Dim Sum is a traditional Chinese cuisine that describe a variety of small food items that are either steamed or fried. Usually served in portions of 3 or 4 items, Dim Sum was originally started as a snack that would be served with tea. The dumplings that are demonstrated here by Cuixing Chan from Oyo Restaurant are translucent when steamed and the beautiful folding technique that is used to seal the dumpling is a mark of a chef ’s artistry. Recipes and methods by Cuixung Chan and photographs by Christoph Hoffmann

Gau (Closed Dumpling)

This dough forms the basis for all gau/dumplings and the described method of folding the dumpling closed is traditionally used with a spinach and cream cheese filling.

200g Flour
10g Flour Starch
150ml Boiling Water
Pinch of Salt

  • Measure both starches and salt into a small mixing bowl.
  • Pour the boiling water into the starches while stirring until the dough is partially cooked.
  • Remove the dough from the bowl and knead on a flat dry surface, using a spatula
  • Add a teaspoon of oil, mix again and roll into ball, wrap in glad wrap to keep warm and moist
  • When ready to use, roll the dough into a long shaped cylinder
  • Cut into smaller discs approximately 5cm in length
  • Flatten with a palate knife (brushed with cooking oil) into flat round discs
  • Hold the disc in the palm of your hand, avoiding the edges of dough, use a small spoon and fill with a tablespoon of spinach and cream cheese filling, while avoiding the edges of the dough, use a small spoon to place a teaspoon of filling into the center of the wrapper.
  • Fold 8 narrow pleats, where each pleat overlaps the previous pleat halfway. You should leave about 1/3 of the edge without pleats.
  • Press the edges of the dough together, forming a half circle. Put it on your working surface, pressing the bottom of the dumpling.
  • Place into steamer, and steam for five minutes, serve straight away

Spinach and Cream Cheese Filling

½ kg spinach, finely chopped
5g spring onion
200g cream cheese
Pinch of salt

Prawn Gau

500g Prawns, cleaned and chopped
10g Salt
15g Sugar
Pinch Chicken Stock
15g Potato Flour
50ml Vegetable Oil
50ml Sesame Seed Oil

  • Follow the method for the Gau until step 8, placing a teaspoon of the Prawn filling in the centre of the circle of dough
  • Instead of folding loosely into a semi-circle, as depicted in the previous gau, hold the circle of pastry in the palm of your hand and fold up all of the pastry around the filling, so that it looks like a cloth money bag.
  • With a finger inside, in the centre of the ‘bag’, fold the edge of the pastry in pleats around the centre so that there is still a hole in the middle.
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