Chinese dim sim

Meals for the homeless – chicken siumai dumplings

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Winter is finally here, and it rained most days last week. This means it was very uncomfortable for our rough sleepers, with many of them having to seek shelter at temporary accommodation. However, I was assured that they would not miss our homemade hot meals on Saturday night. So I made an extra effort to provide them with some nice food – apricot chicken, prawn and chorizo pilau, and chicken siumai dumplings.

Although time consuming, chicken siumai dumplings are very easy to make. My simplest version has only a few key ingredients – wonton wrappers, chicken mince, chicken bouillon powder, salt and white pepper, and cooking oil for pan frying.

Meals for the homeless - chicken siumai dumplings
I first made the meat filling, then the dumplings. I steamed the dumplings, following by pan-frying the dumplings slightly, so they won’t stick during transit to the homeless feed.

The easy method is illustrated as follows:

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Hometown sweet and savory rice dumplings (家乡咸水角) – memories of my grandfather’s village at ZhongShan (中山)

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These dumplings are distinctively Cantonese- sweet & savory, gentle and tasty. Someone told me that it was originated from the Zhongshan region (中山) where my grandfather was born.

Hometown Sweet & Savory Glutinous Rice Dumplings (家乡咸水角) XianSuiJiao

My grandfather’s family lived in a village called Yunhan (云汉村) in a town called Shaxi (沙溪镇). The town was well known for its connection to overseas Chinese – nearly every family had some relatives overseas.

My childhood memory of the village where our relatives lived was picturesque –  peaceful lychee trees growing alongside a small river, laden with juicy purple-red fruits. The houses in the village were the traditional terrace houses with beautiful classic wooden furniture called red Suanzhi, translated as the red sour-wood (酸枝), one of the most expensive furniture hardwood in southern China. At the back of each house, there was a courtyard with a sand filter.  Water was carried home from a nearby well, commonly in two wooden buckets on a pole, then filtered to drinking water in a sand filter.  Most courtyards were lined with stones. The stoves were also made of stones where straws and sticks were burned to cook food. A well-off region with fertile farm land and money from offshore relations, hospitality at the village was always warm and welcoming.

Zhongshan 云汉村 in 1970s
Relatives walking along the lychee tree lined river, at Yunhan village (云汉村), Zhonghshan, 1970s

 

DelishHomeCook, village, ZhongShan 中山, GuangDong, China
My family’s village at ZhongShan in early 1980s

These savory dumplings are wonderfully interesting  – glutinous rice skin that tastes a little like a doughnut, with extremely tasty fillings.  They are time-consuming to make, but very worthwhile.

Recipe is as follows: Read the rest of this entry »