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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Soon Kueh ( Turnip dumplings in crystal skin )

Amplify the flavor with killer sambal chilli. Sedap ! 
Garnish with baked garlic bits for crunch.

It is a misnomer to call this snack soon kueh when there isn’t a shred of bamboo shoot ( ‘soon’ ) in it. In my memory, soon kueh will always be associated with this old Teochew hawker who came every afternoon, hawking her wares on 2 straw baskets tethering on both ends of a split bamboo pole. We bought it most days because she was a distant relative. 

Soon kueh was a poor man’s snack when bamboo shoots grow abundantly in the backyard and with some flour, could be transformed into a lip smacking meal.  I can no longer tolerate the smell of the shoots because I had too much of them in my system from spending many typhoon months while working in Taiwan ( where all you had is bamboo shoots ! ). Crunchy turnip is a different story altogether.

I have experimented using rice flour but it proved too brittle to handle. Tapioca and potato starch were easier for the newbie and the dough is pliable for a longer time.  Don’t berate yourself for not achieving the thinnest wrapper at first but lots of soon kuehs later, you will possibly make a wrapper so thin Din Tai Fung’s recruiters will come knocking at your door.

This garlicky version is dedicated to my garlic loving teenager who simply love the stinky bulb.

Dough adapated from here.

Ingredients :

¼ cup of dried shrimps
¼ cup of minced fresh garlic
¼ cup of soaked shitake, minced and squeezed dry
1 big turnip, julienned and chopped
½ cup of water or stock
1 sprig of scallions, chopped
¼ tsp of chicken granules
a dash of oyster sauce
a dash of salt
a dash of light soy sauce
3-4 tbsp of corn starch

Method :

In a frying pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil.
In medium low heat, sauté shrimps, garlic and shitake until fragrant, about 5-10 minutes.
Add turnip, scallions and water. 
Cook , covered, at medium heat, until the ingredient is almost dry.
Add the rest of the ingredients and combine.
Set aside to cool.

Dough :

A )
160g wheat starch
50g sweet potato flour
1/8 tsp fine salt
¼ tsp sugar
( Combine in bowl A )

2 TBSP canola oil
500g boiling water
( Combine in bowl B )

200g tapioca flour ( Bowl C )

Method  - making the dough :

In mixing bowl ( A ), combine components ( A ) ; wheat starch, sweet potato flour, salt and sugar.

In container B, combine oil and hot water.

Pour the hot liquid in ( B ) to contents in ( A ) . Stir with a pair of chopstick until the flour in ( A ) is combined.

Transfer the scalded flour in ( A )  onto the tapioca flour in  ( C ).

Knead the contents until it comes together as a pliable dough. Be careful not to burn your hands.

Making the skin :

Pinch off 40g of the dough and make it into a smooth ball with slightly oiled hands.

Cover the rest of the dough until you are ready to make the next soon kueh.

Dip the ball into the tapioca flour.

Flatten the ball into a disc using a flat pastry cutter. Roll out the disc, about the size of your palm. I find it easier to roll out the disc by pressing the rolling pin on the flat cutter that is resting on the dough.

Neaten the edge of the soon kueh using a medium sized bowl as a template.

Spoon the ingredients onto the disc. Encase the ingredients and seal it by pinching the edges together.

Transfer the soon kueh to a heavily oiled plate.

Repeat the procedure until the ingredients / dough is used up. By rolling out the discs and then encasing the ingredients as you go along, there is less chance of the dough drying out.

Steam over high heat for 10 minutes or until the skin turns translucent. To handle the cooked kuehs, used oiled chopsticks and utensils to prevent tearing.

1 comment:

  1. Oh yes, I hate the smell of bamboo shoots. It is stinky to me. But I do love soon kueh a lot, with chilli sauce :)