Masterclass adventure @ Chadstone - Shanghai Shu Mai
Presented by David Zhou (Oriental Teahouse/David’s)
Saturday 16th February, 12-1pm
Every so often, the fashion capital of Victoria (otherwise more widely known as Chadstone Shopping Centre) temporarily takes on the title of fashion AND food capital when it hosts a series of hands-on cooking demonstrations. Taught by experts and renown chefs in the food industry, these classes teach you how to whip up a variety of dishes: from soft shell crab po’boys to shu mai dumplings. The cost of each class ranges from $10 to $20, with all proceeds supporting a wonderful charity called Streat.
Hailing from the westside and with my go-to major shopping centre being Highpoint, I was not aware of the masterclasses held at Chadstone until I received a email invite from the lovely folks at Chadstone. I would like to thank Chadstone - The Fashion Capital for the wonderful opportunity to observe and partake in a few of the masterclasses.
The following post sums up the Shanghai Shu Mai masterclass and also includes a recipe for the dumplings.
The Masterclass arena, situated outside Zara and Diana Ferrari on the lower level.
Several classes were held over a period of three days.
A heads up for the next Masterclass series: be sure to make a booking early to avoid disappointment because these classes sell out fast!
I haven’t met many chefs, but David is definitely one of the most charismatic and friendly chefs I have had the privilege to meet yet! When I hear the words ‘Asian chef’, my mind conjures up an image of a cranky and always-in-a-rush chef who barks orders around the kitchen. But David was nothing like that… not even close! His smiley and humorous nature was infectious and his passion for dumplings and Asian cuisine clearly showed. He spent a good 2 minutes talking about rice and even managed to squeeze in a small lecture on the medicinal properties of ginger. We learnt more than just cooking!
(Makes 60 dumplings)
4 to 6 dried shiitake/black mushrooms
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoon dark soy sauce
2 tablespoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoon vegetable oil
500g minced pork
3 chinese sausage
2 cups cooked glutinous rice (at room temperature)
100g small dried shrimps
1 pack siu mai wrappers
1/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed and with no shell
Optional: cabbage leaves to place under the shu mai
1. Cook the rice according to the instructions given on the packet.
2. Soak the dried mushrooms in a bowl filled with warm water, ensuring that the mushrooms are completely covered. Soak for approximately 20 minutes or until the mushrooms are soft. Drain the water.
3. Remove the mushroom stems and chop the mushrooms finely.
4. Do the same for the chinese sausages, dicing them into small pieces.
5. Heat a wok over high heat until hot. Add the oil and swirl around to coat the sides of the wok.
6. Add the minced pork, chinese sausage, dry shrimp and mushroom. Stir fry the ingredients until the pork is crumbly and cooked through (approximately 2 minutes).
7. Add the rice, soy sauces, sesame oil and sugar. Stir to combine and cook until heated through (approximately 1 minute). Remove the wok from the heat and set aside to cool.
*When preparing the dumplings, ensure that the dumpling wrappers are covered with a damp towel to prevent them from drying out.
8. Take a wrapper and place one tablespoon of the dumpling filling onto the centre of the wrapper.
9. Gather up the sides that surround the filling, squeeze the sides at the half way point, and gently twist to form a ‘waist’, leaving the dumpling open at the top.
10. Place an edamame bean onto the top of the dumpling.
*Note. keep the prepared dumplings covered with a damp cloth while preparing the remaining dumplings.
Steam the dumplings:
11. Add water to a wok, reaching a depth of approximately 2 inches, and bring to the boil.
12. Line the inside of a bamboo steamer with cabbage leaves or parchment paper. Place the dumplings into the steamer and then set this over the water (steamer should not touch water). For optimal results, leave enough space between the dumplings so that adjacent dumplings do not touch.
*A piece of wood can be used to prop the steamer up and away from the water.
13. Steam the dumplings until the wrapper is cooked and tender (approximately 3-4 minutes).
14. Serve with chilli paste and soy sauce to taste.
David Zhou with his finished product. He picked it up almost soon after it had come off the steamer, which next resulted in an “OUCH! HOT!”
I was quite surprised to find that the textures from the rice and mince combined together seamlessly. The blend of the aromatic and well-flavoured mince+rice (I was already salivating whilst the filling was being cooked on the wok) was given a further flavour boost by the chinese sausage, mushrooms and crunchy pieces of shrimp, making each bite (or mouthful if you can fit in a whole dumpling in one go) an explosion of the tasty Asian flavours. David’s version of the Shanghai Shu Mai takes the typical shu mai dumpling to the next level!