Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Thai Pork and Pineapple

A light little stir-fry.
I started off with sauteing some onion, few chillies and just in the last minute, chopped garlic. Then took these out from the wok, and started browning my pork fillet slices.
(Do not overcrowd the meat in this process as it will get chewy. Just few slices at the time, till nicely browned. Fast and on furious heat)  Collect all the browned slices on the side, together with the sauteed onion, chilli and garlic. 

When I finished the browning, I added them all back into the wok, together with the sauteed onions, chillies and garlic. Then sprinkled a good spoonful of Palm sugar (can use brown sugar as well) , little crushed black pepper, few cubes of pineapple and about a cup of pineapple juice. I used canned pineapple, so the juice from the can itself was pretty much what I needed.

I warmed the mixture up for few minutes, then added the juice of half a lime, about two table spoons of Fish sauce.  Sprinkled it with chopped coriander and mint.

I make this dish quite often,  just love the combination of flavours (sharpness of the lime, sweetness of the fruit and sugar, spiciness of the chillies). A marriage made in heaven!

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Getting dirty with those dumplings

With full steam ahead, I made a hot water dough in a big bowl, and shaped it up nicely into little discs. 
Why with hot water? Because the original plan was to fry these dumplings and the skin turns much crunchier if the dough was made with hot water. Cold water doughs are more suitable for boiled dumplings. It is a completely different texture.  At the bottom of this post are the recipes for the...DOH!


Then I made the filling:

It was a mixture of: chopped bok choy, Chives, Leeks, Shiitake mushrooms, Cilantro, grated Ginger and Garlic, Chopped Tofu, Grated carrots, some chillies, Soy sauce, Sesame oil, and white pepper.
I very much imagine this mixture also as a salad, and I think it will be on my list for one of the dinners in the near future. But the intention of today's exercise, was to get dirty with the dough. 

After I filled all my dumplings with this mixture, I fried them in very little and very hot oil, for 2 minutes, then added half a cup of corn flour and water mixture (about one teaspoon of corn flour), covered it up and simmered it for further 5 minutes. If you include meat in your mixture, do allow at least ten minutes of simmering.

And this is what it looked like when it was ready. Sitting on a very nice golden lacy base created by the corn flour and water mixture.  

Cold water dough:  600 grams flour, 1 cup cold water.

Hot water dough:  3 cups (375 grams) Plain flour, 1 cup hot water (80 degrees C) and half cup of ice cold water, but only after the hot water has been fully crumbled in the flour.

And a little bit of science for those Food Enthusiast:

"The dumpling dough's water content and resilience can be changed by varying the water temperature. The variations are necessary for achieving the ideal dumpling. A hot water dough has more water and is weak/yielding. That's because flour can absorb more hot than cold water, and hot water weakens and partially cooks the gluten but cold water doesn't. A cold water dough, in comparison, is not only stronger/more stretchy but also has less water"