Friday, October 23, 2009

Stuffed Hot Peppers Dim Sum Style

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This recipe is for stuffed peppers, and is one of my all-time favorite recipes. I have used hot peppers for this recipe, but the recipe can can be adapted to different vegetables including eggplants.

To make this, gather the following ingredients:
  • Large Peppers - I used hot peppers for this, but you may substitute with Bell Peppers
  • Fish paste
  • 1 stalk of green onion
  • Dried baby prawns
To make the stuffed peppers:
  1. You first need to chop the prawns and the green onion, then mix it evenly within the fish paste. You'll need to add roughly a tablespoon of cornstarch to help the ingredients bind together. The stuffing can be prepared ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator before use.
  2. Chop the peppers into large pieces such that you're keeping a cup shape in which to stuff it.
  3. Use a butter knife and apply a small amount of cornstarch to the inside of the pepper.
  4. Spoon enough fish paste to fill the pepper piece fully to the top.
  5. Use a butter knife and smooth off the top of the pepper with some vegetable oil
  6. Heat up a non-stick frying pan on medium heat and add vegetable oil. Pan fry the stuffed peppers with fish paste facing the pan and pepper facing up. This will take roughly 5 minutes on one side to cook well, perhaps even a couple minutes more. The stuff peppers should look carmelized on the top.
  7. Turn the stuff peppers over so that the pepperside is down on the pan, and cook for a couple more minutes.
  8. Make a sauce by adding a small amount of oyster sauce, 1/4 tsp cornstarch, a small amount of water, 1/4 tsp sugar, and soy sauce. Add the sauce to the pan and let it thicken. If you want to, you can now add a dash of rum to the pan as well.
  9. Plate and serve

Friday, October 9, 2009

Pineapple Buns

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Every now and then, I like to have an Pineapple Bun with an afternoon cup of tea. The bun is named Pineapple for its appearance rather than taste, but the outer crust is what makes a pineapple bun so delectable. The best way to have it is fresh out of the oven, then sliced to spread some butter inside the bun.

Pineapple Buns with a stick slab of butter within (Bor Lor Yao) are also commonly consumed prior to attending weddings back in the day in Hong Kong if the guests know that there will be heavy alcohol consumption. The reason is that the butter will coat the stomach and delay the absorption of alcohol, and thus, delay the onset of alcohol's effects.

To make pineapple buns, you'll need:
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, slightly beaten

The topping for the pineapple buns is made separately using:
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder

To make the pineapple buns:
  1. Mix together 1/2 cup flour, sugar, yeast, and salt
  2. Melt the butter, then add oil and milk to the butter and warm it
  3. Pour the butter/oil/milk mixture into the flour mixture
  4. Add the eggs to the flour mixture, and stir well to combine. Then beat mixture for 3 minutes
  5. Add the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed
  6. Dust the counter-top and knead the dough on it. Add dough little by little if it's too sticky.
  7. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a clean towel. Let it double in size, which will take roughly 1.5 hours. While the dough is rising, prepare the pineapple bun topping following the recipe further below on this page).
  8. After 1.5 hours, punch the dough down and let it rise again for another 1.5 hours
  9. Divide the dough into 12 equally sized balls, then flatten them to round, flat buns. Place them on lightly greased baking sheets and cover with a slightly damp towel for another 45 minutes so that the dough can rise a bit more.
  10. Take the prepared pineapple topping and roll it to a thickness of about 1/2 a cm
  11. Brush the buns with a small amount of water, and place the pineapple topping ontop of the buns. The water will help the topping stick to the buns.
  12. Take a knife and lightly score the toppings with a criss-cross pattern, kind of like grill marks on a steak.
  13. Lightly beat 1 egg yolk and brush the buns and toppings with it. The egg yolk will provide the buns with a nice rich yellow colour.
  14. Bake the buns at 375 degrees Fahrenheit (Thanks to a reader for notifying me of a terrible typo) for 10 minutes on the middle rack.

Pineapple Topping Procedure:
  1. Beat the butter and sugar until creamy and fluffy
  2. Add egg yolk, baking soda, and milk together, and mix well.
  3. Sift the flour and baking powder intot he butter mixture, and mix by hand until it's smooth and not sticky. Be careful not to manipulate it too much as it will form gluten.
  4. Wrap the topping in plastic and refrigerate it for an hour and a half minimum.