Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sweet Meat Pastry

I am a big fan of Dim Sum dishes. Savory or sweet, I gladly try and enjoy every and each of them. But as with all types of restaurant served food loaded with fat, grease and oil, Dim sum is not a group of food that should be eaten on a daily basis. Even the skinniest person can get high cholesterol from eating too much of these delectable delights.

As dumplings and steamed morsels in their nice bamboo steamers are always the stars of Dim Sum and get carted out everytime, I usually forget or don't have room anymore for this type of pastries. Chinese pastries are more complicated in the making as it contains 2 types of dough rolled and shaped together and the filling for the pastries are normally cooked separately before inserting them into the pastry shell. This means alot of work and patience when making the dough and from what I experienced from making this pastries today, I will gladly pay for it on my next Dim Sum trip!

This pastry usually contain chinese BBQ roast pork and known as 'Char Siew Shou' in Chinese Cantonese. I didn't have any available and went on to marinate pork rib meat with numerous flavorings that roughly resembles the taste of the BBQ roast pork. Chinese cooking usually uses lard but I skipped it and used vegetable shortening instead and I didn't use butter this time as butter always has a lingering smell over the dish that it is cooked with, hence I didn't want this pastry to smell buttery like Western pastries. The combination of both water and oil dough makes it flaky and light and slightly crisp when bite into. I have a weakness in judging on the amount of filling and can never get a uniform size of all the pastries but the most important thing is not to put too much and to make sure the edges are sealed tight. The meat filling is moist and sweet as sugar was added. The main flavoring sauce for the meat was oyster flavored sauce and together with the sugar, the presence of sweet and salty were well combined. I added a cube of Chinese fermented tofu ('Nam Yue') for extra moisture and taste.

The time consuming part was the rolling and shaping of the dough. The water dough appeared to be more wetter and heavier with the addition of an egg and the oil dough was more dry and crumbly. You will need constant dusting of flour on both the countertop surface and rolling pin and if the triangle shape is too much, a roll up shape can be attempted too. And to get a nice shape, some trimmings with the knife is required and once the filling is inserted and the edges of the pastry is sealed, use the rolling pin to gently push in the perimeters of the triangles so they slightly puff up in the middle part. Egg wash needs to be applied before and during the baking to get the right brownish crust color.

This Recipe was Adapted from a cookbook with some variations

400 gm pork rib meat, cut into small chunks OR Chinese BBQ roasted pork ('Char Siew')
1/2 of a small shallot, grated
2 tbsp Oyster Flavored Sauce
1 tbsp Dark Soy Sauce
1/2 tbsp Sesame oil
2 tbsp Sugar
1 cube of Chinese Fermented Tofu (red 'Nam Yue')
1/3 cup water
1 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp water

1)Marinate the meat with all the other ingredients except the cornflour & 3 tbsp water for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge.
2)Use a food processor and blend the meat mixture on an off and pulse mode for 10 seconds but not blended to puree form.
3)Heat the cooking pan with some cooking oil and pan fry the meat contents for 10 to 12 minutes, till meat is cooked. Mix corn flour and water to make starch and stir into the meat and cook for 3 mins till all moisture is absorbed and the filling is thick. Let cool .

Ingredients :
Water dough
1-1/2 cup flour
5 tbsp vegetable shortening (80gm)
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg (room temperature)

1)Beat the shortening with the sugar till combined. Add in the egg and continue to mix.
2)Fold in the flour and the dough will form. Knead with hands till combined evenly.
3)Form into balls (Makes 1 dozen)

Oil Dough
1-3/4 cup flour
5 tbsp vegetable shortening (80gm)

1)Rub the shortening into the flour, as in making pastry tarts.
2)The dough will be crumbly and sticky. Dust hands with extra flour when dividing and forming into balls. (Makes 1 dozen)

To make the pastries:
1)Roll out each ball of water dough to a square. Put a ball of oil dough on top of it and gently squish with your fingers so the oil dough sticks to the water dough. Gently roll out to the same size as the water dough.
2)Fold the dough 2 times and turn it vertical and fold twice again. Roll out to a square again.
3)Repeat the folding part and turn it vertical again and fold twice again. Roll out to square again.
4)Use a teaspoon to fill the middle part of the dough and join one corner with the opposite facing corner of the dough to enclose the filling. Pinch the seams and sides to seal in and place on a greased pan or use a baking pan lined with parchment paper.
5)Repeat with all the remaining balls of water and oil dough.
6)Preheat oven to 375F.
7)Beat one egg and brush on top of each pastry. Sprinkle with white sesame seeds.
8)Bake for 20 mins. At 10 mins interval, take out pastry and apply more egg wash and rotate the pans. Check at the last 3 mins if the pastry has brown perfectly, if not, apply more egg wash.
9)Remove from heat and cool on racks.

Makes : 12 to 14 (depending on preferred size)


crazymommy said...

Your meat pastry look yummy!!
I have been thinking of making this for a while already!! Mayb i will try your recipe next week when my ah lao is away. :P

ocean said...

looks great.. informative blog.. do find tym to visit mine... take care.. have a great day!

danny kwok said...

the pastry is a lot of long did you took to make it?

Lily Anette said...

Indeed it took me alot of time & work to make this! Marinate the meat the night before. Making the dough and wrapping everything took more than 1 hour. The result is very satisfying though :)

Anonymous said...

Looks very good! I'd love a bite! :)