These Chinese dumplings, known as shao may or shiu may, have a chicken filling, which is lighter than the traditional pork mixture. Wonton wrappers, sold in Oriental food stores, can be used, or you can make your own pasta wrapping. Serve these dim sum as the starter for a multi-course Chinese meal.
Make your own dough to enclose the dim sum: the wrappers will be slightly thicker and not frilly around the top edge, but they are equally delicious. Mix 200 g (7 oz) strong plain flour with a pinch of salt in a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add 1 tbsp sunflower oil and 4 tbsp boiling water. Mix well. Cover with cling film and set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Then knead the dough until smooth, roll into a sausage shape and cut into 10 equal pieces. Each piece of dough is enough to make 5 dim sum. Cut one piece into 5 portions, leaving the others covered to prevent them from drying out. Roll out one of the small pieces of dough into a 5 cm (2 in) circle. Place about 1 tsp of the filling in the centre of the dough. Pinch the dough up to form a cup around the filling, leaving it open at the top. Place on a cornflour-dusted plate, and repeat with the remaining filling and dough. Steam as for dim sum in wonton wrappers. * Use 3 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked until pliable, then drained and chopped, instead of fresh shiitake. * For a vegetarian filling, mix 10 fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped, with 225 g (8 oz) mashed tofu and 3 finely chopped garlic cloves.
Garlic, onions, leeks and chives contain allicin which has anti-fungal and antibiotic properties. Garlic also contains other compounds that have been shown in animal studies to inactivate carcinogens and suppress the growth of tumours.
* A, niacin