Asian Recipes

Asian Recipes Blog

The Unrivaled Practical Guide for Asian Cooking

What is the secret of making feather-light dumplings?

Dumplings are made from suet crust pastry which is traditionally made with self-raising flour, finely chopped suet and cold water. However, suet crust pastry can now be much quicker and simpler to prepare by using a prepared suet mix readily available in most supermarkets. The suet mix is simply mixed with self-raising flour and cold water to make suet crust pastry for pies and roly-polys. It can also be used to prepare traditional steamed suet puddings and dumplings. Once the water has been added, it should be handled lightly to avoid developing the gluten in the flour, which will toughen the pastry.

Make the dumplings just before cooking them to ensure they are light. Always simmer them gently as rapid boiling will make them fall apart. A final tip is to serve them immediately while light and fluffy.

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08:17:42 on 11/07/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Is it possible to cook Peking Duck at home or is it too complicated?

True Peking Duck uses a special species of bird bred in north China which is roasted and traditionally eaten in three courses. The crispy skin is served first with pancakes, then the meat is stir-fried as a main course and the bones are served next, in a soup. Such a meal is not easy to produce at home. However, it is easier and acceptable to serve the meat with the pancakes.

Whatever recipe you use, the duck must be dried thoroughly so the skin is crisp when cooked. The traditional way is to hang the duck in the sun for up to 12 hours. You can also suspend the duck in a warm place for 6-8 hours. A surer solution is to use a hair-dryer.

Turn the dryer to High and blast the duck all over, from a distance of about 15 cm to prevent any scorching. Dry the inside as well. When the skin begins to look parched, the duck is ready to roast. Thin, pale Mandarin pancakes are essential with Peking Duck. Available from Asian food stores, they can be reheated on High in a microwave for 1 minute.

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07:24:51 on 11/07/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -

Most restaurants serve half a duck per person and this seems a lot. How many people should one duck actually feed?

It does not feed as many people as we might expect from the size (compared with chicken or turkey) because of the high proportion of bone to meat on a duck. A 2kg duck will feed roughly only two to three people, a 2.5kg bird will feed four. You will need a larger duck, or preferably two smaller birds, to feed six to eight people.

02:38:22 on 11/07/06 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -