Dabbling in dim sum, continued

After my last post, I continued to dabble some more in dim sum-making at home.  It's fun to challenge myself to try something new and, lately, it's been dim sum and Chinese food making beyond what I'm used to.  
If you like seafood, chances are steamed shrimp dumplings (or "har gow") are a must when it comes to dim sum.  They're sometimes called "crystal shrimp dumplings", referring to their signature translucent skin from which you can see the coral pink of the shrimp peeking through.  It's a dim sum classic and something I always get when I'm having dim sum at a Chinese restaurant.
This har gow project was definitely a challenge but worth the effort to, in the end, get to sit down with my husband and enjoy our own homemade har gow in the comfort of home.  It's just neat to learn how things are made.  And it turns out, the har gow skin is made from a combination of wheat starch and cornstarch; I had to make the dough three times to get it right but it was due to my own error and mix up.  In the end, I still found the dough difficult/fragile to handle but using a little extra wheat starch helped the maneuverability and I plowed on...
The filling was a lot simpler to whip together.  The shrimp is the star but it's also important to get your hands on a can of bamboo shoots because it's a must in this recipe and not to be omitted, as those bamboo shoots give the har gow a distinct crunch.  
The dough being a lot harder (stickier than I expected, easy to break) to maneuver than I expected, I exercised as much patience and care as I could muster in pleating and shaping the har gow and somehow managed to put some into my steamer basket!  
Luckily, a lot of flaws are hidden after steaming and I thought my homemade har gow looked the part (admittedly, expectations were low going in).  They may not be restaurant-quality (the skin being a little too thick and not as supple as they should be; not to mention general appearance as far as pleating goes) but they were pretty close to the real thing.  I loved the flavor of the filling and thought that was spot on.   

Now bamboo-steamer expeditions aside, sometimes you order off the menu when you go for dim sum.  If it's around the lunch hour, the kitchen opens up to provide heartier fare and they start taking orders for other dishes - particularly noodles.  One of my favorites is saucy beef ho fun (flat) noodles.


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