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Dim Sum quick and easy.

Dim Sum quick and easy

These contemporary Chinese dim sum arequicker and easier to make than the more traditional versions of these appetizer-like morsels. They are based on one versatile pureed shrimp mixture that tops shiitake mushrooms, scallops, and cabbage squares.

With help from time-saving equipment,preparation is simple and fast. The shrimp paste--customarily hand minced--goes together quickly with a food processor. Cooking, usually done in a steamer, takes only a few minutes in a microwave oven. All three appetizers can be prepared a day ahead, needing only to cook the day of the party. If your microwave isn't full size, you may need to cook the appetizers half at a time on two plates; reduce suggested cooking times by about a third.

Fresh Shrimp Paste

1/2 pound medium-size shrimp (30 to50 per lb.), shelled and deveined

2 large egg whites

1 tablespoon dry sherry

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

1 clove garlic, pressed or minced

2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon sugar

About 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1/2 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil orsalad oil

1/8 tespoon white pepper

In a food processor, combine shrimp, eggwhites, sherry, ginger, garlic, cornstarch, sugar, salt, oil, and pepper. Whirl until smoothly pureed and paste-like. Or with a knife, finely mince shrimp. In a bowl, combine shrimp and remaining ingredients; beat until well blended and sticky.

Use in the following recipes. Makes 1 1/3cups.--Henry and Judy Chan, Yank Sing Restaurant, San Francisco.

Shrimp on Shiitake Mushrooms

24 small (1 1/2-in.-diameter) driedshiitake mushrooms

Water

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons sugar

1 teaspoon Oriental sesame oil orsalad oil

1 green onion, thinly sliced

Fresh shrimp paste (recipeprecedes)

About 2 tablespoons frozen greenpeas, thawed

Soak mushrooms in warm water untilsoft, about 30 minutes; lift from water. Cut off and discard tough stems.

In a nonmetal bowl, mix mushrooms, 2tablespoons soy sauce, ginger, sugar, oil, onion, and 1 cup water. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. In a microwave oven, cook at full power until mushrooms are very tender when pierced, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain mushrooms; press out excess liquid.

On gill side of each mushroom, mound anequal amount of shrimp paste (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Lightly press 2 or 3 peas into the paste. Place mushrooms, filled side up, slightly apart on an 11- to 12-inch plate. Cover plate with plastic wrap. If made ahead, chill up to overnight.

In a microwave oven, cook at full powerfor 2 1/2 minutes. Rotate plate a half-turn; continue cooking at full power until shrimp feels firm when gently pressed, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Let stand, covered, about 5 minutes. Uncover plate; offer soy sauce for dipping. Makes 24 mushrooms, about 8 appetizer servings.

Shrimp on a Scallop Pedestal

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1 large egg white

Soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

3/4 pound sea scallops (1 1/2 in.diameter), rinsed and drained

Fresh shrimp paste (recipe precedes)

About 30 fresh cilantro leaves(coriander)

In a bowl, mix sugar and cornstarch. Stirin egg white, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, and pepper. Cut scallops into 1/3- to 1/2-inch-thick rounds; mix into egg mixture. Cover and chill 15 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Drain off excess marinade from scallops.Set scallops slightly apart on an 11- to 12-inch plate. On each round, mound an equal portion of shrimp paste (1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons); garnish with a cilantro leaf. Cover with plastic wrap. If made ahead, cover and chill up to overnight.

In a microwave oven, cook at full powerfor 2 1/2 minutes. Rotate plate a half-turn. Continue cooking at full power until shrimp paste feels firm when gently pressed, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Remove from oven. Let stand, covered, about 5 minutes. Uncover; drain off excess liquid or transfer scallops to a clean plate. Serve with soy sauce for dipping. Makes about 30 rounds, about 10 appetizer servings.

Shrimp on Cabbage Squares

10 large napa cabbage leaves

Fresh shrimp paste (recipeprecedes)

48 julienne strips (each about 1 in.long) thinly sliced cooked ham

24 fresh cilantro leaves (coriander)

Soy sauce

Cut off leafy portions of cabbage, then cutthick stems into 24 squares (1 1/2-in. each). Reserve leaves and trimmings for another use. Place cabbage pieces in a nonmetal bowl; cover with plastic wrap. In a microwave oven, cook at full power for 2 minutes. Rotate bowl a half-turn; continue cooking just until cabbage is slightly wilted, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Drain well.

On each cabbage piece, mound an equalportion of shrimp paste (about 1 1/2 teaspoons). Lightly press 2 strips of ham and a cilantro leaf into paste on each piece.

Place slightly apart on an 11- to 12-inchplate. Cover with plastic wrap. If made ahead, cover and chill, up to overnight.

In a microwave oven, cook at full powerfor 1 1/2 minutes. Rotate plate a half-turn; continue cooking at full power till shrimp paste is firm when lightly pressed, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes longer. Let stand, covered, about 5 minutes. Uncover plate. Serve with soy sauce for dipping. Makes about 24 squares, 8 appetizer servings.

Photo: Lightly seasoned fresh shrimp paste cooks in shiitakemushroom caps (left), atop scallop slices (above), or on cabbage squares (below) to make quick, light appetizers

Photo: Whirl shrimp in a food processor--ormince them with a knife--to make the savory appetizer topping shown above
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:recipes
Publication:Sunset
Date:Feb 1, 1987
Words:918
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