Friday, October 26, 2007

Traditional Chinese Breakfast Dishes


Here are some traditional Chines breakfast recipes for you to try out. Please not that I've not tried out any of them, but got them from friends and the net.

Wonton
This is a basic recipe for wonton with a pork and shrimp filling. Deep-fry the wonton or boil in soup as desired. For extra flavor, use fresh water chestnuts.

Yields about 35 - 40 wonton
Ingredients:
1/2 pound boneless lean pork
1/2 pound shelled and deveined medium shrimp
3 water chestnuts
2 slices ginger, or as needed to make 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine, dry sherry or rice vinegar
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
a few drops sesame oil
Freshly ground white pepper, to taste
Wonton wrappers, as needed
Preparation:
Finely chop the pork and shrimp. Peel the water chestnuts and finely chop. Mince the ginger until you have 1 teaspoon.

Combine the pork and shrimp with the water chestnuts, minced ginger, oyster sauce, soy sauce, rice wine or sherry or rice vinegar, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper.

To fill the wontons, lay one won ton skin in front of you. (Cover the remaining won ton skins with a damp towel to keep them from drying out). Moisten all the edges of the won ton wrapper with water. Place a heaping teaspoon of won ton filling in the center.

Fold the wonton wrapper in half lengthwise, making sure the ends meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal. Use thumbs to push down on the edges of the filling to center it. Keeping thumbs in place, fold over the wonton wrapper one more time. Push the corners up and hold in place between your thumb and index finger. Wet the corners with your fingers. Bring the two ends together so that they overlap. Press to seal. The finished product should resemble a nurse's cap. Repeat with remaining wontons.

Alternate method: Place the teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper and twist to seal. The final result should resemble a money bag or drawstring purse.

Boiling the wontons: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the won tons, making sure there is enough room for them to move about freely. Let the wontons boil for 5 - 8 minutes, until they rise to the top and the filling is cooked through. Remove from the pot with a slotted spoon.

Deep-frying the wontons: Heat oil for deep-frying to 360 degrees. Add wonton in small batches and fry, turning occasionally, about 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Wontons can be prepared ahead of time up to the cooking stage and frozen. Thaw before cooking.

Mantou / Baozi / Steamed Bun Dough
This dough can be used to make Chinese steamed buns, called mantou, or filled buns, called baozi. These fluffy, chewy, warm and unusual breads are common breakfasts, sides and meals in much of China. They are especially popular in Shanghai (Baozi) and Beijing (Mantou), where window-stall and small shop vendors sell them. Because this is the less unhealthy version with some whole wheat substitutions, they can be finicky based on dampness and temprature —

1½ hours 30 min prep
Ingridients:

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup skim milk, warm
1/2 cup water
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 (1/4 ounce) package fast rising yeast


Mix the yeast and flours in a large bowl.
Dissolve the sugar and add the peanut oil in the water.
Add to the flour bowl and mix thoroughly.
Knead dough until it becomes a consistent ball, adding milk or more flour as needed (I usually end up using a tad more than 1/2 cup of milk).
Cover dough in a bowl and allow to rest 10 – 15 minutes.
Remove dough, pound it down, and re-knead until it forms a fully elastic dough ball.
Place ball in a greased, covered bowl and allow to rise for 40 minutes to 1 hour, until doubled or tripled in bulk.
Divide into 16-24 small dough balls, or roll out into one large flat rectangle on a floured surface.
Flatted dough balls with a rolling pin, OR measure 3 – 5 inch rounds out of the pressed rectangle.
Fill each flat round with roughly 2 tbs of the filling of your choice in the center. Pull the dough on all sides from the corners up to the top, and ‘twist’ to close.
Steam filled buns (baozi) for 15 – 25 minutes over high heat.
NOTE: Plain buns, or mantou, can be obtained by simply omitting the filling.


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