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Dumpling 101 - Chinese Varieties

Dumpling 101 - Chinese Varieties
Various cultures and cuisines globally have their own rendition of the classic filled, stuffed or doughy parcels we've come to know and love called dumplings. Germany is famous for their kartoffelkloesse, or fluffy potato dumplings served with a creamy meat-based gravy. You'd be hard pressed to find an easier recipe to make at home than a simple pan-fried Japanese gyoza, usually stuffed with juicy pork mince, ginger and cabbage. Today we're focusing on quintessential Chinese-style dumplings, as this is the culture that has perfected a wide range of different dumpling shapes, sizes and flavours. Of course, a dumpling isn't complete without a tangy, salty or spicy sauce for dipping purposes so make sure to try one of our ingredient sauces to add another dimension to your dish.

Xiaolongbao
First invented in the Jiangnan region of China - and still heavily popular in the cities of Shanghai and Wuxi - the xiaolongbao dumpling is like nothing else you will find in other cuisines. These are traditionally prepared in a xialong, or a small bamboo steaming basket. The word translates to 'soup dumpling' as they are made with a gelatinised meat broth so that when steamed and bitten into, they reveal a puddle of flavoursome broth alongside meat and various aromatics like ginger, garlic and shallots. Only the most well-trained dumpling chefs are put in charge of the famed xialongbao as these are very delicate and intricate to create to make sure they don't burst open upon cooking. To add a kick of flavour to your dumpling, try it with our Fish Sauce which adds a subtle burst of flavour to any meal.

Tang Yuan
Something a little sweeter and more decadent, tang yuan are a traditional Chinese sweet usually served at celebratory festivals or the Lunar New Year Festival annually all over China. They are glutinous rice balls that are either filled with peanut butter, red beans, coconut or a combination of a few ingredients or unfilled and served with a dark sugar syrup. 

Har Gow
Popular on a Yum Cha cart on a busy weekend in Hong Kong, har gow are a deceptively simple-looking dumpling that are trickier to make than first meets the eye. Har gow are filled with juicy, plump prawns and bamboo shoots, but pork is also a popular option. The reason they are so difficult to make is due to their translucent wheat starch dough which needs to be sturdy enough to hold the filling securely but not tough enough to chew easily. Sweet Chilli adds a tangy flavour to har gow and so we recommend serving our Sweet Chilli Sauce on the side. 

Siu Mai
Known for their colourful yellow wrapper and juicy open-topped fillings, siu mai are one of the easiest dumplings to find at any good Chinese restaurant. The Chinese love combining pork with seafood and so this is the most common filling but almost anything goes with the classic siu mai. 

Image credit: @ngonbistro

East Meets West - The Best Asian Food Trends of 2017

East Meets West - The Best Asian Food Trends of 2017
In 2017, it isn't too much of a far stretch for most people to know the names of different Asian ingredients that even a decade ago were deemed exotic and strange in taste, texture and smell. It's not unusual to find Korea's kimchi scattered over a bowl of fries with cheese sauce. Every other person now eats a few sushi rolls for lunch. Pho? We're sure you'll get odd looks if you still don't know how to pronounce it (we'll help you out - it's 'fuh' not 'fo'). We have compiled a list of the food trends we're seeing at Asian restaurants around the world that we're loving the sound of!

Pho Burrito
A trend that's taken the internet by storm, the intriguingly named pho burrito is exactly what it sounds like sans beefy broth. A tortilla is stuffed with noodles that have been soaked in pho broth, with hoisin sauce, Vietnamese mint, bean sprouts, onion and beef slices all wrapped up together and devoured by hand. If you want to give this wacky creation at home, try our Vietnamese pho broth when cooking the noodles.


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Kimchi Taco
Kimchi is best known as a staple condiment in the Korean culture, and is usually served alongside main dishes or eaten as an appetite cleanser before or after meals. It is a chilli fermented cabbage dish that has been reinvented by restaurants and cafes around the globe and now you can find kimchi in almost anything from within sushi to the infamous kimchi taco. A taco is stuffed with Korean-style marinated beef, shredded carrot or cucumber and topped with the spicy, mouth-tingling kimchi for a flavour sensation like no other. If you'd like to make a quick at-home version, use our Korean Kimchi Soup paste over blanched cabbage and top your tacos with this tangy beauty.

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Ramen Burger
One of the most interesting creations you might have come across at a street fair or night noodle market as of late is the esteemed ramen burger, which has ramen noodle patties replace bread buns! This wonderfully weird concoction is especially popular in Japan, and is usually filled with miso glazed beef, lettuce and Japanese kewpie mayonnaise. Try making your own version at home and glaze your meat patty with our Japanese Miso Soup paste for an authentic touch. 

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Dumpling 101 - Chinese Varieties

Dumpling 101 - Chinese Varieties

Various cultures and cuisines globally have their own rendition of the classic filled, stuffed or doughy parcels we've come to know and love called dumplings. Germany is famous for their kartoffelkloesse, or fluffy potato dumplings served with a creamy meat-based gravy. You'd be hard pressed to find an easier recipe to make at home than a simple pan-fried Japanese gyoza, usually stuffed with juicy pork mince, ginger and cabbage. Today we're focusing on quintessential Chinese-style dumplings, as this is the culture that has perfected a wide range of different dumpling shapes, sizes and flavours.

» Read more

East Meets West - The Best Asian Food Trends of 2017

East Meets West - The Best Asian Food Trends of 2017

In 2017, it isn't too much of a far stretch for most people to know the names of different Asian ingredients that even a decade ago were deemed exotic and strange in taste, texture and smell. It's not unusual to find Korea's kimchi scattered over a bowl of fries with cheese sauce. Every other person now eats a few sushi rolls for lunch. Pho? We're sure you'll get odd looks if you still don't know how to pronounce it (we'll help you out - it's 'fuh' not 'fo'). We have compiled a list of the food trends we're seeing at Asian restaurants around the world that we're loving the sound of!

» Read more

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