Homemade Xiao Long Bao – 小籠包

Well, after we came back from Shanghai, China, we were really missing some delicious Xiao Long Bao so we decided to be adventurous and make some!

The process is time consuming, but it was delicious! We just enjoyed some frozen ones, and sadly, I had to say mine tasted better! Not bad for a first time attempt! There is 3 parts to making Xiao Long Bao, and it starts with the soup part

Ingredients for Soup:
Pork Belly Meat
1 Package of Gelatin
Water

First of all, make a soup with fatty meat so it solidifies. I boiled some pork feet with pork belly in water until it reduced to about half. When I claimed it was done, I seasoned it up as though I was about to drink it – with a little heavier hand of seasoning!

Now, we have to let the soup set and become “jello” so I add a package of flavourless gelatin just to make sure it sets. Put it in the fridge at least 3 hours before using it!

The next thing I did was to marinate the meat. I wanted the meat to be full of flavour so I did that before making the dough.

Ingredients for Filling
1/2 lb regular ground pork
2 tbsp 5-Spiced Powder
1 tsp sugar
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 tsp rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
chuck of ginger (minced)
chopped green/spring onion
1 tsp salt

Basically here, mix everything together and let it marinate in the fridge!

If your soup has set at this point, pull back the layer of fat/oil and break down the soup jelly and mix it into the meat marinated. If you put this in at this point, make sure you keep the meat in the fridge so your soup doesn’t become “soup”.

Now, as everything is chilling and developing their flavours, we can make the dough!

Ingredients for dough:
200g A/P Flour
1/8 cup of cold water
1/3 cup of hot water (I used boiling water)
1 tsp salt

Making the dough is actually super easy! Basically you measure out the flour and pour the boiling water in. Mix until the dough is smooth and keep mixing as we’re trying to develop the gluten!

When it’s soft and smooth, add the cold water in and knead for a few more minutes! It will have a nice texture and bounce back when you poke it – then it’s ready. When you reach this point, let it rest in the bowl covered for at least 30 minutes.

After it’s rested, roll it out. I rolled mine out in a pasta roller to get the consistent thickness – and on my machine, I had it at setting “6” for the perfect thickness! I then cut out circles so I can fill the xiao long bao

Then, I get to fill the xiao long bao wrappers and place them on a cabbage lining to my bamboo steamer! I tried to make as many pleats as possible as that’s how it’s prettiest.

Now, we prepare the steamer and we’ll steam for about 15 minutes!

Now it’s done! Be careful, it’s hot and the soup you can see at the bottom of the dumpling — this means it’s really hot!! Enjoy!

Homemade Japanese Miso Soup

I love Japanese food, and I’ve always wanted to make my own Miso Soup, so I finally got a package of White Miso Paste from my market, and found some bonito flakes and wakame from the Asian grocery store. They are tricky to find (well, for me at least!) but, I think it’s necessary for a miso soup. This simple homemade soup smells and tastes like miso soup when you go out to have a bowl!

Ingredients (makes 2 big bowls or 4 little bowls):
3 cup of water
3 tbsp bonito flakes
1 heaping tbsp white miso paste
1 tbps wakame
tofu cubes

To begin any soup – start with boiling some water.

When the water has come to a boil, put some bonito flakes into the water and reduce the heat, and let it steep for about 5 minutes.

Once that has steeped, you’re ready to put in the miso paste. Take a heaping tablespoon (or just 2 tablespoons) and put it into a bowl. Take some of the “soup in progress” into the bowl and mix to dissolve the miso paste so you get a dissolved and thinner consistency. Once you’ve achieved this, you’re ready to pour the miso solution into the soup. Bring the soup back up to a boil at this time, and let it boil for another 3 to 5 minutes.

By now, taste your soup to see if it needs additional salt. Add some if it needs more. To finish the soup, add the wakame flakes, and they will rehydrate and add lots of flavour into the miso soup. Once the wakame has rehydrate, you’re ready to serve and enjoy!

I also like to add some udon noodles to my miso soup, and it becomes and excellent and healthy lunch! Just boil some instant udon in the miso soup. Once the udon noodles are ready, you’re ready to eat too! If you want, you can top it off with sesame seeds, scallions or anything you like – really!

Homemade Sweet Green (Mung) Bean Soup – 绿豆沙

Home Made Lu Dou Sha – Chinese Dessert

I was thinking about a refreshing dessert that is simple to make and refreshing would be the Chinese Mung Bean Soup

Ingredients:
1/2 cup dried green bean
1/4 cup rock sugar
4 cup of water

First thing you have to do is clean and soak the green beans. Keep in mind that the green beans swells up and doubles in size after soaking.

Once you finished soaking the beans – I did mine overnight, but a good rule is to soak at least 4 hours.

Boil the soaked green beans with rock sugar in water. Once the water boils, turn down the heat to a simmer. The green beans will become soft and swell up.

Once the beans started swelling up, basically you’re boiling out the water to the consistency that you like the dessert to be.

We like our dessert to be more on the thicker side, but I must admit – I’ve over done it on mine! I didn’t feel like adding more water to it since the sweetness was perfect, and it wasn’t bad having it thicker either!

This is a dessert where you can enjoy it hot or cold, and it tastes great both ways as well! I found once chilled, it becomes a little bit thicker as well, and less sweet. It’s a refreshing dessert!