Gastronomixs

Har gao (clear prawn dumplings) with sweet & sour rice vinegar foam

Har gao (clear prawn dumplings) with sweet & sour rice vinegar foam Enlarge

This month's guest chef is Andrew Wong. He is the chef and owner of the Michelin starred A Wong restaurant in London. As a child, Andrew spent most of his time in the Chinese restaurant owned by his parents. But growing up in the restaurant business didn't inspire a passion for cooking in the young boy, and he went to study at Oxford and London School of Economics instead. When his father passed away several years later, Andrew returned home to help his mother run the restaurant. Here he started to notice the similarities between Chinese cuisine and culture which motivated him to learn more about cooking. That's when he decided to follow a chef's training programme. Andrew wanted to do something different than the other Chinese restaurants in London and believed that Chinese food did not have to be synonymous with quick and cheap. He decided to travel and found his inspiration in the various regions of China. He returned to London having gained new knowledge, cooking techniques, and experience. In 2012, he opened A Wong, named after his parents. Here he created unique dishes inspired by Chinese cuisine and was awarded a Michelin star for his efforts in 2017. Andrew opened a second restaurant, Kym's, at the end of 2018. In this Modern Chinese restaurant the focus is on the art of Chinese roasted meats and how to prepare it perfectly. Andrew shares two dishes with us from his book The Cookbook - Extraordinary dim sum, exceptional street food & unexpected Chinese dishes from Sichuan to Yunnan and one new recipe!

Andrew about this dish: "One thing that I have learned over the years making this pastry is that if you undercook the dough when adding the boiling water and it doesn’t have any elasticity, you can wrap it up in clingfilm and steam it for a minute before attempting to knead it again. But if you have overcooked the dough, save yourself the aggravation of trying to force dumpling skins out of it; throw the batch away and start again, adding the water a little slower this time."

Creation by Andrew Wong, A Wong*, London, United Kingdom.
Photography by Yuki Sugiura for A. Wong - The Cookbook

Makes 20 dumplings.

Ingredients

250

g

peeled raw prawns

20

g

white vegetable fat

15

g

sugar

5

g

potato starch

1

tsp

sesame oil

5

g

salt

As needed:

 

white pepper

As needed:

 

fresh root ginger trimmings

As needed:

 

spring onion

75

ml

water

110

g

wheat starch

110

g

tapioca flour

70

g

potato starch

200

ml

boiling water

50

ml

vegetable oil

200

ml

rice vinegar

100

ml

water

3

tbsp

sugar

2

tsp

soya lecithin

As needed:

 

sweet chilli sauce

As needed:

 

sweet chilli sauce

Preparation method: har gao prawn filling
  • Mix root ginger trimmings and spring onion with the water, let infuse and sieve.
  • Place all the ingredients in an electric stand mixer fitted with the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes. (The dough hook binds the ingredients together without turning the mixture into a purée, which a blender would do.)
  • Remove from the mixer and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preparation method: har gao pastry
  • Place the ingredients in a mixer fitted with a dough hook.
  • With the machine running, slowly pour in enough of the boiling water, at a rate of 50ml every 45 seconds, until a dough forms. It is very important to add the water slowly to avoid overcooking the dough and making it overly stiff. When the dough is just moist enough to bind together, add the oil and knead for a further minute.
  • Transfer the dough to a wooden board and knead by hand for about 2–3 minutes until smooth and elastic.
  • Stretch and push the dough to check the elasticity. If not using immediately, wrap the dough tightly in clingfilm to prevent it drying out.
  • Remove a 100g section of the dough and roll into a long sausage shape. Keep the remaining dough tightly wrapped in clingfilm.
  • Divide the dough sausage into 5g portions and roll each into a ball, then push down on them with the palm of your hand to form rounds.
  • Using an oiled meat cleaver, draw the side of the blade over a dough round in an arching action to spread it into a 7cm-diameter circle – you will need to repeat the action several times before the dough is the required thickness (you should just be able to see through it).
  • Carefully scrape the dough off the board with the cleaver.
Preparation method: rice vinegar foam
  • Warm all the ingredients in a pan and then blend with a stick blender until a foam forms.
Finishing and presentation
  • Place about 20g of the filing in the centre of the pastry circle.
  • Fold the pastry in half to cover the filling and press between your thumb and forefinger at the 12 o’clock position on the pastry circle just beyond the filling to seal.
  • Starting from the left of this point, fold the pastry over at 5mm intervals to make 7 pleats around that side of the semicircle.
  • Repeat on the other side to make 6 pleats.
  • You should now have a total of 13 pleats, and each pleat should radiate from the central 12 o’clock position in a fan arrangement.
  • Seal the dumpling pleats by rotating the dumpling anticlockwise at a 45-degree angle and pressing the dough between your thumb and forefinger.
  • Use the cleaver to scrape off all the excess dough from the pleating in a single motion in order to create a clean, smooth edge.
  • Steam the dumplings over a high heat for 5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 60°C.
  • Brush the dumplings lightly with sweet chilli sauce and cover each with a tablespoon of foam before serving.

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