Sunday, September 12, 2010

Spice Curried Wontons

This fusion recipe of Indian flavours delicately wrapped in Chinese wonton cups, make the cutest little appetizers. They're easy and take no time make but will surely be an instant hit with your family and friends at your next house party.

The background to the recipe's key spice, curry powder, was developed by British manufactu
rers in an attempt to provide a ready-made spice mixture similar to the kari podi (podi means “powder”) that British colonists became accustomed to in southern India. Essential to the fiery cooking of southern India, kari podi is the combination of spices that evolved into British-style curry powder.

The other star ingredient, wontons, are Chinese dumplings made
from wheat flour and eggs. There are many variations of wontons but the most common type of wonton, known to North Americans, is the Cantonese version made with a minced pork filling and served boiled in soups. So try making these tasty bite-sized treats, they will be your new go-to "appie" for many parties to come!

Did you know: Cantonese wontons were introduced to Hong Kong after World War II as street food and later to indoor eateries.
- 24 wonton wrappers (Preferred brand: Double Happiness Foods Wonton Wrappers)
- canola oil
- 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/3 cup mango chutney (or any chutney of choice)
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
- chopped green onions or cilantro (optional)
Did you know: Curry is actually a mix of spices and commonly includes ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, fenugreek, dry mustard, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, black pepper and red chili peppers.

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. To make the wonton cups, press wonton wrappers into mini muffin cups, pressing any folds firmly to the sides. Bake for 5-8 minutes until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

3. For the filling, heat a teaspoon of canola oil in a frying pan and saute the onions for 5 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic and ginger, cool for another minute. Add the chicken, curry, coconut milk , chutney, lime juice, salt & pepper. Cook, stirring often, until filling is bubbly and thickened. Cool slightly or chill before spooning into wonton cups and sprinkle with chopped green onion or cilantro. Now, put on your party dress and serve to hungry guests!!
Try this: For a lighter version, use light coconut milk or 2% evaporated milk.
Recipe adapted by Julie Van Rosendaal's Grazing

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Shumai (Pork Dumplings)
The origins of Shumai, a traditional Chinese pork dumpling, date back to the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907). Its filling is typically made with seasoned ground pork, chopped shrimp and Shiitake mushrooms then wrapped with thin wonton wrappers to be either steamed or fried. Shumai is one of the most popular dishes served during Dim Sum, a Cantonese term meaning dishes of small individual portions of food, usually served in a small steamer basket or on a small plate.

A huge lover of all things Dim Sum, I jumped at the opportunity to learn how to make these luscious dumplings from my boyfriend's father. He typically comes up with his recipes, like this version of Shumai, from the availability of ingredients from his fridge and pantry. A lesson on how to be resourceful and be confident to try new ingredients in familiar dishes to shake things up! A unique ingredient in this recipe is Chinese sausage, also known as Lap Chong.
Did you know: The Dim Sum cuisine originated with Cantonese farmers who would take a midday break after an exhausting morning tilling the fields to enjoy afternoon tea. Soon entrepreneurial tea-house owners began serving farmers small snacks with their tea. These "small snacks" would eventually evolve into the culinary art of Dim Sum!
- 1 lb ground lean pork
- 1 cup Chinese sausage (Lap Chong), finely chopped
- 1/2 lb uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup Shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup green onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup onion, minced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- ground pepper
- wonton wrappers
Delicious Tip: Wonton wrappers dry out easily so always cover both unused and completed Shumai under a damp dish cloth.

1. Combine the pork, Chinese sausage, mushrooms, green onion, onion, garlic, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and ground pepper, and mix well until it forms a paste.

2. Place about a tablespoon of pork filling on each wonton wrapper, and crimp up the sides to form ripples, leaving the center open. Flatten the bottom of the dumpling on the counter so that it will stand up. Then top with a whole shrimp. When all the Shimai dumplings are filled, steam in a bamboo steamer for about 5-6 minutes, until cooked. Served with soy sauce or other desired dipping sauces.
Oh so tasty!
Try this! Be creative with your dipping sauces and try these simple recipes for your next Shumai fix! Creamy mustard sauce: In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of mustard, 1 teaspoon of water, 1/4 teaspoon of sesame sauce and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Soy-vinegar sauce: In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons of vinegar, 1 teaspoon of rice wine vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon of minced ginger and 1/4 cup of finely chopped green onion.