Chinese Char Siu Pork Dumplings

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Chinese Dim Sum is very popular in our household. It is popularly known as small portions of food which has been steamed and is served at lunchtime. The closest comparisons, I would say are Spanish Tapas or Greek Meze. One of our favourite Dim Sum dishes is steamed bun dumplings with a roast pork filling. Andy and I bought a frozen pack of six buns from our local Thai grocery store.

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After it had defrosted, we steamed it for 15 minutes in an electric steamer. I had never used one of these before I met Andy. It is quite simple to use as you place water into the base area and there are levels to fill to depending on how long you need to steam your food.

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There are three steam trays and the food that requires the most cooking should be stacked at the bottom. As we were only steaming the buns, we used one tray.

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Char Siu Bao (or Barbeque Pork Buns) have a sweet yet savoury taste from both the pastry and the filling. The dough is soft, similar to brioche, and tend to become slightly chewy as they cool. The pork is diced into small pieces and mixed with a rather dense sauce. It has a creamy, paste-like consistency. It can be rather filling. I can eat two and Andy manages three buns. We normally eat it in restaurants with Cheung Fun (rectangular strips of rice noodle rolled with a meat or prawn filling and served with sweet soy sauce), chicken feet (yep, their feet! My mum says the Chinese don’t like to let any edible part of an animal go to waste) steamed with chilli and steamed spare ribs.

Andy wanted you to know that it was ‘very nice’.

Bx

Grass Jelly Drinks

Grass Jelly

I’d been reminiscing about Asian drinks from my childhood with Mabel over at mabelkwong.com recently, which made me really crave Grass Jelly. I asked my mum to buy it from her local Chinese supermarket, in London for me. There is normally a brand that we buy, I think it’s called Foco, but they didn’t stock it at the shop my mum went to. Instead she bought Chin Chin’s and what caught my attention, which is the main reason I thought I would share this post with you, was that it was banana flavour. Grass Jelly drinks are quite unique tasting anyway and I thought it was made even more so with a hint of banana. Normally, there is a sweet almost honey and herbaceous taste to these beverages and a bit like bubble tea, there are little jelly pieces that sink to the bottom and you need a big straw to help you drink it.

Jelly on a spoon

What I like about this and a lot of Asian drinks is that there are bits to chew as you drink. I really like Foco’s Roasted Coconut juice as this has chopped up coconut flesh and the tapioca jelly balls in bubble tea too. I remember drinking the latter for the first time about 15 years ago on a trip to Thailand. My younger cousin, Bank, took me to Siam Square (a trendy shopping area for students) and I remember liking it so much, I desperately wanted it to be sold in the UK. It wasn’t until my cousin came over here to study at University, about five years later, that I had it again when he took me to a Chinese restaurant that sold it in Chinatown, London.

Have you tried a Grass Jelly drink before and did you like it? Let me know.

Bx