japanese Onion Soup

1/2 stalk celery, chopped
1 small onion,chopped
1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 tsp minced garlic
8 quarts chicken stock
3 tsp beef bouillon
1 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms (our grocery store did not have fresh, I used dried)
2 cups water
1 cup Baby portobello mushrooms, sliced (we have these - if not button - or leave out entirely)
1 tbsp minced fresh chives

In a pot, combine the celery, onion, ginger, garlic, shiitake mushrooms, chicken stock, beef bouillon & water. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. When the mixture reaches boiling, cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook for 45 minutes.

Here is the package of the dried shiitake mushrooms I purchased. I just broke them apart as they can't really be sliced when dried out. Normally you rehydrate them in hot water and then they can be sliced etc... Because they were being boiled and cooked for quite a while I decided I didn't need to worry about them. They were fine.

Slice the baby portobello mushrooms.

Place them in a pot.
Slice the chives and place in bowls - waiting for the soup to finish.

When soup is finished cooking the 45 minutes drain over a sieve into the pot with the baby portobello slices. You have basically made a stock from the original soup mixture. The soup is now ready to serve into individual bowls.
Here is my bowl of soup - sooo yummy-I love this!! And yes even without the mushroom it would be awesome!!

Ginger Salad Dressing
1/2 cup minced onion
1/2 cup peanut oil
1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp minced celery
2 tbsp ketchup
4 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Blend on high speed for about 30 seconds or until all of the ingredients are well pureed.
Serve on a tossed salad. I made this once the soup was boiling so the dressing had time for the flavors to mingle. Very yummy. Leftovers ...yeah me!!
The picture below shows my bamboo steamer - there are 2 layers here - and each one has cabbage leaves on the bottom and the dim sum sits on the cabbage. Place the steamer, with lid, over a pot of boiling water. The cabbage (lettuce also works) keeps the contents of the steamer from sticking.
Here is a close up of the pork buns - these are mini - normally they are about the size of your fist.
Here they are after they have been steamed. These are more like a dumpling rather than a steamed pork bun.
Here is the packaging from the Shrimp Shumai (prounced - sue my)

Here are the shumai after steaming - and almost gone too!!

Yummy - if I do say so myself doesn't quite replicate Dim Sum or Japanese Steakhouse - but not bad for home!!

Let me know if you give these recipes a try!!

1 comment:

  1. ****ESPECIALLY**** without the mushrooms, it would be good :o} Me, tease you about the mushrooms again? Noooooo.... *grin*

    Hey, can I say again how thrilled I am for you (honestly) that you're NOT allergic to mushrooms?

    The rest of the stuff looks really fun and yummy too -- I can't see myself trying it just yet, a bamboo steamer? Man, I've got a lot to learn!!